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 Moscow's Gloom Deepens as Fear Becomes Routine

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MOSCOW, Sept. 5 - "We ride on the subway and think it is for the last time," the Rev. Aleksandr Borisov told Russian Orthodox worshipers on Sunday morning. "We gather in a church and think it is our last liturgy."

This was not simply the homily of a Sunday sermon. Following one of the most horrific terrorist acts in recent times, with the massacre of hundreds of children, parents and teachers in a schoolhouse on Friday, Father Borisov said he was speaking quite literally.

"We received a warning yesterday that terrorist acts are planned in churches in the center of Moscow," he said at the Church of SS. Cosmas and Damian in the heart of the capital, one of many churches across Russia holding memorial services for the victims on Sunday. "World War III has begun."

In the days after a deadly hostage-taking in the republic of North Ossetia, near Chechnya, which took more than 300 lives, a sense of dread, fatalism and futility has spread through the capital.

"You Americans, you have your bin Laden, and now maybe so do we," said Vasily Nizovtsev, 34, who sells pirated video discs along with cigarettes and telephone credit cards.


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 2004/9/7 23:54Profile





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