Feature

Conspiracy theory lingers

The week's news at a glance.

Moscow

Russia sentenced two men to life in prison this week for the 1999 apartment bombings that killed more than 200 people, mostly in Moscow. The attacks were blamed on Chechen rebels and sparked the second Chechen war. But the trial of Yusuf Krymshamkhalov and Adam Dekkushev, who are from a province near Chechnya, was conducted in secret, and Russian observers said the verdict would not dispel persistent conspiracy theories. Former secret-police agent Alexander Litvinenko, who defected to Britain, alleged in a recent book that the secret police staged the explosions to provide a pretext for war. He cited an incident in which regular Russian police discovered explosives in one apartment building and traced them to the secret police, who said the explosives were fakes put there as a training exercise.

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