25 Jan 2011

Moscow airport bomb: British victim named

A Briton who was among the 35 victims of the Moscow suicide blast is named, as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin vows revenge for the airport bombing.

The Foreign Office has confirmed that at least one Briton was killed in Monday’s suspected suicide bomb blast at Moscow’s busiest airport.

Gordon Cousland, 39, is among 35 victims of the bomb attack, which injured more than 100.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has vowed revenge for the attack and ordered security services to find the people behind it. Chechen militants, who have been behind a number of other attacks in Russia, are the main suspects.

President Putin told a meeting of ministers: “This was an abominable crime in both its senselessness and its cruelty. I do not doubt that this crime will be solved and that retribution is inevitable.”

British victim

The Foreign Office in London said that their initial indications were that one British national died in the explosion, although another Brit may also have died.

“We are in contact with next of kin and providing consular assistance,” the Foreign Office said.

This was an abominable crime in both its senselessness and its cruelty. Retribution is inevitable. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin

“The consular team is continuing to investigate reports that a second British national was killed but we have no information to confirm this at this time.”

The victim who has been identified, Mr Cousland, was a property consultant, who specialised in Eastern Europe. He had just landed in Russia when he became caught up in the horrific blast in the airport’s crowded international arrivals hall on Monday afternoon.

His brother Robin, from Sleaford, Lincolnshire, spoke of the family’s desperate attempts to contact him after the terrorist attack. Last night they were contacted by the Foreign Office who confirmed Mr Cousland was among those killed.

A London-based management consultant, who was travelling with his girlfriend, was named as another one of the victims by a colleague.

Russian nationals Kirill Bodrashov, 38, and Elvira Muratova, 40, who have a young son, worked as a team and were on a business trip for executive search firm New Millennium Group when the terrorist hit.

Ms Muratova was wounded and is in intensive care in hospital. The pair had not been standing together at the time of the explosion.

Mr Bodrashov had lived in the UK for several years. The pair shared a home in Queen’s Gate, Kensington, and had been on the British Airways flight from London to Moscow that landed shortly before the bombing.


There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport.

Russian media reports have given conflicting information about the identity of the suspected bomber, or whether there may have been more than one attacker. Reports have suggested a female suicide bomber may have carried out the attack.

Last March two female suicide bombers blew themselves up on the capital’s underground system during rush hour killing 40 people.

Security lapse

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called the blast an act of terror and said “there were clear security breaches” at the airport.

“It’s obviously a terrorist act that was planned well in advance in order to cause the deaths of as many people as possible,” President Medvedev said.

It was planned well in advance in order to cause the deaths of as many people as possible. President Dmitry Medvedev

“What happened shows that there were clear security violations.”

President Medvedev added that managers at the airport must be held responsible for “clear security breaches”.

“Someone had to try very hard to carry or bring through such a vast amount of explosives,” he said. The attacker is thought to have evaded security to carry the explosives into the airport’s arrival hall.

Moscow airport bomb: British victim named

Eyewitness accounts

Eyewitnesses told Russian TV that before a bomber detonated the equivalent of 7kg (15lb) of TNT, he had shouted: “I’ll kill you all!”

Footage from the aftermath of the blast showed bodies strewn across the floor of the smoke-filled arrivals hall.

Eyewitness Artyom Zhilenkov, a 35-year-old driver, said: “I saw the suitcase, the suitcase was on fire. The guy standing next to me was torn to pieces.”

President Medvedev, due to open the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, delayed his departure to the Swiss city of Davos and was due to hold a meeting with his security services on Tuesday. Earlier he vowed to track down and punish those behind the blast.

Russia is due to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, on the edge of the Caucasus, which some rebels consider part of the territory they aim to include in an Islamic state.