China: The police declared they cracked the case of the explosion at the south station of the Urumqi Railway Station on 30 April, following an all-out overnight investigation. The explosion caused three deaths, including both assailants, and injured 79 people.
The police confirmed it was a terror attack by two Uighur men, motivated by religious extremism.
Comment: This is the second attack in two months, which begins to create a baseline for dissident/terrorist capabilities. The last was the knife attack in Kunming in which 10 assailants killed 33 people and wounded 130 others.
The style of the attack suggests it was a suicide attack, but Chinese authorities are not describing it as such. The last suicide attack by Uighurs occurred in Beijing last November. Suicide attacks are a significant challenge to law and order authorities responsible for a population exceeding 1.3 billion.
Chinese President Xi directed another crackdown on the Uighurs in Xinjiang, but repeated crackdowns have not stopped the attacks.
Russia: For the record. Russia staged a huge May Day parade on Moscow's Red Square for the first time since the Soviet era. Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin told Rossiya 24 TV that more than 100,000 people marched through Red Square. "This is not by chance, because there is a patriotic uplift and a good mood in the country," he said.
Comment: The parade was a celebration of Crimea for having returned to Russia. Workers held signs praising President Putin. Incrementally, Putin is restoring many practices from the Soviet era, such as May Day parades. His behavior and decisions indicate he sees many of those activities and practices as Russian more than communist.
Russia-Baltic States: A spokesman for Russia's Western Military District said on 30 April that a newly formed Russian army helicopter brigade has begun training flights in the northwest of the country.
"Helicopters of the army aviation brigade of the Western Military District, based in the Pskov region, have begun regular training flights in the skies over northwestern Russia," Colonel Oleg Kochetkov said.
Kochetkov said the flights involve dozens of Mi-28N Night Hunter and Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters as well as Mi-8MTV-5 and Mi-26T combat transport helicopters.
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