Last night, a couple hours after the affected red line was reopened in time for the evening rush hour, I went to look for what the metro looked like in the wake of the twin suicide bombing that morning.
The attack was a symbolic one. The Moscow metro is at the core of Moscow’s identity as megapolis. It began as a grand project under Stalin in 1935, and building continued through World War II, when the extremely deep stations and tunnels served as bomb shelters. (They served similar functions during the Cold War.) Building and expansion continues today, when over 10 million people use the metro daily, and unlike, say, the New York or DC subway systems, the Moscow metro is a chain of dozens of uniquely decorated halls, full of marble, granite, mosaics, bronze sculptures and unique light fixtures. The lights at Mendeleev station– named after the inventor of the periodic table — resemble matrices of atoms.
Yesterday’s attacks took place in two of the blander stations, but there was still clear evidence of the blast.