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Moscow Residents Commemorate Victims Of 1999 Apartment Bombing

Rescuers and firefighters search the rubble left of an apartment block following a blast in Moscow in September 1999.

Dozens of people have laid flowers and lit candles at the site of a bomb blast that ruined a Moscow apartment building and killed 92 people 15 years ago.

The September 9, 1999, bombing was the second of four similiar attacks in the space of a few weeks, including blasts in the southern cities of Buynaksk and Volgodonsk and at another apartment building in Moscow.

The government blamed Chechen separatists for the bombings, but some Kremlin critics have accused the Russian authorities of organizing them to whip up support for a new war in the North Caucasus republic.

Vladimir Putin, prime minister at the time, promised a tough response.

Support for the second post-Soviet war against Chechen separatists helped Putin gain popularity and win a presidential election in March 2000, months after Boris Yeltsin resigned and appointed him acting president.

Based on reporting by and