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Russians Express Support for US - 2001-09-12

Following the attacks on New York and Washington, Russian President Vladimir Putin has called for coordinated international action against terrorism. Russian people have been flocking to the U.S. embassy in Moscow to lay wreaths.

A driver toots his horn to show his support outside the U.S. embassy in Moscow. In front of the building, there is a sea of flowers, candles, and Russian icons that have been left by grieving Russians shocked by Tuesday's attacks on New York and Washington.

Pensioner Irina Shumilova could not contain her tears. "I have gone through the Second World War," Irina Shumilova says. "I know what it's like. What I saw yesterday - the way those buildings fell down, how those poor people died, it was like then - it was like a mincing machine."

Mikhail Tersarikov is a 39 year-old lawyer. He says that New York is the city he loves best in the world after his hometown Moscow. "I'm so sorry for the people who died there," he says. "These were innocent people who never attacked anybody, who did nothing illegal, and died in a time of peace. It's a catastrophe. It's not just an American catastrophe, it's a global catastrophe. It's our common grief."

Even young men were crying. Grigory Ugarov is a businessman in his thirties who works with a student exchange and has friends in New York. "I don't know where my friends are, what happened to them," Grigory Ugarov says. "As a normal person, I couldn't help but come. I was in the United States recently, and I went up the World Trade Center. I know how many tourists are there every day. What is happening is so arbitrary."

American Josh Cox, from Atlanta, is visiting Moscow for a week. "I just walked by and saw the flowers and it's very touching that Russians are bringing flowers to our embassy," he says. "I think it's very important how my country reacts to this. I hope it learns from this and doesn't close itself off from the rest of the world because of this. I hope we don't become paranoid and start to be afraid of the rest of the world."

Many Russians are also calling VOA's Moscow office to offer their condolences.

President Putin has declared that Russia will observe a minute's silence Thursday for the victims of the attacks in New York and Washington.