Blowing Up Russia: Terror from Within (Russian: ФСБ взрывает Россию) is a book written by Alexander Litvinenko and Yuri Felshtinsky. It was translated to 20 languages and published in more than 20 countries However, in Russia the book was confiscated, forbidden for "divulging state secrets" and included in the Federal List of Extremist Materials. Authors have described the Russian apartment bombings as a false flag operation that was guided by the Russian Federal Security Service to justify the Second Chechen War and bring Vladimir Putin to power. The story was initially printed by Yuri Shchekochikhin in a special issue of Novaya Gazeta in August 2001 and published as a book in 2002.
According to an interview, Yuri Felshtinsky started collecting materials about the Russian apartment bombings in 2001, not thinking that the FSB had anything to do with the terrorism acts. He was deeply disturbed after discovering that the bombings were in fact committed by the FSB. He consulted with Viktor Suvorov, a writer and former GRU officer. When asked: "Would you personally blow out the building with innocent people after receiving the order?", Mr Suvorov replied: "Of course I would. That is our job. We always follow the order." Felshtinsky contacted Alexander Litvinenko who became a coauthor of the book. Felshtinsky had known Litvinenko since 1998.
Campaign by Russian government against the book and its authors
On December 29, 2003, Russian Interior Ministry and FSB units seized 4,376 copies of the book intended for Alexander Podrabinek's Prima news agency. FSB lieutenant Alexander Soima said that the book was confiscated as a material evidence in the criminal case No 218 initiated in June 2003 for disclosing state secrets. Podrabinek was summoned by the FSB on January 28, 2004. He refused to answer the questions. In response to FSB's banning their books, the authors granted the right to print and distribute the books in Russia to "anybody who wishes to do so" free of charge.
Lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin said that he warned Litvinenko in 2003 about a menace from FSB confirmed by two sources. Trepashkin quoted the words of FSB officer Victor Shebalin saying that everyone who was involved in publication of the book Blowing up Russia would be destroyed and that FSB had deployed three agents to Boston to assassinate Yuri Felshtinsky.
In 2006, Litvinenko was poisoned, allegedly by FSB agent Andrey Lugovoi. Confiscated copies of the book were kept by the FSB and destroyed in 2007 "due to death of the accused" Litvinenko.
In 2015 the book was included in an official "list of extremist materials" preventing any form of publication in Russia.
Alexander Goldfarb said the book "would haunt Putin the way the image of the killed Tsarevich haunted Boris Godunov.". According to Oleg Gordievsky, "For clues as to who wanted Alexander Litvinenko dead, you need look no farther than his book Blowing Up Russia" Sunday Times described the book as "A vivid condemnation of the Putin regime". In a review for The Independent, Anne Penketh said that the book is "a densely written text" and "(f)or those seeking a reason for the killing of Litvinenko, this book contains the possible motive, although it does not mention the role of Berezovsky — sworn enemy of Putin — in bringing it out in the first place." Historian Robert Service for The Guardian: "In 2002 their [Litvinenko and Yuri Felshtinsky] jointly written book failed to appeal to established publishers in the west. It has taken Litvinenko's murder for the book to appear in this updated edition ... as vivid a condemnation of the Putin regime as has yet been written.". Viv Groskop for The Observer wrote, the book focuses on the failed Ryazan bombings "in excruciating, rambling detail", but it fails to describe convincingly the involvement of Russian state security services in organizing the Russian apartment bombings and "lack of transparency makes it difficult to read it as more than conspiracy theory. Andrew Taylor in reviewing the book for The Spectator wrote the book "is essentially a detailed polemic against Putin and the Kremlin's hardliners in their pursuit of power. Most of it was written before Litvinenko's death and for a Russian readership; it was designed primarily as ammunition for Berezovsky's propaganda war". Eibhir Mulqueen in The Sunday Business Post wrote, "(t)he dearth of acknowledged sources aside, the presentation of this thesis manages at once to be as monotonous as an official police report, while being polemical in tone."
In 2001, the documentary film Assassination of Russia (also known as Blowing up Russia) was made on the basis of the book by French producers Jean-Charles Deniau and Charles Gazelle. Yuri Felshtinsky and Alexander Litvinenko worked as consultants for the film. The film was shown on TV in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, but not in Russia.