When I had coffee this morning with a fellow journalist who was born in Ukraine and had just returned from a reporting trip to Moscow, she told me that the one thing I should keep in mind about public reaction to the meteor that streamed over central Russia today is that superstition runs deep in that country. The predicted Mayan “apocalypse” in December, for example, was widely reported in Russian media as a seriously plausible event, she said.
It turns out that she may have been on to something. The site RussiaSlam, which monitors Russian social media, is gathering Web commentary from within the country. So far, theories include the biblical apocalypse and an alien invasion.
A Russian politician is promoting another, insane conspiracy theory – that the meteor wasn’t a meteor but “Americans testing their new weapons.”