Although President Boris Yeltsin was hundreds of miles away in Sochi, recuperating from illness on the shores of the Black Sea, the explosion was headline news in Moscow, which is struggling to contain an economic crisis.
Police sources told the Interfax news agency that the driver of the vehicle charged through fencing around the square, home to Lenin's tomb, and brushed off an attempt by police to stop it as it trundled across the cobblestones.
Police said the driver leapt out before the blast, which had the force of six kilograms of TNT. His documents showed he was 65-year-old Ivan Ortov, from the Moscow region, a correspondent for a right-wing nationalist magazine called Ruskaya Pravda (Russian Truth). He was being interviewed by officials last night.
Police said they were treated the explosion as a criminal incident. Red Square remained sealed off amid a large security operation.Reuse content