A letter in today's Observer newspaper, from the linguist Amorey Gethin, in Cambridge:
Is there no limit to the hypocrisy and double standards of the West? We cannot get accurate figures concerning Chechnya, since the Russian government restricts the movement of journalists there, but we know that Grozny was effectively destroyed. The number of children and their parents blown to pieces or mutilated by Russian 'security' forces on the orders of Putin must therefore have been several times greater than those who suffered the same fate in Beslan. Yet there has been no comparable public outpouring of sympathy for the Chechen children or expression of horror at the 'evil' Putin.
Akhmed Zakayev's figures, given on September 7, are probably on the conservative side, and include:
35,000 children killed
- 40,000 children seriously injured
- 32,000 children partially orphaned
- 6,000 children totally orphaned
To this we would need to add a figure of 100% of children who have been seriously traumatized by 10 years of Russian atrocities.