Monday, June 20, 2005

Beslan: Latest

The analytical weekly Kommersant-Vlast' has published an interview with Stanislav Kesayev, the speaker of the North Ossetian parliament, in which he expresses his concern and misgivings about the version of the events at Beslan on September 1 2004 presented by the public prosecutor. The interview is too long to translate in its entirety, but one part of it, where Kesayev talks about the failure of certain "big generals" and key security personnel who attended the seizure to appear in public, negotiate with the hostage-takers, or make any statement at all, is of particular interest:
You mean the deputy directors of the FSB, Vladimir Anisimov and Vladimir Pronichev, and the head of the Southern Federal Region Interior Ministry Directorate (GU MVD), Mikhail Pankov?

- Certainly. They were there, but we know nothing of them. And whereas Prime Minister Chernomyrdin talked to Shamil Basayev (in 1995, at Budyonnovsk. - - "Vlast’"), with these [hostage-takers] no one talked – at any rate, none of the key people were there. It may be that this was an intentional tactic, but experience has shown that it is an unsuccessful tactic for combating terrorism and dealing with one’s citizens. It may possibly make sense in Israel. There’s a higher level of professionalism there, and the circumstances are different. There it’s in their subconscious, they know that Palestinian terrorism is Israel’s enemy. But what about with us in Russia? We’re constantly trying to say that all the blame lies with international terrorism, in which there’s some Chechen and Ingush factor. But in reality it’s a consequence of the policy of the recognition or non-recognition of Chechnya, and a form of protest and an attempt to undermine the existing system.
(via M.L.)

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