Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Beslan: Russia's 9/11?

A new and extensive report on the Beslan tragedy by Stanford University expert and former Chechnya Weekly editor John Dunlop is now available online (pdf format). The report draws not only on official Russian sources, including testimony from the trial of Ingush terrorist suspect Nur-Pasha Kulayev, but also makes public the findings of three independent Russian commissions, including a study prepared by the Mothers of Beslan, the group representing mothers who lost children in the siege.

Among other things, the report concludes that many of the terrorists were not Chechens, and that many of the casualties resulted from poor Russian planning, thus challenging the Kremlin's account of this terrible event.

“Three shots were fired from a tank located in the courtyard into the school. I asked: ‘What are you doing?’ They answered: ‘There are rebels.” I responded: ‘But there are people there too.’”

-- Stanislav Kesaev, Chairman,
North Ossetian Parliamentary Commission on Beslan.
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