In his speech to the FSB brass, Putin commended the border guards for shoring up the country's borders and making it harder for terrorists to enter. Judging by Putin's speech, you'd have thought Shamil Basayev was hiding out in Mexico, like Trotsky. But when Basayev gave an interview to Andrei Babitsky last summer, he met the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reporter in Ingushetia. Earlier, the authorities had nearly captured Basayev and his wife on the outskirts of Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria.Commenting on the recent explosion at an army barracks in Chechnya which killed 13 and injured more than 20, Latynina points to the absurdity of the government's spin on this, which suggested that the explosion had been caused by propane gas tanks - which turned out to be intact. She adds:
When it became clear that cops had driven Basayev around Nalchik, the Interior Ministry needed to save face. Not long after, the cops entered a mosque belonging to the Jamaat of Kabardino-Balkaria in the village of Volny Aul and beat up hundreds of people. After several years of similar beatings, the Muslims of Nalchik rose up in armed rebellion on Oct. 13, 2005. And they were destroyed. In his speech last week, Putin singled out the operation in Nalchik as "an example of successful work by the Russian law enforcement agencies as a whole and by FSB employees in particular."
Two parallel worlds exist in this country. In one world, the military, law enforcement and the security services have turned into an enormous supermarket that offers its services to criminals and terrorists alike. The siloviki release hard-core extremists for cash and provide a taxi service for Basayev.The article can also be read here.
In the other world, terrorists are wasted in outhouses and caves, and when Defense Ministry barracks explode, propane is the culprit.
What astounds me about the propane story is that they showed the intact gas tanks on television. Any explosives expert will tell you that when a propane tank explodes, the metal pretty much vaporizes.
Then again, any spin doctor worth his salt will tell you that if you want people to believe that a propane tank explosion destroyed an army barracks, you'd better show them some tanks.