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Kommersant, September 17, 2004

What Happened to Russia?

By Grigory Yavlinsky

We can no longer live as if nothing have happened only because the accident has not directly affected us or our relatives. This has already happened.

Terrorists' acts leading to deaths of innocent, and unarmed people, children and women have no justification whatsoever either political, or moral, or religious, or ideological.

A hostage rescue operation always follows a sole and supreme goal of saving human lives.

All the other goals - punishment of terrorists, state prestige, personal ambitions, etc - are of secondary importance. Assaults are possible only as the last resort.

In Beslan the federal centre did not clearly set the priorities: that a sole and supreme goal is salvation of hostages, children, first of all.

Head-quarters with real and absolute proxies were not established at the spot. A chief of the head-quarters who would have the right and would be obliged to adopt ANY decisions to save the hostages' lives including recommendations on whether and in what form the President should personally participate in this process was not appointed.

There was no political decision of the Kremlin on negotiating contacts. Only Ruslan Aushev had a contact which wound up relatively successfully but had no continuation.

The President did not find anyone in the FSB, the interior and the defence ministries or the Security Council who could direct the operation. He had to adopt not only political but also many tactical and technical decisions on the operation and instead of specially created head-quarters found himself virtually in leading a constant dialog with the terrorists.

This is a characteristic feature of our system of administration.


See also:

complete version of the article

Act of Terror in Beslan

Kommersant, September 17, 2004

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