“You can either have the Putin regime, or the truth about the Beslan tragedy”

September 4, 2017

Mikhail Khodorkovsky comments on the anniversary of the 2004 Beslan school siege, an event which saw over 1,100 people taken hostage by armed Islamic terrorists in Russia’s North Ossetia region.  The situation tragically ended with the death of at least 385 people. 

You can either have today’s regime, or you can have the truth about the Beslan tragedy.  Today, I see no other alternative.

Beslan is a war.  But whose war, and with whom?  It’s clear that on one side there is pure evil: terrorists.  But why is the state acting so deceitfully at every step?  Why is it that society cannot rely on the government in times of crisis, but instead expects a stab in the back?  What are the priorities of top-ranking officials: the lives of hostages, or covering their own asses?

We’re told war means “Nobody is forgotten, nothing is forgotten.”  So let’s recall the actions of just two characters in the Beslan story.

On September 1 2004, terrorists took 1116 hostages at Beslan School Number 1.  However, official estimates of the scale of the attack were flat-out false: it was first reported that the number of hostages was in fact ten times lower, and by the morning of September 2 propagandists began to broadcast information about 354 hostages.

At the time Novaya Gazeta wrote “The tactic of deliberately understating the number of hostages aggravated the terrorists and influenced their attitude towards the hostages”.  As a result, the terrorists stopped giving the children access to water.

Marina Litvinovich, journalist and editor of the website “The Beslan Truth”, is certain that the career of Vladimir Putin’s current press-secretary Dmitry Peskov really took off after the Beslan deception.  “[Peskov] was a rather average employee of the Kremlin press-service under Gromov’s leadership.  He was sent to Beslan first and foremost to coordinate the reporting of events through state TV channels and the mainstream media.  It was precisely him — there is a testimony about this, and the North Ossetian Commission, which was investigating the case, had a lot to say about how in particular Dmitry Peskov lied about the number of hostages.

The author of an alternative report on the Beslan events, mathematician Yury Saveliev, believes that it was the false figure of 354 that led partially to the tragic actual figures – 334 dead, of which 186 were children: “If there were 1000 hostages, then they should have said it was the number 1 terrorist attack in the world.  Which means that some kind of special measures should have been taken.  I believe that real information as to the number of hostages could have significantly influenced the outcome of the situation.”

Sergey Shoigu also played his part in the Beslan tragedy.  The current Minister of Defence practically played the role of Mr. Wolfe from Pulp Fiction: he quickly arrived at the scene of the crime and liquidated the most obvious remnants of the tragic assault.

Yury Saveliev says that “Through the night and into the morning a mountain of wreckage was taken away in the presence of Minister of Emergency Situations Sergey Shoigu.  Later, Beslan residents found fragments of human bodies and hostages’ belongings in the dump.” A statement which was repeated in court.

From the mouth of, Ella Kasaeva, head of the public committee “Voice of Beslan” the scene sounds even more emotional: “On September 4 Shoigu’s employees collected the remains of the hostages’ bodies together with their clothes and took them to an abandoned quarry.  In the spring, other victims discovered the dump.  They found half a human skull, a scalp with hair, many half-burned children’s clothes, among which mothers discovered their children’s belongings.  Residents from nearby houses said that for several months numerous foxes were digging through the dump.  The residents had no idea that it had all come from the school.”

Have you read through this?  Do you agree that remembering Beslan also provokes the instinct of self-preservation?  During the “Nord-Ost” hostage situation ‘secret gas’ was used, in Beslan tanks fired upon the school.  If, God forbid, hundreds of people are taken hostage in a new terrorist act – how will today’s elites respond?  Exactly the same: they’ll wallow in lies and cynicism.  They have plenty of examples to work from.  The open question is what society will be capable of doing in such a tragic situation… that is, if we’re not stuck with the Stockholm Syndrome caused by our irremovable leaders.

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