Malacandra.me

Chechnya?

Chechnya?

by digby

Wow. That comes out of nowhere.Not that there isn't a precedent for terrorism from there.  Recall the terrible Beslan massacre from a decade or so ago. This was nothing like that, but there are lessons to be gleaned from what happened in Russia:

The Beslan school hostage crisis (also referred to as the Beslan school siege or Beslan massacre)of early September 2004 lasted three days and involved the capture of over 1,100 people as hostages (including 777 children), ending with the death of over 380 people. The crisis began when a group of armed Islamic separatist militants, mostly Ingush and Chechen, occupied School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia (an autonomous republic in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation) on 1 September 2004. The terrorists were the Riyadus-Salikhin Battalion, sent by the Chechen separatist warlord Shamil Basayev, who demanded recognition of the independence of Chechnya at the UN and Russian withdrawal from Chechnya. On the third day of the standoff, Russian security forces entered the building with the use of tanks, incendiary rockets and other heavy weapons. At least 334 hostages were killed as a result of the crisis, including 186 children, with a significant number of people injured and reported missing.

The event led to security and political repercussions in Russia, most notably it contributed to a series of federal government reforms consolidating power in the Kremlin and strengthening of the powers of the President of Russia. As of 2011, aspects of the crisis in relation to the militants remain contentious; including how many militants were involved, the nature of their preparations and whether a section of the group had escaped. Questions about the Russian government's management of the crisis have also persisted; including allegations of disinformation and censorship in news media, whether the journalists who were present at Beslan were allowed to freely report on the crisis, the nature and content of negotiations with the militants, allocation of responsibility for the eventual outcome, and perceptions that excessive force was used.


Let's hope we manage to have learned from our mistake --- and theirs --- as we go forward.

Also too: David didn't need to make the apology below. CNN gave so many hints that it was the same guy the twitterati were fingering that they might as well have said it. They barely got out of that one unscathed.

Update:
Oh great