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ANALYSIS-Putin might risk bloody end to school siege
alertnet.org ^ | 02 Sep 2004 15:14:00 GMT | Douglas Busvine

Posted on 09/02/2004 1:18:45 PM PDT by Destro

ANALYSIS-Putin might risk bloody end to school siege

02 Sep 2004 15:14:00 GMT

Source: Reuters

By Douglas Busvine

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday the safety of 350 hostages held in a Russian school was paramount, but analysts warned he might order special forces to storm the building and risk a repeat of past bloodbaths.

The history of Russian operations to free hostages in recent years is a grim one, with hundreds of innocents killed.

But attempts to negotiate with the captors, believed to be Chechen separatist militants, could make a mockery of Putin's strategy of using force to impose order in the Caucasus region of southern Russia, security analysts said.

"If the situation develops in a way that threatens the lives of hostages... then storming is the only possibility," said Boris Makarenko, a security analyst at the Center for Political Technologies in Moscow.

And any casualties among the many children held at School No.1 in Beslan, North Ossetia, are likely to inflame the seething, multi-ethnic Caucasus further, analysts warn.

Twenty-six women and children were freed in Beslan on Thursday.

But analysts noted that children were also freed in the Moscow theatre siege of October 2002 before Putin, who had earlier called for talks, ordered special forces to storm the building.

Of 700 hostages, 129 died from the effects of a knock-out gas used in the operation. All 41 Chechen captors were killed.

In a disastrous operation to end the Budennovsk hospital siege of 1995, more than 100 hostages died before their captors won safe passage. In Pervomaiskoye in 1996, there were more hostage deaths, and many guerrillas escaped a military dragnet.

"The Russians will assault the school without a doubt, they have done it in every single case," said Adam Dolnik, a Singapore-based security analyst and co-author of a detailed study of the Moscow theatre siege.

"They will likely stall for time in order to get enough intelligence about the location, they will search for ways in and they will prepare a plan. I would expect the assault within the next two days, if history is anything to go by."

Analysts said Wednesday's attack by a heavily-armed gang on the school was highly professional, and past experience shows that the gym where the hostages are held is likely to be mined.

REGIONAL RISKS

The captors chose their target well. North Ossetia has been peaceful since a conflict in the early 1990s with neighbouring Ingushetia, which borders Chechnya, and any deaths of local children could provoke fresh hostilities.

"These are Ossetian kids. The reaction of Ossetians may be extremely dangerous," said Alexei Malashenko, a security analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Moscow.

"We could be on the eve of the next war."

According to news reports, the captors have demanded the release of comrades captured in a raid on Ingushetia in June.

Analysts say that demand would be impossible for Putin to concede, leaving confidence-building measures such as offering to supply water, food and medicine as the only avenue for talks.

"It's almost impossible for him to give in to any of these demands -- but there are the lives of children at stake," said Thomas de Waal, a Chechnya expert at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting in London.

"There will be some kind of negotiation over the everyday stuff -- food, medicines and so on. Beyond that I don't see much to talk about."

Paul Wilkinson, of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at Scotland's St Andrews University, said he hoped Putin would moderate his position -- however difficult that might be.

"President Putin came to office on a very tough position on terrorism and has capitalised on that ever since. The recent spate of attacks has put this policy to the test," he said.

"How can one say the policy of firm military response is working?" he added, saying Putin should open a peace dialogue with moderate Chechens and call for international mediation. (Additional reporting by Mark Trevelyan, Security Correspondent, in Berlin)


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Russia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; chechnya; ossetia
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The Republic of North Ossetia-Alania is an anomaly in the North Caucasus on several counts. First, its population is Christian, not Muslim (their patron saint is St. George). And as Dzasokhov pointed out in a recent article published in "Nezavisimaya gazeta," the Ossetians were the only Caucasian ethnic group that voluntarily petitioned the tsar (in 1774) for their territory to be absorbed into the Russian Empire. Second, they are the only ethnic group in the North Caucasus to speak an Indo-European language (part of the Iranian language group).
1 posted on 09/02/2004 1:18:46 PM PDT by Destro
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To: Destro

Negotiate with terrorists, and you will get more terrorism.


2 posted on 09/02/2004 1:19:37 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws help fund terrorism.)
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To: Destro

I'd wager that it was a little more than a coincidence that Basayev's death brigades went after a school of Christian kids.

Not that he's been too shy about killing Muslims or anybody else in Ingushetia, Dagestan, or Kabardino-Balkaria.

Is CNN still calling them rebels?


3 posted on 09/02/2004 1:21:05 PM PDT by Angelus Errare
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To: Angelus Errare

I think he will blow them all away...


4 posted on 09/02/2004 1:21:32 PM PDT by BurbankKarl
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To: Destro
Chechen separatist militants = Islamic Terrorists.

Come on, Reuters, say it. Losers.

5 posted on 09/02/2004 1:21:32 PM PDT by LikeLight (__________________________)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Negotiate with terrorists, and you will get more terrorism

Yes, but it is hard to sit back and let them kill kids. I do not envy Putin in this situation.

6 posted on 09/02/2004 1:21:50 PM PDT by KJacob (God's purpose is never the same as man's purpose.)
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To: Destro

The real question is what the Russians will do AFTER this is over, especially if there are significant numbers of children killed.


7 posted on 09/02/2004 1:22:20 PM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Fox is reporting (Fox News Alert btw) a loud explosion at the school.


8 posted on 09/02/2004 1:24:04 PM PDT by abnegation (John Kerry makes any sane person ill.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

no, you release the prisoners, send them to Chechnya (however you spell it) and then nuke them all.
How about slow acting poison? Or a bomb implanted inside each one?


9 posted on 09/02/2004 1:24:23 PM PDT by eccentric (aka baldwidow)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
"We could be on the eve of the next war."

Or put more accurately, "We could be the next ones to recognize that we are at war."

10 posted on 09/02/2004 1:25:10 PM PDT by kinsman redeemer (the real enemy seeks to devour what is good)
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To: KJacob

Putin may very well have his hand forced soon. So far, reports are that the terrorists are refusing to accept food deliveries. Well, people can go without food for quite a while but if there is no access to drinking water in there, or the terrorists are not allowing the kids to get to it, this whole thing will have to come to a head in the next couple of days. Horrible situation, to be sure.


11 posted on 09/02/2004 1:27:29 PM PDT by mitchbert (Facts Are Stubborn Things)
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To: Destro

Gas the place with BZ gas.


12 posted on 09/02/2004 1:28:53 PM PDT by taxcontrol (People are entitled to their opinion - no matter how wrong it is.)
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To: kinsman redeemer; Angelus Errare

Christian Ossentians are being goaded by al-Qaeda's Chechen branch to launch revenge attacks on Muslim Ingusentians who are by inlarge peaceful. So like Bin Laden sending Saudis to carry out 9/11 they sent in Ingush Muslim terrorists fighting for the Chechens in order to spread the war out if Chechnya. That is what the author means by "We could be on the eve of the next war."


13 posted on 09/02/2004 1:29:36 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

What will the Russians do?? Do? The Russian people will grumble if there are dead children and get on with it.
Terrorists will plan the next target knowing it is a suicide operation and Putin will fine tune the military response troops. As wrenching as it is, being more sensitive is not the answer. Putin is KGB and tough as nails.


14 posted on 09/02/2004 1:29:54 PM PDT by wingnuts'nbolts (Keep your eye on the donut, not on the hole.)
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To: Destro
This is what happens when you sit around and play defense. After the theatre tragedy, Putin should have wiped Chechnya off the map with an all-out offensive.

Sadly, Putin has joined a long line of failed Russian leaders. Even Yeltzin had a bigger set.

15 posted on 09/02/2004 1:30:03 PM PDT by ServesURight
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To: KJacob
This situation is HORRIBLE. I pray for the survival of the kids and hostages.

When this siege is over, Putin has got to do something. This last week or so has been evidence that doing nothing = mild appeasement.

16 posted on 09/02/2004 1:30:19 PM PDT by Yaelle
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To: wingnuts'nbolts
Putin is KGB and tough as nails.

LOL. More like tough as gummy bears.

17 posted on 09/02/2004 1:31:44 PM PDT by ServesURight
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To: Destro; Pearls Before Swine
"We could be on the eve of the next war."

Now there's a BRILLIANT observation!

"The real question is what the Russians will do AFTER this is over, especially if there are significant numbers of children killed.

Yup!

There's only ONE THING that the Russians love more than their Motherland - their children.

And I can't blame them for that one bit.

One added observation - the Russians are not as held back by "political correctness" as we.
18 posted on 09/02/2004 1:32:00 PM PDT by RonHolzwarth ("History repeats itself - first as tragedy, then as farce" - Karl Marx)
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To: Destro
ANALYSIS-Putin might risk bloody end to school siege

Another poster on a different thread had a good suggestion; that the Russians round up say 500 Chechens and chain them to the schoolhouse.

19 posted on 09/02/2004 1:33:39 PM PDT by fso301
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To: KJacob
I do not envy Putin in this situation.

As John Kennedy said, lower level staff can handle decisions concering right and wrong. The President's job is to choose between awful and Gawdawful. That would apply to Putin or any country's leader.

20 posted on 09/02/2004 1:34:09 PM PDT by RightWhale (Withdraw from the 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty and establish property rights)
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To: Yaelle

We adopted our son from Russia 4 years ago. He is almost 5 now. I doubt he would have been in this school but just the thought. If this ploy works in Russia, will it find its way here? Our schools are more secure than Russian schools but still.


21 posted on 09/02/2004 1:34:09 PM PDT by KJacob (God's purpose is never the same as man's purpose.)
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To: Destro

Father God, you who can do the impossible, protect these children, sustain them, may your Presence be with them. Cause a cloud to come onto the muslim terrists holing these children, cause a deep sleep to come upon them. Dear LORD do a wonder at this time as we are told you did of old. Bless the children, Father. In the precious name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.


22 posted on 09/02/2004 1:37:50 PM PDT by Countyline
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To: Destro

I'd get as many of the Islamic Terrorists family members, even their babies, and take them to the school so the terrorists can see them one last time before they all die.
Sounds cold I know, but negotiations don't work but these murdering thug Islamic Terrorists do understand death and force. If killing their family members doesn't work, oh well, there's just that many less to support future Islamic thug terrorists.


23 posted on 09/02/2004 1:38:00 PM PDT by drypowder
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To: Destro
There was a photo of some hostages being released, and I cropped one of them to feature a young mother with her child. There is just something SO "Madonna-esque" about her. The way she's holding up her left hand, and the way she's holding the baby remind me so much of some Renaissance painting of the Madonna and Child. Strange.


24 posted on 09/02/2004 1:38:01 PM PDT by EggsAckley (........."YO" is "OY" spelled backwards.........)
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To: ServesURight
ServesURight wrote:

After the theatre tragedy, Putin should have wiped Chechnya off the map with an all-out offensive.

As another poster so eloquently put it, Putin has already played his scorched-earth card.

I watched it happening on Russian TV.

When the Russians went into Chechnya, they destroyed schools, apartment buildings, homes, hospitals, mosques, churches, synagogues, factories, warehouses, department and grocery stores, historical and heritage sites, all without prejudice.

I saw this while I was in Russia in January and March of 2002.

While the Europeons were wringing their hands over the "barbaric American" bombinb of Afghanistan, they didn't mention a word about what the Russians were doing in Chechnya.

Not that the Chechens didn't deserve it, mind, you.

They did.

Problem for Russia is that the Chechen Islamo-fascists found places to hide out and are waging their terror campaign from safe harbors in neighboring states.

It may be time for Putin to adopt the Bush doctrine.

If you ain't with us, you're against us.

25 posted on 09/02/2004 1:39:18 PM PDT by Westbrook
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To: fso301

Good idea.


26 posted on 09/02/2004 1:41:52 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: ServesURight; wingnuts'nbolts
While the Russian cause is just - 90 years of communism has created an institutional incompetence not in all areas for sure but in the normal day to day stuff.
27 posted on 09/02/2004 1:42:05 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Angelus Errare
I'd wager that it was a little more than a coincidence that Basayev's death brigades went after a school of Christian kids.

Actually, from talking to my fiance in Kazan (Russia), the children and parents being held hostage are mainly moderate muslims.

28 posted on 09/02/2004 1:42:37 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (Truth, Justice and the Texan Way)
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To: Westbrook
It may be time for Putin to adopt the Bush doctrine. If you ain't with us, you're against us.

Would that apply to State Dept's pro Chechen policies/statements?

29 posted on 09/02/2004 1:43:28 PM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting www.johnathangaltfilms.com)
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To: Destro
Destro wrote:

Would that apply to State Dept's pro Chechen policies/statements?

I agree with you 100%.

The US State Department's support of the Chechens is a disgrace.

Somebody should tell them the "Cold War" ended in 1991.

30 posted on 09/02/2004 1:45:52 PM PDT by Westbrook
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To: abnegation

CNN International has live coverage from Russia right now. Two explosions heard.


31 posted on 09/02/2004 1:47:12 PM PDT by dougherty (I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. - Michelangelo])
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To: Destro

Putin doesn't f' around.


32 posted on 09/02/2004 1:48:19 PM PDT by NeoCaveman (For vitriol press one, for name-calling press two, for personal attacks press three...)
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To: Angelus Errare

I don't know, but Sky News is calling them a "gang." Like some kind of 3rd rate street punks. Why not "terrorists"?


33 posted on 09/02/2004 1:50:31 PM PDT by MizSterious (First, the journalists, THEN the lawyers.)
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To: Countyline

AMEN!


34 posted on 09/02/2004 2:04:11 PM PDT by kinsman redeemer (the real enemy seeks to devour what is good)
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To: EggsAckley

Why are the kids naked?


35 posted on 09/02/2004 2:09:23 PM PDT by BriarBey
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To: BurbankKarl
I think he will blow them all away...

Concur. Putin used to be KGB direcotr, after all. Such people are not known for either their sublety or their restraint.

36 posted on 09/02/2004 2:12:13 PM PDT by Euro-American Scum (A poverty-stricken middle class must be a disarmed middle class)
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To: BriarBey

Who knows? Not that important.


37 posted on 09/02/2004 2:12:15 PM PDT by EggsAckley (........."YO" is "OY" spelled backwards.........)
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To: Destro
I might agree with the author but only if "the author" were to have used the word "battle."

We are at "War" with the zealots of the "religion of peace." The war has been raging (for a very long time.)

38 posted on 09/02/2004 2:13:23 PM PDT by kinsman redeemer (the real enemy seeks to devour what is good)
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To: hchutch

Things looking ugly ping.


39 posted on 09/02/2004 2:22:26 PM PDT by El Sordo
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To: dubyaismypresident
Putin doesn't f' around.

Sorry, Putin decided to sit on the pot and read the paper rather than defecate and get up.

Chechnya deserves a well-placed nuke bomb.

40 posted on 09/02/2004 2:37:00 PM PDT by ServesURight
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To: KJacob
Yes, but it is hard to sit back and let them kill kids. I do not envy Putin in this situation.

I agree. We can all pray for the safety of the children. I say give them whatever they want - get the children to safety then go after them with everything you have. This is what you call being between a rock and a hard place.

41 posted on 09/02/2004 2:42:10 PM PDT by chainsaw (VOTE AMERICAN - VOTE REPUBLICAN)
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To: El Sordo

Yup.


42 posted on 09/02/2004 3:00:15 PM PDT by hchutch (I only eat dolphin-safe veal.)
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To: Destro
As long as all the terrorists die, it is a success.
43 posted on 09/02/2004 3:15:59 PM PDT by JasonC
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To: Destro

It was reported today that the President of Osetia had offered to release 50 of the terrorist's cohorts today but it was turned down. source: gazeta.ru

President of Osetia, Alexander Dzasohov, said that the terrorists were offered the freedom of 50 of their cohorts who were seized back in June. A deal was almost made, but at the last moment the terrorists backed down.


44 posted on 09/02/2004 3:16:16 PM PDT by rawhide
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To: Countyline

Amen


45 posted on 09/02/2004 3:21:20 PM PDT by Leatherneck_MT (Goodnight Chesty, wherever you may be.)
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To: Pearls Before Swine
The real question is what the Russians will do AFTER this is over, especially if there are significant numbers of children killed.

They probably don't have time to think about it now. I would guess, tough - Lukos got busted today. It speaks volumes. Putin ain't gonna surrender, cause that means death.
46 posted on 09/02/2004 4:46:57 PM PDT by silversky
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
Negotiate with terrorists, and you will get more terrorism.

Negotiation in hostage situations is okay. In fact, the longer you negotiate, the more you wear the terrorists down.

Now, if you meant to say that you don't capitulate to terrorists or you will get more terrorism, I agree 100%.

47 posted on 09/02/2004 4:59:37 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: taxcontrol
My nbc school notes are a little hazy....is BZ the hallucenagenic gas or the vomit gas? That would be projectile vomiting, btw. I'm told it makes that gross scene in the original Exorcist movie look pale by comparison.
48 posted on 09/02/2004 7:20:49 PM PDT by ExSoldier (M1A: Any mission. Any conditions. Any foe. At any range.)
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To: Destro; Calpernia; Honestly; Velveeta; lacylu; Revel; jerseygirl; SevenofNine

ping


49 posted on 09/02/2004 8:16:32 PM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (You could do a general Google search for: nazi muslim russia connection)
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To: Destro; All

Who was that Tsar at that time Destro

Peter the Great or Catherine the Great


50 posted on 09/02/2004 8:38:13 PM PDT by SevenofNine ("Not everybody , in it, for truth, justice, and the American way,"=Det Lennie Briscoe)
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