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Russia Hostage Drama Death Toll Could Be 130-Mayor
Reuters News Wire ^ | October 26, 2002 01:50 AM ET | unknown

Posted on 10/25/2002 10:54:42 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Up to 130 people could have been killed on Saturday in the storming of a Moscow theater where Chechen rebels had been holding around 700 hostages, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying.

"Unfortunately, there have been victims. I calculate them around 130 people," he said.

It was not immediately clear if that figure included the guerrilla deaths. Officials have already said that 32 of the rebels were killed in the dawn assault by special Russian troops.

TOPICS: Breaking News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
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1 posted on 10/25/2002 10:54:42 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach

Russian medics remove a hostage before a loud explosion was heard from the besieged theatre where Chechen rebels5are holding hundreds captive in Moscow, October 26, 2002. Rebels holding 700 people inside the theatre said they would free no more hostages and a Russian negotiator said guerrillas have vowed to take serious action unless their demands were met. Photo by Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

2 posted on 10/25/2002 10:57:48 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Then the Russians should nuke a village in chechnya with about 13,000 people in it.
3 posted on 10/25/2002 10:58:36 PM PDT by Centurion2000
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To: Centurion2000
After this incident, it might not be a bad idea for Bush to call Putin and offer him a free hand in Chechnya and guaranteed oil purchases in return for diplomatic support on ending Sadaam.
4 posted on 10/25/2002 11:07:03 PM PDT by Scott from the Left Coast
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To: Scott from the Left Coast
Dubya should've told Putin long ago that we'll be turning a blind eye to Chechnya, but who knows, perhaps he already has. I see a few issues at play in the Russians' unwillingness to approve an effective Iraqi resolution:

1) They're are afraid they won't get their $40 billion in debt owed them (by Iraq).
2) They're struggling to regain some legitimacy on the world stage, and wielding their veto power in the UN security council is one way to do it (in their minds).
3) They're concerned that we'll annex Iraq's oil fields and thus decrease our future dependence on Russian (Caspian Sea) crude.

5 posted on 10/25/2002 11:25:52 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Rye
I'm hearing rumours that 130 dead is incorrect, should be 30..Rueters may correct the story soon..still unconformed at this point
6 posted on 10/25/2002 11:30:30 PM PDT by newsperson999
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
And the mayor knew this how? And before everyone else and before the thing was really over. You have to account for the politics over there. Perhaps the mayor is a Putin opponent and was trying to raise the specter of the hospital seige (Chechens again) where 130 were killed during the rescue. Odd how he chose THAT number again. Must have been a coincidence.
7 posted on 10/25/2002 11:35:26 PM PDT by Dialup Llama
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To: newsperson999
I truly hope you're right.
8 posted on 10/25/2002 11:35:34 PM PDT by vbmoneyspender
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Recent events prompt this old Chechen thread to surface from the archives:


Interesting pre-9/11 comments in that thread too.

9 posted on 10/25/2002 11:36:01 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid
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To: The KG9 Kid
Good find. Excellent thread to be reviewing at this time. The following paragraph is commended to those who scoff at the logistical excesses which have typically characterized modern American military deployments:
11. Both the physical and mental health of the Russian units began to decline almost immediately upon initiation of high intensity combat. In less than a month, almost 20% of the Russian soldiers were suffering from viral hepatitis (very serious, very debilitating, slow recovery). Most had chronic diarrhea and upper respiratory infections that turned to pneumonia easily. This was blamed on the breakdown of logistical support that meant units had to drink contaminated water. Unit sanitary discipline broke down almost completely.


3. The psychological impact of high intensity urban combat is so intense units should maintain a large reserve that will allow them to rotate units in and out of combat. If you do this, you can preserve a unit for a fairly long time. If you don’t, once it gets used up, it can’t be rebuilt.

4. Training and discipline are paramount. You can accomplish nothing without them. You may need to do the training in the combat zone. Discipline must be demanded. Once it begins to slip, the results are disastrous.

10 posted on 10/26/2002 12:03:21 AM PDT by Stultis
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To: newsperson999
One source I just read said 10, and another said 30. Haven't heard a higher figure like 130.
11 posted on 10/26/2002 12:52:08 AM PDT by ProbableCause
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To: ProbableCause
"One source I just read said 10, and another said 30. Haven't heard a higher figure like 130."

May be using Louis Farrakhan's math. Where 80,000 people turn into 1 million people....
12 posted on 10/26/2002 5:10:15 AM PDT by Dr Warmoose
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To: Dialup Llama
What add'l info do you have on hospitals seige?
13 posted on 10/26/2002 7:27:22 AM PDT by not-an-ostrich
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thank God it is over. Things could have been worse. There is a worldwide uprising.

OKC, 9/11, Yemen, Bali, Phillipines, Moscow, John MUhammad. Etc,Etc,Etc, .....Time for Sleepy Bush and Snoozy Ridge to wake up.

14 posted on 10/26/2002 7:33:10 AM PDT by undergroundwarrior
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To: newsperson999
From Drudge link!

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Sixty-seven hostages were killed when Russian special forces stormed a Moscow theater at dawn on Saturday to end a three-day siege by Chechen rebels.

Deputy Interior Minister Vladimir Vasilyev said 750 hostages held since Wednesday night by the heavily armed guerrillas in the capital had been saved in the operation.

Nearly all the rebels, 34, were killed.

"We saved more than 750 people...67 were lost," Vasilyev told reporters outside the theater. He added that no children were killed in the operation.

Many of the survivors were suffering from gas poisoning, supporting reports security forces had pumped knock-out fumes into the theater before staging their morning attack.

Officials say that troops forced their way into the theater after rebels, some with explosives wrapped around them, executed two male hostages to press their demand that Russia pull its troops out of their separatist southern homeland.

A woman hostage had also been shot dead earlier in the siege while trying to escape.

The end of the drama, which brought the distant Chechen war to the heart of Moscow, will be a relief to President Vladimir Putin whose own position was being tested by the crisis.

He called at one of Moscow's top hospitals to visit survivors for about 10 minutes before being whisked away in his motorcade.

Officials gave no more details of the dead hostages but Australian and British diplomats said they had been told none of the estimated 75 foreign captives were among them.


A doctor from Moscow's main emergency hospital, Sklifosovsky, said he was treating 42 patients for gas poisoning.

The guerrilla commander, Movsar Barayev, was among those killed in an assault that Russia's deputy interior minister said had prevented a massacre of those seized while watching a popular Russian musical on Wednesday evening.

The theater-goers, enjoying a new Moscow craze for musicals and guzzling caviar and Russian champagne, had been watching "Nord-Ost" (North-East) -- about a Russian Arctic explorer.

By Saturday morning, the plush theater seats were empty except for a few black-clad bodies of dead Chechen guerrillas.

"We succeeded in preventing mass deaths and the collapse of the building which we had been threatened with," Vasilyev told reporters as ambulances took away survivors of the ordeal.

In freezing rain, the hostages were ferried quickly out of the theater, many to hospital and away from waiting journalists.

The Muslim rebels, who had rigged up explosives throughout the building, had threatened to start killing their hostages early on Saturday if they did not see evidence their demands that Moscow's troops pull out of Chechnya were being met.

Some relatives of hostages said they had been terrified when they knew troops would storm the theater to end the siege.

"All the parents were of the same opinion that the storming would be absolutely unacceptable. It's like a mystery, like a miracle for us. We were amazed that this could happen like this, without (many) casualties," said the father of one girl who had been among the hostages, and who survived.


The guerrillas' daring raid had set Putin the toughest test of his two and a half years in the Kremlin.

His startling rise to the presidency was largely based on his sending troops back into Chechnya in 1999 after a three-year absence, a popular move which earned him a reputation as a tough and effective leader.

Humiliated by the audacious rebel attack, Putin went on national television on Friday evening to say he was open to talks with Chechen guerrillas, but under his terms.

"We are open to any kind of contacts," a somber Putin said in his second set of televised comments since the attack.

He insisted that past conditions stood, notably that separatists lay down their weapons. Moscow also rejects any idea of independence for Chechnya, which Russian troops first invaded to crush a separatist movement in December 1994.

Some analysts have said that the siege would almost certainly tarnish his position, if only for showing that the law-and-order regime he promised was not very effective if a band of heavily armed guerrillas could so easily take over a crowded building in the capital.

But one bystander, Igor Konstantinov, in his 60s, was in no doubt about what he thought.

"Putin has only one choice. (U.S. President George W.) Bush showed the world what to do with these bastards after September 11. It's Putin's turn to liquidate them in Russia."

Putin links Russia's conflict in Chechnya to the U.S.-led global war on terrorism, which he enthusiastically backed after last year's September 11 attacks on the United States.


The siege and its closeness to the heart of Russia is certain to raise new questions over how the Kremlin should deal with the protracted secessionist war in the tiny North Caucasus region.

Though Putin won over voters with his hardline approach, many question whether it is succeeding and point to a series of humiliations of the military by Chechen rebels in recent months.

But one analyst, speaking before the siege was over, feared that what he had seen as glimmers of hope for a change in Kremlin policy to seek a political, rather than military solution, could have now been snuffed out for theater attack.

Russian Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov was quoted by local news agencies as saying over 30 people "who tried to help the terrorists" had been detained in locations across Moscow.

But he was also quoted as saying he had ordered his ministry to take measures to prevent any upsurge of anti-Chechen feelings in all parts of Russia. (Additional reporting by Larisa Sayenko)

15 posted on 10/26/2002 8:22:11 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
16 posted on 10/26/2002 8:31:41 AM PDT by Fiddlstix
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach
Nearly all the rebels, 34, were killed.
"We saved more than 750 people...67 were lost,"

I guess if you total these up then you have the higher number being reported however like the 19 hijackers on 911 I do not include these scum in a death toll.
17 posted on 10/26/2002 8:37:42 AM PDT by Mixer
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To: Centurion2000
Then the Russians should nuke a village in chechnya with about 13,000 people in it.

Better yet identify the hostage takers and start killing their families. You can start with their immediate family and go to the extended family as necessary. Short of nuking Mecca this is the only measure that Jihadist scum understand.
18 posted on 10/26/2002 9:58:29 AM PDT by dennisw
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To: Dr Warmoose
Haven't heard a higher figure like 130...

AP reporting 90 confirmed, thankfully not including kids, nor any of the foreigners known to have been held, including at least 3 Americans.


19 posted on 10/26/2002 10:00:14 AM PDT by archy
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To: Stultis
Sounds like an overwhelming arguement for serious air power.
20 posted on 10/26/2002 10:03:17 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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