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Appeal of O. Zhirov to the President of the Russian Federation, Mr. Putin
Written by О.Жиров   
Воскресенье, 24 Октябрь 2004

With regards to the war in the Caucasus, at times it seems that there are only two opposing camps: the heroic special forces, whose leaders receive medals and awards for the heroism they demonstrated in the civil war, while the other side is made up of terrorists and separatists who constantly organize ever greater acts of terror.

 I would like to remind you, however, that in just two terrorist attacks, in Beslan and at Dubrovka, there were more than 2000 hostages.  Every fourth hostage died during his or her liberation.  If we were to add the officers and soldiers who were killed and injured in this war, and those who died in apartment blasts, airline bombings, and terror attacks in the Metro, on trains and buses, or out on the street and in dance halls and restaurants throughout Russia, and multiply this by the numbers of their relatives, loved ones, friends and acquaintances, then the dimensions of this statistic cannot but horrify.

I dream about a time when the government begins find it uncomfortable and difficult to move forward without solving these problems. Otherwise, Mr. President, you will go down in the history of Russia as the head of state who not only left behind hundreds of millions of petrodollars in the treasury, but a mountain of corpses — the corpses of innocent people.

 Therefore, I completely support this appeal and wish to ask the President:

 1. If you will not protect our right to life, then at least give us our constitutional right to a just and fair trial. Free us from the need to testify before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg about what really happened, and is still happening, to those who were victims of terrorist attacks in Russia.

 2. Find within yourself the strength to get to the bottom of why they prevented all attempts to negotiate the release of hostages at Dubrovka, why they tried and sentenced a man who attempted to save hostages, why foreigners who died at 'Nord-Ost' were discovered in the stairwells of apartment buildings, why former hostages died inside Moscow hospitals due to the absence of modern medical care and information.

 3. If it is not possible to protect us from the terrorists, protect us, please, from the callousness of your regime, which mutely reproaches us for even having been hostages. As if we purposely bought tickets to the concert, knowing that we will be seized or shot.  Indeed, we decided to sleep in our apartments, ride on the Metro, fly in airplanes, go to school, or concerts, or for a walk down the street, just as acts of terror were occurring.

 4. After courageously taking responsibility for declaring a war on terrorism and separatism in Russia five years ago, do not step away from solving the consequences and problems caused by this war. Free us, and the country, from the impression that all that has occurred in Russia during the five years of this war with terrorism is constitutional and legal.   Do not tell us that the actions and demands of the victims are unjustified and illegitimate.  It is sad and shameful to observe how proudly Russian ministers report that Russia has a chance to liquidate its foreign debts ahead of schedule, but never utter a single word about their holy debts to their own people.

 Oleg Zhirov

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