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Secret Heroes
Written by   
, 03 2003

ImageThe bosses received gold (Hero of Russia) stars by secret decree. Whatsoldiers from commando group ‘Alpha’ wrote us about it.

This is certainly not the top story of the week, but sometimes we find out a day’s news after a year, sometimes after a century, or after a millennium. WhatI learned, Ilearned last Thursday.

I remember how we were talking on that October night on Dubrovka. Howthe doctors, members of parliament, and journalists including those from ‘Novaya Gazeta’ hauled water for people who found themselves held hostage by terrorists. Howwe cried together over those who could not be saved. Inprinciple, it was all a normal day on the job in an abnormal situation.

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Terrorist attacks in Russia New heroes and villains
Written by   
, 02 2003

Moscow city council members declare themselves heroes of the Dubrovka rescue operation

ImageLast week, the country learned the names of some unknown ‘Nord-Ost’ heroes. 35members of the Moscow city parliament the entire city council were awarded commemorative badges in the form of a cross with the words “participant in the special operation.” The raid participants felt a bit uncomfortable, to say the least, as it turns out that the award was either not given to some, or not all of the heroes.

The ‘Nord-Ost’ badge is a cross with gold piping and security service logos, and looks very similar to a medal. Itis a pleasure to hold in ones hands, and, obviously, the cross will look very nice on these parliamentarians’ suit jackets.

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Beware the SirensSong
Written by Lynn Klotz, Martin Furmanski, Mark Wheelis   
, 02 2003

Beware the Sirens Song: Why Non-Lethal Incapacitating Chemical Agents are Lethal

A number of events have brought non-lethal chemical incapacitating agents into the news recently. Mostprominently, their use in the rescue of hostages held in the Moscowtheater in October 2002encouraged advocates of the military development of such weapons, since most of the hostages were rescued. Detractors were alarmed that over 15% of the hostages died of effects of the chemical agent (as well as all of the captors, who were executed by security forces while they were comatose).

In this paper we address only the causes of the high level of lethal effects among the captives in Moscow, and ask if that is typical, and whether truly non-lethal chemical weapons are feasible. Weconclude that this level of mortality is to be expected, and that genuinely non-lethal chemical weapons are beyond the reach of current science.

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Written by   
, 10 2003

Age 27; Russia, Moscow

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MHG Report on Human Rights in Russia, 2002
Written by   
, 24 2003

The Actions of the Authorities

On October 23rd, 2002, several dozen terrorists seized the Dubrovka theatrical center in Moscow during a jubilee showing of the musical 'Nord-Ost'. Morethan 800spectators and members of the production were taken hostage. Thecrisis lasted two days and three nights. According to the terrorists, the building had been wired with explosives, and if they set off their bombs everyone inside the building would be killed. Themain demand of the terrorists was the cessation of military operations in Chechnya, and the removal of Russian forces from the Chechen Republic.

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