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Appeal of the Mothers of Beslan to PresidentD.Medvedev
Written by " "   
, 15 2011
ImageThe website for Ossetian radio and TV published an appeal Beslan mothers handed President Medvedev during a meeting on June 1st, 2011.
To the president of the Russian Federation, MedvedevD.A.
Mr President!
For the seventh year we have been seeking the truth about the perpetrators of the Beslan tragedy. Youare our last hope, not only as the guarantor of our rights, but also as a spokesman for the conscience of the state, for whom all citizens are equal.
We see the purpose of our meeting with you as to draw your attention to a number of very important things that have caused us to assert that the terrorist act in Beslan could have been prevented, and that after the hostage crisis began there still was a chance to prevent a massive loss of life.
However, the tragedy was not prevented, because the president of North Ossetia, Alexander Dzasokhov, Interior MinisterK.Dzantiev and regional FSB director V.Andreev were criminally negligent in carrying out their duties.
The leadership of the General Prosecutor's Office put forth their version of the events, which laid the blame only on the terrorists. Thisis the line that investigators toe to this day, hiding from the public the names of officials, instead of declaring a fight against falsehood, laxity and irresponsibility, which is now so deeply ingrained in our daily life.
In the investigative materials and the court's examination of the case against the terrorist Kulayev, and the report of a federal parliamentary commission, it was established that there were numerous instances of these individuals making arrangements with terrorists, arrangements which allowed the terrorists easy entry into Beslan in order to seize hostages, and led to the hostages' deaths.
Unlike the other terrorist attacks (Budennovsk and 'Nord-Ost') the Beslan terrorist attack not only was predictable, but also expected. Theleaders of North Ossetia Alania knew about the threat of hostage seizure in South Ossetia according to a Budennovsk scenario.
For its part, the Interior Ministry received dozens of bulletins about the threat of a terrorist attack and the need for urgent action to prevent terrorist attacks.
This was confirmed in the conclusions of a report made by the federation parliamentary commission headed by Torshin: During the summer of 2004, the Russian Interior Ministry consistently informed the police departments, police districts, and the Interior Ministry of North Ossetia to report the threat of terrorist attacks.
For this reason, on August 23rd, 2004, Alexander Dzasokhov chaired a meeting of the republic's anti-terrorist commission, which considered the threat of a terrorist attack and hostage taking to be real.
The meeting, however, was limited to a formal discussion, and accepted false statements by (Ossetian Interior Minister) K.Dzantiev that necessary anti-terrorist measures had been adopted, that a special plan to combat terrorists had been developed, and taken under protection were all objects where mass gatherings of the public take place, as well as the administrative boundaries, and that up to 120specialists in the fight against terrorism were reinforcing the Interior Ministry staff, etc.
In fact, no action was ever taken, and K.Dzantiev's assurances ring hollow, as the population of the country was left defenseless against a band of terrorists.
Going through the motions at work, failing to carry out direct instructions of the federal interior ministry, all masked by official lies, were the main causes as to how terrorists were easily able to seize hostages in School #1.
Such is how the federal parliamentary commission evaluated the omissions of the republic's leadership. Wewill only list a few of their findings:
The officials of the government of North Ossetia Alania, the North Ossetia Alania department of the Federal Security Service, and the Interior Ministry demonstrate an unwillingness to act during crisis situations. Thisis evident not only in by their lack of initiative in assigning leadership and membership to an operational headquarters, but also in their lack of practical actions to prevent and suppress terrorist acts. Subject territorial divisions of the Russian Federation received necessary instructions and directives, the timely and accurate execution of which by Interior Ministry authorities of North Ossetia Alania could have significantly reduced the likelihood of the hostage-taking.
Meanwhile, the leadership of North Ossetia Alania had plenty of time to prevent the terrorist threat. According to the commission, law enforcement officials, especially in the Republic of Ingushetia and North Ossetia Alania, were negligent and careless in terms of the real-life terrorist threat, as well as failing to comply with official instructions, orders, and directives from higher authorities.
The parliamentary commission also made such evaluations of specific individuals: The parliamentary commission has concluded that the interior minister of North Ossetia Alania did not use all available resources to prevent the terrorist act Theleadership of the Interior Ministry of North Ossetia Alania did not take comprehensive measures to prevent the unimpeded entry of terrorists into Beslan Secondary School #1, and the ensuing hostage taking.
The Commission believes that law enforcement agencies of Ingushetia and North Ossetia Alania displayed a negligent attitude towards the execution of anti-terrorist directives from the Russian Interior Ministry.
This does not excuse a complex of causes that contributed to the commission of the terrorist acts, but it was the carelessness of representatives of national law enforcement agencies that contributed to the fact that militants moved freely to where the terrorist attack and hostage-taking took place, at Beslan School #1 on September 1st, 2004.
The question arises: if reasonable and qualified conclusions by a parliamentary commission of the Russian Federal Assembly do not mean anything, then what are they for?
A.Dzasokhov, K.Dzantiev, and V.Andreev, as the leaders of the hostage rescue operational headquarters, showed complete incompetence and inaction, and were unable to set up negotiations with the terrorists in order to gain time to develop a plan to free the hostages.
The terrorists demanded negotiations, and were ready to conduct them with Dzasokhov, Zyazikov, Aslakhanov, and Roshal. Onthe night of September 2nd, however, the operational headquarters decided not to allow these individuals to negotiate, as it was dangerous. Butthe lives of 1,116 hostages turned out to be worthless in the eyes of the headquarters staff!
The operational headquarters also took no timely measures to prepare a military option to release the hostages. Notuntil September 3rd did officers from the Alpha and Vympel commando groups begin to practice joint actions with armored vehicles. Because of this, there was a delay in in dealing with the terrorists, and insufficient preparation, leading to the deaths of 10of these commandos.
Instead of taking concrete steps, from September 13the operational headquarters broadcast false information on the number of hostages, the terrorists' reluctance to negotiate, and the condition of the hostages. Torefute this lie, the terrorists made a videocassette, in which could be seen the terrible state the number of hostages, but the headquarters claimed that the tapes were blank. Thislie enraged the terrorists, and realizing that (the headquarters) refused to negotiate, they began to vent their anger on the hostages, ceasing to give them water, not allowed them to the toilet, and then starting to execute men among the hostages.
The hostage rescue situation was made much worse when tanks, flamethrowers, and grenade launchers began to fire upon the school, and a fire broke out.
What can explain the firing of heavy weapons into a school, crowded with many hundred exhausted children and adults? Whatsane person can agree with investigators that the fire was aimed at the terrorists? Isit not a mockery of the dead? Whatsort of soldiers are these generals who could not find other ways of dealing with a bunch of thugs?
And who is responsible for the fact that firefighters did not even begin to extinguish the blaze in the gym, where hundreds of people were located, for 2hours and 45minutes, because they were not given the appropriate command from the operational headquarters? Andinvestigators to this day continue to assert that the cause of death of 116people, who were burned to death, has not been established!
As you can see, the leadership of the operational headquarters did not seize several real opportunities to rescue the hostages, or reduce the number of victims. Alltoo obvious is the incompetence, immorality, and criminal irresponsibility of our leaders, yet somehow the investigating authorities do not wish to call them by name.
Ironically, the supposed authority of a few government officials is worth more than the lives of these dead 186children and 147adults, and the wounds of more than 800! Whose interests are being protected by the investigation?
Mr President!
The investigative deadlines have once again been extended. Havesix years of investigation all been in vain? Werethe captures and deaths of the hostages only due to terrorists, as if they came down from the sky and Beslan was a but a barren steppe on which there were hostages? Whycould no one before the hostage-taking, nor on September 13, 2004, protect and save our children? Whydid our leaders and law enforcement agencies do nothing? Whywere our professionally organized leaders and generals powerless before a handful of bandits?
In the name of the many hundreds of dead and maimed children and adults, out of respect for millions who care about the Beslan tragedy, we ask that you help us get answers to these questions.
On Ossetian radio and TV

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