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Us andThem
Written by   
, 27 2003
ImageThe government marked the anniversary of the seizure of hostages as a victory, but tried not to ignore the day of the assault that freed them. Thislooks a bit strange, as if Russia was celebrating (the start of WW II) on June 22nd, but was silent about May 9th (Victory Day).
On October 23rd, the Moscow city boss and his entourage dedicated an obelisk some distance from the scene of the tragedy. Theyheld their own event, pointedly turning their backs on the former hostages and relatives of the slain. Onthis same day they were dedicating a plaque bearing the names of the victims, which was installed on a wall of the already former theatrical center. Theofficial event was so ostentatious, that while returning to their cars, the mayor and his retinue turned away and tried very hard not to notice the people, flowers, or candles in front of the other memorial. Theysucceeded in this, and in full accordance with their ceremony, during the dedication of the obelisk, Joseph Kobzon sang: “there is nothing to cry about, long live the mayor, the president, and the courageous commandos.”
Because of this happy song, the monument installed at Dubrovka by the Moscow city government is already being called the “monument to the mayor, president, and commandos.” Later that evening, in the dark, the president of Russia placed flowers in front of it.
None of the officials came to a memorial service for the slain hostages on October 26th. Someof those present that day at Dubrovka thought it was out of shame. Thatis unlikely: the President and his heroes are proud of their historic victory. Manyof them were given awards and medals for the casualty-laden operation, and not only the chiefs of the security services and commandos received awards: the mayor of Moscow and the secret chemist who prepared the gas were also rewarded. There was even tribute given to the 35members of the Moscow city parliament (some of whom were absent from Moscow at the time of the crisis).
Over the past year since the killing of hostages, the government has become even bolder. After killing more than a hundred people last October, the authorities insisted on their right to destroy, during the course of antiterrorist operations, up to 10percent of their own citizens. Theycall this an internationally acceptable norm (what nonsense!). Nowadays, propagandists close to the government do not hesitate to say that killing 30percent of the hostages is acceptable, or even one hundred per cent, if the greatness of Russia greatness requires it.
‘Nord-Ost’ is a good signal. Thisis the bell that tolls for all of us.
On the background of the obvious impotence of the authorities to bring peace to Chechnya, every citizen of Russia, when he went to take a pee, laughed while remembering the president’s colorful speech (about “p---ing on the terrorists in the outhouse” ed). Theyknew that these were but words. Itwas simply necessary to show his own people right away, and others, and foreigners, that our president is “hard-boiled” and his “bros” have no pity.
The hostage taking in Moscow gave the Kremlin a chance to carry out an operation to intimidate, to flex the muscles of the Russian security forces before the entire world. Theplay was performed brilliantly, and the operation to destroy those inside the theater building was a success.
It was through no fault of the authors and performers that some inside accidentally managed to survive. Thatwas their good fortune. Theauthorities resent just one thing: how dare the survivors, and even the relatives of the slain victims, expect an apology or compensation from us!
Just as before, the authorities remain confident that the greatness of Russia rests on the extermination of her citizens. Mostworryingly, the heads of state are absolutely sincere in their belief. Alltheir experience, their entire upbringing and all their professional skills were geared towards fighting back, attacking, and punishing. Theyknow not how to build: they were only taught how to punish and capture. Asbefore, they believe that the height of legislation is in writing criminal statutes to guard the state. Tothem the peak of professionalism is to salute, pull up your socks, and hit the target. Their idea of decent living conditions is an officer’s billet, or an enlisted man’s barracks, though true, this does not apply to generals, but how many generals are there, anyway?
The monument put up by the Moscow city government lists none of the names of those slain during the storming of ‘Nord-Ost’. Thegovernment still does not know who else has been killed in the fight against terrorism, or how many. Theanti-terrorist operation in Chechnya goes on, and this pillar stands at Dubrovka, like a nail that is yet to be pounded into our coffin. Ithink that it is time for the Russian people, if they have not yet completely lost their instinct for survival, to think about what to do with such a government.
In ‘Zalozhniki.ru’

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