1 September 2004 Referred to as “First September” Children accompanied by parents and relatives to attend ceremonies hosted by the school At 09:30 AM, 34 armed men and women stormed the school 50 people escaped ~1200 taken hostage Day 1
Terrorist Action The attackers singled out the 15–20 strongest adults that might present a threat Took them to the cafeteria, where an explosion took place A security cordon was established around the school A line of three apartment buildings facing the school gym was evacuated and taken over by special forces Day 1
To deter rescue attempts Improvised explosive devices Tripwires Kill 50 hostages for every member killed Kill 20 hostages for every gunman Blow up school if government forces attack Day 1
Russian government Would not use force to rescue hostages Negotiations towards a peaceful resolution United Nations Security Council Council members demanded “the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages of the terrorist attack” Day 1
Negotiation between Roshal and hostage-takers proven unsuccessful Refused to allow food, water, medicine to be taken in for the hostages and the removal of dead bodies from school Russian government downplayed numbers, stating there were 354 hostages and 15-20 militants in school Angered hostage-takers Day 2
Vladmire Putin makes first public comment Main task: Save the lives and health of those who became hostages Protests erupted Signs reading “Putin! Release our children! Meet their demands!” and “Putin! There are at least 800 hostages!” Demands referred to formal independence to Chechnya Day 2
At 13:00, medical workers allowed to remove bodies outside school buildings Agreed with the attackers Terrorists open fired at them Day 3
Two explosions in gym Many died outright Many injured Demolished part of gym, allowing ~30 to escape alive Gym roof collapses Many hostages crushed under rubble Day 3
Russian specialist forces stormed building Militants moved hostages to other parts of school Used them as human shields Many hostages were being shot by troops Blew holes in school walls for more hostages to escape Russian forces claimed they had most of the school under control At 18:50, fighting ends All terrorists and hostages killed Day 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4YKxBFUlMI&featur e=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfvcESPR- tg&feature=related The Event
Territorial Terrorism (Chechnya) -The Chechens originate from Muslims and have lived in the Caucasus region for centuries, consistently resisting Soviet Control -In WWII, Josef Stalin, accused the Chechens of co- operating with the Nazis, forcibly deporting the whole population to Kazakhstan -Thousands died and the survivors could only return to their homeland after Stalin died in 1953 Reasons behind Attack
In 1991 (fall of SU), Chechnya with 14 other republics declared themselves independent of Russia Surprisingly, Moscow granted all 14 independence, save Chechnya. In 1994, Boris Yeltsin sent Russian troops to take back control A war ensued till 1996, in which 80,000 died Chechnya was then granted only partial independence An Ongoing Conflict…
ACTS OF TERROR (increasing) Hatred Wars Animosity Xenophobia: Orthodox Christians VS Islamic Cechens Full independence Cechens want to run own country but Russia does not allow it. In a Nutshell..
Revenge Much bad blood between both sides already Chechens have suffered under Russia for so long Push for their cause Draw attention to Chechnya’s plight Capture the attention of the whole world Stupid? VERY Nearly all died Alienated the world, moderates, and other Muslims Why Attack the School?
Comparison between these terrorist attacks and others
Learning points Problems identified Allegations of incompetence and rights violations Disinformation and suppression of information Government response
Learning points Allegations of incompetence and rights violations Police roadblocks on the way to Beslan were removed shortly before the terrorist attack and many blamed rampant corruption allowing militants to simply bribe their way through the checkpoints Storming of school was ruthless Claims cited the use of heavy weapons such as tanks and Shmel flamethrowers 80% of hostages were killed by indiscriminate Russian fire Authorities failed to organize the siege properly, failing to keep the scene secure from entry by civilians Emergency services were not prepared during 52 hours of the crisis Government unable to identify whose child was alive or dead
Learning points Disinformation and suppression of information 83% of polled Russians believed that the government was hiding at least a part of the truth about the Beslan events from them Widespread media censorship of event Was not broadcast live by the three major state-owned Russian television networks Main state owned broadcasters did not interrupt their regular programming following the school seizure After explosions and gunfire started on the third day, NTV Russia (the main television channel owned by Gazprom) started to broadcast a World War II soap opera
Learning points Government Response Government stated that tanks and other heavy weaponry were used only after surviving hostages escaped from the school, contradicting eye-witnesses Eye-witness: Hostages were seriously wounded and could not possibly escape while others were human shields National commission in Moscow: "instead of calling for self- criticism in the wake of the disaster, the commission recommended the Russian government to crack down harder."