JUST ABOUT ANYONE COULD DIVE-BOMB THE KREMLIN

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JUST ABOUT ANYONE COULD DIVE-BOMB THE KREMLIN

Komsomolskaya Pravda, September 13, 2001, p. 2

The latest tragic events in the United States are making Russians wonder what we would do if something like that should happen in Moscow, St. Petersburg, or any other Russian city.

Muscovites must have already noticed that domestic and foreign civilian aircraft rarely fly over the city itself. But if a kamikaze flight decided to change course, it would take it only a couple of minutes to reach the Kremlin or any other strategic target in Moscow. No one could prevent it from committing a terrorist act at such short notice. Even a fighter summoned from Kubinka, the closest airfield in the Moscow region, would need eight to ten minutes to arrive.

Apart from Moscow itself, the rest of Russia is also packed with strategic targets: nuclear and hydroelectric power plants, chemical factories, facilities of the Nuclear Energy Ministry, giant reservoirs. How is all this protected?

Lieutenant General Yuri Soloviov, Senior Deputy Troops Commander of the Moscow Air Force and Air Defense Forces District: In the past, the air defense system was split into zones and sites. Radar units provided a system of warning concerning potential enemy flights. We had radars even on Franz-Joseph Land in the Arctic. When the Soviet Union disintegrated, the radar facilities covering the territory of Europe were lost to us. Instead of a solid field, Russia has only spots of radar, missile, and fighter coverage now. The Air Defense Forces cover only 50% of the sites that have to be protected.

These days, we have only 37 air defense missile and 25 fighter aviation regiments left to cover all of Russia. There are gaps along Russia’s borders through which a dozen Boeings could pass, undetected.

CHECHEN EXTREMISTS CELEBRATE THE TRAGIC EVENTS IN THE UNITED STATES

Komsomolskaya Pravda, September 13, 2001, p. 2

Military sources in Chechnya report that Chechen gangs in the forests of the Vedeno gorge have welcomed the news of terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington. The guerrillas celebrated by firing rounds into the air. They should have realized the shooting would be detected: a federal artillery battery volley-fired the area.

Many Chechens living in the district of Georgia bordering on Chechnya were also elated yesterday.

Shamil Basayev expressed his “condolences to the victims and their relatives in the United States, on behalf of the mujahedin” and even argued that “Russia was behind the terrorist attacks”.

According to archives discovered in Grozny, Basayev and Khattab regularly coordinate their actions with Osama Bin Laden, the major ideologue of international Islamic terrorism, who is thought to be the driving force behind the terror attacks against the United States.

RESTRICTED SKIES

Izvestia, September 13, 2001, p. 1

Alexander Neradko, Chief of the State Service of Civil Aviation: We decided to draw up the agreement in the awareness of the need to tighten security for the purpose of effectively preventing hijackings.

According to Neradko, the State Service has established close contacts with aviation authorities in the United States, Canada, and Israel, the states which have imposed restrictions on the use of their air space. As for Russian air space, it is still open – but not for everyone. Access to it is complicated. Security at airports has been tightened. The State Service has cancelled all passes to airports previously issued to organizations and individuals.

BORIS GRYZLOV OFFERS AMERICA ASSISTANCE OF RUSSIAN LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

Izvestia, September 13, 2001, p. 2

Sources in the Federal Security Service (FSB) say that the existing system of counter-intelligence pertaining to air transport is a sufficient guarantee of flight safety. This is the so-called Nabat plan, which is set in motion whenever there are reasons to believe some flight may be hijacked. Additional security measures are being introduced by FSB specialized structures.

According to FSB, 53 crimes involving elements of terrorism have been committed in Russia since September 1999, and 12 of them have been solved. In all other cases, the criminals either have been identified or are about to be.

Law enforcement agencies have prevented 21 terrorist acts over the past two years.

After a meeting at the Kremlin yesterday, Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov announced that Russian law enforcement agencies are prepared to assist their American colleagues in investigating the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

Gryzlov: It is time we finally united our efforts against international terrorism.

HERMAN PIRCHNER: OPPOSING ISLAMIC RADICALISM TOGETHER

Izvestia, September 13, 2001, p. 3

Question: What do you make of President Vladimir Putin’s proposal to combat terrorism together?

Herman Pirchner: Certain steps toward implementing President Putin’s proposal were taken even before the latest events. Considerable progress was made at Russian-American talks on opposition to the Taliban. I don’t doubt that this tragedy will facilitate our cooperation.

Question: How would you assess Russian-American relations in general?

Pirchner: We are working out the details of this relationship. Mostly because some key appointments in the Bush Administration still remain to be made.

Question: In what spheres do you think Moscow and Washington can make the most progress?

Pirchner: In opposing radical Islam together.

Question: The dollar exchange rate has fallen in the wake of the attacks…

Pirchner: The dollar’s strength is in our national economy, which has not been seriously affected, and in the stability of the American political system, which has not been affected at all.

NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS AND NUCLEAR STORAGE DEPOTS MAY BE NEXT

Izvestia, September 13, 2001, p. 3

Mikhail Margelov, Deputy Chairman of the International Committee of the Federation Council: Judging by the magnitude and nature of the terrorist acts, there must have been some leaks that something is brewing. It means that the American secret services and their allies in the Western intelligence community failed to read the information they had properly or understand its significance. All the would should learn the lesson. Security structures are prone to prepare themselves for the past wars and conflicts, they don’t understand the first thing about the catastrophes that may occur in future.

The scope of violence is steadily growing. The next actions may involve or affect mass destruction weapons and objects. I mean terrorist acts against nuclear power plants, storage depots with nuclear warheads in them, storage facilities for spent nuclear fuel. By the way, germ weapons are considered the cheapest. It follows then that security and protection of laboratories should be upped.

Gleb Pavlovsky, President of the Effective Policy Foundation: The strike has accomplished its purposes. It has demonstrated the weakness and vulnerability of the world of wealth, the world order was symbolically overthrown. On September 11, 2001, it finally dawned on us that the old world order was history. We are entering the situation of reconstruction of the world, a new reality. We have to adapt to it.

Heidar Jemal, Chairman of the Islamic Committee: These propagandistic attacks against the Islamic world originate in the third countries. They don’t originate in America. This is propaganda for laymen. In fact, not a single informal organization has the resources an act like that will require the use of. There is another aspect. The Moslem world relies on the United States, in the Palestinian context and not only there. As I see it, the terrorist acts in New York City and Washington were ordered by trans-national corporations, thew world oligarchy that don’t care about real interests of states.

It is true that most Moslems don’t sympathize with the United States emotionally. The world is split into the poor and the wealthy, and the poor don’t sympathize with the wealthy when the latter face trouble. But the poor cannot organize a terrorist act of this magnitude either. The guilty should be looked for among the wealthy.

BATTLES OVER THE NEW CRIMINAL-PROCEDURAL CODE CONTINUE

Izvestia, September 13, 2001, p. 6

The structures that want the new Criminal-Procedural Code passed did their best to complicate even the reading of the document. Duma deputies received smeared copies of the Code in deliberately small print.

All the same, opponents of the document did notice some truly amazing innovations stipulated by the Code. The Criminal-Procedural Code proclaims the presumption of innocence and simultaneously demands that suspects should prove they were not involved in the crime. It postpones consultation with a lawyer, which is required instantly by the Constitution, for twenty-four hours. It isn’t hard to see that this is ample time for law enforcement agencies to “persuade” a suspect to confess everything. Experience shows that judges mostly pay attention to the records of the first interrogations and explanations. Articles 26 and 28 state that people with a criminal record (even if wrongly accused!) have fewer rights than people detained for the first time.

SERGEI KIRIENKO SEEKS MONEY TO DESTROY CHEMICAL WEAPONS ARSENALS

Izvestia, September 13, 2001, p. 6

The tragedy in New York City and Washington should not be turned into an argument for activization of disarmament, Kirienko said. All the same, precisely these tragic events forces understanding on the international community that we cannot delay in disposing of weapons of mass destruction. What if the planes that crashed into American buildings had been carrying chemical weapons? The consequences would have been much more horrific.

In London (as he did in Tokyo this August) Kirienko intends to acquaint the government with the new Russian program of chemical weapons destruction. It stipulates financial involvement of signatories of the convention banning chemical weapons. The idea came from Kirienko. Construction of a disposal facility in Schuchie is to be financed by Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, the United States, and Switzerland. The facility in Kambarka will be financed by Germany, the European Union, Finland, Switzerland, and Sweden, and the facility in Gorny by Germany, the Netherlands, the European Union, and Finland. The idea is that these states and organizations will finance implementation of specific tasks, thus preventing misuse of money.

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