NEITHER ALIVE NOR DEAD

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NEITHER ALIVE NOR DEAD

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, November 6, 2002, EV

According to latest official reports, 120 hostages have died as a result of the terrorist act in Moscow. Officials stated on November 5 that all victims had been identified; no one was missing. But the official reports conflict with reports from independent sources, based on relatives’ statements. Firstly, there is a discrepancy in the number of hostages. Labor and Social Security Minister Alexander Pochinok says that there were 858 hostages. Judging by unofficial reports, there were 983 hostages. It is possible that precisely these 125 people are missing. Some hostages have been found among the bodies of terrorists. For instance, the body of cadet Denis Gribkov was found in mortuary No. 4, among terrorists’ corpses. Given that it is impossible to check some mortuaries without permission, it is impossible to determine the actual number of such hostages.

The missing people are the main mystery. According to unofficial reports, the relatives of 95 people still don’t anything about their fate. Law enforcement agencies say they have not received inquiries about missing people from relatives. However, it is not clear how we should interpret a statement by the Georgian embassy, which has failed to find two former hostages – Georgian citizens – in hospitals. Ukrainian Ambassador Nikolai Beloblotskii is concerned about the fate of Yevgeny Demchenko, a Ukrainian citizen.

Professor Leonid Roshal does not believe the government is concealing the number of casualties. According to him, all victims have been identified. He says that the missing people are in various hospitals, and their relatives cannot find them because there are a number of different lists of names. Leonid Roshal stated on Monday: “Some missing people have called their relatives from home. The public is agitated, and some people are taking advantage of the misfortunes of others. I am sure that we will find everyone.”

WILL BEREZOVSKY BE EXTRADITED?

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, November 6, 2002, EV

According to the Interfax news agency, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has sent an official request to Britain for the extradition of Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky. Prosecutor General’s Office spokesman Leonid Troshin said on Tuesday that the request to extradite Berezovsky was sent via the Foreign Ministry, on the basis of a court decision and an official arrest warrant. Russian law enforcement agencies have placed Berezovsky, currently living in Britain, on the international wanted list.

DO WE NEED TO SHARE?

Trud, November 6, 2002, EV

The consequences of the Moscow hostage-taking are still being discussed at all levels of Russian society. Various, sometimes rather unexpected, methods of combating terrorism under new circumstances are being proposed. Thus, Yelena Panina, chairwoman of the Russian United Industrial Party, has proposed that the business community of Russia should establish a “Business Against Terrorism” fund, and contribute 1% of profits to it. This money would then be used by the special services. However, this proposal might be nothing more than a simple publicity stunt.

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