Nezavisimaya Gazeta, October 30, 2002, EV

On October 29, President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with the security ministers regarding additional measures linked with security in Russia and combating terrorism. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said that Putin has ordered some ministries to prepare a new edition of the national security concept, which would include the use of the Armed Forces. In addition, the president focused on the situation in the Chechen Republic.

Putin has thanked Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky for taking part in releasing hostages. Accordignto Putin, Yavlinsky played a very “positive role” and did not advertise his efforts “unlike many other politicians”.

Deputy Media Minister Mikhail Seslavinsky said at a meeting of the National Association of TV and Radio Broadcasters that he opposes sanctions against the media. He noted that mistakes made by some media when covering the taking of hostages in Moscow must not lead to “repressive measures against the media”.

The People’s Party proposes to toughen penalties for organizing terrorist acts: up to capital punishment. The party thinks that the special operation against terrorists in the theater was “a correct decision”.

Chechnya’s representative office asks Russian citizens and law enforcement agencies to prevent persecution of Chechens. This request was made on Tuesday in connection with attempts to “inflame national animosity”.

Yabloko intends to initiate an amendment to the Russian Constitution regarding parliamentary investigations. Yavlinsky’s supporters will insist on resuming consideration of an amendment to the Constitution made by the previous staff of the Duma in the first reading. Sergei Ivanenko says that “there are no obstacles to passing this amendment”.

The Unity faction proposes to increase funding of law enforcement and security structures. The matter concerns additional allocations from the 2003 budget and the budget of the current fiscal year. Parliamentarians also propose to spend additional revenues of the 2002 budget on combating terrorism. Unity thinks that the Duma must increase the National Security section of the 2003 budget at the expense of other items in the budget, and by redistributing money within so-called closed items.


Nezavisimaya Gazeta, October 30, 2002, EV

An official report of casualties dated October 29, 2002, 15:00 p.m.

Deaths – 117 people.

Identified – 108 people, including ten foreigners.

Discharged from hospital – 338 former hostages.

Still in hospitals – 317 people, including six children (27 people in intensive care).

Missing – 114 people, including 14 foreigners.


Nezavisimaya Gazeta, October 30, 2002, EV

Problems of the legislative foundation of Russia’s national security were discussed a special parliamentary hearing yesterday. However, it seemed that representatives of the executive branch were not interested in this issue – security ministers and government officials did not turn up in the Duma. At the same time, deputies announced several very topical proposals.

In particular, Alexander Gurov, chair of the Duma security committee, asked Vladimir Putin to as soon as possible to submit draft laws on the national security and the status of the Security Council to the Duma. Gurov noted that the former draft law must become a foundation of Russia’s security system, and legislation connected with security structures, law enforcement agencies, and the judiciary must depend on it.

The latter draft law is believed to realize the long-standing dream of all security ministers: to turn this body into a super-ministry, which would control all government bodies subordinated to the president.

Deputies did not forget about the media. The government was given a strict order to submit a draft law on amendments to the law on the media in order to toughen responsibility for activities, which damage Russia’s national security. It should be reminded that one of such draft laws is prepared for the third reading. In addition, deputies proposed to apply laws on the Interior Troops to army units involved in anti-terrorist operations.


Moskovskii Komsomolets, October 30, 2002, EV

A scandal over the corpses of terrorists who seized the theater in Moscow continues. However, the question of whether to give the bodies to relatives has been resolved. The bodies will be buried by the special services.

Sources in law enforcement agencies say the funeral will be rather strange: all corpses will be wrapped in pigskins before burial.

Officers of the special services say: “Be sure, neither Barayev nor Abubakar will get to Allah. According to Muslim traditions, a pig is an unclean animal, and a real shakhid (Chechen equivalent of the Japanese kamikaze concept) must not touch it, or he will not go to heaven. We will wrap the terrorists’ bodies in pigskins.”

At first sight, these words sound crazy. Would serious people from a serious law enforcement body do this?

A researcher from the Eastern Studies Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences said on condition of anonymity: “This is not a joke. This method of combating suicide bombers has been used for a long time. It was tested by British soldiers at the start of last century. They buried suicide fighters wrapped in pigskins. When potential terrorists learned of this, the number of people wishing to go to Allah decreased…”


Komsomolskaya Pravda, October 30, 2002, EV

After Moscow took a very strict stand regarding a global congress of Chechens in Copenhagen, saying that such a meeting is a kind of support to Chechen terrorists, the Danish government continues the dispute with Moscow. The Danish Foreign Ministry asked Moscow to substantiate its accusations and noted that “the Danish authorities have already checked all delegates”. By the way, there are no many Russians at the congress. Some delegates refused to attend the meeting after the terrorist act in Moscow. Nevertheless, the major part of delegates speak or understand Russian. Ruslan Khasbulatov and Andrei Babitsky attended the congress.

Delegates demand that Moscow an end of the war in Chechnya and negotiations with Maskhadov. Chechens called the terrorist act in Moscow a tragedy, but refused declare a minute of silence in memory of victims.


Argumenty i Fakty, October 30, 2002, EV

Toxicologists and reanimators state on condition of anonymity: the gas used during the storming of the Palace of Culture in Moscow belongs to a group of substances affecting the nervous system and muscles. The gas has much in common with anesthetics used during surgical operations. At the same time, the impact of the gas also resembles sarin, soman, and VX.

Any preparation of this group paralyzes the peripheral and central nervous systems. At first, people falls into a narcotic sleep, and them their muscles and hearts stop.

Reanimation measures confirm this theory: the use of an antidote and an indirect heart massage. The impact of the gas depends on the doze and people’s health. The doze, in turn, depends on the concentration of the gas and the time spent in poisoned atmosphere. If the special services used an aerosol, the maximum concentration was in the first rows, in front of the stage. The gas damaged diabetics, children, and people taking sedatives. It is hardly likely that we will learn the exact name of the poison using during the storming. Military toxicologists keep silence, and civilian doctors have never thought that the special services might use an anesthetic as a poison gas.