Tags: Russia | Zone | Death | (Part | II)

Russia – Zone of Death (Part II)

Tuesday, 05 November 2002 12:00 AM

A new report from the comparatively reliable Moscow-based newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta published Nov. 4 said that, according to official data, 120 hostages died as a result of the "Dubrovka incident" (118 killed by gas, two shot by Chechens) and no "vanished" or unrecognized dead persons remained. According to unofficial data, however, 116 persons "vanished without a trace." (end of quotation)

So, the total number of dead hostages evidently surpassed 200.

However, some new developments are of even greater importance. On Oct. 30-31, Deputy Prime Minister of Chechnya (independent Chechnya, not the Moscow-controlled one) Zakayev, during the Chechen World Congress in Copenhagen, made the following statement: There will be new terrorist actions in Russia, and nuclear facilities could become the targets. Undoubtedly, he meant the future actions of Ruyad-us-Salehin, the kamikaze-terrorist battalion led by Shamil Basayev.

Simultaneously, Basayev himself announced that he had resigned from all his posts in the Chechnyan government (again, not the Moscow-controlled one) and is concentrating all his energy on commanding Ruyad-us-Salehin, including at least 300 well-trained terrorists.

No more negotiations with Moscow, no hostage taking; death and destruction all over Russia, to the maximum degree possible, is now Basayev's ultimate goal.

As they say in Russia, "Basayev is a Figure." He is not merely a terrorist, he is the embodiment of terror. In a hostage-taking action in the southern Russian city of Budennovsk in June 1995, Basayev managed to outfox a smart fox of then-Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and, after defeating Russian elite troops, escaped to the mountains with his detachment.

Basayev is not a fox. He is not even a wolf, though he uses a wolf picture on his private seal. He is a tiger, and from now on Russian nuclear stations and other key facilities are in serious danger. Though all these facilities are well-guarded, Russia is a very corrupt country among the owners of nuclear stations, and Basyev used to exploit smartly Russian corruption environment for years.

By the way, according to the same article in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, the unhindered movement of at least 10 jeeps carrying 50 Chechens and their weaponry through the streets of Moscow to the Dubrovka Theater would be impossible without the "deliberate negligence" of the Moscow police.

Tiger Basayev, Russia's pandemic corruption and multiple nuclear stations inherited from the USSR – this is indeed a disastrous, catastrophic combination.

The author's heartfelt advice to all Americans who have to deal with Russia: Get a map of local nuclear stations (Konakovo in Tver region, Balakovo in Saratov region, in Voronezh city, etc.), draw a circle of about 150 km radius around each station and do your best not to enter any of these circles.

Immediately after the recent hostage-taking in Moscow, the Australian government advised its citizens to restrain from visiting Russia. Americans, think twice before visiting Russia and think thrice before investing in "lucrative Russian joint-stock enterprises. " In any case, the bloody musical "Nord-Ost" will probably continue.

During the first half of October, Russia held a national population survey, for the first time since 1989. Kremlin propaganda tried to show this as one more serious sign of "normalization and recovery." However, even before the survey, some Russian papers noted that

According to official data in the "Russian statistical yearbook 2001," the population of Chechnya changed from 1.08 million at the beginning of 1994 (before the start of the first Chechen war) to 813,000 at the beginning of 1997 (after the defeated Russian troops left the republic) and 574,000 at the beginning of 2000 (after Putin started the second Chechen war).

Not surprisingly, 150,000-200,000 Chechens were killed and several hundred thousand escaped to neighboring North Caucasian republics and large Russian cities. Though many people returned from refugee camps in neighboring Ingushetia republic during 2001-2002, the population of Chechnya still hadn't reached 600,000 (according to multiple estimates) by the time of the survey.

Suddenly it appeared that Chechnya's population is greater than 1 million! And that's despite the fact that surveying personnel could not enter the mountain districts of the republic because they are controlled by guerrillas.

Moscow observers explained this demographic phenomenon as follows:

Remarkably, independent observers expected that the final number of Russian citizens would be at least 1 million less, because many hundreds of thousands "vanished" in chaos during 1992-2002 and have not been registered as dead. Russian statistics – or, probably, "Putin statistics" – splendidly "wrote off" all these people. Hundreds of thousands killed by Russian troops in Chechnya as well as abducted and killed by organized crime all over Russia, many thousands of these who died in abandoned towns and villages in remote regions – all of them remain unaccounted for.

By the way, the Russian Statistical Service uses the same smart methods to describe the achievements of the Russian economy beginning in 1999. Foreign investors are the major target of these numerical "tricks."

According to available data, survey results will also hide the disastrous public health situation. In particular, according to official statistics, the registered number of people infected with HIV in January-September 2002 increased "merely" from 177,000 to 215,000. The Russian Ministry of Health proudly states that the rate of the HIV epidemic – just as "hard drug" consumption – decreased tremendously, at least on paper.

At the same time, the Russian Defense Ministry had to admit that the rate of HIV-infected among newly arrived conscripts fluctuates between 4 percent and 5 percent. For example, among 5,100 conscripts from Moscow whose blood was tested in spring 2002, 213 appeared to have HIV. This says a lot about the spread of HIV among Russian youth, those between 16 and 29. Generally, the official figures are about 10 percent of the total infected number.

Drug addiction and casual sex – the most prominent features of the new Russia – also led to hepatitis B and C epidemics. The total number of those infected by HIV, hepatitis B and C, and malnutrition-caused tuberculosis probably surpasses 10 million. For how long will they live?

Worth mentioning is the fact that the 2002 Russian budget prescribes for the significant growth of expenses for army and police needs, while the share of health-related expenses will decrease to less than 2 percent of GDP.

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A new report from the comparatively reliable Moscow-based newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta published Nov. 4 said that, according to official data, 120 hostages died as a result of the Dubrovkaincident (118 killed by gas, two shot by Chechens) and no vanished or...
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2002-00-05
Tuesday, 05 November 2002 12:00 AM
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