Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Friday, January 28, 2005

And then there's this


From Independent News in the UK.

Looks like unrest is breaking out all over Putin's Russia -- here's a clip:

Russian officers 'helped in plot to seize Beslan school' By Andrew Osborn in Beslan
28 January 2005

Beslan's increasingly restless residents were told yesterday that high-ranking Russian military officers who "were still at their posts" were suspected of helping Chechen militants seize the town's school last September.

Two men holding a rank "higher than a major and a colonel" were said to be involved in the plot and had apparently deliberately not fulfilled the functions for which they are paid, presumably in exchange for some kind of bribe.

The revelation, disclosed by the parliamentary commission investigating the atrocity, appeared to shatter the illusion that the tragedy was the isolated work of a small band of Chechen separatists. It is likely to enrage the victims' mothers who are becoming increasingly vociferous in their demands that the president of North Ossetia, the republic where Beslan is located, should resign. Last week they blocked Beslan's main highway for three days to press their demands and are threatening to take further "illegal" action if Alexander Dzasokhov, whom they accuse of failing to protect their children, does not step down.

Alexander Torshin, chairman of the parliamentary commission looking into the bloodbath, said yesterday that "a terrorist act of such a scale would have been impossible to commit without accomplices."

In the mayhem that followed the seizure of the school on 1 September, 330 people died, 186 of whom were children. Many residents have found it impossible to fathom how a group of militants allegedly numbering no more than 32 was able to hold more than 1,100 people hostage for three days.

It is also unclear how they managed to smuggle so many weapons into the school, passing through so many official checkpoints.

It is known that several policemen readily accepted bribes to turn a blind eye. Two accomplices have been detained, a further three are on the run and yesterday Mr Torshin claimed that he had passed information to the law enforcement authorities concerning a further two accomplices.


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