Russian Hostage Resolution

Discussion in 'Politics' started by goldenarm, Oct 27, 2002.

  1. The Russians claim a success for this operation, even though a Russian doctor said that 116 of 117 hostages died as a result of the nerve gas used. The other hostage died from a bullet wound. Was this a glaring example of Russian ineptness? Could the USA have handled things better?
  2. I'm not sure it could have been done better, but I agree the cost was very high... What they could have done better is keep the public a bit more in the loop. Trying to cover things up didn't help make the operation more successful. Honestly though, unless they could have used a less dangerous gas, I don't see how it could have been done better.
    Former USSR resident.
  3. machine


    They had 3 choices:
    1. Let them all die,
    2. Storm the theater and try to save as many people as possible,
    3. Give up, withdraw the troops from Chechnia, humiliate themselves and the whole country. Just like in 99 in Budennovsk and Pervomajskoe - two small towns in southern Russia when same chechens took hostages (in a hospital in the first case) and killed more than a hundred of them. They were allowed to escape to Chechnia since they kept some hostages with them. Next year chechens blew three buildings in Moscow and some in other towns. More tah 300 people died. Not to mention countless kidnappings and smaller teracts.
    And even if they withdrew troops would that guarantee the safety of hostages? I doubt it.

    Now decide which one you would chose.

    I'm not an expert in the antiterrorist field but I know what kind of people these chechens are. That was the only right decision considering 2000 kg of explosives inside the theatre - that would be enough to wipe out the whole block. None of the bombs exploded during the storm, 85% of the hostages alive - that's a success. I, actually considered themt all already dead right after
    the first news came.

    I've read some interviews of the hostages - they all said that was the right thing to do because the chechens were ready to start executing them. They actually killed one guy and a woman right before the storm. Read it here -

    This one is in Russian (you could try to translate it here if you want - )

    Now, I'm not trying to idealize Russian president , generals and special forces but I think this was the only choice they had and they did the right thing when they took it. That is also confirmed by the heads of special forces of Israel and some european countries. Yes it's very sad that people died but remember - they all were virtually dead already and those who survived should be happy that this miracle happened.

    Now a remark about american TV and press. They all call this Barayev's group "hostage-takers", "rebels", "guerillas". I never heard or read the word "terrorist". On 9/11 last year I don't recall that a single russian newspaper or TV program called those bastards "plane-crashers". Now judge for yourself if " the USA could have handled things better". And remember Waco, TX as well.
  4. If the efforts of Putin have any prohibitive effect on future terrorist activities that involve the taking of hostages, then the price paid was along the same lines of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in ending WWII.

    Sometimes it is difficult to evaluate military/police strategy, as the long term consequences of something that doesn't happen in the future is impossible to measure, if those strategic military/police actions had a prohibitive effect going forward.

    Janet Reno and company caught tons of flack for Waco, perhaps rightly so, but have we had a similar incidents with the likes of a David Koresh and his compound actions since?

    These matters are so difficult to armchair quarterback. Who knows? I for one am glad I don't have to be making the decisions.
  5. Amen to that. I for one can't think of a way in which the situation could have turned out well other than the hostage takers giving themselves up.

  6. I think 3 was the wisest choice. You guys (since you are obviously Russian) have no business in Chechnya. Let's be honest about it, it all comes down to oil. Don't you have freaking enough of it???
    Had I seen my town distroyed, my relatives and friends abused/killed, the places where I grew up and where all my childhood memories are associated with leveled with the ground - no telling what I'd be doing in their place.
    I think you should let them be independent. Every people has a right to freely choose what country they wanna be a part of.
    You preferred to save face and escalate this cycle of violence further. It's not gonna stop other Chechens from doing even more horrific acts.
    Russia has been pursuing this "I want it so now it's mine" policy for all it's history. I'm Ukrainian and I know this quite well from the experience of Russian-Ukrainian relationships. You wanted to have access to the mediterranean - so you parked you fleet in our Crimean peninsular and unofficially called the place yours...
    It's good that Ukrainian people are less prone to violence then Chechens are. But I (and MANY-MANY others) will always be bitter about it. And we WILL kick your butts out of there one day. It's only an matter of time.
    Don't misunderstand me please, I'm not in any slightest way justifying what the hostage taker did. I'm just saying that there is no way to stop this cycle of violence with further violence. And going back to the beginning of it, Russia is the guilty party and it should back off. Of course it won't "be on it's knees." Instead you will send twice as many troops there and many more innocent people will die on both sides. But you won't break them. If it's not obvious yet, I don't know what is.
    PS My wife is Russian and after a lengthy discussion I just finished with her, I think she finally agreed...
  7. I guarantee you that 70% of Americans don't even know why there is currently a conflict between Russia and Chechnia. 80%+ Americans couldn't even locate Chechnia on a map without some serious searching. 90% or more of Americans could probably care less about the entire situation except for that rare 5 second moment when Ted puts down the morning paper and goes, "Hmm, honey, looks like their gas killed their own guys," and then off to work.

    As far as I'm concerned, the reason why anyone died was not because of the gas but because armed people took over that theater in the first place.

    That is terrorism.

    Terrorism exists for a reason. People don't just crash planes into a building on a whim, nor do they strap themselves with high-yield explosives just to get 20k wired to their family's bank account.

    Is terrorism wrong? What side of the fence are you on? Has your mother and daughter been raped by soldiers lately? If so, you might be able to justify slapping explosives onto your chest and going into a theater in Russia and sending a strong message.

    Or perhaps you're just that guy that has nothing to do with politics and decided to take your wife out on a nice night, only to have a bullet placed in her skull because someone *ELSE* was trying to send a message.

    This world is filled with FUBAR situations, and depending on what motivates you and where your interests lie, you may either call it terrorism, retaliation, self-defense, etc.

    The real tragedy lies in the fact that innocent people who have nothing to do with either side suddenly become pawns in another side's struggle.

    They caught the sniper in DC, but they will never catch or capture that "spark" that could ignite in many of us at any time given the right situations.
  8. Ya, I agree, in theory 3 is the wisest choice. But you cannot implement a Russian withdrawl from Chechnya in the context of terrorist demands. If Russia had pulled out as a result of the hostage situation, then you can imagine the influx of hostage-takings that would follow, not only in Russia but around the world. In any hostage situation the greater good is NOT giving into the hostage-takers demands. What did the terrorists think would happen? They would take the theatre hostage and get everything they ever wanted?

    By the way, the gas thing, although it killed some hostages, was a genious move, and the best thing to do in that situation. I thought that the Chechens would inevitably blow the place up because the Russians would inevitably charge in. I never thought of gassing the whole place.
  9. One day, when technology advances and every country and their neighbor has easy access to nukes, biological warfare and god knows what else, we will be faced with this game but the stakes will be much higher.

    What would happen if they found a 100 kiloton nuclear bomb in a coke machine at the Superbowl with 75,000 fans in the seats?

    How many innocent lives need to be in jeapordy before it all comes to a critical point? Where is that line drawn? 10 people? 100 people? 100,000,000 people?
  10. machine


    Give me a break! "our Crimean peninsula" my eye. You obviously don't know the history of Crimea. "Russian armies first invaded the Crimea in 1736. Empress Catherine II forced Turkey to recognize the khanate's independence in 1774, and in 1783 she annexed it outright; the annexation was confirmed by the Treaty of Jassy (1792). Many Tatars, with their Muslim religion and Turkic language, emigrated to Turkey, while Russians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, Germans, Armenians, and Greeks settled in the Crimea. During the Crimean War (1853–56), parts of the remaining Tatar population were resettled in the interior of Russia.

    After the Bolshevik Revolution (1917) an independent Crimean republic was proclaimed; but the region was soon occupied by German forces and then became a refuge for the White Army. In 1921 a Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was created; Tatars then constituted about 25% of the population. During World War II, German invaders took the Crimea after an eight-month siege. Accused by the Soviet government of collaborating with the Germans, the Crimean Tatars were forcibly removed from their homeland after the war and resettled in distant parts of the Asian USSR. The republic itself was dissolved (1945) and made into a region of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic; in 1954 it was transferred to Ukraine [by Khruschevs decision]. In 1989, some of the Tatars began to return from their exile in Siberia. " (

    So who's got more right on Crimea? Russia which fought for it, , Turkey which had it and lost, those tatars who want to be an independent state, btw, or Ukraine which got it by decision of a moronic leader and during USSR?

    Kick our butt? Is this why you shot in Russian passenger plane, steal our gas from pipelines and support chechens who are islamic terrorists, btw? I You'd rather watch your butt then.

    Don't misunderstand me please, I'm not in any slightest way justifying what the hostage taker did. I'm just saying that there is no way to stop this cycle of violence with further violence. And going back to the beginning of it, Russia is the guilty party and it should back off. Of course it won't "be on it's knees." Instead you will send twice as many troops there and many more innocent people will die on both sides. But you won't break them. If it's not obvious yet, I don't know what is. [/QUOTE]

    I have no illusions about Russian policy on this matter. There's always two sides of the story. But do you really think that Russia should allow a terroristic state which is supported by rich arab countries and which is a real threat to russian southern borders?
    #10     Oct 27, 2002