Years On, Russia Remembers
Beslan School Tragedy
RIA Novosti Photo
(RIA Novosti) — Russia marks the fourth anniversary of
the Beslan school tragedy during which 331 people died,
including 186 children. One of the
most shocking and widely publicized events in recent world
history began on September 1, 2004 when a group of terrorists
seized School No. 1 in the town of Beslan, 30 km northwest
of Vladikavkaz, the capital of the Russian republic of
1 is known in Russia as the ‘Day of Knowledge’ and is when
schoolchildren all over the country return to or begin their
killed 17 adults in the first hours of the siege, and then
set up explosive devices around the school, concentrating them
and the hostages in the gym. They then demanded that Russian
troops pull out of the Chechen republic. The operation was
organized by the late notorious Chechen warlord, Shamil Basayev.
ended after three days when federal troops stormed the school
– hundreds of people died as militants and troops exchanged
fire. The authorities were widely criticized for their handling
of the siege and for the events leading up to it. All of the
terrorists bar one were killed.
in Beslan to remember the dead, flowers and floral wreaths
were laid and candles lit in memory of the deceased. The proceedings
started with the ringing of the school bell to mark the exact
time when the school was seized.
of people observed a minute of silence near the school gym
where the hostages were kept during the siege. The school has
not been repaired and has been left in ruins as a memorial
to the dead.
ceremony will continue the next day, and a requiem concert
will be given in Beslan on Tuesday night in memory of those
who died in Russia’s worst terrorist attack.
parties and human rights groups plan to hold three days of
rallies in central Moscow and other cities across Russia.
the Full Day-by-Day Coverage of the 2004 Beslan Terrorist
Coverage of Beslan School Siege
** Beslan Siege Was Work of al Qaeda
Cell from… Kabardino-Balkaria
More On Events in the Years Following Beslan:
Putin Says Terrorism Remains Major Threat for
Supreme Court Upholds Acquittal of Beslan Police (March
Leader, Beslan Siege Mastermind Killed in South Russia (June
Victims of Beslan Terror Wreck Court (May
Failed to Prevent 2004 Beslan School Siege – Report (December
Says Terrorism Remains Major Threat for Russia
4, 2008 (RIA Novosti) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
said on Monday that although significant progress has been made
in counter-terrorism efforts, the country still faces a major terrorist
recent large-scale terrorist attack in Russia was the Beslan
school siege of September 2004, in which 333 hostages including
186 children died. Sporadic small-scale terrorist attacks and
militant clashes with police and troops remain common in Russia’s
North Caucasus republics, although the active phase of the
Kremlin campaign to fight militants and terrorists in Chechnya
is officially over.
blows have been dealt to terrorist leaders and networks. But
we should be aware that this threat remains – it is very serious," Vladimir
Putin told the inner cabinet during discussions on a federal
He said "tens
of billions" of rubles in government funds would be provided
for the program.
focus will be placed on prevention of crimes related to terrorism
and extremism," he said. The measures will continue a
program that was wound up last year.
sole priority of this work is to improve security for civilians," he
the Beslan hostage crisis, Russia’s worst terrorist attacks
were the Moscow theater siege of October 2002, when 129 hostages
died, and the September 1999 apartment bombings in Moscow and
two towns, which killed nearly 300.
Supreme Court Upholds
Acquittal of Beslan Police
6, 2008 (RIA Novosti) — Russia’s Supreme Court upheld on Thursday
a not-guilty verdict for police officers accused of negligence
leading to the 2004 Beslan school siege.
dismissed an appeal from over 200 victims involved in the case
and an appeal filed by prosecutors.
of School No 1 by Chechen separatists in the North Caucasus
town of Beslan in September 2004 left 333 people dead, including
186 children. The raid was carried out by forces loyal to the
notorious militant Shamil Basayev.
killed by Russian security forces in July 2006.
Court of the Republic of Ingushetia, based on a jury verdict,
had previously acquitted Mukhazhir Yevloyev, head of the local
police department, and Akhmed Kotiyev, his deputy.
an activist of the Voice of Beslan group of survivors and relatives
of the siege victims, said the verdict was unlawful, in particular
because the jury included the defendants’ relatives and was,
the survivors and victims intend to challenge the Supreme Court’s
ruling in the European Court of Human Rights.
Kulayev, the only surviving militant to have taken part in
the Beslan siege, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2006.
Beslan Siege Mastermind
Killed in South Russia
17, 2007 (RIA Novosti) — A gunmen leader and a mastermind
of the bloody school siege in Beslan, Ruslan Aushev, has been
killed in a special forces operation in southern Russia, the
special services said Sunday.
The Federal Security Service (FSB) for the Russian republic
of Ingushetia near Chechnya said Aushev had been found in a house
in a local village Sunday. When the police and special forces
tried to arrest him, the man opened fire and sustained a lethal
wound from return fire.
The FSB said Aushev was one of those who stood behind the hostage-taking
crisis in a Beslan school in southern Russia in 2004, which officially
claimed 331 lives, including 186 children. The FSB also said
Aushev’s group had attacked law enforcement headquarters, and
planted explosives on motorways.
Victims of Beslan Terror Wreck Court
May 29, 2007 (RIA Novosti) — Women who suffered from the
terror in Beslan in 2004 staged a riot in a local court when
to pass a verdict Tuesday on policemen accused of neglecting
launched hearings early Tuesday. However, Judge Vitaly Besolov
failed to pronounce a verdict even at a postponed meeting at
4:00 p.m., as the complainants refused to hear it in the absence
of the defendants.
policemen accused of negligence that allowed terrorists to
seize a school in the southern Russian town of Beslan in September
2004 went on trial in March 2006. Their lawyers asked for an
amnesty May 10, citing amendments to the law on amnesty for
offenders who committed crimes during Russia’s counterterrorism
operation in the Southern Federal District.
the bulk of them the mothers of children killed in the school
siege, started to tear down window blinds and break windows
and furniture in the court, forcing the judge to leave without
saying a word.
A total of
331 people, including 186 children, were killed in Beslan.
Failed to Prevent 2004
Beslan School Siege – Report
MOSCOW, December 22, 2006
(RIA Novosti) — Local police did not take appropriate measures to prevent
attack on a school in the southern Russian
town of Beslan in September 2004, a parliamentary investigation commission
The hostage crisis at Beslan’s School No.1 in the North Caucasus republic
of North Ossetia claimed the lives of 331 people, including 186 children. More
than 700 people were wounded.
"The terrorist act was not prevented, because local police did not follow
the regulations established by the Russian Interior Ministry," a report
prepared by the committee said.
The report said police officers were not present at the school’s start-of-term
ceremony on September 1, 2004, when terrorists took 1,128 hostages.