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NG: How The School Was Stormed

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  • David McDuff
    7 October, 2004 How The School Was Stormed President Vladimir Putin was, of course, right when he immediately came out strongly against a public inquiry into
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 8, 2004
      7 October, 2004

      How The School Was Stormed




      President Vladimir Putin was, of course, right when he immediately came out
      strongly against a public inquiry into the Beslan tragedy. Neither Stalin
      nor Khrushchev nor Brezhnev would ever have let any "parliamentary
      commissions" get anywhere near them. But today's authorities are weak, and
      constantly make threats, only to retreat again.

      Obviously, the Kremlin hoped that the parliamentary commission
      under the general leadership of the super-obedient Federation Council would
      work on its own in conditions of secrecy, and some two years later publish
      some report, shortened for reasons of secrecy, that would go unnoticed by a
      society which would most probably have forgotten about Beslan as a result of
      new disasters and tragedies.

      Our leaders had never considered that Putin's "vertical of
      power" was merely a stick poked into a bog.

      In Russia today it is practically impossible to keep anything
      secret for very long. Local inhabitants and military personnel in Beslan,
      having talked to the commission, continue to talk as they did then, in
      rather open terms. The information and rumours flow on, and get into print.
      The official version of the events of 1-3 September, which right from the
      outset was full of inner contradictions and incongruities, is falling apart
      before our eyes.

      After it became clear that some 90 percent of the hostages were
      wounded or killed, the authorities began to claim that in fact no storming
      had been prepared, that the Spetsnaz had merely hung about around the school
      for three days, and then been compelled to act according to the situation,
      hence the casualties - including those among fighters of the FSB "Vympel"
      and "Alfa" units. It was stated that the terrorists "shot children in the
      back", although no proof of this was ever presented. The nature of the
      battle, in which anyone who felt like it could take part, makes it
      impossible to determine precisely who was hit "in the back" and who simply
      fell in the crossfire. This does not, of course, justify the terrorists,
      who exposed children to death and bullets.

      More and more proof is emerging that right from the start what
      was prepared in Beslan was not a special operation to free the hostages, but
      a military operation to destroy the fighters at any price. According to the
      official chronology of events, at 2.02 pm on 3 September several explosions
      occurred in the school, apparently by accident, and some of the hostages
      made their escape. The Ossetian militiamen and "home guard volunteers"
      [opolchentsy] began firing, but phone calls to the terrorists continued to
      come from the operational command, offering a ceasefire, and only at around
      3pm did the Spetsnaz of the FSB launch a storming of the building. And by
      3pm on 3 September the operational command was already boldly informing the
      news agencies that the school had been taken by the Spetsnaz, and that the
      hostages were free. In reality, however, the battle continued for a whole 12
      hours.



      It is worth noting that at 2.17 pm, according to the
      chronometric records of the operators of foreign television companies, when
      an attempt was apparently made to stop the storming, a barrage from a Mi-24
      attack helicopter was launched. The heavy armed helicopter could not have
      appeared on the scene so quickly if it had not been prepared for flight at a
      definite time, and the crew previously instructed about the location and
      order of the battle. Now, according to the testimony of local people, it
      emerges that the Mi-24 did not simply launch a barrage, but also carried out
      air-strikes around Beslan on 3 September.

      The Mi-24 is only able to fly and fire accurately during the
      daytime and in good weather. So tanks of the 58th Army, which were used for
      point-blank firing, were brought to Beslan, most probably in advance. Anyone
      who has seen the footage of the battles in Moscow in 1993 will be able to
      imagine what point-blank tank fire in an urban environment is like.

      The sacred goal of any antiterrorist operation is to save as
      many innocent people as possible. To this end negotiations are conducted,
      concessions are made, there are promises to fulfil all the terrorists'
      demands, in order to calm and cajole them, and to free as many hostages as
      possible. Only when the possibilities for bargaining are completely
      exhausted, and the number of hostages substantially reduced, can force be
      used, in an attempt to act surgically.

      In Beslan the making of concessions and the conducting of
      serious negotiations about ending the war in Chechnya - a basic demand of
      the invaders - were not attempted. The terrorists were brought to the point
      of frenzy, and then, either spontaneously or simply as a result of
      disorganization and lack of planning, a military operation to clean out the
      school was begun.

      According to eyewitnesses (and Russian TV confirms this), the
      Spetsnaz used "Shmel'" (Bumblebee) rocket flame throwers with thermobaric
      warheads (the RPO-A).

      During the storming of Grozny in January 1995, sub-units of the Russian
      Chemical Forces (khimvoyska) attached to the assault groups made widespread
      and effective use of rocket flamethrowers for the neutralizing of
      emplacements and snipers - burning down buildings.

      Now the freeing of child hostages is done with flamethrowers. In using the
      "Shmel'" the Spetsnaz obviously supposed there was no one left alive in the
      building. The chances of saving anyone in a besieged school during the
      course of an operation that involved the use of tanks, air power and
      flamethrowers were truly small.



      Pavel Felgenhauer, commentator for Novaya Gazeta.





      _ _ _ _ _ _



      A Specialist's Commentary





      Lieutenant-colonel Aleksandr Silin (his name has been altered) commanded a
      chemical sub-unit whose armoury included infantry rocket flamethrowers (RPO)
      code-named "Shmel'" (Bunblebee).



      "In the "Shmel'" RPO three kinds of projectiles are used: incendiary - the
      same as napalm; smoke, producing a smoke screen that covers an area of more
      than 3 kilometres; and thermobaric, creating high temperature and high
      pressure which produce a vacuum explosion of great power. By accurately
      firing three thermobaric projectiles from a "Shmel'" it is possible to
      completely destroy a five-storey building.

      I doubt that they could have fired those projectiles at the school. It's
      possible that they used a thermobaric projectile, but one of considerably
      less power than those that are used with the "Shmel'" flamethrower, like the
      RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launcher, We call that missile a "pig". It
      works in the same way as the "Shmel'", only its power is less. A projectile
      like that is not used directly in a built up area, as the barrel of the RPG
      or RPO gives off a very intense rocket flame, which can kill the person
      firing the weapon.





      Vyacheslav Izmailov, military commentator for Novaya Gazeta.










      .
    • mariuslab2002
      That s a part that was omitted from David s translation of Felgenhauer article Marius There s increasingly more evidence that from the very beginning in Beslan
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 8, 2004
        That's a part that was omitted from David's translation of
        Felgenhauer article

        Marius


        There's increasingly more evidence that from the very beginning in
        Beslan not a special operation on the release of hostages was being
        prepared, but a military operation on the destruction of fighters for
        any price. According to the accounts of the eyewitnesses (and the
        Russian television confirms this), in the school the spetsnaz had
        used reactive flamethrowers "Bumblebee"


        Photo:
        Housings of grenade launchers, which extremely close
        resemble "Bumblebee" had been found on the house's roof across [the
        school]. Apparently, the firing at the school, full of hostages, was
        conducted with charges, causing volumetric explosions. It can be,
        that precisely by this, a number of "those disappeared without a
        trace"... might be explained.

        Information:
        Reactive flamethrower "Bumblebee" of one-time use:
        Target range - up to 600 m; minimum - 20 m; weight - 12 kg; length -
        920 mm; caliber - 93 mm.
        Powder ejection charge detonates from the airtight tube-container
        capsule with flying, inflammable liquid. Shooting can be conducted
        from a space [room] (with volume of more than 60 cubic meters). The
        capsule is destroyed on the impact on target, liquid rapidly
        evaporates, forming in the air a detonating gas, which ignites the
        initiating charge. The volumetric explosion of this small vacuum bomb
        hits personnel in rooms and shelters, and also the lightly armored
        vehicles with thermobaric pressure (by high temperature and by shock
        wave). The volumetric explosion of capsule RPO- A "on the high-
        explosive effect it's not less than 122- millimeter caliber shell".

        The third protocol of the Geneva convention of the 1980 (ratified by
        Russia) forbids to use an igniting weapon "with any circumstances,
        against any object near any concentration of civilians".


        http://2004.novayagazeta.ru/nomer/2004/74n/n74n-s00.shtml
        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
        --- In chechnya-sl@yahoogroups.com, "David McDuff" <david@h...> wrote:
        > 7 October, 2004
        >
        > How The School Was Stormed
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > President Vladimir Putin was, of course, right when he immediately
        came out
        > strongly against a public inquiry into the Beslan tragedy. Neither
        Stalin
        > nor Khrushchev nor Brezhnev would ever have let any "parliamentary
        > commissions" get anywhere near them. But today's authorities are
        weak, and
        > constantly make threats, only to retreat again.
        >
        > Obviously, the Kremlin hoped that the parliamentary
        commission
        > under the general leadership of the super-obedient Federation
        Council would
        > work on its own in conditions of secrecy, and some two years later
        publish
        > some report, shortened for reasons of secrecy, that would go
        unnoticed by a
        > society which would most probably have forgotten about Beslan as a
        result of
        > new disasters and tragedies.
        >
        > Our leaders had never considered that
        Putin's "vertical of
        > power" was merely a stick poked into a bog.
        >
        > In Russia today it is practically impossible to keep
        anything
        > secret for very long. Local inhabitants and military personnel in
        Beslan,
        > having talked to the commission, continue to talk as they did then,
        in
        > rather open terms. The information and rumours flow on, and get
        into print.
        > The official version of the events of 1-3 September, which right
        from the
        > outset was full of inner contradictions and incongruities, is
        falling apart
        > before our eyes.
        >
        > After it became clear that some 90 percent of the
        hostages were
        > wounded or killed, the authorities began to claim that in fact no
        storming
        > had been prepared, that the Spetsnaz had merely hung about around
        the school
        > for three days, and then been compelled to act according to the
        situation,
        > hence the casualties - including those among fighters of the
        FSB "Vympel"
        > and "Alfa" units. It was stated that the terrorists "shot children
        in the
        > back", although no proof of this was ever presented. The nature of
        the
        > battle, in which anyone who felt like it could take part, makes it
        > impossible to determine precisely who was hit "in the back" and who
        simply
        > fell in the crossfire. This does not, of course, justify the
        terrorists,
        > who exposed children to death and bullets.
        >
        > More and more proof is emerging that right from the
        start what
        > was prepared in Beslan was not a special operation to free the
        hostages, but
        > a military operation to destroy the fighters at any price.
        According to the
        > official chronology of events, at 2.02 pm on 3 September several
        explosions
        > occurred in the school, apparently by accident, and some of the
        hostages
        > made their escape. The Ossetian militiamen and "home guard
        volunteers"
        > [opolchentsy] began firing, but phone calls to the terrorists
        continued to
        > come from the operational command, offering a ceasefire, and only
        at around
        > 3pm did the Spetsnaz of the FSB launch a storming of the building.
        And by
        > 3pm on 3 September the operational command was already boldly
        informing the
        > news agencies that the school had been taken by the Spetsnaz, and
        that the
        > hostages were free. In reality, however, the battle continued for a
        whole 12
        > hours.
        >
        >
        >
        > It is worth noting that at 2.17 pm, according to the
        > chronometric records of the operators of foreign television
        companies, when
        > an attempt was apparently made to stop the storming, a barrage from
        a Mi-24
        > attack helicopter was launched. The heavy armed helicopter could
        not have
        > appeared on the scene so quickly if it had not been prepared for
        flight at a
        > definite time, and the crew previously instructed about the
        location and
        > order of the battle. Now, according to the testimony of local
        people, it
        > emerges that the Mi-24 did not simply launch a barrage, but also
        carried out
        > air-strikes around Beslan on 3 September.
        >
        > The Mi-24 is only able to fly and fire accurately
        during the
        > daytime and in good weather. So tanks of the 58th Army, which were
        used for
        > point-blank firing, were brought to Beslan, most probably in
        advance. Anyone
        > who has seen the footage of the battles in Moscow in 1993 will be
        able to
        > imagine what point-blank tank fire in an urban environment is like.
        >
        > The sacred goal of any antiterrorist operation is to
        save as
        > many innocent people as possible. To this end negotiations are
        conducted,
        > concessions are made, there are promises to fulfil all the
        terrorists'
        > demands, in order to calm and cajole them, and to free as many
        hostages as
        > possible. Only when the possibilities for bargaining are completely
        > exhausted, and the number of hostages substantially reduced, can
        force be
        > used, in an attempt to act surgically.
        >
        > In Beslan the making of concessions and the conducting
        of
        > serious negotiations about ending the war in Chechnya - a basic
        demand of
        > the invaders - were not attempted. The terrorists were brought to
        the point
        > of frenzy, and then, either spontaneously or simply as a result of
        > disorganization and lack of planning, a military operation to clean
        out the
        > school was begun.
        >
        > According to eyewitnesses (and Russian TV confirms
        this), the
        > Spetsnaz used "Shmel'" (Bumblebee) rocket flame throwers with
        thermobaric
        > warheads (the RPO-A).
        >
        > During the storming of Grozny in January 1995, sub-units of the
        Russian
        > Chemical Forces (khimvoyska) attached to the assault groups made
        widespread
        > and effective use of rocket flamethrowers for the neutralizing of
        > emplacements and snipers - burning down buildings.
        >
        > Now the freeing of child hostages is done with flamethrowers. In
        using the
        > "Shmel'" the Spetsnaz obviously supposed there was no one left
        alive in the
        > building. The chances of saving anyone in a besieged school during
        the
        > course of an operation that involved the use of tanks, air power and
        > flamethrowers were truly small.
        >
        >
        >
        > Pavel Felgenhauer, commentator for Novaya Gazeta.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > _ _ _ _ _ _
        >
        >
        >
        > A Specialist's Commentary
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Lieutenant-colonel Aleksandr Silin (his name has been altered)
        commanded a
        > chemical sub-unit whose armoury included infantry rocket
        flamethrowers (RPO)
        > code-named "Shmel'" (Bunblebee).
        >
        >
        >
        > "In the "Shmel'" RPO three kinds of projectiles are used:
        incendiary - the
        > same as napalm; smoke, producing a smoke screen that covers an area
        of more
        > than 3 kilometres; and thermobaric, creating high temperature and
        high
        > pressure which produce a vacuum explosion of great power. By
        accurately
        > firing three thermobaric projectiles from a "Shmel'" it is possible
        to
        > completely destroy a five-storey building.
        >
        > I doubt that they could have fired those projectiles at the school.
        It's
        > possible that they used a thermobaric projectile, but one of
        considerably
        > less power than those that are used with the "Shmel'" flamethrower,
        like the
        > RPG-7 rocket-propelled grenade launcher, We call that missile
        a "pig". It
        > works in the same way as the "Shmel'", only its power is less. A
        projectile
        > like that is not used directly in a built up area, as the barrel of
        the RPG
        > or RPO gives off a very intense rocket flame, which can kill the
        person
        > firing the weapon.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Vyacheslav Izmailov, military commentator for Novaya Gazeta.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > .
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