Our Say

After G8 and the London bombings - the way forward

London terror attacks condemned

After Live 8:
from pressure to action

The G8 summit and political power

Make the G8 leaders history

A sham election

10 good reasons to boycott May 5

Don't be blackmailed into voting

Reject ‘dependency’ politics

No votes for New Labour!

Parliament seals its own fate

A secret policeman's government

Vote for "none of the above"

How to remember the victims of the tsunami

A state of crisis

New Labour and the big lie

Yasser Arafat - a revolutionary life

After the US election

Blood on New Labour's hands

Butler and weapons of mass deception

With 'leaders' like these, who needs enemies?

How to meet the threat from the right

Barbarians at the gate

Torture, values and lies

The silence of the lambs

War crimes in Iraq

The slaughter in Madrid

The unfinished business of the miners’ strike 1984-85

L’état – c’est New Labour

The death of liberal democracy foretold

Hutton washes the state whiter than white

Top-up fees and the market economy

Our challenge for 2004

New Labour's march to a police state

Bush & Blair - partners in crime

London Region revolts against FBU leaders

Postal workers in the front line

No turning back

Where we go from here

Stop the War Coalition leaders and political fabrication

Regime change begins at home

Blood on New Labour's hands

There's more involved than just Blair

New Labour, lies and spies

Firefighters should reject deal and disown leaders

BECTU vote on New Labour link a step forward

Time runs out for FBU leaders

New Labour's one-party state

The blind alley of crude anti-Americanism

Occupation of Iraq - time to move beyond protest

War is a test for principles

Iraqi defiance shocks and awes

FBU leaders who backed capitulation should resign now

Down with New Labour's war - for regime change in Britain

FBU at war with New Labour

New Labour, not just Blair, is the target

50 years since the death of Stalin - an assessment

FBU finds itself in Precott's trap

War is Peace - Blair's fictitious 'push for peace'

15/2: Global marches put power on the agenda

Crisis of globalisation behind attack on Iraq

Tell it how it is

An injury to one is an injury to all

War plans expose fraudulent 'democracy'

A 'regime change' in Britain is the answer to war on Iraq

FBU needs a new strategy

Challenging New Labour

A moment of truth in the fight against New Labour

Gilchrist says it how it is

Time to defy the anti-union laws in support of the FBU

FBU must ask for solidarity strikes

FBU leaders must ask for support now

New Labour provokes confrontation

Italian police attack No-Global movement

New Labour declares war on FBU

Don't let the FBU fight alone

UN writes a blank cheque for war

Blood on Putin's hands

Unions must support firefighters with action not words

Support the firefighters - defeat New Labour

Bush-Blair war agenda revealed

Seeing through New Labour's weapons of mass deception

The US media and the new garrison state

The BEGINNING of Politics

How technology could
free humanity

'Terminator' engineering: A threat to humanity

The future is socialist

Asylum legislation fuels racist attacks

Road map to the future

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Blood on Putin's hands

It is now absolutely clear that the deaths resulting from the actions of the Russian special forces in ending the Moscow theatre siege far outnumber those killed by the Chechen suicide fighters.

A statement by Andrei Seltsovsky, chairman of the health committee of the city of Moscow, that only two of the dead hostages were killed by gunshot wounds places the blame for the casualties squarely on the Russian government and its armed forces.

Seltsovsky said that the other 116 hostages confirmed dead by Monday had died of gas poisoning. Another 150 are languishing in hospital, many of them still critically ill. The authorities are still refusing to tell doctors the nature of the gas used to stun the hostage takers while troops entered the building.

Chemical warfare experts believe it may be nerve gas or BZ which has hallucinogenic properties, possibly a type banned under international treaty.

Other facts are emerging about the siege, which prove that Putin and the military at no time considered the option of entering into serious negotiations about a non-violent way of ending the siege.

The bottom line is that it is the prolonged and brutal occupation of Chechnya by Russian forces which led inexorably to the showdown and deaths in Moscow.


Russian air strike killed at least 200 people on the main Grozny market: Belgian photographer Bruno Stevens

Russian forces have killed tens of thousands of Chechens and Russians in the capital city, Grozny and other areas over the past decade. Grozny, once a modern city of hundreds of thousands, was virtually razed to the ground by mass bombardment.

A report by the Society for Russian-Chechen Relations in collaboration with Human Rights Watch documented that in one month alone – between July and August this year – 59 civilians were shot dead, 64 abducted, 168 seriously wounded and 298 tortured.

The horrific activities of the Omon and Spetsnaz special forces, which commonly include rape and torture, and the blowing up of victims, have continued since the first Chechen war which began in December 1994.

After a decade of terror against not only the separatist fighters, but the civilian population, a new generation of Chechen commanders has grown up who have moved away from the more secular moderation of older leaders like Aslan Maskhadov.

The nationalist resistance of the mid 1990s did not lead to a separate state or the departure of Russian troops. Extreme desperation combined with the lack of a revolutionary secular alternative has left the field open for a mystical form of Islamic Jihad and individual terrorism aimed at innocent Russians seen in the Moscow siege.

The suicide bombers in Moscow were young men and women who felt that death was a better way out than life under the present conditions.

As relatives and friends gathered outside the Moscow theatre on Friday, about 100 demonstrated for an end to the occupation of Chechnya,  supporting the hostage-takers’ original demand. The protest was quickly banned with some demonstrators being detained by police. Some who had previously supported Putin’s war against the Chechens, said they now believed Russian troops should leave Chechnya and “let them live as they want to live”, in the words of one 28-year-old worker.

Early on in the siege, one agonised relation shouted at the television camera that “First Putin killed our sons by sending them to Chechnya. Now he is killing other Russians by not taking our troops out.”

The argument used by Putin, supported by Blair and the British media, is that violently breaking the siege was the least of all evils, and may have saved hundreds of lives by preventing the Chechens from blowing up the entire theatre.

But the entire event would not have taken place if Russian forces had withdrawn from Chechnya in the first place and Chechens granted the right to self-determination.

Putin’s dirty war in Chechnya is financially assisted by global capitalist leaders. He can keep his weapons of mass destruction, use chemical weapons against his own people and oppress minorities with the blessing of the White House and Downing Street. Their hypocrisy and double standards knows no bounds.

Blair and Bush have an agreement with Putin that allows him to do what he likes in Chechnya as long as Russia doesn’t interfere with their "war on terrorism" and the plan to bomb and occupy Iraq.

That’s why Blair was on the telephone twice during and after the siege to express his support. He congratulated the Russian president in the House of Commons even as the casualty figures due to the gassing of hostages were rising. Putin, the butcher of Chechnya, can continue to count Blair as a close ally.