The Beslan school siege (also referred to as the Beslan school hostage crisis or Beslan massacre) started on 1 September 2004, lasted three days, involved the capture of over 1,100 people as hostages (including 777 children), and ended with the death of at least 385 people. The crisis began when a group of armed Islamic Groups, mostly Ingush and Chechen, occupied School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia (an autonomous republic in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation) on 1 September 2004. The hostage-takers were the Riyadus-Salikhin Battalion, sent by the Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who demanded recognition of the independence of Chechnya, and Russian withdrawal from Chechnya. On the third day of the standoff, Russian security forces stormed the building with the use of tanks, incendiary rockets and other heavy weapons. At least 330 hostages were killed, including 186 children, with a significant number of people injured and reported missing.
The event led to security and political repercussions in Russia; most notably, it contributed to a series of federal government reforms consolidating power in the Kremlin and strengthening of the powers of the President of Russia. As of 2016, aspects of the crisis in relation to the militants continue to be contentious: questions remain regarding how many terrorists were involved, the nature of their preparations and whether a section of the group had escaped. Questions about the Russian government’s management of the crisis have also persisted, including allegations of disinformation and censorship in news media, whether the journalists who were present at Beslan were allowed to freely report on the crisis, the nature and content of negotiations with the terrorists, allocation of responsibility for the eventual outcome, and perceptions that excessive force was used.
However, independent investigations, including one conducted by the State Duma parliamentary Yuri Savelyev, concluded that the federal troops initiated the storming of the school and used heavy weaponry that set off explosions inside a school gym. The Russian government still denies responsibility for the botched rescue operation.
A video was released 3 years after the massacre that seemed to confirm Russian security forces were responsible for the first explosions during the Beslan hostage crisis and that the raid was deliberately botched and then covered up. Was it botched to hand Vladimir Putin a propaganda coup in the war against Chechnya?
A video that remained secret for nearly three years after the horrific Beslan hostage crisis has cast new doubt on official conclusions about what led to the deaths of 334 people, more than half of them children, during one of Russia’s worst terrorist attacks, reports the Associated Press.
The footage is far from definitive, but appears to lend credence to the theory that security forces bear at least some of the blame for the high death toll.
The footage depicts explosions taking place outside of the school buildings and contradicts the official explanation that militants were responsible for the initial blasts, while validating survivor’s accounts of what took place. The video was filmed by an onlooker and forms part of the dearth of available footage of the incident, since the FSB refuses to turn its footage over to investigators and has sought to close the book on the case at every turn. Many aspects of the Beslan siege provide stunning contradictions to the official story and clearly indicate that Russian forces had a hand in staging if not at least provocateuring the massacre.
The Parliamentary Committee investigation uncovered the fact that high-ranking Russian military officers were involved in the plot and acted as accomplices to the terrorists. These individuals were ranked “higher than a major and a colonel,” according to the Committee. A former policeman was also exposed as being involved in the plot. Other police involvement was later confirmed.
The Parliamentary Commission also found evidence that a “foreign intelligence agency” was involved in coordinating the massacre. Journalists who reported on the Beslan siege and uncovered evidence of inside involvement were later drugged and detained by Russian authorities as the cover-up swung into high gear. During the siege, Russian authorities refused to reveal what the terrorists’ demands were, blocking all phone communications and claiming a tape containing the terrorists’ demands was blank.
The alleged Chechen terrorists did not even speak Chechen and received orders from abroad, according to reports.
Some hostages claim an explosive detonated after being hit by a missile launched from the roof of a nearby building by a member of Russian special forces. The official version maintains that the bombs were set off by terrorists either deliberately or accidentally. More than half of the hostage fatalities were caused by the explosions and ensuing fires.
Another unanswered question is whether some of the terrorists were able to escape. According to the official version of events, there were 32 of them, and all but one were killed. The only one captured, Nur-Pashi Kulayev, was sentenced to life imprisonment, but both the hostages and the organizer of the attack, then-leader of the Chechen rebel movement Shamil Basayev, claimed that some of the attackers had escaped.
The Beslan massacre occurred amidst a wave of terror attacks in Russia and shortly after the crashes of two Tupolev passenger airliners, which were blamed on Chechen terrorists by authorities. However, citing the fact that the aircraft debris was scattered over large areas, the independent Russian media accused Vladimir Putin of ordering the planes shot down in a crude false flag ploy to secure an election victory for the pro-Kremlin Chechen President Alu Alkhanov two days later.
Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov denied any involvement in the plane crashes or the school siege, citing “a third force that brought Russian President Vladimir Putin to power” as being responsible for the carnage.
The notorious Russian FSB has a documented history of staging false flag events in order to accomplish political agendas.
Vladimir Putin came to power as a result of an FSB orchestrated reign of terror in the autumn of 1999 which involved blowing up apartment blocks all over Russia and blaming the attacks on Chechen separatists, thus playing on Russian fears of the fierce Muslim Chechens both to start a new war in Chechnya and to win Putin the presidential elections.
FSB agents were caught planting Hexogen explosives underneath an apartment block in Ryazan. Records indicate that the first call the “terrorists” made after planting the bomb was to FSB headquarters and the culprits were allowed to flee the country by authorities.
The FSB admitted planting the sacks of explosives, but later claimed they contained sugar and were used as part of a drill to test security procedures. Authorities had first stated that a terrorist attack had been averted and that the sacks did contain Hexogen, until FSB involvement was discovered at which point the story was changed.
Alexei Kartofelnikov, the first eyewitness to see the explosives and alert the police, went on the record to state that the substance was clearly not sugar, describing the material as looking more like rice and yellow in color – a clear match for the description of Hexogen. The FSB had planted real explosives and were caught in the act of staging a false flag terror attack, forcing them to concoct an elaborate cover story while blocking any real investigation and silencing whistleblowers.
The siege took place on the first day of school, a day known as the ‘Day of Knowledge’ and a very important day for the very educated Russian people.