The President’s silence is depressing. The President sustains his pause, though now it is even worse for him than after the Kursk disaster.
Today is the second day of the terrorist crisis in Moscow. Rusian society, having recovered from the first shock, is starting to analyze the event. Old questions are in the air: How this could happen? What steps will the President take? At the beginning of the drama, people demanded resolute action from the President; though, as the time spiral continued to slowly untwist, there were less and less supporters of the use of force.
According to an analyst from the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Igor Korotchenko, the authorities will not succeed in agreeing with the terrorists about a peaceful and bloodless release of the hostages. “In my view, this will result in the storming of the building. The withdrawal of troops from Chechnya would be political suicide for Putin. He is in fact in a trap: two years ago, he promised to kill bandits in the WC, while now they come to Moscow and practically try to kill him,” – the expert stresses.
The President sustains his pause, though it is even worse for him now than after the tragedy of the Kursk submarine. In this situation, the only thing for the President to do is to make a political decision as soon as possible. Putin should address the nation, as Bush did after the September 11 events. He should clearly say that the demand to withdraw troops from Chechnya are politically unacceptable for Russia, while the Russian leadership is ready for any other steps. It is difficult to forecast any drop or the raising of his ratings, though it is clear that any resolute activities will be supported, while indecision and delay could cause a catastrophe.
In the meanwhile, antiwar feelings are starting to prevail in Russian society. On Red Square, people gathered for an antiwar meeting, radio Ekho Moskvy reports. People buy felt pens and paper and write appeals to the President just on the spot. “President Putin! Rescue our children! We all need peace! Start peace negotiations and do your best to save the people! Children and teachers against the war in Chechnya.” More and more people are coming to the demonstration.
Dmitry Chirkin PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva