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Last Updated: Monday, 6 September, 2004, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
World press views Beslan fallout

The North Ossetia school siege and its terrible outcome continues to generate a huge amount of reporting, comment and reaction in papers across the world.

Vehement condemnation of the hostage-takers remains the strongest theme, but criticism of the reactions of the Russian authorities continues to mount.

Many papers voice fears about the fallout of the bloody events on the already volatile situation in the Caucasus, with mixed views on whether Moscow should now conduct talks with legitimate Chechen leaders.

If the prospect of men using aircraft to demolish the World Trade Center seemed fanciful in the extreme, the prospect of terrorists taking over a school filled with children appeared impossibly grotesque, even by their squalid standards. Again, the world has witnessed the death of implausibility. How civilized nations should prepare for such horrifying outcomes is the hardest question of these times.

Australia's The Daily Telegraph - editorial

These kinds of crimes, hostage-taking, explosions and terrorist acts, which are taking place in Russia, Chechnya or any other place in the world, cannot be defended in any way. But the way the Russians deal with such incidents is so bloody and deadly that this too cannot be justified.

Iran's Jomhuri-ye Eslami - editorial

It seems that a Russian version of 9/11 has unfolded. The Russian government's strong determination and resolve not to submit to terrorism is well placed. It is necessary to fight terrorism around the globe with one mind and one heart.

China Daily - commentary

The world community was completely shocked and mourned the deaths of 322 people, mostly elementary school students... The hostage case once again shows that acts of terror and intimidation have no particular targets. Thus, everyone can be a potential victim.

Indonesia's Kompas - editorial

Undoubtedly, the number of victims would be much smaller if Putin's security forces had not intervened in the school incident. The Head of the Russian State should not have attempted operations of this kind with such slack security forces. Putin has the greatest responsibility for this massacre.

Turkey's Hurriyet - commentary

The day of horror in Beslan demands that the 1st of September should be marked as the international day for the condemnation of terrorism.

Palestinian Al-Ayyam - commentary

It is obvious that only President Putin can stimulate dialogue in Russia. Will he have as much strength as De Gaulle who preferred to give Algeria independence rather than getting France into a dirty war that had no end?

Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza - editorial

Today, Western governments seek to comfort Putin with exclamations of "What horror!" But tomorrow, we'll all forget the tragedy. Because in the final analysis, what is Chechnya? Maybe its name is redolent of a mafia? Will anyone demand an explanation from Putin? Some 300,000 Chechens massacred and the city of Grozny razed to the ground. Is this really the strategy to put an end to terrorism?

Spain's ABC - commentary

Out of respect for Russia, and its effort to pick up the pieces after the end of the Cold War, world opinion has kept its sympathies for the Chechen uprising mostly to itself. Those sympathies have been vaporized by Beslan. Where restraint and an accommodation with the Chechens had once been urged, Moscow is now free of scruples to do whatever it takes to quash the insurgency. Chechnya could get a lot worse before it gets better.

Malaysia New Straits Times - editorial

One way to ease hostilities is to address root problems behind conflicts in accordance with universal principles of human rights and democracy. That is how Putin and his government can begin to deal more effectively with the situation - instead of stubbornly claiming that Chechen independence is only an internal problem.

Taiwan's Taipei Times - editorial

The Chechen movement has lost the sympathy it enjoyed all around the world. What else can one say to the barbarians who left children without food and water for days and who killed them, other than to curse them?

Turkey's Milliyet - commentary

There are two obvious conclusions of the Chechen struggle for freedom and Russia's brutal suppression of it. The oppressed people's urge for independent statehood shows no sign of flagging, nor is Moscow's security force trained to skilfully handle crises of this nature.

Pakistan's The Nation - editorial

Putin and the Russian authorities said 'state' first. The result is obvious: They caused the death of hundreds of people, mostly children... The Russian authorities are still trying to hide many realities. Just like those realities they have tried to hide in the Chechen problem. Just like those realities they have hidden about the thousands of Chechens who were killed, executed and lost.

Turkey's Yeni Safak - commentary

The school siege in North Ossetia illustrates the dreadful adage that violence begets violence... A way must be found to punish terrorists while also negotiating with those Chechens who genuinely seek a peaceful solution.

Australia's The Age - editorial

Vladimir Putin promised the people of his country that he would tighten security and he acknowledged that there were some weaknesses. This hostage-taking crisis could be considered the biggest challenge faced by Putin in his term as president.

Iran - editorial

The Beslan massacre has dealt a heavy psychological blow to Russia and forced President Putin to admit, after five years of laying the emphasis on successes, that the country is absolutely unprepared for the war against terror.

Czech Republic's Lidove Noviny

The expression "war on terror" is nonsensical. Terrorism cannot be ended with war, something we are witnessing with stark clarity... Neither Putin or Bush will win any battles with their behaviour. Neither will we.

Spain's El Mundo - commentary

As he has done ever since his mistaken invasion of Chechnya, Putin is dodging, speaking of nothing but repression, although this policy is an obvious failure. [This is] a Putin who is suddenly Stalinist and therefore worrisome. Europe made an error by sanctioning the charade of the Chechen elections. It must now prevent a new cloak of silence from falling on Beslan, as it did on the Dubrovka theatre siege.

Belgium's Le Soir - editorial

It was not easy to resolve the horrifying terrorist siege in Beslan (perhaps it was not possible at all). Unfortunately, it has come to light once again that as soon as Russia's politicians, army, police and secret services are faced with a more serious crisis, they start making fatal mistakes and lying.

Czech Republic's Mlada Fronta Dnes

We believe that the trend of various republics dividing up power and having a higher level of autonomy or even complete independence should be inevitable. Unless Western countries vigorously give support, and President Putin is willing to adjust his hard-line policy, Russia will still be full of turmoil and crises.

Malaysia's Sin Chew Jit Poh - editorial

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

President Vladimir Putin
"[Terrorism] is a challenge to the whole of Russia... this is an attack on our country"

Agony as school death toll rises
04 Sep 04  |  Europe
Analysis: The hostage-takers
04 Sep 04  |  Europe

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