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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 29-Jul-05
Russia infuriated over ABC "Nightline" interview of Shamil Basayev

Web Log - July, 2005

Russia infuriated over ABC "Nightline" interview of Shamil Basayev

"How many more bombs must hit New York before the American media learns to differentiate terrorists from normal people?" asks political commentator Pyotr Romanov.

It's a good question. Americans have been very critical of al-Jazeera for airing tapes by Osama bin Laden, but obviously ABC considers an interview with notorious Chechen terrorist Shamil Basayev to be just a news story.


Chechen warlord / terrorist Shamil Basayev <font size=-2>(Source: Itar-Tass)</font>
Chechen warlord / terrorist Shamil Basayev (Source: Itar-Tass)

The Russian embassy in Washington issued this statement:

"The fact that the television company ABC News has decided to ignore the arguments of the Russian embassy against the broadcasting of the interview with international terrorist Shamil Basayev causes indignation,” the embassy said in its statement to ABC.

“By doing so ABC News has shown apparent disregard of all standards of responsibility of journalism, as well as of human values. At issue is providing a forum to one of Al Qaeda’s zealots responsible for slaughtering innocent victims during many major terrorist attacks that he masterminded and personally perpetrated.”

“The most shocking and deadliest of them was the cold-blooded killing of hundreds of children a year ago in the southern Russian city of Beslan."

Related Articles

Shamil Basayev
Shamil Basayev is dead: The Chechen terrorist responsible for the Beslan school massacre... (11-Jul-06)
Shamil Basayev gains in stature and power as pan-Caucasus terror leader: He claims credit for leading Nalchik attack, but blames a traitor for leaking advance information.... (19-Oct-05)
Chechnya terrorists attack Russian town (Nalchik) massively: Coordinated attack by 300 Chechen gunmen raises Caucusus violence to new level.... (14-Oct-05)
Russia is barring ABC News reporters from working in Russia: Still infuriated over ABC Nightline's airing of interview with Chechen terrorist warlord Shamil Basayev,... (2-Aug-05)
Russia infuriated over ABC "Nightline" interview of Shamil Basayev: "How many more bombs must hit New York before the American media learns... (29-Jul-05)
Passenger train bombed in Dagestan, following Putin's visit: This is the 70'th terrorist attach this year in Dagestan,... (25-Jul-05)
Massive bomb blasts in Egypt vacation resort: This follows new blasts in London and Chechnya.... (23-Jul-05)
Chechnya: Russian killing of rebel leader returns world's focus back to Caucasus: Terrorist Shamil Basayev may gain, as rebels select an obscure Islamic cleric... (11-Mar-05)
Russia ejects international patrols from Russia-Georgia border: As an act of defiance, Russia has vetoed continuation of an international peacekeeping force... (12-Jan-05)
Chechen terrorist Shamil Basayev now has the same stature as Osama bin Laden: Putin's ploy of blaming "international terrorists" for the Beslan terrorism was demolished... (19-Sep-04)
Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be calling for revenge: Putin said that Russian "weakness in the face of danger" has caused Russia to be "beaten up" in the face of "a total and full-blown war."... (4-Sept-04)

During the interview of ABC's Nightline on Thursday evening, The interview can currently be seen online by launching it from the ABC News video page, where a fee is required. As of noon ET today, the ABC News Nightline site publicizes the interview and acknowledges the controversy, but gives neither an explanation or an apology.

In the interview, Basayev admits that he's a terrorist, and takes credit for numerous terrorist acts, including the September, 2004, Beslan school massacre, in which 330 hostages, half of them children, died.

In the interview, Basayev promised many more similar attacks. “It’s not the children [of Beslan] who are responsible,” Basayev said. “Responsibility is with the whole Russian nation... If the war doesn’t come to each of them individually, it will never stop in Chechnya.” Asked if a Beslan-type attack could occur again, Basayev said: “Of course ... As long as the genocide of the Chechen nation continues, as long as this mess continues, anything can happen.”

It was just last month that Russia commemorated the tenth anniversary of Basayev's first major terrorist attack. In June 1995, Basayev-led terrorists entered Budyonnovsk, a small town in southern Russia, where they captured a large hospital and took over 1,800 people hostage. In the end, more than 100 hostages were killed, and Basayev and his men were allowed to retreat safely back to Chechnya, using hostages as human shields.

Ironically, a recent report reveals that Basayev's original plan, which they had been forced to revise, had been to hijack a plane and fly it into the Kremlin. This would have been six years before exactly that kind of incident took place in New York and Washington on 9/11/2001.

News of the ABC interview has caused outrage throughout Russia.

"Do ABC journalists dislike Russians and the Russian government? asked political commentator Pyotr Romanov. "That is their problem. But do they like their fellow Americans who were killed in the horrendous terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001? Do they like the British citizens who died as a result of the bombing of the London Underground? And what about those killed in Spain and Egypt? Or do my colleagues still naïvely think that Chechens alone are fighting in Chechnya? I would like to tell them that foreign mercenaries have already outnumbered Chechen terrorists in the Caucasus."

An envoy of Russian president Vladimir Putin said that America is encouraging terrorism by employing "dual standards." "It is not the signal we need today, not a signal toward cooperation, toward improving understanding or making it more effective," said Anatoly Safonov. "On the contrary, it signals that dual standards and dual approaches remain. No doubt such instances cast a shadow on cooperation and encourage terrorist operations."

Chechen President Alu Alkhanov said, "I was startled by how they allowed this person, who openly claimed responsibility for dozens of terrorist attacks in Russia, which claimed hundreds of human lives, to voice new threats against Russia and the Russian people. My opinion is that those who gave the floor to Basayev, have not fully realized what threat this person and other terrorists like him pose to the whole world. We will never succeed in the fight against terrorism if such an approach is adopted toward terrorists. Virtually no peaceful place remains on the planet. The world should present a united front against terrorism and refrain from dividing terrorists into good ones and bad ones." (29-Jul-05) Permanent Link
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