After another tragic hostage siege at a Moscow theatre nearly two years – in which 129 people died – President Putin made clear his anger at the media by accusing it of living on the publicity of blood.
“In general, we need to admit that we did not show an understanding of the complexities and dangers of the processes occurring in our own country and in the world,” he said in a grim televised address to the nation.”
…”We showed weakness, and weak people are beaten” …
He noted in particular that Russia’s borders had become porous and “unprotected from either West or East”, and that corruption had pervaded the law-enforcement agencies.
“In any case, we couldn’t adequately react … . We showed weakness, and weak people are beaten.”
“We are obliged to create a much more effective security system and to demand action from our law-enforcement organs that would be adequate to the level and scale of the new threats,” he said. [ sources BBC and Al-Jazeera]
It is clear that Putin will be pulling out the stops in reaction to this week’s massacre. He faces mounting pressure from the Russian people ironically similar in some ways to that felt by President Bush after 9-11. The need to act decisively with local intelligence reforms will be forthcoming yet the larger matter at hand is the strategy to deploy in Chechneya? Will he strengthen relations with the U.S. and NATO to enhance a unified front in the War on Terror in this aftermath? Will swift military action take place to attempt to seal off the “porous borders” in Southern Russia?