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hostages on October 26, 2002, was and remains one of the most important land-marks in the struggle being waged by the law enforcement agencies and special services of the Russian Federation against the forces of terrorism. The events associated with the seizure of hostages at the Dubrovka theater complex revealed shortcomings in the organization of antiterrorism activities at the federal level, particularly with the process of providing information about the counterterrorist operation through the media. It is essential to understand clearly that the primary goal of terrorist acts is to attract broad public attention to certain processes, to instigate social confrontation within society, and to attempt to put pressure on the authorities and state administrative structures.

While noting the generally well-coordinated and selfless work done to free the hostages, we must also state that there are a number of problems objectively hindering the conduct of such operations. Many of them are of a narrowly specialized nature, and solutions for them are being worked out by the relevant agencies.

Cooperation between law enforcement and the media plays a special role in the process of resolving difficult conflict situations. During this operation, the operational headquarters could not achieve the necessary level of mutual understanding and coordination of actions with representatives of the media. Some correspondents covered the events associated with the freeing of the hostages in a tendentious manner and used the situation for their own particular aims. We must continue to work with journalists in improving our relationship in such situations.

The main conclusion to be made is that the overwhelming majority of citizens supported the action that was carried out, which attests to the consolidation of all segments of society in opposing attempts to destroy the Russian Federation and supporting the struggle against extremism and its ultimate form, terrorism.

We are deeply grateful to the international community for the support provided to Russia in those tragic days. Special thanks go to law enforcement agencies and special services of the partner states that declared their readiness to participate directly in efforts to free the hostages and in the investigation of the circumstances surrounding this crime.

Russia is ready to do everything in its power to promote measures to disseminate the experience it has gained in conducting such special hostage rescue operations, to exchange information on the weapons and equipment used, and to organize joint training exercises for both command and special operations units.

NOTES

1.  

At least 920 people were taken hostage, including 111 minors (39 of whom were small children), a number of pregnant women, and 68 foreign citizens.

2.  

Those involved in the negotiations included Iosif Kobzon (October 24, 1:37 p.m. and 3:35 p.m.), Irina Khakamada (October 24, 3:35 p.m.), Leonid Roshal (October 24, 5:50 p.m.; October 25, 1:37 a.m. and 2:50 p.m.), Grigory Yavlinsky (October 24, 11:37 p.m.–12:58 a.m. October 25), Anna



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