The Bloody Week of Ignorance

A mother kisses her deceased child

A mother kisses her 11-year-old child goodbye at her funeral in Beslan, North Ossetia on September 5, 2004. (Photo: Viktor Drachev/AFP-Getty Images)

The Russian government is not in a rush to comment on the mind-boggling eruption of terrorism.

Misfortune has been bestowed upon Russia. Major misfortune. Our soldiers and civilians have fallen victim to never-ending terrorism these past few days. Children are being shot. Tens, hundreds, maybe thousands of innocent kids.

Never before has the world witnessed so many children being taken hostage. Never before has the world witnessed so many innocent children dying in seemingly peaceful times. Just recently it seemed that there could not possibly be anything worse than two airplane crashes and a blast right by the Rizhskaya metro station in Moscow. But no, tragedy has no limits. The number of victims keeps rising with every hour. There were 10 victims first, then 40, then 46, 63, 79 — then the numbers exceeded 100. More than a hundred lifeless bodies found in the gym of the exploded school. Soon afterward we were informed of a much greater number of dead — 158, 429, 556, 600. No one is sure how many wounded people have been admitted to local hospitals in North Ossetia. Officially, there are 646 wounded, 227 are children. Only a handful of the terrorists who opened the gates of hell were killed.

Still, something is missing in this entire situation. Hundreds of news reports all seem to lack something. But what? The realization of the missing link began to set in with the incoming news from other countries. Foreign leaders as well as various international organizations were all stunned by the terrorists' actions.

Japan Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased. He also stated that the bandits should receive the death penalty for what they have done. The President of South Korea in a conversation with President Putin has expressed his readiness to aid Moscow following the terrorist acts. Foreign Minister of Indonesia has also given a speech in Jakarta where he expressed disgust at the terrorists' actions. Paris in turn has condemned "the most horrific action." Israel has offered with child rehabilitation.

Thank you, our foreign friends.

But how come not a single authoritative figure in Russia steps forward with such condolences to its own people? They could have at least expressed their feelings to the people who have lost their loved ones due to the terror. Are they too busy? Are they so busy that in the course of an entire eleven hours no one had time to say something to its people? Or did the immense grief cloud their minds and completely disable them to utter a word? Remember how quickly Vladimir Putin expressed his words of sympathy and support to George Bush, immediately following the events of September 11? Obviously, citizens of Beslan are not American presidents. However, their grief is no less. They would have listened to their president.

But the Russian President is not the only one to blame. Russian Prime Minister Fradkov is also silent. All of those who are responsible for social, medical, military problems are also speechless. Leaders of political parties appear to be mute as well. Perhaps, they are all just way too busy with their political affairs.

As for us, ordinary people, we have no other choice but to wait and see when another blast will take place or if terrorists will seize another school. Well then, we'll wait until someone announces another mourning day in Russia.

After all, it seems as though Russian government has nothing else to say.