The Media Mirror – today's Russian press review

The 860th anniversary of Moscow and the Beslan tragedy are in the spotlight of the Russian press.

860 years of sovereign democracy – that is how VREMYA NOVOSTEI dubbed the speech by Russia’s President Putin at the celebration of the 860th anniversary of Moscow. The paper says the President recited the history of Moscow as a “gatherer” of Russian lands into a single entity. He stressed the role of Moscow in uniting Russia in the past as well as in the present. 

Besides the Moscow celebrations, many newspapers write about another anniversary – the Beslan tragedy.

ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA publishes a review of a book dedicated to the school siege that happened exactly three years ago today. The book was written by the oldest journalist living in Beslan, Murat Kaboev. The author collected oral histories from all 66 families who’d lost their loved ones in the school siege. The paper says the book is written in prose, but it has about it a poetic, lyrical quality that shows that although the passing of time takes the events further away from us, the heartache of the tragedy does not fade.

KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDAsays that in the families who lost children three years ago there are over 40 new children. Some were born in recent years. Some were adopted from orphanages. The paper quotes the parents as saying that nobody can take the place of their dead children in thir hearts, but that these small ones give them the strength to live on.

KOMMERSANT writes about two events in connection with the Beslan tragedy. The firsr took place in Moscow. Members of the organization “Mothers of Beslan” held a meeting blaming the government for the death of their children. The paper quotes them as saying that in their opinion the military operation in Beslan started too early. and was badly prepared. The paper says a few opposition figures like Garry Kasparov showed up at the meeting.

On the site of the tragedy there also was a meeting. The Speaker of the State Duma, Boris Gryzlov, and a delegation of MPs took part. They came to school number one and joined the people gathered there for the memorial event. The paper writes, like in Moscow, there were calls for a more thorough investigation. Some shouted at Gryzlov: “Where were you, all the bosses, when it happened?” But then, writes the paper, a few people in the crowd recognized the officers of the Federal Security Special task force, those who broke the siege three years ago. The article says a stream of people came to embrace the soldiers, tears fell and words of gratitude were spoken.