Russia’s Putin agrees to meet Beslan mothers
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on
Monday he would meet mothers who lost their children in the
Beslan hostage siege, satisfying a demand first made by the
bereaved mothers almost a year ago.
His words, reported by Russian news agencies, confirmed
comments by the Beslan Mothers group, which has said Putin
suggested a meeting on September 2 — mid-way through the
anniversary of last year’s three-day siege.
“I am ready to do this,” the agencies quoted Putin as
saying in the southern town of Sochi. They said he had asked
Dmitry Kozak, his envoy to southern Russia, to arrange the
The mothers say Putin and other officials are guilty of
failing to prevent the hostage siege, sparked when pro-Chechen
rebels seized a school with 1,200 hostages last September.
Some 331 people — 186 of them children — died when the
siege collapsed in a bloodbath.
The mothers’ group also blames security forces for the
escalation of the crisis, and have long demanded a meeting with
Putin to pass on their demands that officials face punishment.