Source Pravda.Ru

Australia: Media Comments on Hostage Crisis

Australian media gave a lot of attention today to the conclusion of hostage crisis in Moscow

The &to=http://www.abc.net.au/newsradio/' target=_blank>News Radio kept the country updated on the latest developments throughout the crisis. The station is a subsidiary of the government ABC network, and a lot of material came straight from CNN commentators. Anyway, that was a honest attempt to get us the news.

Those here able to understand Russian could watch the 10 PM NTV news program transmitted by the multi-lingual SBS TV network in Australia. Newspapers put front page reports on the crisis this weekend, with an obvious attempt to make it as sensational as possible.

Today - Sunday morning - Australian public is told that the rescue operation was somewhat a failure. News reports focus on the fact that 90 hostages were killed and some 500 are still in hospitals, suffering from 'gas poisoning'. Today's 'Sun-Herald' informs us on page 1: 117 KILLED AS SOLDIERS STORM THE BUILDING. The origin of the count is not clear, perhaps the newspaper treats Chechen terrorists and their victims equally, while seeing spetznaz as indiscriminate killers at the same time.

The apology to families issued by President Putin tends to be seen here as a form of admission of guilt. Chechen gunmen are called 'rebels' and the word 'terrorism' is never used. Commentators tell the public about the 'Russian war in Chechnya' somehow implying that Russia is an aggressor currently occupying a sovereign state of Chechnya.

Henry Marconi PRAVDA.Ru Sydney