Last honours: paid six years later
15 June 2012

Andrei Smirnov
Apr 11, 2012
The remains of Russian diplomats killed in Iraq in 2006, are delivered to Moscow. The search of bodies did not cease from the moment when it became known, that the terrorists had executed the Russians. The authenticity of the remains has already been confirmed by DNA examination. They belong to the employees of the Russian Embassy in Baghdad: Fyodor Zaitsev, Rinat Agliulin, Anatoly Smirnov and Oleg Fedoseev. The latter was considered to be a diplomat, but now it turned out that he worked for the Foreign Intelligence Service.

The employees of the Russian Embassy in Baghdad were attacked on June 3, 2006. Their car was blocked and fired upon in the Baghdad district of al-Mansur. The Embassy guard Vitaly Titov was killed on the spot. Zaitsev, Agliulin, Smirnov and Fedoseev were kidnapped by terrorists. Later the militants associated with al-Qaida group “Majlis Shura al-Mujahideen" took the responsibility for the attack. They issued an ultimatum to Moscow: Russia was to withdraw the troops from Chechnya and release confined separatists within 48 hours. It was clear from the beginning that such conditions were impossible. Video showing the execution of the Russians appeared in the Internet on June 25. Two days later, the Russian Foreign Ministry admitted the fact of their employees’ death.

Moscow demanded from the Iraqi leadership to make sure that the murderers received the deserved punishment. The President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan demanded to find and punish the terrorists. Washington offered its assistance in the search of the Russian diplomats’ murderers.

One of the organizers of the act of terroragainst Russian citizens was arrested by the end of 2006. Omar Abdullah Dad, well-known among the militants as Abu Nur, or Spider, admitted his guilt. As it turned out, not only did he participate in the kidnapping of diplomats, but also personally killed two of them, and this was recorded on video. Some time later, the Iraqi authorities arrested the second suspect; however, his name was never mentioned. In total, by 2010 Iraqi police and the coalition forces detained three militants involved in the murder of the Russians. By the sentence of the court all three of them were executed.

Shortly after the death of compatriots the Russian Parliament adopted a law allowing the security services to destroy the terrorists on the territory of other states. Such laws had been an old rule in most of the world's leading powers, recalled in an interview with "The Voice of Russia" the President of the International Association of Veterans of the "Alpha” Antiterrorist division Sergey Goncharov.

"It is an international practice: the state is obliged to protect its citizens. If they are in danger, our special services are to fly there and carry out an operation aimed at releasing our citizens. We are not inventing anything new here."

How much safer did the Russian citizens begin to feel themselves abroad with the adoption of this law? We can talk more about the moral influence so far: since 2006 the incidents, similar to the one in Baghdad, were not repeated, notes a business intelligence expert, former employee of the Federal Security Service Roman Romachev. "Naturally, it is a positive decision for us. But until we implement real active measures to eliminate terrorists abroad, nobody will respect us. It is necessary to protect the citizens of one’s country".

As for Iraq, the current situation there, of course, cannot be compared with the situation in 2006. Terrorist acts and kidnappings of foreign specialists occurred repeatedly in that time. However, we cannot say that things are going a lot better today. Observers note that even diplomats from Washington are not recommended to go beyond the perimeter of the Embassy with no particular need.

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