Britiske eksperter er nådeløse i sin karakteristikk av de russiske sikkerhetstyrkene: De gjorde alle de feil det er mulig å gjøre. Derfor ble det kaos og en gjentakelse av Dubrovka-teateret.

Russiske myndigheter understreker hele tiden at aksjonen ble tvunget på dem. Men dette argumentet skjuler deres egne dårlige forberedelser. Russerne hadde ingen plan, hverken plan A eller B. De aksjonerte spontant, dermed ble resultatet kaos, sier de britiske ekspertene.

Russian security chiefs last night sought to deflect blame by saying the decision to storm the school was unplanned. Critics of the operation, including former SAS soldiers, said yesterday that that was precisely part of the problem.

«The FSB (Russian security service) had no plan; they were sitting there like puddings,» said Hugh McManners, a former Royal Marine commando and now writer on special forces.

What made a horrific situation worse was the lack of coordination between different elements of Russia’s security and police, and the failure to cordon off a large area around the school.

Anxious and nervous parents – some of them armed – were allowed to congregate near the school, while some hostage-takers were able to escape and take refuge in another building.

There appeared to be a complete lack of command and control, observed Eddie Stone, a former sergeant in the SAS.

John McAleese, part of the SAS team which broke the Iranian embassy siege in London, said the Russian authorities had carried out one of the worst hostage rescue attempts he had seen or heard about.

He called the operation an embarrassment. «There was no containment; people were walking about within 100m of the school, well within the range of the terrorists’ rifles.

He added that Russian military chiefs had failed in their basic planning. «They should have made some plan in case it went wrong. When the shooting started, there was no military back-up. It was total chaos. Troops did not seem to have radios to communicate.»

Det skal bli spennende å se om noe av denne kritikken kommer frem i norske medier. NRK er i det store og hele svært forstående til den offisielle versjonen. Nå burde de vite bedre.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Botched operation was a disaster waiting to happen