The Next Siege

ANATOLY ZHDANOV/KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA for TIME

THE STORM: special forces charge into the theater

A helicopter shot down, a short but intense firefight, an army truck blown up by a remote-controlled mine, a village closed down and then searched, house by house: the war in Chechnya is running its normal vicious course, taking the lives of four or five combatants and an unknown number of civilians every day. The Moscow theater siege brought the war, until now carefully screened from view by rigid Kremlin press controls, into every Russian's living room. And it confronted the complacent public with a new, terrifying phenomenon: young Chechens seeking martyrdom. In response, the Russian government has vowed to wipe...

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