Voices from Russia

Sunday, 24 July 2011

A Chinese Take on the Terrorist Acts in Norway…

King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway paid tributes for victims of the country’s recent bomb attack and shooting spree at remembrance ceremonies Sunday. The king and queen joined survivors and their families, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, Princesses Martha Louise and Ari Behn, and leaders from across Norway’s political spectrum, at a memorial service at Oslo Domkirke, the Norwegian capital’s historic cathedral. “Today we allow ourselves to honour and remember the dead”, Stoltenberg said at the service. “Each and every one that is taken away from us is a tragedy. And altogether, this is a national tragedy”, he added. The king and queen wept openly during the service and prayed for the victims and their families. Outside, thousands of ordinary citizens showed their grief and sympathy by lighting candles, and by placing flowers, soft toys, and notes of remembrance in the cathedral yard.

Their tributes followed a massive bomb blast Friday in downtown Oslo, which killed seven and damaged key government buildings. Hours later, a lone gunman dressed in police uniform shot dead 85 persons, mostly teenagers, attending a summer camp for the youth wing of Norway’ ruling Labour Party on tiny Utøya Island, on an inland lake some 40 kilometres west of Oslo. Police arrested the gunman, Anders Bering Breivik, 32, when they arrived on the island. He’s an ethnic Norwegian with extreme right-wing and conservative Christian beliefs, and admitted responsibility for both attacks.

“We’re still in shock and it’s going to take a long time to get over this”, said Oslo resident Christina Ørwen, who joined the huge crowds gathered outside the cathedral. She added that such attacks aren’t expected in Nordic countries, which are proud of their safe and open societies. However, even though people are in shock over this tragedy, they’re coming to terms with it. “I think we all stand together in this situation”, said Marit Nicolaysen, another attendee. “We don’t know what this’ll mean for our society, but are hoping for the best”.

Meanwhile, Norway’s Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit took part Sunday in a memorial service for relatives of victims and survivors at Norderhov Church in Ringerike, in Buskerud County, some 90 kilometres northwest of Oslo. They later met injured victims of the attacks at the hospital there. The king and the queen themselves visited the wounded at Ullevål hospital, in Oslo, on Sunday afternoon, before making a trip with Stoltenberg to the capital’s bomb-hit government quarter. This was the royal couple’s first visit to the area since Friday’s blast, which blew windows off buildings and strewed shattered glass on the streets surrounding the bomb site.

Stoltenberg’s own office was badly damaged in the explosion. Following the royal couple’s departure, he told journalists at the site that the buildings in the area are still “unsafe” and that it would take “a long time” before they could be used again. He stressed that the attacks would not change Norway’s policy of being an open society. “This violence isn’t going to reduce our ability to be an open, democratic society”, he said.”Our answer to the violence isn’t less openness, it’s more openness… not less democracy, but more democracy”, he explained.

While the victims are remembered, the survivors of these devastating events aren’t forgotten. Earlier, on Saturday, the king, queen, and Crown Prince Haakon had a heartfelt meeting with survivors of the shooting, and their families, at a centre set up for them at the Sundvolden Hotel, near Utøya Island. They also met with police and emergency workers involved in the rescue and relief operations in the aftermath of the attack.

Here’s a longer Xinhua report on the Norwegian situation that you might find interesting:

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-07/25/c_131006453.htm

24 July 2011

Xinhua

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-07/25/c_131006508.htm

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RIA-Novosti Presents… A Memorial Service in Oslo Honoured the Victims of the Terrorist Acts in Norway

Norway mourned those who died in a bomb blast in a government building complex in central Oslo and in a massacre at a youth camp on Utøya Island on 22 July. For this country of fewer than five million people, it was the bloodiest incident since World War II.

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King Harald V of Norway and his consort Queen Sonja attended the memorial service in the Oslo Evangelical (Lutheran) Domkirke (Cathedral) to honour the victims of the terrorist attacks.

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Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette Marit arrive for the service…

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…as did Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, his wife Ingrid Schulerud, and Eskil Pedersen (the head of the Worker’s Youth League).

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In a brief address at the service, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called the incident a “national tragedy”.

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The Cathedral was unable to accommodate everyone who wanted to come to the service, and many people stood under umbrellas in the rain on the street.

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Many survivors of the massacre on Utøya Island came to the service.

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This was the scene on the Cathedral Square early in the morning.

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The pavement on the square was awash in flowers.

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Oslo residents brought flowers and candles to the shores near Utøya Island.

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Most people in Norway expect that the king will declare an official period of mourning next week, after the search for the missing is completed.

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As foreign heads of state expressed their condolences to the King and people of Norway, the people of Oslo came to the Domkirke to pay homage to the terrorist’s victims.

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President Dmitri Medvedev sent a telegram of condolences to Norwegian King Harald V and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. “In this hour, we sincerely have compassion for and show our solidarity with the fraternal Norwegian people. I’m convinced that those who organised and carried out these merciless and senseless crimes will be brought to justice, and they’ll receive the punishment that they deserve. Please, convey my sincere condolences to the families of the victims, I support and wish recovery to all those injured in this affair”. In the above image, candles and flowers at the blast scene in Oslo.

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The information now available to us indicates that the attacks that took place in Norway on Friday killed 92 people, injured 97, and there are still some people missing. First, a bomb went off near the government complex in central Oslo, near the Office of the Prime Minister, and within a few hours, a man in a police uniform opened fire in a youth camp of the Labour Party on Utøya Island near the Norwegian capital. In the image above, we see the square in front of the Cathedral, which is a short walk from the bombing site.

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24 July 2011

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/photolents/20110724/406511466.html

Eighteen Remain in Critical Condition in Hospital after the Terrorist Attacks in Norway

The University Hospital of Oslo reported that 18 people remain in critical condition after the terrorist attacks in Norway. RIA-Novosti reported that the hospital stated, “6 people from the blast site in central Oslo and 12 from Utøya Island remain in critical condition”. Yesterday, Sveinung Sponheim, a Norwegian police spokesman, said that the terrorist incident wounded 97 people, 67 on Utøya Island, and 30 in central Oslo.

25 July 2011 (MSK)

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2011/07/25/53667011.html

Anders Breivik: “I Did It All by Myself…”

The Norwegian terrorist suspect claims that he had no accomplices, but the police didn’t rule out the theory that at least two assailants carried out the massacre on Utøya Island…

Anders Breivik confessed to committing the terrorist acts in Oslo on Friday. On Monday, a court will decide whether to keep him in custody during the investigation. Breivik claimed that his actions, although brutal, were necessary.

According to recent reports, the explosion in Oslo and the shooting at a youth camp on Utøya Island killed 97 people, according to the BBC. Previous reports indicated that there were 92 dead. At least 90 people died when 32-year-old Norwegian Anders Bering Breivik opened fire on campers on Utøya Island. On Sunday, Sveinung Sponheim, a Norwegian police spokesman, said at a press briefing broadcast by Norwegian media on the internet that nearly 100 people were injured. He said that 67 people were wounded on Utøya Island, 30 injured in the explosion in Oslo, and that all of the victims are in Oslo hospitals. He added, “Nine or ten people are very seriously injured”. Several people are still missing, which has led to fears that they drowned trying to swim away from the island to escape the bullets.

A state of mourning exists in Norway

Norwegian King Harald V and his consort Queen Sonja attended a remembrance service in memory of the victims of Friday’s terrorist attacks in Norway, the AP reported. The service was held in the Evangelical (Lutheran) Domkirke (Cathedral) in Oslo on Sunday morning. Flowers and lit candles covered the square in front of the Cathedral, which is only a short walk from the blast site. The Cathedral was unable to accommodate everyone wishing to participate in the service, and people clustered under umbrellas sheltering from the rain out on the street. Most expect that next week that the king will announce an official period of mourning in Norway, after there’s been a search for those still missing.

A few hours before the attack…

Several hours before the attack, Anders Breivik posted on the Internet, 2083, A Declaration of Independence of Europe. According to the media, the document contains 1,500 pages. This “Manifesto” has four parts. One of them, in particular, described the process manufacturing bombs. The last writing was on Friday, 22 July, less than three hours before the explosion in Oslo. “This’ll be my last message. Today is Friday, 22 July, 12.51 CET (14.51 MSK 11.51 UTC 06.51 EDT 03.51 PDT)”, according to the posted document.

Breivik painted a picture of “harmful cultural-Marxist multiculturalism”, and his phased plan to fight it, as well as the Muslim religion in the whole of Europe. In the form of an interview with himself, he talked about preparations for the “operation” in Oslo and on Utøya Island. “Cultural Marxism of the Frankfurt School is much scarier than the old economic Marxism spread by Russia”, Breivik noted in his Declaration, saying that it took him three years to finish writing it. He used some Islamophobic expressions; he also talked about his conflicts with Muslims in his earlier years. On the question of why he had mainly ethnic Norwegian friends at school, he replied, “If I had difficulties, I expected that my friends would support me 100 percent, and not give up or run away. Quite a few ethnic Norwegians share such principles. These standards of honour were essential in facing the Muslims or skinheads”. In chronological order, Breivik then listed various conflicts involving immigrants in later years that either he witnessed, or, in which he was a participant. The main event that persuaded him to reconsider his views, and which led him to prepare for planning his attack was the NATO attack on Serbia in 1999. “It was objectionable that the American and Western European régimes bombed our Serb brothers. All they wanted to do was to push Islam back, to deport Albanian Muslims back to Albania”, Breivik wrote.

In his manifesto, Breivik also stated that, after some soul-searching, he pondered much over the future of Europe, and he virtually isolated himself from contact with friends, and devoted much of his time to playing computer games and preparing his plan. He had no illusions, saying, “95 percent of Europeans are likely to condemn such an act”. Breivik held up Winston Churchill and Otto von Bismarck as ideal national public figures. As reported in the Finnish press, on the eve of Friday’s attacks, Breivik sent the text of the Declaration to the personal e-mail addresses of a few Norwegian right-wing politicians. In addition, Breivik uploaded a 12-minute video on Youtube, in which he gave a summary of his manifesto. Breivik, who is detained at the main Police Office, has already pleaded guilty to organising the explosion in Oslo’s government quarter and the massacre of the campers participating in a Social Democratic Youth rally on Utøya Island. He called his actions “cruel, but necessary”.

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Breivik’s Youtube vid…

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Breivik said that he had no accomplices

On Sunday, Reuters reported that Breivik claimed that he acted alone, quoting Sveinung Sponheim, the head of the National Police. Earlier reports said that the Norwegian police didn’t rule out that there were at least two terrorists who took part in Friday’s massacre at the camp on Utøya Island, according to the state TV network NRK. According to NRK, the campers whom their correspondents spoke with on Friday night said that there were two shooters, not one, as expected. “He acted alone, but the police must check all of his statements”, Sponheim said on Friday, acknowledging that they don’t envision any scenario in which Breivik had an accomplice.

This fan of Kafka and Orwell wanted to change society through his actions

Breivik said that has made his unprecedented attack on Norwegian society in order to change it, Norwegian state broadcaster NRK reported, quoting his lawyer, Geir Lippestad. “He wanted to change a society that, in his view, required a revolution. He wanted to attack the society and its structures”, Lippestad said on Sunday. According to the Bloomberg news agency, Breivik was an active user of the popular social network Facebook. On his page, he reported that loved to hunt, play the computer game World of Warcraft, as well as reading books by Franz Kafka and George Orwell. In addition to information about himself, he often added music videos to his page. Breivik’s favourite works by Kafka and Orwell were The Trial (Der Prozess) and 1984. Breivik posted his last Facebook message on 18 July. In addition to his Facebook account, he also left a message on Twitter. In a post dated 17 July, he modified a saying of the English philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill, “One man with strong faith is equal to 100,000 others who only have interests”.

Russia offered to send aid to Norway

President Dmitri Medvedev offered to send aid to the Norwegian authorities, in order to help them alleviate the catastrophe that befell the Norwegian people. Natalia Timakova, the RF Presidential Press Secretary, said, “President Medvedev rang up Prime Minister Stoltenberg to express our condolences to the head of Government and to the King of Norway, as well as to express our solidarity with the Norwegian people. Mr Medvedev asked the Prime Minister to convey his sincere condolences to the families of those killed and injured in the bomb blast and in the shooting at the youth rally. The President also stated that Russia offered to send Norway any aid that they might need in order to alleviate this catastrophe”. Ms Timakova went on to say that Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg thanked President Medvedev for his sympathy, quoting him as saying, “The solidarity demonstrated by Russia is a testament to the high level of development in the relations between our neighbouring peoples”.

RF Prime Minister Vladimir Putin also rang up Norwegian Prime Minister Stoltenberg to express his condolences to the Norwegian people. Putin’s spokesman Dmitri Peskov said, “On behalf of the Russian Government, Prime Minister Putin expressed his solidarity with the people of Norway during these trying days”. According to Peskov, Putin conveyed his condolences to the relatives of the victims of the tragedy.

The explosion at the government complex in central Oslo, near the Office of the Prime Minister, occurred at 15.22 CET (17.22 MSK 14.22 UTC 09.22 EDT 06.22 PDT). Shortly thereafter, a man in a police uniform opened fire in a Labour Party youth camp on Utøya Island near Oslo. According to the latest data, there are 97 dead and 90 injured in the shooting on Utøya Island. Authorities detained a suspect in the shooting and stated that they had “no doubt” that he had connections with the blast in central Oslo. Officially, no one has taken responsibility for the attack. Meanwhile, the police didn’t link the incident to international terrorist organisations and think that it has links with right-wing extremist groups. Labour Party is left-wing political forces. Breivik was once a member of the youth wing of the ultra-rightwing Progress Party (FrP), a political opponent of the ruling Labour Party. On Saturday, police nabbed 32-year-old Anders Breivik on suspicion of having committed both crimes.

24 July 2011

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2011/07/24/53645434.html

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