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Sept. 11 Anniversary Virtually Unnoticed in Russia


The second anniversary of the Sepember 11 terrorist attacks in the United States passed largely unnoticed in Russia. But Russian officials say they remain committed to the U.S.-led fight against global terrorism.

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov says the second anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States should serve as a reminder that there is more work ahead for the global anti-terrorism campaign.

In a written message to observe the day, published in Russia's Itar-Tass news agency, Mr. Ivanov said humankind faces new threats and new challenges every day.

He said that, while time will heal wounds and fade memories, all nations and their leaders, must remain vigilant in the struggle against terrorism.

Moscow celebrated its own grim anniversary earlier this week, the fourth anniversary of the first in a series of apartment house bombings in Moscow. The bombings killed hundreds of people and led Russian officials to renew their military campaign in Chechnya.

But, the memorial ceremony for those who lost their lives in the Moscow blasts drew a small crowd of several dozen and passed largely unnoticed by the media.

Analyst Dmitri Trenin of Moscow's Carnegie Center says he finds it disturbing that so few people in Russia appear to care about, or even remember, the events of the recent past, either in Russia or the United States.

"I don't recall people here talking much about the apartment bombings of four years ago," he said. "[And] There are very few people who would remember today the Moscow theater hostage drama of last fall. So, I think people here are frankly quite cynical about what's happening. And I think in Moscow, and maybe in the rest of Russia, people are looking at their own security and [that of their] next of kin first and foremost and have little time for the suffering of others."

Last year, Russia sponsored its first-ever musical remembrance ceremony for victims of terrorism worldwide. It was a star studded event that drew large numbers of the Russian political elite. But there were no official Russian events scheduled this year.

Even the Russian media appear to have changed tack, pouring scorn on Russia's role in the global fight against terrorism, rather than grief over those who have perished at the hand of terrorists.

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