2002 October 27 Sunday
Russian Forces Incompetently Used Nerve Gas?

I am less upset by their use of a neve gas than by the fact that they didn't have a plan to rush in and give antidote to the civilians while they were still in the theater:

But he said most military gases have antidotes and it may have been a flaw in Russian planning that they launched their attack without making sure they had enough antidote on hand to treat all the hostages for poisoning.

He was backed up by Lev Fyodorov, president of a Russian chemicals security pressure group, who said troops failed to give an antidote to those affected by gas when they were still in the theatre, or once they had dragged them out onto the street, or even when they got them to hospital.

Moscow's top anaesthetist, Yevgeny Yevdokimov, made clear that doctors had been hampered by the fact that they did not know what gas they were dealing with.

The gas may have been BZ:

He said advances in understanding the brain had made it easier to study the effects of BZ, but that it was impossible to administer exactly the required dosage, which may have led to a disastrous miscalcution by Russian authorities.

A US study in 1963 concluded: "If BZ were to be used in a military context, it is highly likely that, if an effective dose of BZ is delivered to the majority of a mixed population, a number of individuals will be exposed to high concentrations. As a result of this, there would be some fatalities. The number of fatalities would rise where individuals had other medical conditions, if the area was cold, if these individuals were dehydrated or starved, or if they had been injured in some sort of accident."

They should have had a couple of hundred medical workers in chemical protective gear ready to rush in with antidotes as soon as the terrorists were subdued. They also should have had an equal number of stretchers to get the people out rapidly into fresh air, oxygen tanks and masks enough for every person, and some big fans to use to clear out the gas rapidly.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 27 06:40 PM 


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