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Moscow siege: Have your say

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(CNN) -- Did the Russians get their tactics right in ending the Moscow siege? We asked for your say and received hundreds of e-mails. Here are just some of your comments. We will not be posting any more but thanks for your contributions.

The Russians were between a rock and a hard place, the decision to use an incapacitating agent and to attack was 100 percent correct but the choice of the gas or the technique used to apply it was quite flawed. No nation can afford to deal with terrorists. Graham Sherrington, Australia

more video VIDEO
How the theatre siege came to an end. (contains graphic video) (October 26)
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Bloody aftermath to Moscow theatre hostage situation (October 26)
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History of the war between Russia and Chechnya. (October 26)
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Special report: Moscow hostage standoff 
Should Russia say what kind of gas was used at the Moscow theatre siege?


Putin made a critical and crucial error in judgement to use a chemical weapon to dislodge a band of Chechen hostage holders. The decision to use this gas, without antidote and without well equipped medical personnel standing by, is a sure sign of irresponsibility. We are all against terrorism but the Russian people deserve better as does the rest of the world. L. Riki Cheever, Amsterdam

I do not support terrorist acts, but the Russian forces must know better tactics to counter-act terrorism . We cannot condone the poisoning of hostages in the name of ending the siege. I don't think many people would have been killed if other alternative methods were used. Takalani Makwinzha, South Africa

The Russian authorities did the right thing. The loss of life is unfortunate, but one should not forget that much more lives have been saved by acting decisively. Chechens did not act as people seeking freedom, but as senseless assassins. Florian, USA

Apparently this was a no win situation. It seems to be a fact however that our democratic system with all its flaws is a thousand times more preferable than an upgraded communist regime that is still caught in the former tendencies to govern and seek retribution by the most obscure policies. Ray, Belgium

What would have been correct? The demands were impossible to meet. The political implications, from the beginning, demanded a refusal, which in turn meant that it would have to have a bad ending. Phil La Pastore, Dusseldorf

Gas casualties or not, the operation was a success. And why should Russia reveal what gas was used, so that next time some other extremists take a bunch of hostages, they'll have an antidote ready? Sarjit Singh, Malaysia

It is difficult to judge how well the special operation in Moscow was executed, even after it has ended. Can you imagine how difficult it must have been to make such a decision?! However, I believe that the decision, of President Putin, to start the rescue operation was a correct decision. The only way to stop active terrorism is to get rid of the terrorists. N. Belov

Who are we to judge what the Russians did? We were not there and we don't know all of the facts. I'm sure that the Russians did what they thought was best. It is easy for us to look at it now and say they were wrong, but then again think of all the outrage that people would be expressing if all of the hostages would have died. Rhonda White

Raiding the theatre most likely prevented a greater catastrophe. But I still regard the raid as a botch. Couldn't the authorities have used something less potent -- tear gas, maybe? Moscow's resolution to this crisis gives new and grisly meaning to the term "overkill." Vladimir Enlow, Tennessee, U.S.

Ask the families of all those killed by the terrorists on September 11, 2001, if they would have preferred at least a small chance of survival for those that died. I think that Russia did the right thing. Saving some is better than seeing all of those innocent people die. Mary Barr

I am very proud for President Putin and the way how the hostage situation was solved. It is very important for the future that all such type of attacks should be terminated. Alexander Petrov

The Russian government made a brave decision. What they did was the only right thing to do. But that is not enough. We must all understand that the only way to put an end to terror, is to punish those governments and private organizations, even religious ministers, which promote, protect and provide financial and political support to terrorists. Agustin Iglesias, Buenos Aires

Perhaps it is not a matter of getting tactics right, after the fact, but eliminating the problem which caused it in the first place. Greg Schofield, Perth, Australia

The question is not: "using the gas" or "not using the gas" but: where the Russian secret services prepared for the aftermath? If we see the amount of victims, they were not. They should have been prepared with antidotes, medical supplies and enough medical personal to try to save as many gas victims. Gert, Mexico

The loss of life is tragic, but the blame lies solely with the terrorists, not the Russian special forces. Hoping the Russian special forces would rescue all hostages under the threat of explosion is asking the virtually impossible. They took the option that would have allowed the greatest number to be rescued. Maggie, Massachusetts

Definitely, Putin had no choice. But using a poisoned gas without using, at the same time, a proper antidote and not informing medical staff what kind of gas they used shows their desperation to solve this crisis at any price. Stefan Mazare, New York

What occurs within a country is that country's business. It is far easier for outsiders to sit in judgment after the fact than it is for leaders to make extremely difficult decisions. Georgianne

I believe that Russia unquestionably did the right thing. Sad as it is about the fatalities. Finally a strong show of resistance to terrorists around the world that the free world will not submit to their demands. Aaron Hetrick, Atlanta, U.S.

I don't support terrorism but I don't think the Russians did the right thing in this case, they killed more innocent people than the

Chechen rebels did. First they should have had paramedics,doctors and antidote on hand as they went in, then less people would have died. Nakibogo, Uganda

I agree with not giving into terrorists but not with this kind of force that so many of the hostages are dead and so many more may die. Also isn't anyone else besides me concerned that Russia has this kind of weapon of mass destruction? Selma Bartan, Ottawa, Canada

Russia and Putin did the right thing. Yes it is true that many innocent civilians also got killed, but just imagine the terrorists killing all of them by blowing up the whole building and harming people living nearby. Bobby Abraham, India

I am not in support of any act of terror, but at the same time I condemn the Russian rescue operators for the use of a harmful gas that killed many hostages. Hussein Ibrahim Ahmad, Kaduna, Nigeria

I think the action taken by the Russian government to send in special forces to dislodge the rebels was right. It is better for a few people to lose their lives instead of everyone that was in the theatre. Emeka Ofoegbu

It is a pity so many hostages died, but it probably stopped many future hostage scenarios. It does not matter whether you approve of the cause or not, hostage taking should always be punished. Francis Cagney

I think the Russian government handled the situation with the terrorists very well in spite of huge casualties. Michael Trubkovich

I believe that Russia did what they had to do given the situation. More lives were saved than killed so that should count for something. Joseph L. Sweet

I think the Russian authorities deserve serious criticism due to the number of dead hostages. Ofwono John Oketcho, Uganda

Considering the rebels were on a suicide mission and had wired up the theatre with explosives and were preparing to kill the hostages one by one, I think it was a success. Edward Thompson, East Sussex, UK

It is regrettable that many people died due to the unknown sleeping gas that was injected moments prior to the security forces stormed the building. However, I have faith that given the circumstances, the Russian scientific personnel surely considered it the most appropriate option. Spyros Kagadis, Athens, Greece

The anti-terror Moscow operation was a correct step. There was no other way. Surely, terrorists will pose a fresh challenge next time, so demanding an ingenious method to deal with it. K.E. Joseph, Kerala, India

What would the critics be saying if the news was of the 800 dead, lying in the rubble of the theatre, after the rebels had blown up the place? I applaud the rescue attempt and mourn the loss of innocent lives. Tom Hayes, Copenhagen, Denmark

It would seem to me that those unfortunate victims who died of the gas poisoning will be serving Mr. Putin's hard-line purposes admirably well; so well in fact, that I for one wonder if any serious attempt to prevent this many casualties was made in the first place. Francis van Staa, Holland

Hundreds of millions who live in fear of terrorism around the world should praise Russia for giving no reward to terror while still saving hundreds of hostages. Art Stone, Jerusalem

Russia did what it could. They will hopefully learn from any mistakes they made. Since more people lived than died, there is not much more you could ask for. Jim Clark, Oregon, U.S.

In my opinion President Putin simply had no choice. These inhumane acts perpetuated upon the Russian people shows the world the true face of the Chechen leadership. They will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. George Gordon, Moscow

I think the Russians did their best and deserve support, if not congratulations. People take hostages for publicity and gain. I think that if authorities were restrained by international treaty from negotiating with hostage-takers and were empowered to delay publication of this type of news until the situation is resolved, many lives could be saved, preventatively. Martin Melzer, Cape Town

Were the "terrorists" shot in cold blood? Does the use of the word "terrorism" to demonise people justify losing our sense of justice and possibly executing these people without a fair trial? Charles Sappa, Cologne, Germany

The events that took place in Moscow this past week were justified. The use of a chemical agent to subdue the terrorists was a wise choice. In the event that the rebels decided to detonate the explosives then a lot of people would have died and Putin would have to face a harsh defeat on terrorism. Jason Kefelian

It is hard to accept the Russian intervention as a success as long as 117 people died not in crossfire but because of that gas. Riparian Alto, Bucharest, Romania

No matter what type of rescue was attempted, there would be someone that would complain. At the time, President Putin did what he thought was the right thing. Yes, probably there was an overdose on the mystery drug. But it did get the job done. Anthony S. Alamo

Tragic as it might be, there is something very sinister about the whole operation at the Moscow theatre. Surely the Russians have a lot of explaining to do to the already distraught people of Russia. Alee Singh, Bombay, India

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