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Hostage Lisa Rastorgueva tells her story
Written by Юлия Юзик   
Вторник, 29 Октябрь 2002
In Komsomolskaya Pravda
Lisa Rastorgueva was rehearsing with a group of Irish dancers in one of the rooms at the theatrical center, when in rushed people wearing camouflage and carrying automatic weapons. All the dancers were taken to the auditorium and sat among the spectators.
“I knew there would be an assault from the very first day, and that gas was the only option. I kept a t-shirt ready and looked around to see if the militants had respirators. One militant always had one at the ready, while rest had them, too, but in another room, not in the auditorium. Apparently they were also ready for such a turn of events.”
As soon as Lisa smelled something strange in the air, she put the wet t-shirt to her face saved herself.
“But one girl there, when she noticed the gas she got hysterical. She urinated on her shirt and put the wet shirt to her face. After everything happened and people were being carried out by the SWAT police, this girl was able to get out on her own.”
Lisa’s parents were in shock. The first thing they asked their rescued daughter was if she had been beaten or humiliated, since on TV the officials all said that the hostages were treated brutally.
“No, all the women went around with their faces uncovered. They covered them up only in front of the cameras, and we could talk to them… We even tried on their caps with the veils. They quietly talked about how they were ready to die, and explained why.
“When someone threw a tantrum and said he was going to leave despite everything,” Lisa continued. “The female terrorists took up positions in the hall and warned everyone: if there was any movement, they would blow up everybody. The worst thing started the night before the assault. They apparently knew something was going to happen, so they started preparing for death. They turned on these tape players, and out from the loudspeakers came all these prayers — really loud. We got goose bumps from them. The women said they were getting ready for paradise, and told us to play, too, because the end was near…”
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