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Hostage Yegor Legeza tells hisstory
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, 29 2002
In ‘Komsomolskaya Pravda’
At home first-year student at Moscow mining school Yegor Legeza does not allow food down his throat only champagne, which his family generously treats the noisy crowd gathered at their home.
“You will please excuse me if Itake a break from questioning and go reassure my mother, Natalya.”
No problem, hero Yegor, she’s retired already. Cometell ‘Komsomolskaya Pravda’ how it was.
“Yes, it was bad. Thethree of us went to the theater, my aunt Natasha and her daughter Olga and me. Wesat together and then we were taken hostage.”
- Did they feed you?
“Yes, but how did they feed us! Somegunman would go out in front of the hall and take a handful of chocolate and toss it into the hall like he was throwing it to some dogs. Whoever caught it, they got to eat. Andjust the same way they’d throw juice and soda. Thegunmen dragged them in from the busted up snack bar, and gave some things to us. Butthen that was gone.
“I had my cell phone, my friends sent me text messages: hold on, everything will be fine,” continues Yegor. “Then the gunman declared: phones, players, watches hand everything in! Whoever we find with one gets a bullet in the head!
“Then it became clear that they would kill. Onegunman grabbed a well-off looking man and began to drag him around by his tie. Hetook the man’s wallet and scattered the money in the hall, and then cut off the tie.”
- Yes, in conversations that the security services intercepted, Barayev said: “We will shoot the juiciest ones first.”
“Then right in front of my eyes one man jumped up and ran he lost his nerve. Theysaw him and immediately started shooting at him. Awoman fighter next to me with a pistol started shooting: POW! POW! Theywere lousy shots. Theymissed him and only hit the other hostages. Oneman got hit in the eye, so much blood! Awoman got it in the chest. Thefugitive, he was unscathed, but he didn’t get far: they caught him and took him into the foyer, and then four shots rang out. Hedidn’t return.” Yegor again takes a glass of champagne, with shaking hands.
“I generally don’t drink, but I’ve got to observe this somehow. It’s like it was my second birthday. Thelast thing Iremember in the hall is that somewhere from above this white gas came down, and then fell like a sledgehammer on my head, and that’s it. Later Iopened my eyes and I’m already on a stretcher being dragged to the hospital Scary, of course, many died, but there was no other way. Youshould have seen how many grenades they had on their belts, and the women had all these explosives tied to them Onesat next to me and Ilooked at her: she had a battery and two wires. Ifshe connected them to the battery then there’d be an explosion, a couple of seconds was all it would take. Ifthe gas hadn’t instantly knocked everyone out, if these bandits had time to react, then it would have been the end of all of us.”
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