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Police captain A.Logurev tells about the events
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, 04 2002

By Vladimir Antonov

In Moskovsky Komsomolets


A Moscow policeman wanted to become a hostage four hours before the assault

At half-past one in the morning on October 26th, a few hours before the beginning of the assault, a man in a bright-red windbreaker and a yellow t-shirt appeared on the empty square in front of the Nord-Ost building. Raising his hands over his head, he walked, unhurriedly and with certainty, between the rows of park cars at the theatrical center, and up to the main entrance. The man showed by his appearance that, firstly, he was unarmed, and, secondly, he had important information he needed to give to the terrorists.

A negotiator! the journalists decided, and at that moment every television camera was trained on this mysterious envoy. Adding to the intrigue was the fact that representatives of the special services had made no statements regarding the mission of the man in the red jacket. No information about who he was or why he was going to see the terrorists.

Meanwhile, approaching the doors and pulling on the handle, the man discovered that they were locked tight. Then, adjusting his jacket, he began to examine the foyer through the glass. He even tried to knock, but without result. It was apparent from all of this that something at Nord-Ost was not going according to plan.

No one opened up for the late-night guest, who paced back and forth for ten minutes by the entrance, and so he raised his hands once again, and went back. He made it to the barricades, and then lost himself in a crowd of special forces soldiers. This was a mild disappointment to the press, which still could not understand what was going on. But it was a great relief of the military men, who were praying the whole time that the man in the jacket would make it back from the square alive.

No one was sent out that night, with any sort of an assignment, to act as an envoy to the Chechens. It turned out that it was police captain Alexey Logurev who went to the Dubrovka building on his own. By means known only to him, he bypassed three (!) cordons, and appeared by the doors of the theatrical center with a single aim to trade his life for the life of a few children. He did this after it was reported on television that, starting at six in the morning, the Chechens would begin shooting hostages. At that point Alexey knew he could not remain at home.

INFORMATION FROM MK: Logurev, Alexey Anatolevich, was born on June 11th, 1963, in Krasnogorsk in the Moscow district. Educated as an aircraft motor engineer, he graduated from MAI (the Moscow Aviation Institute) in 1989. He joined the police force in 1992. He holds the rank of captain. He is married and has a 16-year-old son.

Back then, on that awful night, it was not an easy assignment to find out who the man was who had in a some strange manner gone strolling by the building of a captured musical, tried to open the doors, and then walked away. We wanted to meet him very much. We tried to find out what his mission had been, and why no one had opened the doors. The answer to any of these questions would have added vital information to the picture of the process of negotiations that the authorities held with the terrorists over the preceding three days.

Logic told us that no man could show up on that square purely by chance. It meant that he had to be a representative of one of the special services. But which? The FSB (Federal Security Service)? The MVD(Interior Ministry)? We had no given name or surname, only a yellow t-shirt to go on.

It all turned out to be simpler, and yet more serious at the same time. As far as the operational work at Nord-Ost was concerned, this was an awkward incident: without asking anyones permission, an outsider went to go speak with the terrorists. He was not a participant in the events. It was only after ten days of work that we were able to meet with him.

Alexey, how did you even get to Nord-Ost that night? Without a special pass, even a fly couldnt have gotten in. Everything was cordoned off.

Well, to be frank, Ihavent figured this out myself. You know, coming home after work somewhere around nine at night, Iturned on the TV and there they were saying that the terrorists had made an ultimatum either there would be peace in Chechnya, or in the morning they would start shooting. Lets think about this no matter how much you want, youre not going to pull out all the forces in a couple of hours. This means that somebody among the hostages is doomed. And here Im sitting, looking at my son and Im thinking: Im a healthy man, but Icant do anything? Not a thing! Somebodys children were there, but why? So Idecided that Ihad to go there. I got up, put on civilian clothes, and put my police IDin my pocket.

But did you at least tell your wife where you were going?

Certainly not! No one knew anything. My family still doesnt know, not my wife or my son. Now theyll probably find out from the papers.

And what did you see as your chances of negotiating with them?

I knew that my chances were very, very small. But, after all, a rolling stone More than anything, speaking frankly, Iwas afraid of something else that Iwouldnt get to the doors of the theater. I knew that it was under the gun sights of snipers and the Chechens. If someone shot me down, it would have all been for naught. I dressed in bright clothes so that they could see me a long ways off, even at night: a red jacket and a yellow t-shirt. I decided that Iwas going to go there with my hands up, sort of: Ihave nothing on me, no weapons. Id go in and talk. And thats how Iwent along the square.

So you had no doubt that you wouldnt make it to Nord-Ost?

I didnt even think about that at the time. I drove there and thats all. I decided that Ifigure things out on the spot. At the cordons Isaid that Iwas going in for the children and they let me through.

But Kobzon and Nemtsov and Hakamada tried to get the children out before you.

There was a difference in that they were negotiating about it, while Iwas specifically offering myself as a hostage. Maybe the terrorists wouldve agreed. In any case Idid what Icould. Im only sorry that the doors were locked, but Iwasnt going to try to break in Iknew that it couldve been booby-trapped, God forbid, with a tripwire or a mine. I didnt want to provoke an assault. I stood awhile there, looked inside it was empty, no one around. On the left side of the foyer a dead guard was laying. No one came out to see me.

They didnt notice?

They saw everything! How can you capture a building and not see whats going on around it! They simply didnt react for some reason. I stood there five or ten minutes, and went back. There was nothing to do. I walked over to the cordon and Isee that there were gun barrels in my stomach, and Isaid: Dont shoot boys. Im one of you. The special forces soldiers gave me a harsh reception, but they acted correctly they didnt beat me or break anything, they took me to headquarters right away. Over there the people were very serious. The questioned me: Why did you go there? What was your aim? I answered the way it was: Im a colleague, though Im not now on duty. I came to try to get the children out. On my own. And everyone that Italked to that night got stuck on this. On the one hand, you understand mentally that my act was illogical: Ineednt have gone, there were people doing this. On the other hand, Icouldnt NOT go! After all, Im on the police force and Idont know how to stand aside.

So it was an impulse?

Well, yes! You see, there used to be a commercial about ten years ago: The city police force work for real men! I had just graduated from MAI and been assigned to work in an aircraft plant. When Isaw the commercial, Ithought about it for a long time, made a phone call, and sent it my documents.

But this act put hundreds of people at risk, to say nothing about your own life.

Now, Iunderstand this, but back then And it all turned out so ridiculous when no one came out to me.

And at work, perhaps, there are problems now?

Yes, now theres an investigation.

They could fire you?

You know, when Iwent to Nord-Ost, Ididnt think about what might happen later. I didnt even know if Id survive. At that moment Iwas an ordinary person, a citizen, and not a police captain. But if they throw me off the force, well, therell be one less normal policeman in Moscow, and thats all. But Im hoping that theyll understand.

Eyewitnesses say that when you were detained, you were, putting it lightly, not completely sober.

When colleagues from our police security bureau came to the headquarters to take me away, the instruments showed Ihad 0.5 ml alcohol per liter of blood (0.05 blood alcohol). It was cold that day, and rainy. Fifty grams of brandy for my 90kilos (2 oz for 200lbs) to keep warm, this is not a serious thing. I didnt hide it, yes, Ihad a nip, but not for courage, but to warm up. And, by the way, at morning examination there was already no alcohol remaining, even though Ihadnt slept a wink that night!

Werent you afraid that the Chechens would take you for an FSB agent and shoot you?

Like they did the girl on the first day? It was Olga, Ithink. She was brave, and you cant say anything else. I didnt think about fear, but, in general, they could have done whatever they wanted to me, if they wouldve just agreed to my conditions, and released at least two.

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