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Svetlana Gubareva's description
Written by NovayaGazeta.Ru   
, 21 2004
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Svetlana Gubareva's description
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Some of the men were in masks, and some had uncovered faces. AsI understood, Barayev had two assistants who responded to the names 'Yassir' and 'Abu-Bakar'.

People in the hall, the hostages, feared an assault more than they did Chechens. Theywhispered behind the Chechens' back fairly freely.

Ihad the feeling that the Chechens had no plan about what to do with us, i.e.: they had seized the theater, but did not know what else to do. Theyhad not figured on the hostages having any personal needs to have to go to the toilet, to eat, drink, and sleep. Atfirst they conducted hostages to the light operator's area. Iunderstood that the first hostage to ask to use the restroom was one of the 'Nord-Ost' employees. Thenothers began to ask, and then Sasha and Iwent as well. Sasha did not immediately understand that this was just a room, and looked for the commode. There were a lot of people, and things quickly began to 'run from the shores'. Toget to the normal restrooms, one had to cross the foyer, and that was under the sights of the snipers. Later they began to go somewhere on the stairway, then still later they adapted the orchestral pit for thisuse.

Iknow that some children up to 12years of age were let go in the first hours after the theater's seizure, but Ido not know the details.

When they brought Olga Romanova into the hall, we were still in row 17. Wewere in the same row as Barayev at that moment, only we were at one end, and he was at the other. Shecame through the main entrance; somehow she got past the cordon. Theybrought her over and sat her down next to Barayev. Hestarted to talk with her, but she was abrupt and aggressive. Barayev asked her how and why she got there. Sheanswered excitedly. Thehostages in the hall yelled at her: Quiet, quiet. Don't talk like that! This excited her all the more. Someone shouted from the balcony: Shoot her! Barayev said that she was a provocateur, and that there had been some of those at Budenovsk, so therefore they would now shoot her. Theytook the girl out the side doors and shot her after that. Obviously, Idid not see her killed, but the shots were audible. Thehall was silent in horror. Wenow understood that they were capable of killing.

They reseated the foreigners to the left of the parquet (facing the stage). Whether they first emptied those seats, or they were already empty, Ido not know. Barayev said that there would be no precedents; they would only release people to representatives from their embassies. Theybegan to write a list. There were 76on the list. Since my documents were at the American embassy, we were identified as Americans. Sandy called the embassy; periodically we were allowed to use the cell phones. Ido not know with whom he spoke there, he explained that in such and such a hotel, in room number such and such, his passport was in his bag in a side pocket. Someone from the embassy security staff went to the hotel and got his passport.

The Chechens did not allow the hostages to move around as much as they wanted, at least on the first day. Bythe second day we could pretty much move around. Iasked a Chechen woman: Can Igo there? and she said: "Go ahead.

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