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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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The Chechens broke into the theater buffet, and distributed all the drinks, candy, cookies, and chocolates throughout the hall. Theybrought a box of cash onto the stage. Ilater understood that this was the money from the snack bar. Theyasked the hall: Who needs money? The people remained silent, and the Chechens threw the box on the floor. Later Isaw some of this money in the orchestra pit (when Iwent to the toilet there). TheChechen men distributed food, because the women were, as a rule, standing at their posts, while the men were moving about the hall. TheChechens took a few men from the hall, and these men brought juices and other drinks from the snack bar and placed them along the back wall in several spots, and some was set on the stage. Weunderstood that we could drink if we were thirsty. Iusually grabbed a pack of drinks. Iwould give one to my daughter and pass the rest down the aisle. Weate ice cream, chocolate, and pastries, but Idid not eat much, since Ihad no appetite, but drank juice, milk, and other beverages (Fanta, cola, mineral water, and the like). Whenthe juices ran out, the Chechens found buckets and brought tap water from the restroom, and handed out single-use containers to hostages. TheChechens brought the water, because it was dangerous to leave the hall and go into the foyer, because of the snipers. OnOctober 25th, however, when Anna Politkovskaya entered the hall, she brought a large quantity of juices and beverages, and so we did not really suffer from thirst.

Thus it came about, that we reseated in the parquet. After they divided the hostages into foreigners and non-foreigners (Russians), we were sitting in the first three seats by the side doors. Whenever this door was opened, Icould the dead girl (Olga Romanova), until she was taken away on the second day. Awoman sat down next to us, and she was swearing under her breath. Iasked: Are you one of us? She said: Yes, one of us. I've been sitting here since the beginning. TheChechens every now and then peek out those doors, and once they saw something like a gas canister there. Something colored red. Clearly, it couldn't have come from nowhere. The Chechens, therefore, would periodically open the doors and shoot in that direction.

When they were talking on the radio about how many Chechens had seized the theater, Barayev was walking by, and said: Twenty, thirty, forty they don't even know how many of us came to the theater! There's fifty-four of us here, fifty-four!

Iheard and saw the conversation of two Chechens. Onetook money from his pocket and showed it to the other, and said: This is all that's left. Ihad to give the rest to cops on the way some of them fifty, some a hundred rubles.

Barayev left the hall and returned, but there were always some Chechen men and women in the hall. Itseemed to me that the women were not relieved, that it was the same ones at all times. There were 19in the parquet, and some more on the balcony (I could not say how many exactly, but Isaw at least 4). Themen moved around the hall; they came and went. Therefore, it is difficult for me to say if these were the same people, or differentones.

There was a broken window in the foyer on the side where we sat, and it provided good ventilation. People that found it drafty were brought coats from the cloakroom. Itdid not feel especially stuffy where we were, but in the center of the hall it stank from the toilet in the orchestra pit. After awhile, the Chechens reseated all the people in the first row to places farther back. Later they had us change places as well if shooting starts outside the hall, the Chechens said, it would be dangerous to sit on the outsideedges.

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