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Written by Наталья Фомина   
Среда, 01 Сентябрь 2004

'Noviy vestnik'

The Attorney General's Office explains to a former hostage why she should not count on receiving any compensation.



Dubrovka terror attack survivor Svetlana Gubareva does not believe that her country supports her.  In reply to a direct question to President Nazarbayev on his promise of help, the former hostage was dryly reminded of the money she had already received after the tragic events.

During the first days following the storming of 'Nord-Ost', while she was still in serious condition in a Moscow hospital, Svetlana Gubareva learned of the loss her two loved ones, 13-year-old Sasha, and her fiancé Sandy booker.  At that same time, the head of our nation declared that Kazakhstan would not forget its citizens injured in that act of terror.  Two years later, Svetlana Nikolaevna appealed to Nursultan Abishevich in an open letter, reminding him of his promise: «Many nice words were said at the time, about support and aid to the victims of the act of terror, about the need to combat terrorism. But what happened in reality?» Svetlana Gubareva explained to the president that in reality she saw no support from the authorities, other than her daughter's funeral and an airline ticket home to Karaganda.


The attorney general's office was ordered to investigate this financial misunderstanding, and last week it sent its response to the former hostage.  All payments made by the company for which the woman worked were scrupulously examined. The funeral and material aid came to about forty thousand tenge (about $300), and 22,017 tenge (about $160) for sick leave between October 26th and December 30th, 2002.  They explained to Svetlana Gubareva that such payments, according to social welfare regulations: 'cannot exceed the recipient's monthly salary by more then tenfold'.


It was the same with respect to the Karaganda city administration’s promise to pay her sister's trip to Moscow. When the hostage's relation returned from her niece's burial they did not reimburse her ticket.  Officials stated that such aid is does not apply to sisters, since travel expenses could only be paid to mothers.  The attorney general's office, after examining the case, found yet another reason to refuse: no documentation could be located from the victim or her sister asking for such reimbursement.


Much of the promised aid in actuality amounted to payment for hospitalization. «As if the circumstances causing injury to my health where not due to the violent storming of the theater, but due to my own carelessness,» stated a bewildered Svetlana Nikolaevna in her letter to the president. 


The Karaganda resident has something to compare.  For example, Ukrainian hostages each received two thousand dollars from their government, aside from the fact that 38 Ukrainian citizens suffered at 'Nord-Ost', while only 4 of our compatriots were involved. This is how different countries within the CIS show concern for their respective citizens.


A disconsolate answer was given to the second part of Svetlana Gubareva's letter, in which she proved the non-objectivity of the Russian investigation into the loss of the hostages, and asked Mr. Nazarbayev: «Will the Republic of Kazakhstan take any action due to the loss of Kazakhstan citizen Alexandra Letyago?»  The Attorney General of Kazakhstan replied: «To ascertain if investigations, which were initiated due to the loss of hostages, were not performed correctly, your appeal has been sent to the Russian Attorney General for examination, and is now under his control.»


Not especially depending on the assistance of her country, Svetlana Nikolaevna has once again left for Moscow. Judging from everything, she will have to protect her rights herself.  The Karaganda resident, together with other victims, is preparing once again to visit the various offices of officials in the capital city, trying to obtain justice.


«I'm frequently told that my actions are useless, that it's like a battle between a fly and an elephant.  Partly this so, because resisting the government machine is almost impossible alone, but I can't keep silent, either.  I couldn't save my family. What I'm doing now is trying to protect you and your families, so that they can't kill them as easy as they killed mine,» said Svetlana Gubareva.



Natalya Fomina

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