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I wished to attract attention to the tragedy
Written by /Marina Funtikova   
, 20 2006
Article Index
I wished to attract attention to the tragedy
Page 2
A book on 'Nord-Ost' has been published. Oneof the authors is Karagandan Svetlana Gubareva

Every page of this book is a valuable document. Init are the affidavits of the former hostages who lived through that nightmare at the theatrical center on Dubrovka. There are also the autopsies and legal resolutions about the criminal case, papers that until recently were hightly classified.
The authors of this book believe that everyone has a right to know the truth about 'Nord-Ost'. Thatis, all those who wish to know the truth.  :       ,    .

AFTER A TERRORIST ATTACK PEOPLE ARE ON THEIR OWN

I wished to attract attention to the tragedy. Tothe problems of those who suffered from terrorist attacks, recounts Svetlana Gubareva, revealing the main idea behind the book: 'Nord-Ost' Investigation Incomplete. During the terror attack on Dubrovka, the Karaganda resident lost her 13-year-old daughter, as well as her fiance.
Svetlana Nikolaevna Gubareva is one of the authors of the book. Seven people worked to gather and edit this enormous collection of information. Allare members of the 'Nord-Ost' Regional Organization.
There are a lot of people who suffered from terrorist acts, and Idon't just mean 'Nord-Ost', says Svetlana Gubareva. Since 1995, beginning with the seizure of hostages in Budenovsk, the (Russian) goverment acknowleges that more than 15,000 people have suffered from such acts. After a terrorist attack people are on their own. Thisis biggest problem right now, and few people even know this. After the Moscow apartment blasts in 1999there were 12bodies that couldn't be buried. Seven years later, these 96fragments of human remains are still kept at the Lianozovsky morgue, because the bureaucrats claim that the government doesn't have the money to do DNA testing. Ourwork on the investigation of 'Nord-Ost' took three and a half years. Theauthors gathered heaps of documents, digital camera images of official documents, and even handwritten notes we made from government archives that they wouldn't let us copy. Wedid this so that we could collect even the smallest detail of what went on during those awful October days. Atfirst we prepared the report for the human rights organizations, who made yearly reports on the situation in Russia. Later, when things got serious enough, we thought: we should know all the rest, recalls Svetlana Gubareva. And we decided to make our report into a separate book. Itwas published with the help of the 'Aid to Victims of Terrorism Fund'. Weheld a presentation ceremony in Moscow, which caused a bit of agitation on behalf of the authorities. Lastweekend there was a presentation in Nizhniy Novgorod, and there have been invitations to other Russian cities.

TOP SECRET DOCUMENTS
The report is in five parts. TheIntroduction is titled: Lack of Effective Preventative Measures in the Fight with Terrorism. There is a complete listing of all terrorist attacks in the last 10years, and the special operations associated with them. Another part: The government's Failure to Fulfill its Obligations is where the authors use documents to show what was done, and conversely, what was not done, to save hostages. Thenext section is Reaction by the Community. There are attachments which include a large amount of documents from the criminal case and materials in themedia.
The Moscow city attorney general's resolutions are also included in the book. The'Nord-Osters' with bitter irony refer to these resolutions as 'fateful'. Theyconcern his refusal to open criminal cases. Oneresolution concerned the special operations troops who organized the assault on the theatrical center that led to the loss of 130hostages, while the second was in regards to the medical workers who did not provide timely and necessary first aid to the poisoned hostages.
They wouldn't let us have access to these documents for a long time, remembers Svetlana Nikolaevna. They used the argument about 'investigative secrets', but under orders from judges Susina and Vasina the attorney general had to let us view both of these resolutions, together with a few volumes of the criminal case. Altogether there are more than 120volumes in the case. Whenwe got access to the documents, we had proof that the authorities were just wasting time.

The grave of Sasha Letyago.TIMELY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE
In the media they often state that the hostage rescue operation was 'brilliant', and text-book perfect, but our book includes materials that shows that it was anything but smooth, says Svetalana Gubareva. Let me give you the most glaring example. Inhis resolution to not bring criminal charges, the head of murder and gangsterism investigations for the city of Moscow, Ibragimov, stated that the ambulance workers had all the equipment and medicine they needed, and that there were adequate medics. Butin reading the materials from their investigation, we found out what these people REALLYsaid.
The medics' statements are quoted in the book. Solet's just place the attorney general's statement about 'timely medical assistance' (we included it in the book, how could we do otherwise?) alongside the shocking stories from physicians and medics on the scene:
From the testimony of O.V.Belyakova: 'On arriving at the palace of culture of the Moscow ball-bearings plant (the theatrical center author) they loaded two victims into our vehicle. Within a minute a worker from the disaster ministry told me to accompany a bus that had some victims in it. There were no medicines or medical instruments whatsoever in the bus. Enroute the bus stopped at all the lights. Onarrival at City Hospital #1, security at first would not let us drive into the premesis. There were 22victims on the bus, one of whom died en route. Thevictims were arranged chaotically, some were in seats, some were on the floor'.
From the testimony of L.O.Safronova: 'The organization of aid to the victims and their evacuation were, in my opinion, unsatisfactory, and this was true for our brigade Ididn't know what substance was used during the special operation, so therefore no special drugs or methods for rendering first aid to the victims were used'.
Svetlana Gubareva continues: From the testimony of M.Yu. Zaharenkov: 'Right after this a medical worker unknown to me took 6ampules and some syringes and went into the bus where the victims were. There were 17victims on the bus, 4of whom were showing no signs of life'.
After receiving access to the autopsy report, the relatives of the dead hostages discovered that 67of the 130hostages who perished died without receiving any medical assistance whatsoever, including 5children: 11-year-old Dasha Olhovnikova, 13-year-old Dasha Frolova, 13-year-old Kristina Kurbatova, 13-year-old Arseniy Kurilenko, and 14-year-old Nina Milovidova. Among those who received no first aid was Svetlana Gubareva's fiance, Sandy Booker, an American.
The death of 13-year-old Sasha Letyago was also a medical catastrophe. Svetlana Gubareva found out that her daughter had simply been crushed to death during transport to the hospital. Sasha's lifeless corpse was dragged out from under 30people who had been packed like sardines (there is no other way to put this) into a 12-seat UAZ van. Theofficial cause of death, however, was something else entirely: chronic bronchitis.

A CONVERGENCE OF CIRCUMSTANCES
It would be worthwhile mentioning the compound used by the special operations forces during the hostage rescue.
At first the gas was kept a closely-guarded secret, and a few official documents merely referred to it as unidentified. Later, the mystery was revealed: before the beginning of the assault on the theater hall where the hostages and some of the terrorists were located, a special compound based on fentanyl was introduced into the building. Fentanyl is a narcotic used as a general anesthetic and pain-killer. People at the theatrical center who inhaled it lost consciousness. Morethan a hundred of the hostages who fell asleep in the theater hall never awakened. Manydied simply because they did not receive medical assistance intime.
In medical texts it's written that fentanyl is not do be used without an anesthesist present, or without equipment for performing artificial respiration. Neither was present at Dubrovka, Svetlana Gubareva bitterly empasizes. In making the decision to use the gas, the authorities simply sentenced people to death.
After the terror act was over, the authorities maintained that the hostages did not die from the gas, but from a convergence of circumstances. Thehostages had gone through terrible stress 60hours without food, little to drink, and almost no sleep. Manyof them were suffering from chronic illnesses, and their bodies could not cope with the unexpected stress of anesthesia.
Even if one agrees with such an assertion, the question arises, states Svetlana Gubareva. Didn't they know about this convergence of circumstances BEFORE they made the decision to use the gas? Andhow was it that right up until the beginning of the gas attack, not a single hostage managed to die from all of these circumstances? Onlyadd that one fator the special substance and a massive loss of hostages began.
This fact alone does more to cause relatives of the dead hostages to doubt the government's statements about the harmlessness of the substance used, than anythingelse.
Then what about the rescuers and special operations soldiers who also were injured? adds Svetlana Gubareva. From the media it's known that 9soliders took ill and were hospitalized. Didthey also go without food, drink, and sleep for 57hours?!

A DIFFERENT TRUTH
The relatives and loved ones of those who died at Dubrovka do not recognize the official 'truth' that was trumpetted from on high. Forthree and a half years they worked at finding out the truth. Theyhave proof in documental form, but those at the highest levels do not listen. The'Nord-Osters' have passed through every possible step of the judicial system in Russia. Theywere not fighting for compensation for their pain and suffering, but for their rights.
There are two sides to this matter, considers Svetlana Gubareva. We have no doubts about the seizure of hostages being a crime on the part of the terrorists. Onthe other hand, the government did not fulfill its obligations to its citizens: the authorities let it be possible to seize hostages Movsar Baraev, who was twice officially declared dead, was able to form up a group of rebels to seize the theater; the authorities then passed up a chance to negotiate; next the authorities used a chemical substance in an assault, without any regards for negative consequences; finally, the authorities didn't provide freed hostages with timely, sufficient medical aid. Thegovernment continues fail in its obligations, and now it is stripping us of our right to justice, an investigation by qualified personnel, and an independent judicial process.



'NORD-OST' IN NUMBERS
More than 900people were taken hostage by terrorists in the theatrical center at Dubrovka. 130hostages died, including 10children.
69 children were made orphans.
More than 700former hostages were poisoned, and many of them were permanently handicapped 12lost all or part of their hearing.
41 terrorists were destroyed.
In accordance with a resolution by the city government of Moscow, the families of dead hostages were paid 100thousand rubles each (about US$4000), and each hostage who survived the terror act 50thousand (about US$2000).
61 lawsuits were filed against the Moscow city government and city department of finance, asking for damages totalling US$60 million. Thelawsuits ranged from US$500 thousand to US$2.5 million. Every lawsuit was summarily dismissed.
There were also 4lawsuits filed in the Basmanny Court in Moscow by foreign citizens, asking for a total of US$9.5 million. These were dismissed aswell.
57 medals were awarded for the hostage-rescue operation.
(This information is from the book 'Nord-Ost', a collection of publications on the 3rd anniversary of the terrorist attack.)


An electronic version in Russian and English can be found on the website http://www.pravdabeslana.ru/nordost/nordost.htm



 
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