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Without expirationdate
Written by   
, 20 2009

1Seven years ago the world was shaken by the terrible terror act in the Dubrovka theatrical center in Moscow. Anightmare called ‘Nord-Ost' lasted from October 23rd to the 26th. Among the hostages were Karaganda residents Svetlana Gubareva and her 13-year-old daughter Alexandra Letyago. During this time, ‘Avitrek Region' has closely monitored the investigation into the terroract.

Just this week the Kazakhstan parliament reviewed a document, titled Changes and additions to several legal acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan concerning combating terrorism. There is to be new understandings of certain terms such as hostage, correct procedures for anti-terror operations, and prophylaxis against terrorism. Thirteen year-old Sasha chose her time; at the cost of her life she demonstrated the scale of terrorism.

Death caught her far from her hometown Rescuers tossed the Karaganda schoolgirl, possibly still alive, onto the steel floor of a medical UAZ van and piled the bodies of twelve other hostages on top of her. Svetlana Gubareva is certain that her daughter did not die at the hands of the terrorists, but as a result of a poorly thought-out hostage rescue plan. Somedied from the deadly gas that was sent into the theater hall, while others from unqualified medical assistance.

The musical ‘Nord-Ost' has become a black mark synonymous with terrorism. Itleft a terrible, irrevocable fingerprint on Gubareva's destiny. Onthat fateful October day, her daughter died, as well as her fiancé, Sandy Booker. Hewas the only American to be a victim of the terror act. Tothis day Svetlana awakens at night to awful dreams.

Meanwhile, a true picture of what happened in the theatrical center is still unavailable. TheRussian general procurator refuses to give a straight answer, and is silent about many of the details of the rescue operation. Twoyears ago the European Court of Human Rights at Strasbourg opened hearings into the complaints of 57victims in the ‘Nord-Ost' case.

This tragedy knows no nationality, borders, or timeframe. Onecannot change the world by doing nothing. Formost people the 130persons who died at Dubrovka is merely a terrible statistic. Butto her mother, Sasha was unique, her one and only. Thisyear she would have been twenty.

Svetlana Gubareva considers her goal in life to never let people forget those who died as a result of this terrible tragedy. Onher site she has opened a Memorial Book. There are 130pages. The‘Nord-Ost' public organization actively works on it, and the ‘Beslan Mothers' organization has joinedthem.

During these wild days, and in the kaleidoscope of events, many have already forgotten those awful October days of 2002. Justfour years ago classmates of Letyago graduated from school. Wecalled on High School No. 38where Alexandra Letyago attended classes. Theold principal has been replaced, but when the new one was asked if she remembers this student, she answers: Yes, but it was so long ago that not all the seniors know that a victim of ‘Nord-Ost' came from our school.

The girl's mother tried to get permission to place a tablet on the school building, a plaque bearing the name of the schoolgirl who died during the terror act at Dubrovka. Ournewspaper back then was also in favor of this good idea. But, alas! Noteven comprehending what the matter was about, the bureaucrats in the city administration requested that Gubareva show a whole series of documents: her appeal and a protocol from a recognized public organization in accordance with points 1& 2of article 16of the laws of Kazakhstan, concerning administrative-territorial construction in the Republic of Kazakhstan, and in two languages. Itwas not understood just in what way a memorial tablet at the girl's school could affect administrative-territorial construction. Thebureaucrats caused the mother further pain by requiring her to send an autobiography of Sasha, as well as Sasha's work papers and a copy of materials concerning Sasha's special contributions to the republic. Despite the fact that in the appeal it was absolutely clear that Sasha's life could be summed up in three lines: born in Karaganda, attended classes at this school, and was a victim of terrorism

There are a lot of memorial tablets in the city, but not all bear the names of famous Karanganda residents. Thisvictim of ‘Nord-Ost' was not able to make something great of her life. Thename of 13-year-old Sasha Letyago should be affixed to the building of her school to remind us that there is a danger to the world. Arealone.

While traveling in the Ukraine, Gubareva saw that one of the schools there had a memorial plaque commemorating Vladimir Savinkin, who attended classes there before emigrating to America, where, on September 11th, 2001, he died in one of the twin towers in New York. Similar activities here, however, are not seriously considered.

Recall that when materials were printed for the five-year anniversary of the tragedy, there was much nonsense to be heard behind Gubareva's back. Gubareva supposedly was making money off the tragedy and therefore would not participate in the work of various public organizations. Abigger blasphemy is difficult to imagine. Thetragedy took everything from her that she lived for. Sofor her it is important to preserve the memory of those who died at Dubrovka and do everything to prevent it from happeningagain.

Svetlana Gubareva gave evidence to the Federal Bureau of Investigation concerning the circumstances of Sandy Booker's death. Nowshe has friends in the USA, and is close to Booker's relatives, but difficulties with the language barrier and financial problems make trips across the ocean a problem. Several times a year she travels to Moscow, where Sasha is buried at the Troekurovsky cemetery.


The Karaganda resident more than once has traveled on Human Rights missions to Moscow and Europe. TheEuropean Council on Security and Cooperation invited the ‘Nord-Ost' hostage to an international conference in Vienna. There the talk was about the scale of terror acts and the need for solidarity in the fight against this terrible evil of our time. Onlysuch a noble goal gives this mother strength to liveon

By Robert Keller

In ‘Avitrek Region'


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Comments (2)
1. Written by , on 26-10-200911:28
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2. !
Written by , on 22-12-201121:45
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