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The court statements of Larisa Frolova
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, 20 2003
Ihad a double loss, a double grief: my 34year-old son, Yevgeny, and his wife, Vera. Shewas an orphan. Theywanted to go to 'Nord-Ost', in order to take a break from their cares. At10 PM on the 23rd Ifound out what had happened on TV. Wespent the 24th through 26th with the grandkids. Theyoungest Itook to kindergarten, but the oldest we let let go to school just once. Iaccidentally blurted out to one of the parents what had happened, and the next day the oldest grandson asked me if it was true that his mother and father were hostages of the Chechens. Thiswhole time Ihid from the grandkids what had happened. Atfirst Ilied to them, Isaid that someone had broken a window out at the cabin, and that their mother and father had gone there the fix it. Later Isaid that their car had broken down, and that were getting it fixed. Theoldest one advised me to call them on the mobile phone. Itold him that its battery wasdead.

We never lost hope the whole time they were hostages. Whenthe Chechens pushed their demands, Ihoped that they would be satisfied. Wetought that people were more important to the government.

I hoped that they would pull the troops out of Chechnya. Orat least pretend to, but after the president's speech it was clear that there was nothing that could be done. After this there was news that the Chechens were going to shoot 10hostages every hour. Wechanged channels, watched every station, but then they announced the storming of the theater.

I prayed for a happy ending. Because there were small children at home, Ihad to hold myself together. Onthe 27th we found out about the death of Yevgeny and Vera. Aneighbor took the kids to a rest home for twodays.

On October 26th friends of Vera and Yevgeny looked for them. Theyweren't on on the lists. OnOctober 27th the Frolovs did not on appear on the certified list of 700hostages. Buthope dieslast.

On the hospital certificate, it was written that both died of cardiac insufficiency and cerebral hemorrhage. Theywere under the gas for a minimum of 2to 21/2 hours. Ifthey had been laying on the sidewalk afterwards for a long time, then that could also have decreased their chances. Theywere wearing only thin t-shirts. Friends told me later that they had given their sweaters to some schoolchildren among the hostages.

I believe that my children died from the poor organization of the rescue operation. Thislawsuit is against the Moscow city and the Russian federal governments.

I am 53, and my husband is 55. Nowwe have two small children. Wealready raised three sons to be defenders of the fatherland. Ourwhole life we worked, and what did we get? Grief, pain, and tears. Weswore before the coffins of our children that we would raise our grandchildren to be upstanding and useful people.

As far as material and moral damages, before all of this Inever suffered from insomnia, but now Ican't fall asleep until 3or 4in the morning. Ihave to get up at 7to send the children to school. Isuffer from angina, and my husband now has high blood pressure.

The children need money. Theoldest is in private school, and the youngest has dental problems. For3 years Yevgeny was building a house, and literally a month before the tragedy all was finished, but all his savings were gone. Apension was fixed for the two at 7500rubels ($300) a month. Altogether our expenses are 1112thousand rubles ($440 to$480) a month. Fornow we get by, but when the boys are 15to 17, it will be hard to feed them. Idemand compensation for the material means which they were deprived through the loss of their parents.

Yevgeny's brother Andrey has had heart problems since he went to identify the bodies. Andrey said that it was very difficult to recognize his brother Yevgeny's neck had swollen wider than his head. Andrey and Yevgeny were only 3years apart, and very close. Yevgeny and Vera were found on the evening of the 27th, almost two days after their deaths. Allthis time Vera had in her pocket her passport with their adress. Ihave the impression that the authorities tried to hide Vera'sdeath.

I believe that my children were killed in a war, and demand that the government assign life-long benefits and allowances. Mygrandchildren cannot receive from me all that they could have from their parents.
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