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Gerasimov, Arkadiy
Written by ,   
, 06 2010

Age 23; Russia, Moscow.

Arkady attended college, and after graduation he attended the finance academy and worked as an economist for one of the government agencies.

His whole life he was surprisingly kind and good-natured, always trying to help those around him. Fromhis college days and after graduation he would meet with boys from younger classes and go on outings and kayaking with them, and in the evenings they would tell stories in front of the campfire. Arkady’s friends and teachers say that it is difficult to overestimate his influence on the upbringing of these boys. Atwork he was valued as a conscientious and knowledgeable specialist, who after only a short time on the job was already promoted. Itwas his second time at ‘Nord-Ost’ he only went again in order to show his favorite musical to his friends and teacher.

The loss of such a person and others no less significant to our country should not pass unnoted.

PS: They died because those who occupy government posts, those specific persons who are supposed to protect the lives, health, and freedom of the taxpayers they have an unprofessional attitude toward their responsibilities. According to the laws of our nation, when a person who commits a crime, or is an accessory to a crime, or does not provide timely assistance to the victim of an accident or a crime, then he is supposed to be punished. BUTWHEN?

Written by his father, Andrei Gerasimov

From 2002to 2003, those who taught and went to school with Arkady created an album, titled: “About our Arkady”. Thefollowing is but a fraction of the materials from that album, which is available in full on the website of Moscow School #1314.

1992. First time in 8th Grade

Together with my students, Icrossed the threshold of the school for the first time. Thestudents are so different!
Arkady immediately attracted my attention: small, disheveled, and with a charmingly good-natured smile, he could just not sit still. Itturned out that this would be a problem, sitting through an entire ninety-minute session. Andso we decided that whenever he got tired, we would go saunter up and down the hallway so that he could rest and be able to continue his class work. Hewould leave the classroom, make a couple of passes up and down the corridor, then return. Ithelped him concentrate. Bythe second half of the year he no longer needed these promenades, and gradually he got used to the 1& ½ hour lessons.But somehow Istill remember.
He was miraculously able to succeed. Somehow, all at once, he was among the favorites, and even though it is definitely not pedagogic, Icould not hide my sympathies. Heaspired to be and participate everywhere. Hewas interested in everything, and most importantly he was not afraid to ask questions. Hewanted to understand everything.
My favorite is Hare. Whenand why Icalled him that, Ido not remember, but this appellation became for me, and for him, familiar and dear right away. Andeven in class he was called Hare. Theysay that nicknames are bad, that a person has a real name. Perhaps this is correct, but Hare did not offend Arkady. There was something “white and fluffy” in his attitude toward people, and this attracted them to him like a magnet.

1993. Thefirst major act of an adult.
Have you ever tried at age 14to explain to an adult teacher that they are wrong? Andhave you ever had the courage to do so on behalf of the entire class? Honestly, Iwould not have been able to do this.But Arkashka could! Noneof the brightest students resolved to do this, only he did, dear Hare, and for the first time Irealized that this person would never betray you during a difficult moment, that he was ready to bear you up.
1994 to 1995

Iremember many outings. Awaterlogged summer and our first attempts at kayaks. Thefirst failures, but a great desire to learn how to operate this boat! Evenback then, on these outings, Arkashka’s most valuable quality was manifested: he would get up before anyone else and make a fire. Whoever's been camping knows how hard it is in the morning to climb out of a nice, warm sleeping bag, and leave the tent and go out onto the dew. Andeven more dear than the warmth that a fire brings is that, which a Friend brings you. Harewas always ready to share his warmth, by tossing his jacket onto your shoulders, or saying a few words at a difficult moment, or by just smiling.
1996. Senior year

Iremember a feeling that Ihad nothing to do at work. Ifyou do not count scribbling on paper, then as the class curator Idid almost nothing. Theboys were older, and they knew what to do and how to do it. Theydid not need a curator! AndI distinctly remember how frightened Iwas at the thought that the day of leave-taking was coming, and that Iwould not see them anymore. Theywould be leaving.
In 11th Grade there was a free day when there was no class scheduled, but the guys came to visit me at my home and drank tea in my kitchen. Thatis where the real work took place, as Inow understand. These Curatorial Fridays were scheduled far in advance. Theywould come in groups, or one by one, but always with some painful question. Harewas prepared to live in my kitchen on Perovo! Hefound everything interesting and important, but as always he would tactfully ask whether he was intruding if he came over to talk (especially if Iwas with someone). Thenhe would just come by later, if possible. Andhis first question was always: “Well, how are things? Doyou need any help?”
The saddest holiday was graduation night. Ifsomeone is dear to you, then you are afraid of losing him or her. Ido not know how it happened, but Iwas afraid to lose them all! Theyhad become family. Eventhough (in my mind) Iunderstood that they were starting a new stage in life, one no less interesting, and that they would have new friends and eventually move away, Istill did not want them to leave!
All that summer, while they were taking their graduation exams, Iwas glued to the telephone, waiting for their scores and the results of their enrollments. Iwas particularly worried about the boys: they had military service hanging over their heads. Butthe summer ended and all 19geniuses became college students, confirming their brilliance. Itwas the best gift for a curator.
August, at the Lefortovo Stadium

Irina Yevgenyevna and Iare occupying ourselves with archery and do not expect to see anyone. Arkady suddenly appears, happily smiling and obviously plotting something. Hesolemnly announces that he is tired of the lack of a birthday for the Curator, and assigns it for today! Onthis occasion he gave me a gift a charming little mouse with a heart, and he offers to celebrate this day. TwoIrina's give a rapturous squeak, collect their things, and then Andrei drives up in his Zaporozhets to take us home. Thisis simply out of the realm of fantasy: we are all going in one group back to Perovo to put on a holiday! Itwas on August 20th, and ever since then Ihave a birthday that brings me joy, and this is only due to Hare.
August 31st, before the new school year

When the classroom was all tidied and mopped for September 1st, suddenly tears welled up in my eyes: tomorrow Iwill come to class and Iwill not see a smiling Hare? Ido not know how this could be! Ido not want this!
September 1st, 1996, 8:30 in the morning

Acidly Iarrive at the school, giving everyone Imeet a rubbery smile. Iget to the 4th floor and walk into the classroom and there IN THE FRONT ROW SITS HARE SMILING WITH A HUGE BOUQUET OF FLOWERS!
He was able to give people holidays. Hecreated them out of a regular day and with his pure heart so that they always turned out the bright and cheerful.
After High School

They are gone! Theystayed with me, sharing their joys and sorrows. Theyhelped me to grow the next class! These words refer especially to the beloved trinity: Arkady, Andrei and Kostya. Gradually they changed from graduates into my true friends. Theywere always with me in difficult moments, and it was impossible to separate one from the other: they were one, indivisible trinity. Theycomplemented each other so that they seemed to be one organism. Andif for some reason one of them was not there, his absence was acutely felt. Itwas hard on all of us while Kostya was in the army, and so his discharge was a holiday for all of us.
But each of them was an independent person.
Arkashka had an amazingly well developed ability to see things through another's eyes. Inever had to tell him that things were going bad. Hecould see it even when Iwas trying to hide it from eyes. Somehow he would quietly appear beside me and do what was needed, and then just as quietly vanish, as if nothing had ever happened. Youcould trust him with the most sensitive requests, knowing that, intuitively, he would do everything that needed doing, and better than anyone else.
Hare became not just my friend, but a friend of my family as well. Onthose days when Iwas on duty on school and could not pick up Olga, after his studies at the institute he would pick her up at Kursk Street and take her home to Perovo. Youhave to agree that few would do this. Andso he ended up with his own key to our apartment, and Iwas happy knowing that my daughter would be all right. IfI needed to dig potatoes Hare was ready to help. IfI needed to pick apples here too he was ready with a backpack and sacks.
One autumn when Ithought up a traditional class camping trip for a couple of days in the Moscow region, Iasked: “Who wants to go to the forest?” Iheard a counter-question from Nastyushka: “Is Hare going? ThenI’ll go, too!” We did not go camping because of the forest fires, but it turned out that Arkady was loved and dear to my class, despite the already significant difference in ages. Hecontinued to be concerned with issues related to life in our school, and he wanted to maintain the school spirit he had cultivated. Hehardly recognized that there was school spirit living in the people that worked there, but he was so thoroughly saturated that now this spirit lived within him. Itwas always warm and bright around him, and whenever Hare came to the school and walked down the hall smiling, many spirits were uplifted.
When we were sitting there at the Dubrovka Theater, it was not scary because we were together. Hareas always told jokes and tried to bear us up. Itwas obvious that everything was very serious, and Ithought that if we were destined to finish our earthly journey here, then we would all leave life together. Itwas scary, but it is not in our power to argue with destiny. Butif it all were to end well, then we would all get out of there, and remember it later as only a bad dream.
But fate decreed otherwise, just as Icould never imagine in my very worst nightmare.
They told me at the monastery that he was the most worthy of us all, and so the Lord called him. Andthat we needed to examine our lives in order to be worthy as well, and that this nightmare was a sign unto us that we have still not done the most important thing that must be done in this life.
Written by IrinaV.Chernina, school curator
I knew Hare for a long time, probably, as long as Ican remember. Hewas always our friend, and only now do Irealize that my mother would never trust just anyone to pick me up at kindergarten. Ialways liked that it was not just my mom or dad who came for me, like the other children.Dryusha, Hare, Shura (Sasha Ryabov) and Crocodile (Kostya) came for me with a car! There were sometimes other guys, but rarely. Crocodile was very serious. Hewas silent and at first Iwas afraid of him (after all, one just does not call someone a crocodile), but Iliked him. Iwas never afraid of Hare. Hewas so good, so cheerful, and always saying something funny. Icalled them all 'dad'. Andwhen the other children asked who were all those people who came for me, Iexplained that all of them were my dads! Myfriends tried to prove to me that a child cannot have so many dads, but Itried to convince them that they could! AndHare was the best. Always, whenever Isaw Hare, he was smiling, and Ifelt happy, too, despite the fact that just 5minutes before he came Iwas sad.
I remember one summer when my mother went out to Lefortovo with Irina, for archery practice. Tobe honest, Iwas bored with them. Theywere interesting, but Iwanted to run away somewhere and my mom would not let me. WhenHare came, Iwas very happy because now Iknew that Iwould not be bored anymore. Hetold me funny stories and anecdotes, and time slipped by unnoticed. Atthe end of practice suddenly he asked if he could try archery, too. Iwas quite upset and thought that now he would forget all about me. Butit was very fun. Hewas hilarious and commented on his feelings while stringing the bow, so much so that Ilaughed merrily. Andthen when we all went home, Hare proudly carried two bows on his shoulders, even though they were quite heavy. Mymom called him her squire.
If other graduates came to see my mother, they all tended to talk to her, but only Hare would look in on me in my room, and at times he would even play with me. Formy birthday grandfather gave me a big crocodile, and Inamed him Koska in honor of one of my dads, and happily Ishowed it off to anyone who came by. Itwas really a wonderful crocodile! WhenArkady saw it, he was completely delighted! Iso much liked the way he played with him and laughed, just as if he was little, like me. Heopened its mouth and snapped its teeth and growled. Itwas not scary. Onthe contrary, it was very fun and interesting.
In October of 2002, when we went to see Nord-Ost in a big group, all our seats were in the same row. Idecided to sit with Hare, because he was always a lot of fun. Hehad already seen the show and could explain whatever Idid not understand. Soit happened that my mother and Iwere on opposite ends of the group. Theplay was wonderful! There were such joyful songs and dances.
When at the beginning of the second act the shooting began, out of fear Iclung to Arkady and clutched his arm. Hehugged me and said: Fear not, little bird. I'm with you. Everything will be all right. But Iwas still scared, because Ihad never heard automatic fire before. So, hand in hand, we sat there until the terrorists announced that they were going to release the children. Idid not want to leave, and Iasked him: Can Istay? But he sent me to my mother. Isnuck over to her and sat down on her knees and hugged her neck and said that Iwould not leave, that Iwas scared. Butmy mom said in a stern voice: Go! and literally pushed me away. WhenI was walking down to the stage Isaw the women in black, and they had such scary eyes. Wewere led out of the auditorium in formation, and at this moment his words flashed into my head: “Fear not, little bird. I’m with you. Everything will be all right.”
We were led out into the street, but we were not given our jackets. Itwas cold, but Idid not notice. Tears were rolling down my cheeks, and Iwas thinking about all those who were still in the auditorium. Wewere met by a policeman and put into a police van so that we would not freeze. Somechildren were crying. Theolder ones tried to calm and somehow assist the younger children. After some time the van door opened and into the opening popped the head of Vovka Khoteenkov. Iwent outside to him, and he asked me: "Who was there in the auditorium, besides Irina Chernina? Ilisted everyone. Hetold me that they would not let me go with him, because they were releasing the children only to their relatives. ThenVovka called up my dad and sent me back into the van so that Iwould not freeze. After some time, he again looked into the van and said that my dad was coming for me. Soonreporters with cameras arrived. Oneof them gave us a piece of paper and asked us to write down our names and surnames while another at this time was filming us. Thenthe driver came, got into the van, and drove us somewhere.He unloaded us at a school where we had to wait for out parents. Almost everyone's parents had already arrived, but my dad had still not come. Finally Isaw him, and Iwas very happy. Hehugged me and Iburst into tears, because Ithought about my mother and the guys who were still there. After that an investigator interrogated me, and then Irina Yevgenyevna and Kostya picked us up and drove us home.
At home we watched TV. Toevery command to go to bed, Ianswered that Icould not sleep, but soon father sent me to bed anyway. Thenext day Katya (my best friend) and Sergei Leonidovich came to my home to visit. Theytold me that the whole school was worrying about my mom and the guys. Katya soothed me, and Itold her how terrible it was there, and how Arkady said to me: “Fear not, little bird. I’m with you. Everything will be all right.” The next day instead of Katya, Sonia came over to bear me up, and she stayed overnight.
The next morning Sonia and Iwoke up because Sanya looked into our room and said: “The theater has been stormed!” We ran to the kitchen to watch the news on TV.
Then we rang up hospitals. Wefound mom first, and in my heart it felt a little easier. Thenwe found Andrei and Iwas almost relieved, confident that we would soon find Arkady. Iremember how he told me: Fear not, little bird. I'm with you. Everything will be all right.
The next day my mother came home. Iwas very happy, but we were all focused on finding Arkasha. Theboys would not leave the phone and they would always be calling someone and passing on information. Thelist of hospitals got shorter and shorter, but somehow we still could not find him.
For a long time Icould not believe that he was no more. Evenwhen they buried him, Icould not believe that it was true. Ithought that he was just sleeping, because he promised that everything would be all right.
This summer me they sent me and some other children who were at Nord-Ost on a trip to Greece. Arkady once told me how he had lived in Greece when he was little. Heliked it a lot. Andwhile Iwas there Ioften thought about him. Ireally wished he could be there with me. Itwould have been a lot of fun.
Written by Olga Chernina, 9th grader
My friend is sitting on the bench in class and swinging his legs. Ido not know that his name is Arkady, or that his name will be Hare. Heis my best friend, and all that Iknew back then was that it was September 1st and we both had come to study at the school.
My friend is studying the map and looking at the compass. Ourwhole class is sitting in a swamp. Thisis our first outing, and the class monitor knows that we could have chosen an easier path, but Hare chose the route.
My friend is drawing. Hedraws men, monsters, and bunnies. Itdoes not matter to him that this is a seminar on understanding the lectures of Gromyko. Itdoes not matter, because no one understands them.
My friend is chopping firewood. Helikes to chop wood. Hedoes it for fun, to relax, to recharge, and to unwind. Hedoes it to get warm and so that everyone can get warm. Sothat it will be cozy.
My friend sings. Hesings loudly and with gusto. Hecan even sing the songs whose words Ido not know. Ilove to sing with him.
My friend opens the champagne. Hedoes not know how to do it, none of us know how to open champagne we only know that the cork has to fly out, while the wine, if possible, stays in the bottle or a glass. Weare graduates and this is graduation night and we are having fun.
My friend is fixing a car. Welike to fix cars. Welike to disassemble and reassemble various mechanisms, because, no matter what, we are boys. Inour group there is no automobile that Hare could not fix.
My friend is packing his rucksack. Heis going camping in a large group, in a small group, in the company of close friends, and sometimes alone. Heloves to walk, or kayak, or drive, to just outside of Moscow, or to the Caucasus, or to Karelia. Weare getting ready to go to the Altai on a catamaran.
My friend is drinking beer.Only with Hare do we get together to drink beer. Suddenly Irealize that we have not seen each other in a while and that Ihave a free evening and Iwant to talk with him. Hesits opposite me with a beer mug, and we are talking, talking about anything, about the weather, about cars, about camping, while in my heart there is warmth and calmness.
My friend is working.Well, to tell the truth, he is doing my work. Sometimes he comes to my job and helps me when Iam stuck. Helikes what Ido, and in my heart this makes me proud.
My friend is laughing. Helaughs easily, and joyfully. Hefinds jokes on the Internet and sends them to all his friends and relatives so that they too could have a good laugh. Hefinds a pretext for a joke even in the toughest of situations. Ihave seen him sad, and tired, but never does he lose his sense of humor. Sometimes Iremember one of our outings: he is walking on freshly fallen snow, through thick branches, confidently and firmly. Weare used to overcoming difficulties.
He has died, and Ihave nothing with which to counter this.
Written by Andrei Chulichkov, class of 1996.

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Comments (4)
Written by 1314 " website, on 06-11-201016:00
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3. Arkady Gerasimov
Written by Moscow School #1314, on 01-04-201106:02
I cannot believe that Arkady is gone fromus!

He was always with us, he is still here, and always willbe!

I remember when Arkasha with his classmates took us out on a fieldtrip. Itwas our first one, and we were still little 8th graders who did not understand a thing. Hewas wearing a military uniform with what seemed to me back then was a huge backpack. Hewas big and confident and out in front, and he gave us confidence. Westill did not know each other very well, but this big man added confidence to our every step! Along the way he got the car started by pushing it, and he joked and made everything fun as only he could! Iknew for sure that everything would be great. Great, and a lot of fun, because in his heart there was more than enough warmth and kindness for all, even for those whom for the moment he did notknow!

He always seemed big, as big as the sun on a summer day! Hispresence warmed everyone around him, and we basked in his rays! Whenever he appeared, there was always a genuine sense of joy and happiness, mixed with gratitude for being able to meet a sun such as Arkady! Oncewe were going to go to an air show, but at the last minute everyone else said they could not go, and so Iwent to the designated rendezvous with this feeling that the outing was ruined. There, underneath a column, Ifound Arkasha. Hewas reading a book. Hesaid that we would both have more fun without a lot of people in the way, and that is how it turned out. Wespent a quite memorable day full of bright emotions and feelings and a colorful carnival of colors. Allof this would never have been possible that day without this person!

He is a very good FRIEND! Whatever was going on, he would always run over and help, and do everything he could to solve any problem, and he did so with his characteristic irony, enthusiasm, and a real passion. Somuch so that sometimes it seemed that it was really his problem, no matter whose it was! Onlyhe knew how to dothis.

He gave us sparks from his gigantic heart, and the sparks that fell into our hearts began to sprout like a tree: a tree of thanks from us tohim.

Written by Vladimir Khoteenkov, class of 2000.



I have been trying to do this for a while Andnow Ijust do not know what to write Howcan Iwrite in the past tense about a person who still exists for me? Well, everyone who thinks that Iam wrong can just forgive me, but Iam going to write about him in the presenttense!

First of all, for me Arkady is not Arkady, but HARE! Heis kind of person who can come visit just after phoning and asking: Can Icome over? As a rule, Isee no reason to tell him no, though recently we have rarely seen eachother.

What is Hare like? Heknows how to deal with anyone, and likes giving presents without occasion, simply because the weather today isnice.

I do not know how to describe him as a person at all. After all, he is an entire world. Whatreminds me of Hare? Hewas the first graduate Imet on September 1st (at the start of classes ceremony), and he is probably the one who linked our classes. Icannot remember if we ever went on a single fieldtrip without him Itis somehow hard to imagine, but even if we did, Ithink he was with us in spirit.

I am trying to remember specific instances Iremember mostly funny things. Whenwe were getting ready for 11th grade initiations, Hare spilled water the noodle water on me, but instead of crying out in pain, Istarted laughing like crazy, and we laughed together. Awhile later, Hare told me that he tried to do that to other people, but he never got the same result. Hewas upset, because he thought he had found the perfect way to make peoplelaugh.

My favorite fieldtrip story was about how Hare and Alla Alexeyeva at three in the morning were looking for her pills in our small 3-man tent. First, they woke me up, and then they turned everything upside down, later they could not get to sleep because the pills were right next to her the wholetime.

Then there was that little ditty by Ivasi (Ivashchenko & Vasiliev) that he slightly altered to better match reality: Ach, Arkady Andreevich in stripes

It seems to me that my house has a bunch of things that are in one way or another connected with Hare. Theyare evenly spread about the entire apartment, but now it is difficult to say whether they were lent or donated.

I do not know how to finish this. Ican tell these stories for hours, but when Itry to write them down they lose theircharm.

I know that Iam not rooted to my chair,
And that life has not driven me into a corner,
And it is out of the question that Idrop this matter
But Iam a little short oftime

Written by Natasha Vasilyeva, class of 2000.



At first Idid not know him personally, but this is a man to whom you need no introduction. Youjust get used to him, and learn about him. Ijust saw him, and Ihave no idea how it happened, but somehow it was as if we had known each other forages.

Hare, Sun?

Later Igot to know him better, after he had already finished school and found somewhere to work. Hestill came around, so solid looking in his jacket and coat. Hewas just like an adult, and working. Igot scared: perhaps with his changed style he himself has changed? Butno, he remained the same, and no matter how much his professional colleagues loved him, they could never changehim.


He was with me when Iwent to see 'Nord-Ost' for the first time, and we liked it so much! Itwas so beautiful, and it was such a wonderful evening.

But then it got frightening and disturbing.

But we got through it. Itcould not be any other way, since he is forever and he is with us forever. Hehelped so many people and was ready to do anything to make things better for someone Wemust go on, because he would want that everyone wasokay.

It already seemed that everything had passed, but then Alena Nefedova called and said that Irina Chernina needed help. Allthe writings of his friends and other people, a bunch of photos and pieces of paper with handwritten messages, my God Inever thought that it would be so hard. After sitting half the day with Yevgeny Moroz back at the school, we did not even get half of it done. Soback home, alone Allthese people Howcan there be so many that all lovehim?

Please excuse me for any silly mistakes that Imay have possibly made. Itis hard to write. Forthe hundredth time Istruggle with this desire to cry, but Itry to smile. After all, he loved it so much when people around him smiled, and he was always smiling himself.

Written by Lena Krasnova, class of 2000.
4. Written by website, on 25-10-201717:46
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