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Soprunov, Maxim
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, 07 2007
Age 41; Russia, Moscow.

For Soprunov the traveler, the trip to the theater was a trip with the highest degree of complexity.

The theater is not only associated with grief, but with gunmen. The probability that Maxim Soprunov would have met residents of the Caucasus somewhere in the mountains was greater, since he was a virtuoso at navigating complicated mountain rivers.

Soprunov was one of the founders of the modern school of kayaking in Russia, a participant and leader of many trips with high degrees of complexity. The 42year-old instructor of water tourism went to Nord-Ost with his wife Elena, whom he met on a tourist flight, and a friend of his wifes. The friend is now in Hospital #7, while Elena is in intensive care at the Botkin Hospital. Maxim was buried lastweek.

From their loved ones we are finding out how the dead hostages lived, but in Maxims case he kept his own recollections: on the internet is his diary with descriptions of one of his trips the navigation of the Koksu river in Kazakhstan.

From Maxims mother Zhanna Kirillovna:

The first time he called was right after the capture. He said that armed people had ordered those with cell phones to call the television stations and say that if there was any kind of armed action, then for every terrorist killed they would shoot twenty hostages. Ihad the phone number for Vremechka, so Icalled.

River with the simple name of Life

For others you are impassable,

But Ineed to get through

Your steel borders.

From the diary of Maxim Soprunov:

After breakfast, leaving the injured and women back at camp, we went for the catamarans and kayaks we had left back upstream. We did this for one and a half hours. We got the catamarans and put them in the water. The day afterwards passed in drawn-out idleness. Before lunch we bathed and caught fish (five). After lunch we went to look at the rapids, which end past the left bend of the river, 50meters under the mouth of the Tentek. O Lifanovs sailing chart, the obstacle just after the river mouth is called Mini-kamikaze (a kayak flipped in the rapids).

From Maxims mother:

They sat in the 11th row, seats 33, 34, and 35. One time he called and said: Mom, Im not doing well. Iwent to NTV and the show Freedom of Speech. When they gave me the microphone, Iappealed to Barayev to help my son, since he is a diabetic, and was feeling ill and needed treatment.

River with the simple name of Life

In some places wide, just like the sea,

In other places shoals laybare

Stones like pitted knives

From Maxims diary:

We left, as usual, late. For 1hour and 10minutes there were uncomplicated turns and at the end some Siberian-type rapids formed from the indigenous rock in the channel (reddish cliffs). The mountains descend farther along. The bends get more complicated, the water stronger, and the rate of fall increases. The valley again widens and the mountains recede. We stopped on the left bank for the night. That evening, repelling a multitude of advisors, Grisha backed pancake burgers. The day was quite hot. There were not many plants on the left bank, so the tent was the only escape from the sun. The water in the river got warmer.

From Maxims mother:

My son and his wife worked for a solid firm. After the assault their colleagues went driving around, looking for Maxim for two days. On Sunday there was a rumor that he was in satisfactory condition at Hospital #13, and that he was supposed to be released and had even asked someone to come with his things, but Iwoke up that day and my heart told me that he was dead. So when Iwent to Hospital #13 Ihad photographs of him to send with them to Petrovka. My son had the photo album at his place (we lived separately), so all Ihad were some poor-quality photos of him paddling a kayak. My son wasnt at the hospital, so Iwent to Petrovka.

River with the simple name of Life

Little by little it is overpowering.

And here two stumpyhorns!

Never again in life will Iexperiencethem

From Maxims diary:

For 1.5 km further along the river is simple, not more than category 3. On the way back we reconnoitered a nice raspberry patch. They were only just beginning to ripen. Part of the group went to visit an apiary. They served us hot scones and milk with honey (for money). They promised to slaughter a sheep tomorrow. Supper included the delicacies enumerated above and fried mushrooms. In talking with our hostess, we found out that the place where wed stopped our kayaks was called Judino. Several years ago a kayaker from Petersburg died here.

From Maxims mother:

At Petrovka they told me that Maxim was in the morgue at Izmailov. Iwent there. They showed me his image on a computer. Irecognized my son his fallen face and dark hair. They opened the door and Iwent up to him and said: Sleep peacefully my little son, my dear. You will always be remembered. He was covered up to his chin. There was a scratch on his temple, like a grazing hit from a pistol. It wasnt a contusion. Maxim had no papers on him, but since childhood hes been taught always to carry ID. Apparently the gunmen took it.

River with the simple name of Life

Not as long as we would have liked,

Because the blizzards of everydaylife

Imprison it inice.

From Maxims diary:

Not making it to the rivers next ravine, we stopped at a low, wooded shelf on the left bank. Such an early stop was due to a double holiday in the group. First, wed finished the complete passage of Kazan and the Devils Ravine of Koksu. Second, it was the wedding anniversary of one of the participants. So it was decided that wed go upriver where wed seen some shepherds yurts (nomadic tents). At the yurts we found several shepherds who were gathering for their own holiday. The received us warmly. We traded a whole rope for a sheep, and later observed the local entertainments (horseracing and goat baiting). The holiday lasted until well after midnight.

From Maxims mother:

We set the date of the funeral for the 30th. Iwent to the morgue to be present at the washing of the body otherwise Id have gone through life never forgetting what he looked like when he left this world. They wouldnt allow me. As Iunderstood it, the authorities would not allow the body shown even for identification they would only show the face, and only they were allowed to verify distinguishing marks. We buried him at the Preobrazhensky cemetery. For the last rites Iasked Maxims friends to sing his favorite songs. They went and got a guitar and sang three songs, including Vizbors My Darling, but no one had any voice left. We decided that we would sing at fortieth-day ceremony.

River with the simple name of Life

Not as simple as it seemed.

Wed like to have known a bit sooner,

What we would be getting into, -

If only to joinhands.

The words are from the song River, by singer-songwriter Valery Bokov.

By Yulia Larina, Moskovskie Novosti, November 6th, 2002.

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Comments (1)
1. Written by website, on 07-03-200722:50

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