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A person is alive, so long as we remember
Written by   
, 31 2011
Article Index
A person is alive, so long as we remember
Page 2
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I hasten to bring you good news the collected materials have been submitted in preparation for printing, and so soon, very soon, you will not only be able to read the Memorial Book on our site, but browse through it in hard copy as well.

Many thanks to those who responded to our request and told about loved ones who died at Dubrovka, and thanks as well to those journalists who wrote about the lives of these people. Without your help this book would never have been written.

Thanks to public and political figures all who tried to save the hostages back then, and who now support our project:

.. ,      Recently on the Internet, Iread a conversation by psychologists and psychotherapists about the terrible events that occurred October 2326in the theatrical center on Dubrovka. Theywere among those who stayed with the relatives of hostages at Vocational School #190 (where a crisis assistance center had been set up). Weprobably ran into each other more than a few times during those dark days. Theyconfessed that they had seen pretty much everything in life, but this was the first time that they had ever met with such a tragedy. Dubrovka struck them deeply with sorrow.

Hope came and melted away. Asthe hours passed, nerves grew more and more tense, like an over wound mainspring. Atany moment everything could break loose with the most unpredictable of consequences, or must end, strong-willed, with a period. Nerves were on edge, and time was stretched to the limit. Iconfess that for me the grief and tragedy were personal. Iunderstood that as someone with limited, yet sufficient official authority, Ineeded to get things organized for these tormented families, to dispel the murderous rumors that were going around, to put on those excessive media representatives who were trying to get hot tidbits on a “starvation died”, and to protect these people from the various political hacks coming to Melnikov Street to shine and get good PR. Andpurely as a person, Iknew that Ihad to take these people’s grief and pain onto myself.

During these, and subsequent, days, Ilearned a lot, if not everything, about those who were in the theatrical center. Ideveloped a relationship built on trust with the relatives of the hostages, and we started understanding each other almost without words. Therefore, when the early morning explosions of October 26th died away, when the hostages were released, the injured taken to hospitals, and the vocational school gym suddenly emptied, Isaw near me a number of people who were the most unhappy, most lonely people in the world: they would never see loved ones, their dearest, their one and only, ever again. Atthe time it seemed that we might expect such a finale, but this new pain was stamped into us.

Ithink that Ichanged a lot on the inside during those days. Today, nine years later, the pain has not passed: it comes instead with an even more acute sense of guilt about the slain and the suffering and tears of the hostages and their families and friends.

Apologizing for not having rescued the victims has become the rule for me whenever Igo to church. Itbecame a necessity, as did empathy with their families and friends. Itwas so that those who experienced this horror might not collide with bureaucratic indifference, or simple human incomprehension.

Dubrovka today is a symbol of grief and woe for all of Moscow, but Iam certain that we must live with this grief and carry the memory of the dead, in order that the pain of this tragedy never dulls, but in its place encourages active remembrance.

Iam genuinely pleased that this book, which will also become a memorial, was written. Itwill unite the victims’ families, friends, and loved ones. Itwill make one family out of all honest and decent people, of everyone who chooses life, love, and goodness all that is priceless and eternal.

L.I.Shvetsova, Deputy Mayor of Moscow for social policies

We live in a world where war has long been one of the fundamental factors of life. Unfortunately, our society cannot understand this. Awareness arrives only with the next act of organized violence, and then once again comes relaxation. Thisshould not be! Thememory of those slain at the hands of the terrorists still strikes at our hearts.

We, the officers of ‘Alpha’ group, are no strangers to this. Since 1980, we have been constantly involved in wars, local conflicts, and special operations. Whatwe experienced at ‘Nord-Ost’, however, will forever remain an open wound in our hearts.

When in a country the security system is inoperative, when at different levels failures occur, when normal people find themselves in extreme danger as, in this case, hostages, the security forces have to take everything upon themselves. Soit was in Budennovsk, ‘Nord-Ost’, and Beslan.

Advancing towards the Dubrovka theatrical complex building on October 26th, 2002, we were aware that if the terrorists detonated the explosives located in the auditorium, we all could end up under a pile of smoking rubble. Butwe were not given a choice. Torescue people in distress and destroy brutal criminals is our professional task, our military duty.

Forgive us; we did everything we could.

Eternal memory to the victims of the ‘Nord-Ost’.

Alexander Mikhailov, reserve colonel, detachment head in directorate ‘A’ during the ‘Nord-Ost’ crisis, and Yuri Torshin reserve colonel, detachment head in directorate ‘A’ during the ‘Nord-Ost’ crisis, on behalf of the International Association of Veterans of the ‘Alpha’ antiterroristunit

Image‘Nord-Ost’ is a grief that united the whole country! ‘Nord-Ost’ is an unceasing pain in our hearts! Manyyears have passed, but our memory preserves the terrible moments that were experienced by all! Thistragedy is a reminder to the peoples of the world that terrorism can only be defeated by our joint efforts.

Iam eternally grateful to all who participated in the liberation of the hostages. Toall who came to ‘Nord-Ost’ and offered all possible assistance this was a matter of honor and conscience for everyone living on Earth.

One of the thousands who participated in the liberation of the hostages, Honored Moscow Citizen and People's Artist of the USSR, Josef Kobzon

ImageNearly nine years have passed since the shocking and tragic events of October 2002. Forordinary people whose lives were not touched by the capture ‘Nord-Ost’, this may seem like a long time, but for those who lost loved ones there, it feels as if it happened only yesterday.

Those three days changed their lives forever. Askany of the relatives of the victims, and they will tell you that life for them is divided into “before the attack” and “after”.

Those who had no connection to this tragedy cannot even come close to imagining the suffering of the victims’ families. Those who died are gone forever, but they live in a long memories and love of their families.

We must never forget those who died, the innocent victims who were by tragic coincidence in the wrong place at the wrong time. Itwas the most difficult, however, for those who had to face the tragedy and who suffered the loss: ordinary people who in 2002with the inspiring courage, dignity and strength, coped with this unimaginable pain. Myheart is with them.

Mark Franchetti, Moscow correspondent for the British newspaper 'Sunday Times', one of those who negotiated with the terrorists on saving the hostages

ImageThe more time that passes following the tragedy at Dubrovka, the stronger should be our awareness of the need for very serious reflection on the subject, and the more sensitive our inner ear should listen for any echoes of that terrible event.

But, on the contrary, this tragedy is leaving us, as have other tragedies experienced by people in recent years. Itpales, and loses its empathic clarity. Andthis is not a protective property by our memory: it is a sign of general indifference, which, it turns out, is acting in concert with those who murdered people there. Somekilled these people, while others forget them. Grief is only grief to those families who lost loved ones, and they go through it on their own, without sympathy from either their fellow countrymen, or the authorities.

There were those who at the time could save lives, and thankfully it was possible. There might have been even more had the efforts of individuals and the authorities fit together, or at least not been mutually exclusive. Wenever found out how all of this could have happened, what went on there, why so many people died during the assault, and, most importantly, why so many died after it.

But there are lessons of Dubrovka that must be learned for all, and as such they are obvious. First of all, the prestige of no government or politician can ever be placed above the lives of citizens. Whenit comes to human life, no political necessity or calculation on saving the lives of thousands through the deliberate destruction of one hundred or ten or even one life can ever be admissible, simply because it always turns to evil eventually. Strength, courage, and risk are values only if they pursue a moral purpose. Circumstances may be such that a state’s decision must be made very quickly, but the main thing is that there be a moral reference point, an awareness of the precedence of human life. Anerroneous moral compass, or even its absence in public decisions and policy, destroys a country. Andsecondly, revenge cannot be an objective of either the law enforcement agencies or the courts. Thetask of the army and security forces is only protection, while the court’s task is only justice.

They say that the truth always triumphs, but for some reason afterwards. Thetruth about Dubrovka will be told when it becomes a civic necessity, when it is no longer treated as merely information, but as to how it compares with the grief and pain of those whose names are listed in this book to life itself.

This book is a step towards ensuring that the names of the dead at Dubrovka are entered into that endless list of people whose memory and pain should bind people together.

Grigory Yavlinsky, Soviet and Russian politician, economist, and doctor of economic sciences

ImageAn average person since birth is subconsciously motivated by a sense of justice, while a politician, respectively, has a desire to prove his power and the power of the government in endless competition. Politicians instigate wars, and war does not tolerate justice. Buteven war is fairer with regards to people than terrorism. Terrorism is war without rules, whose victims are women, children, and innocent civilians. Itis war without warning. Terrorism arises as a result of an unfinished war, when nobody won and no one admits defeat. Thehighest form of injustice is felt especially when you become indirectly involved in the events, as happened to me during the seizure of the Dubrovka theater.

Icame face to face with such human misery and such indifference on the part of the authorities with regards to the victims of the terrorist attack, that even back then Ialready realized that terrorist attacks would be with us for a long time. Certainly, no amount of state aid can make people who have become victims of an undeclared war happy, but the essence of power is in its pursuit of this alongside the fight against terrorism.

People their whole life should feel the concern of the state towards those who end up paying for the politicians’ mistakes, but this is not happening, and therefore the terrorists are really winning. Thisis despite the terrorists’ monstrous cruelty, as the people transfer their enduring hatred to the government. Allthat remains is a hope for justice, and human memory. Andfor this we need books like this one.

I.Khakamada, Russian politician and statesman, PhD, author, radio host, TV anchor

ImageThe farther from us the story of the tragedy of ‘Nord-Ost’ passes, the less the authorities try to remember it, and the same goes for a majority of our citizens. Onlythe relatives and loved ones of the slain 130hostages will never forget the nightmare that occurred in October 2002at Dubrovka.

I, too, cannot forget it. Theparliamentary commission that was set up on my initiative determined that most of the hostages could have been saved. Incorrect medical treatment was provided. Ourproposal to Putin for an investigation into the causes of the hostages’ deaths remains unanswered, and no one has been punished.

After ‘Nord-Ost’, Beslan happened. Onceagain, none of the leadership was ever punished.

Ithink that people from the ‘Nord-Ost’ movement are performing a holy and noble deed. Ithink that sooner or later the truth about the terrorist attack on Dubrovka will be unveiled, and the perpetrators will be punished. Itis necessary that such tragedies never happen again in the future.

Eternal memory to the victims

Boris Nemtsov, Russian politician, statesman, public figure, businessman

ImageWhat is ‘Nord-Ost’ for me?
It is unbearably anxious days. Daysof unprecedented unity of the entire country, holy days when the whole nation, regardless of belief or form of worship, prayed for the salvation of your lives, while I, not knowing any of you, like millions of Russians Islept only fitfully and for days Iwatched the unfolding tragedy and prayed: do not let there be an assault.

But for me ‘Nord-Ost’ is also ‘H-hour’, after which the whole country was split into those who support, no matter what and those who want to know the truth.

Iam with you in wanting to know THE WHOLE TRUTH, Iam with you, the martyred dead, and with the living martyrs who cannot forget you, who bury you in their hearts and who try get on and start to live once again.

Your loss, and your pain, is our common loss, and our common pain. Ithink the whole country wanted to help you, and not leave you there alone. Ondismal memorial days, every church holds memorial services, while the people Iwatch this every year the people cry over your loved ones and your children and your parents, as if they were their own. Thewhole country suffers because we were not able to help you and protect you, and to come to your aid in your most dire need, and save you all!

And yet, ‘Nord-Ost’ is when we find ourselves ashamed of his country’s leaders, the authorities who cannot prevent such acts, and sometimes even provoke them directly. Theyare unable or unwilling to investigate such cases, but they know how to humiliate, mock, and deny the victims any minimal moral, physical, or material support. Theauthorities absurdly justify themselves when caught red-handed or caught in a lie.

But human faith is stronger, and love is higher than lies, treachery, and extortion, and our friendship, our common family, is our vow in this.

We are happy for those who all these years have been with you, who have lived your sorrows and hopes, and, perhaps, were able to give at least some of you professional help, doing at least something to ease your pain and force the authorities to answer some of your questions, not eloquently dodging even most simple of your questions, absurdly hiding behind secrecy to awkwardly protect their investigative secrets from you.

And now, ‘Nord-Ost’ is also this book. Itis all of you, so beautiful and full of the love of life.

Karinna Moskalenko, attorney for the victims of the terrorist attack on the musical ‘Nord-Ost’

ImageBloody 2002. Thisis an open wound for those who were inside and around the theater on Dubrovka during those terribly cold days. Westill reel from our terrorist attack, and we are at a loss from what we have seen and heard.

Time is fleeting, and the farther one gets from it all, the less is said about the tragedy, “the tragedy of all of Russia”, since Moscow has always been the heart of Russia, and in this heart a deep wound has been inflicted.

Who will heal the wounded hearts of the mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters?
We, who were victims of the 1999terrorist attack in Volgodonsk, more than anyone else we understand the pain and suffering that the victims of ‘Nord-Ost’ are going through. Eternal memory to all victims. Patience and strength to the survivors, and all who were touched by this tragedy.

Irina Halay, chairman of the regional public organization promoting the protection of the rights of victims of the ‘Volga-Don’ terrorist attack

ImageOur wish is that the victims of ‘Nord-Ost’ will live to see for themselves those who were responsible for the death of their loved ones. Abook is about the tragedy of ‘Nord-Ost’ is an important and necessary contribution to the peaceful future of our country, one in which human life is valued as the most precious and inalienable of rights.

Ella Kesayeva, co-chairman of the ‘Voice of Beslan’ public organization, Beslan, North Ossetia

We, the families of those killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, want to tell you that we understand and share your pain. Nomatter how many years pass, the pain of loss does not abate. Perhaps we will learn to live with this pain, but we will never be able to understand why this should happen.

We must support each other and find solace in family, friends, and those who stand with us. Andrepeat: we will never forget!

With a sense of grief, the public organization of families of those killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks, New York, USA

ImageIn September 2006, the London premiere of my play ‘In Your Hands’ took place. Itwas about the tragic events of the capture of Dubrovka. Backthen, in 2002, I, like many, never left the television set for all three days, and Ialmost physically felt what it must have been like for those taken hostage. Theevents of those days became a large part of my life.

Coming to the premiere in 2006were some who lost loved ones in this tragedy. Since then they have become my friends. Isee how their pain does not subside, and how those terrible, anxious October days cannot be erased from their memory.

Looking up at us from the pages of this book are bright, vibrant persons “stars that fell from heaven before their time”. Theyshould still be alive. Allof them had plans, and dreams, but someone of ill will decided otherwise.

To those who lost loved ones at ‘Nord-Ost’, Iwish you health and the strength to live on and preserve the memory of those who have left us. Youshould remember that you are not alone in your grief, that thousands share your pain, and Ipromise that together with you Iwill do everything in my power to ensure that this tragedy is never forgotten.

Natalie Pelevine, playwright, author of the play ‘In Your Hands’, public figure

ImageNo longer is ‘Nord-Ost’ a wind direction or course it is now the name of one of the greatest tragedies of our country.

How peaceful it sounds: northeast. Likethe pipeline. Howdifficult and deadly: ‘Nord-Ost’. Weknow of no antidote for a cannibalistic principle: first destroy the terrorists, and only later rescue the hostages. ‘Nord-Ost’, Beslan, the ‘Comings Square’ (submarine emergency escape hatch) that was on the ‘SS Kursk’, my count Onewishes not only to remember to dead for all eternity, but for a strong, effective memorial, one which would be intended to never forget the heroes from the audience and security forces, and to never forget our Anna Politkovskaya and Roma Shleynov, who dragged water into the auditorium. Topursue until the end of life those who made the cursed decision not to save dozens of lives. Acivic investigation must be carried out to this end, so that those ‘Hero of Russia’ stars that were awarded by secret decree are taken away.

D.Muratov, editor in chief of ‘Novaya Gazeta’

ImageThis book is dedicated to the courage of those who went through ‘Nord-Ost’, and to the memory of those who never returned from there. Inthe 21st century, a few kilometers from the Kremlin, stands the memorial to the victims of ‘Nord-Ost’. TheKingdom of Heaven to their souls, and peace to their mortal ashes. Itis a memorial to the powerlessness and irresponsibility of those who were entrusted with protecting innocent people, memories of shame and disgrace.

The tragedy that happened to the entire country during those terrible days in October 2002has not left people around the world indifferent. We, like many others, have relived these events, every time anxiously watching the scenes from the scene of the tragedy. Iso wanted to believe that everyone would remain living. Iso wanted to believe that there will be a miracle. But

Igor Trunov, attorney for the victims of the terrorist attack on the musical ‘Nord-Ost’

Views: 18119| E-mail

Comments (19)
1. Written by Stuart Paul, on 05-04-201105:25
Denis Panteleev was a friend above all friends. Myfirst visit to the beautiful
City of St.Petersburg came as a result of his invitation whilst working onships
in Falmouth, Cornwall UK. Hispassing affected all that knew him and leftmany

Denis had that rare gift of loving everyone he met which is Heaven sent and
everyone loved Denis in return.

I shall never understand why he had to leave us, but God in His wisdomknows.
The best it is said, always gofirst.
I dont understand why such a loving and genuine person had to leaveus
following the actions of such evil people Icannot find an answer tothat.

All we can be sure of is that now, Denis is safe in the arms ofJesus.
2. Written by .., on 05-04-201105:27

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