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I remember those who were not rescued — Alpha group commando
Written by Екатерина Маключенко, Вадим Титов   
Суббота, 23 Октябрь 2010
Eight years ago, during the assault on the terrorist-held Dubrovka Theater, Yuri Torshin led one of the Alpha group commando units. His soldiers back then destroyed rebel leader Movsar Barayev.
According to Torshin, of all the terrorist acts he had to prevent, Dubrovka stuck him most by its huge number of hostages.
«Before this operation took place, there were small numbers of terrorists and hostages located in small spaces, such as a bus, plane or office,» the Alpha commando remembered. «But here there was a huge crowd of people in one location.»
The Special Forces soldier remembers the events of those terrible days, October 23rd to the 26th, 2002, literally minute by minute. According to Torshin, when the seizure of the theater became known, all Special Forces troops were put on alert and operational working groups set up. A building with architecture similar to Dubrovka was chosen, and for two days they worked out options for releasing the hostages. On the third day the command to attack was given.
«When we entered the building, the terrorists were located throughout the complex, and so no one knew what kind of encounter it would be: in twos and threes, or with a large number of terrorists,» said Torshin.
According the Alpha special unit officer, when his squad entered the theater center there was a full-scale battle with grenade blasts and bursts of machinegun fire. During the storming of the building, security forces used nerve gas. Torshin admitted that even the men of Alpha had not enough practical skills for action in such situations.
«We were not ready for this. We didn't have enough practice. I ordered soldiers to break a window to get a draft started to ventilate the area, but there was no draft. It was prevented a big poster for Nord-Ost,» he recalled.
Torshin noted another detail: the gangsters had no problems getting into the capital's theatrical center. On the day of Nord-Ost's premiere there were only five guards responsible for the building's security. For such a large premises, according to the commando, this is extremely small.
He said that it is sad that only after this tragedy were measures taken across the country to ensure safety in public places.
On October 23, 2002, a group of terrorists took more than 800 spectators and actors hostage at the theatrical center on Dubrovka. During the hostage rescue operation all the terrorists — 32 men and 18 women — were killed. Victims of the attack numbered 128.
In ‘RIA Novosti’

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