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Interview
Written by   
, 05 2005

M.GANAPOLSKY: It's 15:08 here in Moscow, and this is Matvei Ganapolosky at the microphone. Today the Moscow Zamoskvoreche court refused to hear a complaint from one of the victims of the terror act at Dubrovka.

Svetlana Gubareva's daughter and fiancé died there. Shehas been trying to bring charges against the special services, which carried out the hostage rescue operation, and also against the medical services, which brought victims to the hospital. The Zamoskvoreche court decided that their actions did not constitute a crime. Inour studio now is former 'Nord-Ost' hostage Svetlana Gubareva, her attorney Olga Mikhailova, and Pavel Finogenov, whose brother was killed at 'Nord-Ost'. They did everything correctly, didn't they?

S.GUBAREVA: They indicated that it was all done correctly. Without even having finished their investigation, they already stated that everything was done correctly. Moreover, even at the very beginning of investigation individual representatives of the competent authorities were presented awards and decorations for their correct actions.

M.GANAPOLSKY: Now well take a break for the news and then continue our conversation.

(NEWS)

M.GANAPOLSKY: I'd like to remind our listeners that were talking with former 'Nord-Ost' hostage Svetlana Gubareva. Canyou please elaborate on some of the inconsistencies that are not obvious at first glance?

S.GUBAREVA: One pf the most glaring is the assertion that medical assistance was allegedly well organized, that there were sufficient doctors, sufficient ambulances, sufficient medicines. And here is the inconsistency: they arranged a gas chamber for the hostages, and according to the district attorney 114people were dead at the scene. Those who survived received a whole bouquet of chronic diseases. Some of the hostages became invalids due to the gas, and no one is guilty of this. Yet, in the district attorney's same materials, I'm not making this up, it is recorded in the district attorney's documents that Sandy didn't receive any medical assistance, that a doctor did not see him until two and a half hours after the assault.

M.GANAPOLSKY: You mean your husband?

S.GUBAREVA: Yes, Sandy Booker. The doctors only looked at him in order to certify his death. For two and a half hours there weren't any doctors. They lacked a doctor to give Sandy timely medical care. They also lacked a doctor to give medical care to 13-year-old Kristina Kurbatova, and lacked a doctor to give medical care to 13-year-old Arseny Kurilenko. And they lacked a doctor to give medical aid to 14-year-old Nina Milovidova, and Sergey Martynov, and you can continue the list. ButPavel here, his brother Igor Finogenov was treated by a physician-magician, who gave medical assistance, according to the district attorney's documents, at 7:55, even though the records state that he was called at 8:15, and managed to make an intra-cardiac injection without leaving a mark on Igor's body. The poisoned hostages died waiting for medical assistance, and to speak of a sufficiency of medical specialists to render necessary and timely medical assistance, well, the district attorney is either trying to confuse the issue, or, speaking frankly, is lying.

P.FINOGENOV: I'd like to add to what was said about the application of the gas. It's been said that the gas prevented an explosion, but without going into deep detail, the district attorney's resolution dated October 26th, 2003, contains testimony from the hostages, which has been acknowledged as correct by the district attorney's representatives. In the analytical section, they state that the terrorists actively returned fire during the assault, with 16machine guns and 8pistols. This is stated in the analytical section with regards to the terrorists. It states that at the time of the assault, when the gas was coming in, Barayev ran around the hall and yelled for them to break windows. A few terrorists started shooting from the stage, but the hostages were unable to make out what they were shooting at. Probably at the windows. The terrorists didnt try to blow themselves up. The covered their faces with handkerchiefs, laid on the floor among the hostages, and in about ten minutes everyone lost consciousness. According to our information, the firefight with the terrorists lasted more than an hour.

S.GUBAREVA: Even then, 10minutes would have been enough to blow up the building, had they had decided to do so.

P.FINOGENOV: They had the stationary bomb, dozens of grenades, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. All were ready and were not used. A huge number of small arms and martyr belts. Onthe whole, they had enough to do the job. Asfar as preventing an explosion, even people near the center, according to the investigation, were able to simply hold their breath and run to any place in the hall, and undertake any action that they wanted. The gas couldn't work instantaneously when a person could just hold their breath and remain in the hall for a few dozen seconds.

S.GUBAREVA: And again these inconsistencies. The district attorney talks about the instantaneous action of the gas, but in reality, as you see in the district attorney's documents, there was no instantaneous effect. The terrorists had time to blow things up, and the gas could have provoked them to do so, since it had a distinct color and smell. It did not prevent an explosion.

M.GANAPOLSKY: Let's get to the bottom of it all. What are you trying to get out of this? You are speaking the absolute truth, so Ican only throw up my hands. I'm not going to defend anyone. The inconsistencies we can see them. Is the investigation over?

S.GUBAREVA: Officially no, the investigation has been prolonged once again.

M.GANAPOLSKY: You see, then there's nothing to complain about. What does the attorney say?

O.MIKHAILOVA: Within the framework of the case, to which these two resolutions relate, the investigation is complete. That is, there will be no more investigations with regards to the actions of the special services or medical workers, all that was part of their resolutions. Now we have appealed these in court. The court reached a verdict.

M.GANAPOLSKY: An investigation into them, there won't be any more investigative action. But what if someone suddenly says in court that this one or that one is guilty? Or do you already know what was said, that they did everything absolutely correctly?

O.MIKHAILOVA: With regards to these persons there can be no trial, because the resolutions have been made. We appealed, and the court made its decision. We cannot change this in any way.

M.GANAPOLSKY: That is, they acted correctly?

S.GUBAREVA: Yes.

P.FINOGENOV: The fact is, that even in its present stage the investigation has ignored the most essential. Nevertheless, the investigation continues to insist on the legality and the proven grounds for their resolutions. That speaks for itself.

M.GANAPOLSKY: Why are they doing this?

S.GUBAREVA: Apparently, they want to hide the true reason of the people's deaths. Theoperation was immediately declared a success, and state does not want to change its position. Moreover, in my repeated petitions to the court, the fact is that in the case materials have still not the specific causes and circumstances of my loved ones' deaths. Irequested that they conduct an additional investigation in order to establish this. I got a reply from the district attorney's office, stating that the investigation actions were carried out in full, and there would be no further action.

M.GANAPOLSKY: And the inconsistencies, about which you do speak, are they to be ignored?

S.GUBAREVA: Absolutely.

M.GANAPOLSKY: I'd like to say that at 15:35 we will have a 'ricochet' (listener poll) with regards to continuing the investigation. Are there many such people from the 'Nord-Ost' victims who are not satisfied, and continue to demand the truth?

S.GUBAREVA: There are probably not as many as Iwould like, but, nevertheless, such people exist. Pavel here has a hearing on May 25th, Yusipova has a hearing, and the Kurbatovs recently finished theirs.

M.GANAPOLSKY: All were refused?

S.GUBAREVA: Of course.

O.MIKHAILOVA: Refusals, then the Moscow city court overturns these refusals. Fornow we are going around in circles.

M.GANAPOLSKY: You've never joined forces?

O.MIKHAILOVA: We wanted to combine our suits so that they could be examined in one single lawsuit, but the court didn't want to do this, referring to the fact that the applicants could be there for different reasons, and it was easier for the court to examine each complaint individually.

M.GANAPOLSKY: Easier for the court, but what about the victims or the relatives of the victims?

O.MIKHAILOVA: Naturally, this would be convenient for everyone (to combine forces).

P.FINOGENOV: The victims were for this, and they asked the court, but the court refused.

O.MIKHAILOVA: We requested this, yes.

S.GUBAREVA: Nevertheless, we are united. We have the 'Nord-Ost' organization. Atour round table, which we held in February, we decided to unite all the various terror victim organizations. The relatives of the victims of the terrorist attacks on the airliners would join, as well as victims of the apartment and Metro blasts, and of course, the Beslan people. On May 14th, at the 'Kosmos' hotel's concert hall we'll host the 'No to Terror' festival. Everyone is invited; there is no admission charge.

M.GANAPOLSKY: What will you do next?

O.MIKHAILOVA: We will certainly appeal today's resolutions in Moscow city court. Ourplaintiffs have appealed to the International Center for Legal Defense, which Irepresent, and through attorney Moskalenko, who is one of my bullets, a complaint was sent to the European Court, moreover this complain was sent after we had already waited six months since the tragedy. Theplaintiffs who are here now are among those who sent in this complaint. Now that we have exhausted all the domestic means, the European Court is necessary. We hope that the European Court will examine the case. Perhaps they won't deal with it as superficially as our courts have.

M.GANAPOLSKY: So, there are no guilty parties, only the terrorists who committed the crime are guilty. Everyone else did everything correctly?

S.GUBAREVA: Yes. We find very interesting the statement that '40 terrorists came'. These aren't the types you could just find on the street and say 'would you like to seize a theater with us?' Someone financed them. Someone organized them. And those people probably didn't come to the theater, and they are still out there, somewhere. Why aren't they looking for them?

M.GANAPOLSKY: Maybe they are. There's a brilliant answer for everything. The investigation isn't finished.

S.GUBAREVA: I'd like to believe. But on the other hand, there was the trial of Talkhigov as an accomplice of the terrorists. One would think that we, the victims of this terrorist attack, we just might be interested in the trial. But we werent recognized as victims in this case. We werent notified of the findings, and none of us were allowed in the court. Yet another secret.

P.FINOGENOV: That is, the organizers are also accomplices, and so when they try the organizers, if they find them, then well also not be summoned or recognized as their victims. But all the terrorists, according to the investigation, were killed, and so well never see a trial on criminal case # 229133.

M.GANAPOLSKY: Let's take a short break.

(NEWS)

M.GANAPOLSKY: It is now 15:35. Wepose this question to you, the listeners. Would it be worthwhile conducting a new investigation into 'Nord-Ost'? If you think: 'Yes, it's worth it, there's a lot that's obscure there', please dial 9958121. If you think: ' No, it's not worth it, the case is closed', dial 9958122. Thevoting has begun. Please excuse that this isnt a holiday theme, but, well, what can you do? I don't have any other guests for you. Nexttime we'll talk about violets. We have today pre-holiday phone service, so we're going to talk until 15:58. Were taking your calls. Speaking honestly, it's hard for me to put you on the air.

S.GUBAREVA: Why?

M.GANAPOLSKY: Because, honestly, I'd take a Kalashnikov or pair of grenades

S.GUBAREVA: That's not the way.

M.GANAPOLSKY: Certainly it's not the way, but what is? This bastardized investigation, which they manufactured for you, is this the way?

S.GUBAREVA: Yes it is. Inthis way we at least are able to somehow express ourselves, to somehow influence perhaps Iplace too much faith in the public. Because we can't fight this alone. We would clearly lose. But theres still a big chance that someday the public's consciousness will wake up, that people will understand that you can't be afraid forever, that anyone can find themselves in our shoes. Maybe Beslan was possible because they silenced the investigation into 'Nord-Ost', there wasn't an effective investigation and they got Beslan. Now theyre trying to silence Beslan the same way. Maybe something even worse will come of it. When 'Nord-Ost' happened, it seemed like the worst that could ever be, but later the school in Beslan. Here there were 130victims, while there 300victims, a large number of them children.

P.FINOGENOV: In reality, the increase in terrorism, which we now observe in the RF (Russian Federation), possibly it is provoked by the actions of our law-enforcement agencies, and this forces our population to arm itself to protect its rights. Saying that we need to conduct an independent investigation, not believing one single word of the district attorney, as a result well sooner or later conclude that were going to have to punish those people we find guilty ourselves. When this will be, no one knows, because the investigation will probably result in some measures or actions. Yes, we'll undoubtedly appeal to international agencies, but no one protects us, no one can convince the victims and those whose nearest and dearest died. The district attorney is supposed to protect the victims, but in actuality they are traitors, they betray their interests. We only see them as traitors, traitors to us, and traitors, in general, to Russia, and this is certainly terrible.

S.GUBAREVA: They are always telling us that human life is a priority; even Putin not long ago said that in Beslan the lives of the hostages were the priority. But you know, in the district attorney's resolution to not bring charges against the special forces, there is a remarkable phrase. It states that the assault was undertaken to prevent the undermining of Russia's authority in the international area. Is this really not blasphemy? And is it really the district attorney's place to worry about our authority in the international area? Perhaps his job is fighting criminals?

M.GANAPOLSKY: The voting is almost done. Right now just under 4thousand have voted, 3909. I would say that people on average are somewhat interested in what went on in your life.

S.GUBAREVA: This is understandable. There is a Russian proverb: when someone is born we celebrate for 3days, when someone dies we cry for 3days. Those who weren't touched by this personally, they think that it won't touch them later. I used to think that way. I thought that way, perhaps, because Ilive in Kazakhstan, but Icame to Moscow for a week and got caught up in it all. They tell me, why keep remembering it all? It was over long ago. I'm not remembering it. I'm living with it. It's impossible to imagine, Ifell asleep holding my child's hand, and Iwake up and she is already no more. And will never be again. In order to understand this, you'd have to be in the same situation, and Iwish this on no one. Now it's stratified: the first, most important, most significant terror acts are Beslan, 'Nord-Ost', the little things are the airliner bombings, the bomb in the Riga Metro station, well people, let's count on our fingers. That there haven't been a lot killed is not any easier for the loved ones of those who were. In Moscow there soon wont be any family that has not somehow been touched by an act of terror.

P.FINOGENOV: It seems to me that it's still important for people to think that acts of terror won't happen to them. Because the chance of finding yourself involved in a terrorist attack are really very small, but people should understand that the people making the decisions, the people connected with investigating of an act of terror, are at the very top of the government, and they determine the RF's policies, including with respect to the life of each and every person, policies for the safety of each specific person, the protection of his rights and freedoms. Andthese same people continue to lead the RF and determine its policies with respect to the guarantee of your rights and freedoms each day.

M.GANAPOLSKY: Results of the voting. 4733people have voted. They've finally begun to move. They understand that they can't just sit and listen, they've got to speak up, perhaps in your support. But still, a little sluggish. Ifyou listen to 'Echo of Moscow', and I'll give an example, if right now the question was 'Is Putin guilty of Nord-Ost' then 10thousand would have called. But really, you aren't blaming the regime very much. If the people can let themselves get screwed in this way, then what's the problem? Sorry if you have children listening. In reality, these are the most compassionate words Ican find to express to our radio listeners, to help them understand what a huge misfortune you found yourselves in, and how you can't just give up these lives like gifts. Now you go around in circles, to lawyers, but really, should you give these lives up? It's understood, this operation was a calamity, but it was unexpected, in other words, they did what they could, you know, it happens. But now the question: how could they have done it? It's clear that some measures could have been undertaken, and then there might have been enough doctors. But no, our logic is such that we say there were enough.

S.GUBAREVA: It seems to me that those who are watching our actions don't entirely understand that, yes, Ican't bring back my child, my family, but now I'm doing everything so that they don't kill their family. AndI'm doing it more for them, than for myself.

M.GANAPOLSKY: I'll now demonstrate for you an example of irresponsibility. Helen writes, Matvei Yurievich, your guests blame their misfortune on everyone except the Chechen terrorists. Whatare they doing, justifying their (the terrorist's) actions? Helen, get away from your radio, you are surely listening to a different broadcast. No, you don't even have to answer this question, because they don't know what they're talking about.

S.GUBAREVA: No, I'll answer. Thatfact that the Chechens are guilty, this is unambiguous, this is not subject to doubt, because had it not been for them, nothing else would've happened. Butwe are talking about something else, about how the authorities acted.

P.FINOGENOV: And about how the investigation was conducted.

M.GANAPOLSKY: The people don't want to hear about the authorities, it's simpler that way. We'll take a break for news, then we'll continue.

(NEWS)

M.GANAPOLSKY: Svetlana Gubareva, former hostage, who lost her 13-year-old daughter and her husband, and Pavel Finogenov, who lost his brother, and Olga Mikhailova, attorney. I must give the results of the voting. 'Yes, it is worth conducting a new investigation into Nord-Ost, there is much there that is not clear', 87%. 'No, it's not worth it, the case is closed', 13%. 13% this is small, believe me. Usually iff there's 30%, then we consider it. 2031922, why did you vote the way you did, and not otherwise, and what would you like to say to our guests, what words? We're listening to you.

OLGA, MOSCOW: Matvei Yurievich, you are always cussing about indifference, the silence of lambs. Ididn't vote, and I'll tell you why. Certainly, the investigation is an obscenity and the assault was an obscenity. Butyou all truly understand that no one is going to change a thing, the awards aren't going to be taken away, and they're not going to dig into it. They buried the Chechens, gave the fat-asses their awards. And that's it! What's indifference got to do with it?

M.GANAPOLSKY: But why didn't you vote?

OLGA, MOSCOW: Because of the way you worded the question. Youknow that no one is going to change a thing. Or maybe they will, in your childrens and grandchildrens lifetimes. But nothing's going to happen now.

M.GANAPOLSKY: Thank you very much for calling. I'd like to tell you, Olga, and our guests, that what we have here is a typical example of behavioral schizophrenia. Sheknows that nothing will come of it, and so she doesn't vote.

S.GUBAREVA: Maybe, since nothing will come of it, she didn't vote? But on the contrary, if you don't do anything, then you get nothing.

M.GANAPOLSKY: But she called to explain that she didn't vote because nothing would come of it.

P.FINOGENOV: This position suits the government more than anyone.

M.GANAPOLSKY: And it suits Olga. Weknow that nothing will change, so therefore we do nothing, because nothing will change.

S.GUBAREVA: Then we must try to talk about it more, and more frequently, so that she understands that maybe something can change, that maybe her vote can influence something.

ANASTASIYA: Ivoted that Ibelieve that the investigation must be prolonged, since there is a lot that is still unclear, and our special services conducted themselves very irresponsibly, and they think that they can just use any means no matter what the purpose.

M.GANAPOLSKY: What would you like to say to our guests?

ANASTASIYA: Iempathize with them greatly, and Iunderstand their position, because Iwas in America when there was the act of terror on September 11th. When 'Nord-Ost' happened Iwas flying here to Moscow. On CNN they showed all the terrible actions. I don't understand how these fine people made it through it all. I wish them success. I hope that everything goes well for them.

S.GUBAREVA: Thanks.

VALENTINA: First, Iwant to express my sympathy, and Ithink that if people dont express their dissatisfaction, then everything will just continue. Andpeople who haven't ended up in court, they don't see the cruelty there, they just sit and think that everything is okay, and they think that they won't ever be in this situation. They're wrong. Thegovernment is corrupt to the limit.

M.GANAPOLSKY: What do you think, why of all the television stations, only Ren-TV came (to the former hostages press conference)? Well, and RTVI.

VALENTINA: That's the only station that can show anything.

M.GANAPOLSKY: It could. Theyalready

VALENTINA: Well keep watching.

M.GANAPOLSKY: Many thanks.

SAMUEL: Ivoted for the investigation. Myname is Samuel. Unfortunately, I'm 70, and I'd like to live until the XXth Congress of 'United Russia', when we find out the whole truth. Earlier than this, unfortunately, it won't happen.

M.GANAPOLSKY: The XXth?

SAMUEL: Iwas 20during the XXth Congress (of the USSR, when Stalin was repudiated). When Iwas 10, Ilooked upon Stalin as if he was my own father. By the way, whenever Isee his picture nowadays, my childhood comes back to me. That's how the putinists are going to look at Putin's portrait.

M.GANAPOLSKY: What would you like to say to those who are in the studio?

SAMUEL: The same thing that it we could've told Bukharin's relatives in 1937. It's a bad deal, guys.

S.GUBAREVA: But not hopeless, Ithink.

M.GANAPOLSKY: Well yes, back then there wasn't an International Court of Justice.

YEKATERINA: Ialso voted 'for', that it's necessary to investigate further. ButI have the only question, which those present didn't answer, your question about what they are trying to get?

M.GANAPOLSKY: What do you think?

YEKATERINA: Follow my, perhaps, not entirely correct logic, that even if the courts recognize and find the guilty, the most they can do is award damages. Isthis not so?

M.GANAPOLSKY: If they find the guilty, then these people will be named, right?

YEKATERINA: Will they feel better if this happens?

M.GANAPOLSKY: We will now find that out. Do you want money, punishment, or what?

S.GUBAREVA: More than anything, the punishment of the guilty.

P.FINOGENOV: Our struggle goes on within the framework of a criminal case, and our demands correspond 100% with criminal evidence. That is, the demand that they determine the course of events, what happened there, and to establish who the real culprits are, within the framework of the criminal case. Noneof us has filed a civil claim thus far.

M.GANAPOLSKY: You're a bit embarrassed to speak about this, and this shows, but I'd like to remind our radio listeners. Yes, they'll have to give money. Svetlana, do you have any other children?

S.GUBAREVA: No.

M.GANAPOLSKY: What will Svetlana do when she is old? Who will get her a glass of water when she's 80? Who? This is the Soviet in us.

S.GUBAREVA: Idon't think that I'll make it to 80with this pain.

P.FINOGENOV: The main objective, which we are now trying to attain, is to determine the specific events that happened during 'Nord-Ost', and which preceded 'Nord-Ost', and to find out the organizers and perpetrators of the crime. Ourcomplaints consist specifically of these demands.

M.GANAPOLSKY: Last caller.

TATIANA: Iagreeable with you 100%, on your summation of what's going on in our country, that we're letting ourselves, as you put it, get screwed, and this is the same at every level, and in the hospitals, and absolutely everywhere. Certainly, Ivoted for a continuation and Ithink that it's not just this that's hard, but also Beslan, and how they take care of the retirees. It's terrible and everyone keeps quiet. When Iturn to my fellow workers and Isay, guys, we can't put up with this, they say what do you mean 'we', but my hands are also tied, and my legs, because if Isay that I'm retired, I'll get fired.

M.GANAPOLSKY: Ithank you. Wehave to finish up. I thank everyone who called in and supported this position. I'd like once again to express my sympathy to you, and say that life seems to have turned out so that you are now at the leading edge, but that's such an old phrase, at the leading edge of the defense of human rights. True, everything has turned out poorly. I'd also like to tell you that numerous words of support have come to us on the pager, and words of sympathy, and words of admiration. God grant that all of this is finished not at the XXth congress of the 'United Russia', but a lot sooner. Thank you very much. I wish you good health.

S.GUBAREVA: Thanks.


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