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“Memorial” – a book about those who died at Dubrovka
Written by Эхо Москвы, передача «Разворот»   
Пятница, 11 Май 2007

Эхо Москвы On radio station Echo of Moscow’s broadcast show ‘Turn’, May 11th, 2007

Hosts: Irina Merkulova and Alexander Plyushchev

Guests: Svetlana Gubareva and Dmitry Milovidov

ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: We have as guests Svetlana Gubareva, author and former hostage at ‘Nord-Ost’, who is the author of the book ‘Memorial’, and Dmitry Milovidov, a member of the coordinating committee of the ‘Nord-Ost’ organization. Good day.

IRINA MERKULOVA: To begin with, let’s talk about the book. It describes those who died at Dubrovka. If I understand this correctly, the book is not yet in a printed form, but it is still being prepared.

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: Yes, and the aim of our discussion today is to attract attention to the story of this book’s creation, because finding all the dead hostages’ relations is very difficult. We don’t have all the contacts, and so we have to put it together a little at a time. To say that we are authors is a little too much. We are really no more than those who are putting it together, because the friends, relatives, colleagues, and other people who knew the hostages are telling the stories.

IRINA MERKULOVA: Then it is a publication?

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: Yes, it is more…

IRINA MERKULOVA: Or is it more or less an attempt to somehow dig up the truth?

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: No, it’s purely a memorial book. That is, it is apolitical; we aren’t setting as our goal assigning someone the blame or to get him or her punished. We just want to tell about the people who died there. The event is now part of Russian history, and though we often say ‘eternal memory’ or ‘bright memory’, we, who knew them, are the only people who can make their memory eternal and bright. This is our mission.

IRINA MERKULOVA: Svetlana was among the hostages at ‘Nord-Ost’. We are getting questions, including through the Internet, for you. Irina asks, she doesn’t live far from here, but anyway she is trying to understand how the investigation of the matter is going, and has been anything done to call to task those members of the special services who conducted the operation?

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: You know, as far as the investigation is concerned, there is a book that came out last year. It’s called: ‘Nord-Ost’ the unfinished investigation. It has facts about the event, and conclusions. Everything related to the investigation is in there. Little has changed in the last year. The investigation continues, but I’d like to return to today’s topic. Let’s talk about people.

IRINA MERKULOVA: Then tell us a story. It’s probably harder for you to talk about this than for me, but since we’ve gathered together perhaps you can tell it?

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: As of today we’ve put together only 67 stories, but there are 130 altogether. And every story is impossible to read without tears. Many different kinds of people wrote in: relatives, parents, colleagues, and friends. Classmates. But today we’d like to attract the attention of people, of Muscovites and not just Muscovites, because people from many cities ended up there, not just from Moscow.


SVETLANA GUBAREVA: Yes, 35 cities in Russia, and today we have no contacts with relatives of Belyantseva, Voropaeva, Kiryanova, Predovaya-Uzunovaya, Prokhorova, Telenkova, and the Litvinovs. We only know that the Litvinovs were from Orekhovo-Zuevo. Belousova. These people did not live in a vacuum. There remain, I think, those who went to school or worked with them, or lived next door. I would really like for these people to contact us. In order to assemble this information we opened a website at http://www.nord-ost.org and for now we are posting all the stories about the deceased there. Whether or not this book is ever published, this question is hanging in the air, because personally I believe, and Dima believes, that this book can be published only if all 130 stories are there. There can’t be 129 or 128. Only 130. If we succeed in collecting all 130 stories this year, then that means that it’ll be printed this year. I’d really like this, for then it will have been 5 years since the tragedy.

ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: How can relatives and acquaintances, those who you’re seeking, how can they contact you? Through the website?

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: They can go to the website, or they can contact Dmitry Milovidov directly.

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: I’m hoping that the radio station will help with this.

ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: I think that we can do that. They can contact our referral service.

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: The simplest way, perhaps, it to contact us through the website. It is much easier to write a word or two about a friend when you see his picture in front of you and you remember things, and you can look him in the eye and write about him as if he were still alive. It doesn’t have to be an obituary. They are still alive to those who remember them. We are writing about living people.

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: I would very much like it if it can be without emotion, or your own feelings about what was going on. It should be a story about a person. I would really like it like that, perhaps because I lost my daughter. I would especially like it if stories about Katya Ustinovskaya and Dasha Olhovnikova would turn up.

And there is yet another name. At the time when all this happened a girl named Alena Polyakova was being looked for. Later I read a story on the Internet about a dead girl. We still don’t know if this story was made up or not. I spoke with the journalist who wrote this awful story, but we still can’t confirm or deny it. Once again I’ll repeat: this girl didn’t live in a vacuum. Somewhere, someone must know her. If she really died there, then it would be an injustice to her to forget about her. If she is still alive and by her good fortune didn’t end up at the theater back then, then it would be an injustice to include her among the dead. I have a huge request for Moscow residents, either anonymously or not, to help us with this.

ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: As far as so many years have passed since the events, what do you think, do Muscovites still remember what happened, or are the events little by little starting to be squeezed out of their memories?

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: Judging from the fact that our website is getting lots of visitors, there is still a lot of interest. I look at the statistics of Moscow visitors as well, and I think that people still remember it. They’re showing interest because they often, or more or less often, still have questions, and people want to know what happened and what is going on now five years later.

IRINA MERKULOVA: Judging from the questions our listeners have sent through the Internet, people really remember it, and they want to know how events unfolded after everything was over.

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: We’d like to add that our website has the report: ‘Nord-Ost’ the unfinished investigation, and anyone who wishes can acquaint themselves with the real course of the investigation, and with the conclusions of experts, of qualified experts, who for some reason never were summoned to work on the commissioned investigation.

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: They can leave questions there, and as the website administrator, I promise artfully that their questions will not remain unanswered.

ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: The books for now are not in a printed form. They only exist on the website, and it’s possible that they never will be published. Svetlana, tell us, and perhaps this question is for you, Dmitry, you’re doing all this work, is anyone helping you? The Moscow city authorities, or perhaps the federal?

IRINA MERKULOVA: Or perhaps, at least they don’t interfere?

ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: Or maybe some kind of non-governmental organization?

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: Perhaps I should recall the interference that our organization met with from day one. After all, many have tried to create such a memorial. The International Aid Fund from 2002 to 2003 worked on this. The head was Andrey Mogilyansky. There were others who tried to do this. There were journalists who worked hard to at least find all of the hostages. We have already mentioned that the tragedy was mistakenly made a purely Moscow one. Two hundred people came from thirty-five other cities, and the former hostages now live in 42 cities.

IRINA MERKULOVA: There were also foreigners there as well.

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: Understand, the differences in the counts of the dead are explained by the fact that the foreigners for some reason are counted separately. For several former hostages the numbers are still news. This is connected with the fact that for some reason the citizens of the CIS, the former citizens of the Soviet Union, are counted on a separate list.

ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: Tell us, in what way have the authorities interfered, what happened?

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: Since the first days following the tragedy the authorities have hidden the lists of the hostages. How we found each other, was due to the fact that the gravestones for all the victims were of a standard type, and so we left notes for each other on them. Journalists working back then helped us a lot, too. The committee for social assistance also helped, but they observed strict legality. It seemed that the further the authorities were from Moscow, the more humane they were with people, and the more they helped the people. Think about this: the mayor of Chelyabinsk had five families or former hostages, and he appealed to the president to create the status of ‘victim of an act of terror’. He could do this on his own, to provide a legal foundation with which to assist people, and he did this on behalf of just five families. He appealed to the government, to the president. But the Moscow city government, with hundreds of former hostages who had been poisoned by the gas, they haven’t done a thing. And our president has done nothing, even though he has 20 or so thousand citizens who have been victims of acts of terror, according to statistics from the prosecutor general’s office. There is still no status for victims of acts of terror.

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: These are not victims, but casualties. That is, they are people who directly endured some sort of physical…

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: I have the prosecutor general’s resolution in my hands.

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: They are really casualties, not victims. The difference is that casualties were directly inside the zone of the act of terror, while victims can be relatives of those who died during an act of terror. There is a difference in the understanding of what kind of people they are.

IRINA MERKULOVA: Here is a question from Alla: Are you getting assistance from the famous people who were with you back then? Mark Rozovsky, for example.

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: That’s a very difficult question.

ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: But who is helping you, in general?

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: At the given moment, unfortunately, I can’t name a single famous person who back then made such loud declarations and, perhaps, on the first anniversary also made rather bright declarations. We don’t see them nearby.

IRINA MERKULOVA: Maybe simple people are helping you?

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: Naturally. Everywhere. Where I went to school the cadets for some reason lost a lot of young people. These are military school cadets and outstanding students. Now they take a very lively part in the schools that the dead attended.

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: I’d like to tell about the people who help me with the website. These are my friends, and they live in different, we three live in different countries. I live in Kazakhstan. Andrey Sergeev is the web designer and my technical support and he lives in Barnaul. It was his initiative, his idea, and he pushed me all the time to do this, he insisted. And his efforts appear on the site. By the way, this is not his only charity work. He has another site dedicated to Mikhail Yevdokimov, since they come from the same hometown. The site is http://www.evdokimov.ru/. Another friend is assistant administrator for the English part of the site, since our site is bilingual. He is an American named Carl Snedden. He is a veterinarian. He treats animals. In his free time after work he works on translations for our site into English. With his help we have translated all the pages in memory of every one of the deceased, and I hope that our book will also be published in two languages, in Russian and in English, since there were foreign citizens among the dead as well.

IRINA MERKULOVA: In America they don’t know about our tragedy. There they are somehow able to live their traditional way of life, a bit separate from all that is happening in other countries. This can be explained by various reasons.

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: In America they do know about what happened in Moscow, and they sympathize. I know some families who lost relatives on September 11th. After talking with them, I got the idea for a memorial book and for the website in its specific form. I met with them in New York for a September 11th observance. At their five-year anniversary the Russian-speaking community there, who lost loved ones on September 11th, published a brochure about the 18 former Soviet citizens who died. I looked at this, and I thought: why can’t there be such a book in Russia? We are always saying how we are so good, how we all know our history so well, and we know everything, yet in America there’s a book, by the way, a book about the almost 3000 people who died on September 11th, and it came out a year after the tragedy, while in Russia it’s been five years and there’s no such book.

IRINA MERKULOVA: They are asking you if you happen to know anything about the fate of Maria Shkolnikova?

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: No, I don’t know anything about her. I know that everything turned out all right for her family. I’ve read several of her interviews, and they are on our website, but we don’t maintain any kind of contact. I saw her in the auditorium, we were sitting not far from each other, but after ‘Nord-Ost’ we haven’t spoken.

ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: Tell me, please, concerning your plans to publish this book, you say that it will only happen if you succeed in finding out all the facts about all those who died. At what tempo, more or less, are you getting their data, or have you simply come to a halt right now? You were talking about 62 people…


ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: Excuse me. You succeeded in collecting 67 people, and none of the rest. When was the last story, for example?


ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: That is, it’s going on all the time?

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: As of today we have photographs of 104 of those who died, I believe.

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: Yes, that’s right.

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: It’s easier to find photographs, but to tell about someone, that’s hard, it’s painful and doesn’t work for everyone. Many are trying, but…

ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: There are certain people with whom you have contact, with relatives or friends, but you more or less can’t get their stories?

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: Yes, of course. The difference between stories, and the number of stories, and the number of photographs, speaks to the fact that people are sending in pictures, but it’s still too difficult for them to talk about it in a way that was somehow logical.

IRINA MERKULOVA: In the memorial book is there a story about Pavel Yurevich Platonov?

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: No, unfortunately we don’t have Pavel Yurevich Platonov, but his pictures are on the website, and Dima has been in contact…

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: Yes, I have contact with his family. We are waiting for their recollections about their son.

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: But if someone would write.

IRINA MERKULOVA: Here is Georgiy Vasilevich, who is a long-time listener…

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: Excuse me, there’s a bit of a mix up here. Pavel Yurevich Platonov, yes, certainly, we have his story, and there are articles from the magazine ‘Bratishka’.

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: Dim — keep it straight please. This is the story of the tragedy, but we would like the story about the person. There is a story about the tragedy from a magazine, but there is no story about the person.

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: There are also verses about him.

IRINA MERKULOVA: Georgiy Vasilevich writes that perhaps they were acquaintances, he asks about this.

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: He has a web page.

IRINA MERKULOVA: Perhaps he can tell this story.

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: All 130 pages are open, and if people wish to tell about a person, they can simply go to the website and leave their commentary. They can write to me directly or they can contact Dima. In any case this story well definitely show up in our memorial book.

ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: There is one question from the Internet, from Dmitry Akimov: Is there any video on your site?

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: Unfortunately our technical abilities don’t allow us to download films, but we have links to four films on the website, and to sites where you can either watch or download these films. In the future development of the website, however, we plan to include all the films that we have.

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: There are already audio materials.


IRINA MERKULOVA: Another question: Do you get any kind of assistance from the relatives of those who died, or were casualties of other acts of terror? This is from Agnia. For example, do you have any connection with the ‘Beslan Mothers’?

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: Sveta and I stood together in front of the prosecutor general’s door, together with the Beslan people.

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: When they were picketing the prosecutor general.

ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: You supported them?

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: We support each other all the time. Since I’m a citizen of Kazakhstan and it’s hard for me to travel to Beslan, I have never been there, but the Beslan people have been coming to our anniversaries. We have joint press conferences and talk about how the investigations into ‘Nord-Ost’ and Beslan are going. Later, a book about the investigation into ‘Nord-Ost’ came out, and there is Savilev’s report on the Beslan investigation. And there were several trips to other cities. Several have called these ‘tours’ and ‘cruises’. In reality it is a tale for those who want to know the truth about what happened in Beslan and in Moscow, and how the investigation is being conducted.

DMITRY MILOVIDOV: There are documentary materials from the demonstration.

IRINA MERKULOVA: Denise from Boston writes us that in Boston they show documentaries about ‘Nord-Ost’, Beslan, and the submarine ‘Kursk’, rather often. Perhaps we need to wrap things up here already?

ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: I only ask that you repeat once again the address of your website so that the people listening perhaps can contact you right now.

SVETLANA GUBAREVA: www.nord-ost.org.

ALEXANDER PLYUSHCHEV: And there the administrator of the site is Svetlana Gubareva. She is a former hostage from ‘Nord-Ost’ who is collecting stories. Also as our guest was Dmitry Milovidov, a member of the ‘Nord-Ost’ coordinating committee. Thank you very much, and keep at it.

IRINA MERKULOVA: And God grant that this book gets published.


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  Comments (4)
1. Written by Андрей, on 11-05-2007 21:44
Прослушал передачу полностью. Молодцы. Нормально выступили. Надеюсь материалы для книги памяти пойдут быстрее. Только гонка к пятилетию мне кажется излишней. Не стОит подгонять людей к этому сроку. Может быть даже случится так, что не все родственники согласятся сотрудничать. Но это так как есть. Книга памяти будет жить на сайте в любом случае. И будет прирастать памятью о людях, которых помнят живыми. Спасибо вам, друзья!
2. Written by Светлана Губарева website, on 13-05-2007 23:04
Вы нас неверно поняли. мы ни в коем случае не устраиваем гонку. Просто иногда какие-то дела хочется сделать к определенному сроку.
3. book
Written by Марк, on 14-05-2007 23:53
Создание книги памяти погибших – святое дело. Особенно если вспомнить, как власти сопртивлялись написанию имен жертв на стелле, установленной перед театром в честь «успешной операции» на Дубровке. Составители книги оказались сильнее и, безусловно, нравственнее московского правительства, так и несумевшего понять, что жизнь каждого бесценна и уникальна. Это мужественные люди, решившиеся пережить трагедию с каждым из нас еще 130 раз и показать, что память это не только бронзовые монументы, из-за которых не покупают сметану или прекращают и дипломатические отношения... Память это то, что внутри, это ЧЕЛОВЕЧЕСКИЕ чувства каждого думающего, которые нельзя снести с площади или переставить на другое место. Мы также, как и составители, считаем, что в книге должны быть 130 страниц, каждая из которых посвящается погибщему на Дубровке. Однако реально оценивая ситуацию, понимаем, что это не произойдет в ближаейшее время. Мы считаем, что если книга – память, то она не должна быть отложена «на завтра», ведь время уходит, к сожалению, уходят и люди, для которых память об их любимых – смыл оставшей жизни. Может эта книга, которую можно будет раскрывать каждый день, как фотографии, которые всегда перед тобой на столе или у кровати, чуть- чуть скрасит их существование. С другой стороны, возможно, и дети погибших, читая эту книгу, задумаются о смысле жизни и будут стараться сделать то, что не успели их родители… Разве это недостойные аргументы для того, чтобы издать ее сейчас, поскорее?
Книга может и должна переиздаваться, когда появится содержание для страниц, где ранее будет только офицальная короткая информация и фотография. Интернетовский вариант — прекрасная вещь — к сожалению, имет несколько недостатков. Главный из них – недоступность для многих потерпевших, родных и близких друзей погибших.
Что же касается политического аспекта книги – то нам кажется этот вопрос уже решен самой идеей создания такой книги, каждая страница которой буквально «кричит»: «люди, кто Вам дал право отобрать у человека божий дар – жизнь!»
Хотим или не хотим мы, но это не только книга- память о погибших, она и предупреждение живущим. Поэтому этот вопрос решается сам по себе, даже без комментариев и вмешательств со стороны. Его решит для себя каждый.
Дай бог Вам, сильные люди, выдержки и терпения в этом трудном, но очень нужном деле.
С уважением, Л. и М. Бурбан
4. Книга памяти
Written by Александра Шайкевич, on 25-05-2007 09:27
Уважаемая Светлана! Пишу Вам под впечатлением Вашего выступления на «Эхе Москвы».
Вы делаете большое и важное дело. Я убеждена, что не было бы ни «Норд-Оста», ни Беслана, ни чеченской войны, ни чудовищных жертв Великой Отечественной Войны, если бы у нас ценили жизнь каждого человека, независимо от национальности, богатства или степени социальной значимости. Просто ЖИЗНЬ, как невосполнимый ДАР. Наше общество не учили этому, а напротив так долго открыто и бездушно разными способами отнимали жизни мирных и часто лучших людей, нам столько лет бесстыдно демонстрируют безнаказанность безответственности и жестоких убийств, что это для многих стало житейской обыденностью. И преступления продолжаются. Каждый может в одночасье стать такой же жертвой терроризма, как те, о которых Вы радеете, каждый может завтра потерять близкого и любимого человека, но мало кто готов сегодня предпринять что либо, чтобы избежать такой участи. Я была поражена, когда узнала, что в ответ на захват школы в Беслане в Италии вышли на улицы сотни тысяч людей, которые наверняка слыхом не слыхивали о таком городе или даже о таком народе – осетинах. Итальянцы (и не только они) показали нам, как должен вести себя НАРОД, который не будет НАРОДОМ без солидарности и взаимопомощи. А будет просто электоратом, которому раз в 4–5 лет вешают на уши разнообразную лапшу, а в остальное время им цена – копейка.
То, что Вы сейчас делаете, хотите Вы этого или нет, это попытка научить нас понимать такие вот простые вещи. Я уверена, что когда вы опубликуете фотографии погибших, простые, часто незамысловатые истории их недолгих жизней, для кого-то убить, искалечить другого человека станет по меньшей мере труднее. И пусть это будет только один человек и одна спасенная жизнь – это будет Вашей заслугой.

Конечно, никто не должен быть забыт. Но если невозможно будет написать о каждом, по-моему, можно опубликовать те данные, которые Вы сможете получить. Ведь у Вашей книги наверняка будет не одно издание.
Я бы еще включила в тексты о погибших фотографии их осиротевших детей в том возрасте, когда они стали такими,— их потеря также невосполнима.
И пусть фотографии будут большими, на целую страницу. Так можно будут заглянуть в глаза каждого.

Хотелось бы, чтобы не только успех и радость объединяли людей, но и горе тоже. Чтобы у нас больных сирот усыновляли не только иностранцы. Чтобы, если тяжело заболел ребенок, можно было бы рассчитывать на помощь государства, а не только на иностранных спонсоров. Чтобы в случаях, когда власть «не права», каждый знал — ему помогут люди, знакомые и незнакомые, его не оставят наедине с его бедой.
У нас легко убивают людей, а убийц чаще всего не находят, и они спокойно живут рядом с нами. Я думаю у них нет проблем, ведь в большинстве случаев они своих жертв не знают в лицо, а убивать безликих и безымянных, наверно, легче. Хотелось бы, чтобы убивать людей в нашей стране стало труднее и труднее уходить от ответственности за подобные преступления. Издание КНИГИ ПАМЯТИ — шаг в этом направлении.

Александра Шайкевич, Калифорния

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