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Russia remembers victims of the tragedy
Written by   
, 03 2008
Beslan remembers theslain
Little Arseny is four. Hewas born just after the Beslan tragedy (PHOTO). Hisolder sister died in the school gymnasium. Onlybecause of her son was Svetlana Margiyeva able to survive the loss of her daughter, who died in her arms inside the captured school. Since that time, Svetlana comes to the Beslan city cemetery every morning.
If Icould live here, Iwould. Sothat Icould always be nearby, said Svetlana Margiyeva on leaving the cemetery.
These days it is crowded at the cemetery. Ithas been four years since the day of the tragedy, but in Ossetia they just are not able to forget the horror that they went through. ManyBeslan residents lost relatives, and entire families are buried in the cemetery.

Time seems to have stopped inside the school gymnasium. Hereeverything remains as it was: photos that were hung back in 2004, candles, and plush toys. Inthe Cathedral of Bright Souls what they now call the ruined school there is an endless stream of people. Itsmells of valerian (ed: a weak antidepressant). Manybecome ill, and ambulance doctors provide assistance. Theywill be on duty here during all these days of mourning.

There is a small table by the gym, and it is difficult to squeeze through to it. Relatives of the victims are collecting signatures for a later appeal to the International Court of Human Rights.

I'm going to the OSCE (ed: Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe) in the end of September, said Ella Kesayeva, a representative of the 'Voice of Beslan' NGO. I'll present these signatures there, the signatures of people who demand international attention to the tragedy in Beslan.

Former hostages and relatives of the victims say that it is too early to close the criminal case concerning the Beslan terror attack. Theybelieve that not all of the guilty have been punished, so women from 'Mothers of Beslan' organization published another statement there have already been dozens calling for a more thorough and honest investigation. Thedocument was sent to the Federation Council and the Russian government.

In 'Vesti'
Eternal Memory
On September 2nd in Moscow, policemen broke up a rally in memory of those who were slain in Beslan. Therally was taking place near the 1905Street subway station. Thiswas reported by a Marina Litvinovich, member of the Federal Council of NGOs and senior editor of the website PravdaBeslana.Ru
She said that law enforcement officers monitoring the rally demanded protesters remove a poster, titled: Enough lies! Enough blood! Enough Putin! Police said that the poster did not match the theme of the picket, and, if it were not removed, they would arrest the protesters. After a half-hour of wrangling the poster was rolled up and the rally was terminated prematurely. Thepicket lasted for just over an hour, in spite of the fact that they were allowed three hours.
In Kasparov.ru
They forgot about the children of Beslan
At One o'clock, exactly four years after the start of the assault on School No. 1in Beslan, a memorial ceremony began at the monument to the children slain as a result of this terror act, at the Church of the Assumption in Malaya Okhta. Thatmorning, Krasnogvaredeysky regional chief Maria Shcherbakova and children from her schools laid flowers at the monument. Thatevening, candles were lighted on Malaya Sadovaya Street, in memory of those slain as a result of the actions of the special forces. Butit was to the one o'clock ceremony on Malo Okhtinsky Prospect that survivors of the Beslan schoolcame.
The Ossetian community in Saint Petersburg, with the support of the city administration, organized the ceremony. About sixty people gathered for it, including members of the Ossetian community, and a few Suvorov and police academy cadets. Atprecisely 1o'clock they formed up into two rows in the alley in front of the monument, the pedestal of which since morning had been strewn with flowers, toys, and water bottles. Tothose who remember the events of September 2004, it says a lot. Theyare disgusted to see the fake sympathy and political quackery nowadays.
For some reason one of the arrivals, an elderly man, was holding a poster: Ossetia and Serbia the leading edge of protection from the aggression of the Bush and Saakashvili. Myfather was an Ossetian who killed thousands of German Nazis. Longlive Russia as it shakes from her feet the dust of Yeltsinism. Though it did not seem very appropriate for a day of mourning, we had to admit that most of the ceremony consisted of such episodes. Thegathered, in general, were clearly more interested in the present, than in the past. Before the start of the ceremony most of the audience had been quietly discussing the machinations of the West, the difficulties of ties with Georgia, and even the success of the 'Zenit' soccerteam.
At last the deputy chairman of the Ossetian community in Saint Petersburg, Vladimir Dzotsiev, invited to the microphone the abbot of the Church of the Assumption, Father Alexander. Heread a brief invocation and with the help of an assistant read Eternal Memory for all the innocent victims of Beslan.
Then the Suvorov and police cadets, under the leadership of men in civilian clothes from a little-known community organization, the International Anti-terrorism Fund, went to lay flowers. Butnot at the monument dedicated to the children of Beslan, near which all had gathered, but at a small monument to the side, dedicated to Orthodox soldiers killed in the Caucasus. Candles were burning in front of it. Originally there were supposed to be the words Beslan 2004, Ossetia 2008, but at the last minute the text was changed to just Beslan and the image of across.
There were rather quite a few who wished to grab the microphone and say something, and the thematic range of the statements was very broad. Inhis first sentence, the leader of the Saint Petersburg Ossetians, Kazbek Zangiev, switched to the latest events in Tskhinvali, and concluded his speech with a homage to the Russian government: We are now confident that there will not be any more sites such as this, due to the political will that was demonstrated during very first days of the Tskhinvali tragedy, hesaid.
The representative of the Abkhazian community, Bochiya Adzhindal, was, by contrast, more metaphorical. When the cosmonauts climbed into space, they saw that the earth is an oasis, while the Caucasus is an oasis inside an oasis. Whatis happening to us? Weare people, we wear neckties, how could this be possible? he asked, and then suddenly he said that Russia is also in some measure responsible for terrorism, since it is involved in the international arms trade. Therepresentative of the Terek Cossacks, Aslan Karganov, did not leave the problem of weapons: Commandos from 'Alfa' and 'Vympel', who also participated in the assault, they know how to use guns! He then shared with the gathered his impressions of a movie he had watched on television the night before.
Harsher than all was the representative of the Jewish community in Saint Petersburg, Mikhail Rubenstein: It's cruel, but I'm positive that there should be photos of the heads of those who put bullets in these children! In voicing his concept of a memorial, the man could not restrain his sobs. Someone read poetry in which a ruthless, evil, bearded man rhymed with don't cry, Mama, don't cry. For some reason, the representative from the city library association recalled the tragedy in Sumgait, and even the death of Andrei Petrov. Shethen expressed confidence that it is music that unites us all. Then, finally, everyone went to lay flowers by the monument.
Last in the procession were those who were, in fact, the children of Beslan. InSt. Petersburg there are about sixty of them, but only about ten showed up for today's ceremony. Thewhole time they stood in two separate groups, farther from the monument than anyone else. Occasionally the girls would cry and hug and console each other. Theyoung men stood silently staring. After putting their carnations on the pedestal, they returned to their former places. Noone came up tothem.
By Nicholas Konashenok, in 'Fontanka.ru'
Today in Yekaterinburg they remember victims of the tragedy in North Ossetia
Yekaterinburg experts argue that the country's leadership remembers the Beslan tragedy less and less these days. Sergey Moshkin, a political scientist and researcher at the UroRAN Institute of Philosophy, explains that it is not to the government's advantage to remember its own mistakes and failures. The easiest explanation is psychological. Human memory, even collective memory, has this property, that, when things are bad or sad, it forgets, they are erased from memory. It's perfectly normal. Otherwise the brain would just explode. Asto the political component to this, it's perfectly understandable why the authorities act this way. Ifthe government lied to itself, it's not advantageous to remind people about it.
Disagreeing with the statement, that they are forgetting or hushing up the tragedy, is Viktor Shepty, member of the regional legislative assembly house of representatives, and former head of an FSB commando unit. According to Shepty, no one, and especially no one in the government, is erasing the Beslan events from their memory: Everything about this event was not very well organized, but the investigation revealed the weaknesses, and in our results in fighting terrorism we now see a significantly reduced numbers of such terrorist acts, though no one is relaxing. Ihad a chance to be in the cemetery of burned school. Inmy life I've seen a lot, but when Iwent there it was just shattering. Ididn't even have tears in my eyes, but just this frozen expression on my face Andeven after 4years, for me September 1st will always be associated with this disaster, always, for my whole life. Ithink that a majority of the population has similar emotions, and to somehow try and silence it, to hide something, it is simply impossible.
In the meantime, government officials have no plans to attend any events in Yekaterinburg or the region. Theregional branch of the Yabloko Party and the Memorial Society decided to recall what happened in Beslan in 2004. Today at 4pm near the city founders' monument, they have arranged a memorial event, according to Anna Pastukhova, head of the Yekaterinburg branch of the Memorial Society. Shesaid that today's action will be dedicated to all victims of terror: We wish to remember not only those who died in Budennovsk, Beslan, and Nord-Ost, but also Anna Politkovskaya, who wrote so much about it and also became a victim of terror. Inaddition, one of the themes of our campaign is the cynical murder of journalist Mohammed Divloyev, the owner of the website Ingushetiya.ru. Wewill protest against the war on terror. After the rally, from 6pm to 7pm, we're going to form a human chain with candles along the Plotinka. Itwill be a backdrop to an open-air exhibition of anti-war drawings by Alexei Bachurov.
On radio 'Echo of Moscow'

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