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Stop at Dubrovka Station
Written by Юлия Латынина   
Понедельник, 04 Июнь 2007

In Novaya Gazeta, June 4th, 2007

By Yulia Latynina

The investigation will go no farther

‘Nord-Ost’, unlike Beslan, is almost an uninvestigated act of terror. Beslan took place in the Caucasus, while ‘Nord-Ost’ was in Moscow. Sitting hostage in the gymnasium of School #1 were relatives and friends, while in the theater auditorium at Dubrovka were scattered pieces of society, after which many of them, at least those who made it, once again took off in all directions.

In Beslan there were families and clans demanding an investigation, while only a few people have been stubbornly beating themselves bloody against the wall, demanding an inquiry: ‘Nord-Ost’ committee chairman Tatiana Karpova, Svetlana Gubareva, and lawyer Karinna Moskalenko.

In principle everyone knows everything about Beslan (except, it seems the prosecutor), while instead of an investigation into ‘Nord-Ost’ we have Attorney Trunov’s interview about suits seeking monetary damages from the Moscow city government. A few years later, when Attorney Karinna Moskalenko got involved in the case instead of Trunov, she simply added up the numbers in the investigation and did not arrive at the official number of 129 dead, but 174. Is it even conceivable that they could lower the number of dead at Beslan by even one body?

‘Nord-Ost’ was a unique operation. It was an operation that failed following a successful assault. The operation failed not because of those responsible for destroying the terrorists, but because of those responsible for saving the hostages.

At ‘Nord-Ost’ the special operation really was brilliant: negotiations with the terrorists gave the authorities time to study the terrorists’ positions and prepare for an assault. Electronic bugs and cameras provided public broadcasts of their demands, and, in the end, a momentary success. The operation failed after the victory when the rescued hostages were carried from the theater and laid on their backs, and those who had lost consciousness choked on their own lolling tongues and died. It failed when the rescuers could not organize elementary transport and hostages who were placed in buses alive got stuck in traffic jams and there they lost consciousness and choked. An antidote to the gas used was unnecessary – all that was needed to save the lives of three-fourths of the hostages was to place them face down or on their sides.

Should gas have been used at Dubrovka? No one has the right to judge this. Use it, and here are the side effects. Do not use it, and everything could have been blown up. The gas was like an operation. No single patient sick with gangrene can complain when physicians cut off his leg. He may be without a leg, but he is alive. Judging whether sawing off a leg is correct can only be accomplished through consultation.

Whether it was correct to use the gas can only be judged after a long, public, open parliamentary hearing, which would explain to the minute and second who did what, what orders where given, and who was responsible for the hostages dying after the victory: the Moscow authorities, the MChS (emergencies ministry), or those who organized that very victory.

But the fact is that there were no hearings. There was Trunov the lawyer, lies about the number of dead, Putin’s declaration that no one died from the gas at Dubrovka, and the “unidentified chemical substance” that still figures in the case materials.

The main characteristic of any system is not its mistakes. It is the system’s reaction to mistakes. At ‘Nord-Ost’, instead of investigating past mistakes in order to avoid them in the future, the system said: “I made no mistakes”.

And so it turns out that anything is possible. One can simply not negotiate with terrorists, but lie and say that the terrorists will not make contact. One can try not to humor the terrorists, but lie and say there are only 350 hostages and let the terrorists later stop giving the hostages water, saying: “The television says there are only 350 of you, so 350 it will be”. It turns out that one need not even try to save the hostages. It is simply enough to kill the terrorists.

After ‘Nord-Ost’ was Beslan. What will it be after Beslan?

An act of terror with hostage taking is a sign of a democracy. Such a terror act means that the terrorists are not threatening the relatives or friends of government leaders with death, but average citizens. It puts an unsolvable problem before the government leaders: kill the citizens or obey the terrorists? Holding the citizens of a dictatorship hostage, however, is as useless as taking cockroaches prisoner.

I will risk presuming that there will be no more terror acts in Russia involving hostages. There may be explosions, but no hostages. If such acts of terror are the disease of a democracy, then we have successfully cured this disease.

Read in the next issue of Novaya Gazeta: Who and how they prepared to take hostages at ‘Nord-Ost’

Four years and seven months after the tragedy in the theatrical center the Moscow prosecutor’s office has suspended the investigation into the hostage-taking case “in connection with the inability to ascertain the whereabouts of the accused”. Supposedly a certain Derikhan Bakhayev and Hassan Zakayev are on the ‘wanted’ list. A little less than five years of investigation has not only NOT answered a single question about the matter, but prevented anything else from getting done as well.

Novaya Gazeta places at your disposal new facts and evidence. We are trying to help the cause of justice, and to determine the truth

WHO THOUGHT UP the capture of ‘Nord-Ost’?

WHO WAS Khanpash Terkibayev, what was his role in the events, whose bidding did he serve, and why did he perish in a strange automobile accident, was it to prevent his questioning?

WHO GAVE the terrorists special passes?

WHO WARNED the head of the FSB that a terror act was being prepared and what was the reaction that followed?

WERE SUSPECTS SHOT on the steps of the theatrical center?

DID ANNA POLITKOVSKAYA RECEIVE new information on ‘Nord-Ost’ the day before her death?

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