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The Edge ofTime
Written by svobodanews.ru   
, 26 2010
 Can the Russian government to protect the rights of the Dubrovka terror attack victims?
We are talking about this with Nord-Ost hostage Svetlana Gubareva, father of two Nord-Ost hostages Dmitry Milovidov, their attorney Karinna Moskalenko, and Vympel special operations veteran Anatoly Yermolin.

Vladimir Kara-Murza on the rights of victims of terrorist attacks on Dubrovka

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
In Moscow today they remembered victims of the terrorist attack at Dubrovka. About 500people participated in a commemoration. After a minute of silence, all the victims were identified by name. OnOctober 22nd (ed note: October 23rd), 2002, during a performance of the musical Nord-Ost, terrorists took 912hostages and held them for three days. Onthe morning of the 26th the authorities launched a special operation during which they used an unknown gas. Asa result all the terrorists were destroyed, and 130hostages, including 10children, died. Those who survived the raid still demand the names of those responsible for the operation, since many died after rescue in not receiving timely medical assistance. Manysurvivors of Nord-Ost have chronic illnesses, lost vision and hearing, and yet have not been designated victims of a terrorist attack. Orphaned children receive survivor benefits of about three thousand rubles (about$120 a month). TheKorallovo School, founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is the only high school that gives free tuition to child victims of Nord-Ost and other attacks. TheEuropean Court of Human Rights is expected by the end of the year to make a decision on the complaint of 80victims of the terrorist attack at Dubrovka. About whether the Russian state can protect the rights of victims of terrorist attacks at Dubrovka, today we are talking with Svetlana Gubareva, a former Nord-Ost, Dmitry Milovidov, the father of two hostages, attorney Karinna Moskalenko, and Anatoly Yermolin, a veteran of the Vympel special operations group. Atwhat stage is the European Court of Human Rights in its consideration of the Dubrovka terror attack complaint?
Karinna Moskalenko: Today, right after the memorial service, the former hostages and those who lost loved ones, as well as activists from the Nord-Ost organization, we all went to finalize what is probably the last memorandum that we will submit to the European Court. Itis more a commentary on the government memorandum, the one submitted to the government. Afiling deadline of November 3rd was set for the government and for the plaintiffs. After this the exchange of complaints will be complete and the Court will proceed to write its decision. Andone should recall that the decision on the admissibility of our complaints has been made and the complaint was found acceptable. Nowwe must await a decision as to whether the European Court of Justice recognizes violations of the rights to life, protection from inhuman treatment, and access to justice, as well as recognizing the lack of effective remedies (in this case). Theonly thing Iwould wish to clarify is that you said that we could expect a decision before the end of the year, and though Ithink that may be theoretically possible, it is probably not realistic. Ithink it will be in 2011. Ihope so anyway.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
In your opinion, was the assault on the theatrical center 8years ago professionally organized?

Anatoly Yermolin:
Ithink Ican speak on one hand about professionalism, and on the other hand about incompetence, which was expressed in making the wrong decision. Ithink that, technically, the units that entered Nord-Ost, primarily Alpha and Vympel groups, Ithink they acted intelligently. Whatwas unintelligent was the decision to use the gas, even more so because it in fact did not affect the outcome of events, since the bombs were not set off even though the terrorists had time to do so. Theassault lasted less than five minutes, so this means that the use of gas was pointless. Itdid not settle the most important task it did not prevent the possibility of setting off the bombs.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
What are the issues of the assault that still remain unanswered?

Dmitry Milovidov:
Why was the gas used? Thisis the first question. Inthis situation, as evidenced by the case materials, the gas not only did not prevent an explosion, but it could have provoked retaliatory actions by the terrorists, which fortunately did not happen. According to the criminal case, from questioning witnesses and other materials, the gas had color and smell and did not have an immediate effect. Inresearch based on interrogations of the hostages, it was shown that for a period of not less than 10minutes they did not lose consciousness. Thefemale terrorists covered their faces with black handkerchiefs and lay down among the audience, not trying to set off their explosives. Thefact that an explosion did not occur is simply a miracle.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
To date, what are the rights of the victims that have been violated?

Svetlana Gubareva:
Ibelieve that the fundamental right of my loved ones, of my daughter and my husband, their rights to life were violated. Theyboth died in the assault. Mydaughter was at the bottom of a bus that went to a city hospital. Shewas only 13years old. According to testimony of a doctor, she was lying under a pile of adult men. Myhusband was not provided any care. Iwas lucky, Iwas brought by ambulance to City Hospital #7 in a coma, and they did chest compressions and intubation because there was cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest. (Because of the violation of their rights to life) this was the main reason I, and other victims, appealed to Strasbourg.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
Alexander Cherkasov, a board member of the Memorial human rights society, lays this at the feet of all Russians.

Alexander Cherkasov:
125people did not survive. Others were essentially left to themselves. Itis more of a matter for society than the state. Youknow, Moscow is a small town. Hereone can on reflection remember someone he knows who was at Nord-Ost, either through an acquaintance or personally. Theincident that happened 8years ago was not a source of general pain for Moscow, and the democracy parties, movements and organizations working in the city, did not do enough about it. Asa result, for the most part, today gathering at Dubrovka were only former hostages and their relatives. There was not just an absence of high-ranking representatives of the state there was the absence of thousands upon thousands of Muscovites who could have shown their solidarity. Andit is sad, because it does not allow one to bring the present government to account, as it deserves.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
We have listed those who provided the most assistance. Under what conditions are the child victims of Nord-Ost admitted to the Korallovo School?

Anatoly Yermolin:
That they are all victims, children who suffered at Nord-Ost and Beslan. Wehave a lot of children studying at the school. There are no conditions placed on any of the children. Itoriginally began with a 94-year tradition when the school was created for the children of fallen officers. Overtime we began to accept children of dead oil workers, then later children of those who perished in similar catastrophes. First we had the kids after the apartment blasts. Naturally, from the very beginning there were three priorities children of fallen officers, children of officers whose families live in war zones, in Tajikistan and Georgia, and the third those whose families lived in special remote regions of Russia. Oneboy is from the Bay of Providence.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
Can many social institutions boast of such an attitude toward victims?

Dmitry Milovidov:
Iwould still like to return to the issue of Korallovo. TheState believes differently. Theythink that if someone receives charitable aid, then this aid should be counted on their income tax. Thesame thing happened at Korallovo. Herewere children who lost parents at Nord-Ost and Beslan and attended Korallovo, and suddenly, for some in a year and for others later, they were presented a bill from the tax inspection service. There was an elderly woman with two children on her hands, both their parents dead, and a bailiff came to her and said that she owed the state a large sum for the education of her children at a private school. Shewas given no time and was forced, at a loss, to go from neighbor to neighbor and gather the necessary amount so that, God forbid, they did not seize her computer, the only wealth the family had. Onlylater did she decide to contact a lawyer. After a long debate in the courts and the parliament, Articles 214and Article 217of the tax code were changed. TheBeslan people have also run into this problem. Butthe deed was done. Godforbid that such a situation is ever repeated, but now the law will protect the children.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
Are there are consequences of the terrorist attacks that still affect the health of the hostages?

Svetlana Gubareva:
There are many different illnesses, up to and including such serious ones as cancers. There are problems with internal organs, hearing, and memory.

Dmitry Milovidov:
12cases of hearing loss have been recorded, and there are children born after the attack.

Svetlana Gubareva:
The worst thing that has been scientifically proven is that women who experienced the terrorist attack had ovarian developmental problems, that is, children born to such a woman will be ill.

Dmitry Milovidov:
One can say that this woman probably will never say it, but we have to say that damage the endocrine system leads to problems in gynecology. Thisis in many of the hospital release documents of former hostages.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
What is it that made the victims turn to the European Court of Human Rights?

Karinna Moskalenko:
You know, many people think that, because the state did not pay normal decent compensation to the victims of Nord-Ost, they are mostly dealing with such issues. Thatis not true. Myclients more than anything insist that a proper investigation be made. Theyinsist that they are entitled to, and should know, the truth. Andthese shortcomings are consequences of the incompleteness of the investigation, the attempt by the authorities to simply not answer questions and avoid answering questions, this is what is most insulting to my clients. Theattempt by physicians to indicate that people died, not from the use of the substance, but from whatever else, from the fact that they were sitting uncomfortably for three days and did not eat or drink enough, this is in my opinion malfeasance of office by people who took the Hippocratic oath. Wediscussed that many tried to help and we must pay tribute to these doctors, many of them had not slept and they tried their best to work to save lives. Buthow transportation was organized, how medical care was organized, all that relates to the leadership and the evacuation of hostages and their distribution among hospitals, about what Svetlana said, all of this should have led to an investigation. Aninvestigation should have determined the factual cause of death for each victim.

The investigation did not even determine the total number of victims. Theofficial figure, 129, was refuted in the investigation. Wesat down with the hostages and calculated straightforwardly for hospitals and the numbers specified in the investigation, and it turned out there were 174people. Andthis is the minimum because we know of other hospitals where others died, such as children. Thisis appalling. 8years have passed and we do not know what substance was used. There is no answer to this question. Howwas it possible to provide medical assistance to people when you do not even know what was used on them, or what antidote should be used? Hereblank spots in the case still remain 8years later, and this made my clients appeal to the European Court. Andall these years the court has been ascertaining the circumstances, which should have been explained at the national level. Payattention, we have now worked though the last memorandum of the government. TheCourt put over 60questions to them, but the authorities managed to not answer a single specific question. Itis a disgrace, but it is also improper conduct of a case. Bythe standards of the European Court, if translated into formal language, everything that Ihave listed is a violation of the right to life, from the perspective of those positive obligations of states.

Svetlana Gubareva:
Iwanted to clarify. Karinna Akopovna (Moskalenko) said that the court has not decided about the use of the substance. Bylaw in the Russian Federation, information pertaining to health and human life cannot be a state secret. Howcan you treat people if you do not know with what they have been poisoned? Nevertheless, for 8years they have been hiding this information in violation of Russian law. Andthe investigation did not determine it. Wedid ask the FSB and we received an answer, but for some reason the investigator either could not do it, or did not think it was necessary.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
Marina Litvinovich, creator of the website 'The Truth of Beslan', has received an answer to almost all the important questions left by the tragedy.

Marina Litvinovich:
Almost all the questions during these 8years have more or less been removed. There was one serious question the composition of the gas that had poisoned the hostages and, consequently, the antidote with which were supposed to inject the hostages so that they could survive. Infact, a rough picture is clear. First and foremost it is important to understand that the security services, Alpha and Vympel, they worked very well, they coped with the task of destroying the terrorists, the task that was assigned them. But, of course, they were not assigned with the task of attempting to rescue hostages that was to have been done by other services. Butthe fact is that the hostage rescue operation was simply not organized or thought out, and it is clear that they somehow did not anticipate this. Andhere the only question remains will this situation be investigated, and will the people who did not organize this assistance be punished?

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
Listen to a question from Muscovite Teimuraz Aleksandrovich.

Listener:
Good evening. Iremember that day. Godapparently spared me. Afriend and Imet that day to go to Nord-Ost, it was raining, and for 40minutes we were trying to catch a on Pushkin and could not get one. Thenwe decided with about 20minutes left to see the musical Metro. Today Putin, they showed him meeting with Solzhenitsyn's widow about the book 'The Gulag Archipelago' being read in 11th grade. Andwhat Iwant to say is that what happened during the Revolution, during the Soviet Union, we must all write about it. Iam writing an audio book because Ihave bad eyesight. Iam writing about Putin and about his terror attacks. Iam even convinced one hundred percent that Putin gave the order to use the gas and therefore did not provide information about the gas. Samewith Beslan. Andwhy has not a single terror attack been investigated? Youwill notice with each terrorist attack Putin takes advantage of it. WithBeslan he canceled elections and after Nord-Ost he took over the television stations. Remember when he attacked them and said what do you want to do, increase your ratings with blood?

Dmitry Milovidov:
An interesting approach. Forsome reason many of our listeners start with how they were fortunate not to go to Nord-Ost. Lord, what will happen tomorrow? Haveyou thought about this? Whywere you not with us today was at Dubrovka? Itwould have been a little warmer in the autumn wind. Youcan blame Putin. Youcan blame society. Butwho are we? Arewe units of society, or not? Yes, we now have a professor of law who bears the burden of presidential power. Hisformulation on the terror attack in Nazran was very remarkable. Letme remind you, when a truck full of explosives quietly drove into an police station one morning and killed a huge number of people, President Medvedev said: Yes, it is certainly a terrorist atrocity, but from the perspective of the police it shows laxity, betrayal, and corruption. Hegave the same wording to the latest terrorist attack in Buinaksk: outright laxity of troops in failing to protect their military unit. Whydoes such a formula not apply to the investigations of Nord-Ost and Beslan?

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
What questions do you have from the events 8years ago?

Karinna Moskalenko:
Iwill refer to the questions from the European Court, because it perceives these issues to be a measure of the correct legal approach to this case. Forexample, the Court asked whether negotiations were conducted, and if they were not, then why? TheRussian government and its senior representatives stated that, in principle, negotiations with terrorists are not conducted and they would not drive Russia to its knees. First off, Iwill leave this declaration untouched. Right now in the government's memorandum they are trying to say that there were negotiations. Andthose people who voluntarily risked their lives and went there as hostages to help them, now they are calling them negotiators. No, it is not so. Weknow that the refusal to negotiate was deliberate and very cruel, and that those who made this decision cannot be forgiven. Ithink that it is no coincidence that the European Court of Justice raised this question.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
Sergei Goncharov, Moscow city parliamentary deputy from the United Russia faction and president of the association of Alpha group special forces veterans, looks back and analyzes what happened.

Sergey Goncharov:
Today 8years have passed, and at least as far as the situation that existed 8years ago, we must admit that to some degree, perhaps, the operation was successful. Because over 900of our citizens of the city of Moscow were held hostage and still the secret services worked fine. Butthe gas, which was used probably after what happened one cannot bring any charges against special unit officers because other services worked weakly or poorly. Therefore, in any case, it was positive. Butthe fact that now many people who lost relatives and loved ones say that our government is incapable, that it must reply materially or morally and be held accountable for what happened, this is probably a fair claim. Iknow that the Strasbourg court will review the situation. Perhaps it's politically incorrect, but people who suffered through some fault of the State should get the full moral and financial compensation.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
In your opinion, did circumstances justify the destruction of each and every terrorist?

Anatoly Yermolin:
Ithink that it was unjustified. Every situation varies, but in those cases where terrorists can be taken alive, they must be taken alive. I, of course, am annoyed by this situation. Weoften hear that some terrorists were destroyed, but Iwould like to see them alive and Iwould like to obtain their testimony and would like for the public to be given access to this information. ButI do understand that in this situation this is all a series of fantasies.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
Does the number of terrorists stated in the official tally agree with observations by the hostages?

Svetlana Gubareva:
You are absolutely right to ask, right to give me this question, because Ihave large doubts that they destroyed all the terrorists. According to official figures there were 40killed, of which 19were women. ButI saw with my own eyes in the audience, in the boxes, 19women, and up on a balcony at least four more, that is, four that Isaw with my own eyes. Howmany others there were Ido not know, but there were definitely four others. Andif at the time of the assault there were only 19women, this means that the rest left, and that maybe some of the men left with them. Therefore Ido not believe the official figure.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
What do you think, do you find convincing the official explanation on why they destroyed the terrorists?

Karinna Moskalenko:
Ihave not seen any explanation. Thiswas a totally unjustified act, an obstacle to normal case proceedings. Itis now impossible for these people to be brought to court as defendants to testify and to give testimony. Here, for example, we do not know why there was no explosion, a very important question. Itcould have happened, it could have been provoked by the assault, and yet it did not happen. Thisis not because the so-called gas, which Iwould rather call an unknown substance, acted immediately. No, this is not true. Wehave now convincingly demonstrated this in our memoranda to the Court. Andyet, no explosion occurred. Whatwere the terrorists' real intentions? Whobrought them there? Whoensured they could get in there? Andwhat was the state of the explosives that were there, according to specialists. Allthese questions and many others could and should have been answered by the terrorists. Theyshould have been brought to justice. Butthe authorities for some reason were not interested in this. Theauthorities deliberately destroyed all who could appear before the court and give evidence, or they were not looking.

Dmitry Milovidov:
It may be recalled that, according to data from explosives specialists, three of the bombs had no detonators. Onexamination of dead terrorists, remote controls were found to be in their pockets, that is, they were not connected to the explosives, and batteries, too, were in their pockets. I.e.: they had not prepared the explosives for detonation. Thiswas the situation according to the investigation. Moreover, according to the criminal case connected with the main case, two cars were discovered on Zvenigorod Street where bombs had not completely exploded, and it was found that in these cases they used a so-called training component, that is, a device that is used to train sappers, in which RDX was replaced by a similar but safe substance. Soin these devices the detonators worked, but the bulk of the explosive was, as stated in the investigation, explosion-proof. Atthe same time Ishould mention that deceased explosives expert Georgy Trofimov noted that, at least as far as the devices he studied in the lab were concerned, the devices seized at the Nord-Ost were exploded, that is, they were at least serviceable. Again, Istress, that is only if they installed the remotes, and if they installed the batteries, which as everyone knows would have required some time.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
We are listening to a question from St. Petersburg, from radio listener Irina.

Listener:
Hello. Deeprespect to you. Theissue under discussion is our common pain. Ihave no doubt that this action was by Vladimir Putin personally, who privatized power, this autocrat and despot, he hates the people and for this reason he sent agents to this act. That's why all of today's issues are a big question and find no resolution.
Vladimir Kara-Murza: The newspaper Novaya Gazeta in 2002published an article that parents found their daughter, who was supposed to be in the Nizhevartovsk Prison, to be among the terrorists, among the Barayev's gang. Doyou think it is possible for such cases to have happened?

Karinna Moskalenko:
This cannot be ruled out, and this is one of those moments that we believe it to be more advantageous to the authorities for the terrorists to never speak. Ijust want to remind everyone of the Anna Politkovskaya's newspaper, which has dug deeply into many issues. Theyhad a lot of information prepared for us and helped us in this matter. Itis a fact that some people quietly left Dubrovka, and they were then found to have who subsequently died. Theywere at Nord-Ost in the theatrical center building. There was some sort of secret operation going on and the authorities to various degrees were party to it. Butgetting answers to all of these questions is almost impossible, because all the information is concentrated in the hands of the authorities. Theyhad to give it all to the European Court they even asked for closed chambers for the case. Wethought that some kind of a disclosure would follow. Butno, they took advantage of the confidentiality and did not respond to any of the hard questions, or even to a simple one, and this indirectly demonstrates that the government is unwilling to disclose the truth concerning this matter. Thisis another circumstance that will be judged by the European Court.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
In Novaya Gazeta there is a video of a woman in a white coat who comes out of the entrance, after the assault, leading a man in handcuffs. Hekneels and she shoots him in the head. Doyou think that similar cases after 8years demand a new investigation, is there a statute of limitations?

Anatoly Yermolin:
Of course they do. Ido not say this as an officer and veteran of Vympel; Isay this as a citizen. Itis important for me to know what happened 8years ago, and Iwould like to know everything connected with this. Whois this woman? Whowas this man? Certainly such facts and events should be investigated to the end.

Dmitry Milovidov:
It should be noted that in this case it was investigated. Theyfound an FSB officer who was nearby, it is unclear why she was not found by the law enforcement agencies, but supposedly she was shining a flashlight in the direction of a neutralized hostage, or some other such action. Theinvestigators had no trouble completing this investigation.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
Sergey Dedov, the NTV journalist who got an interview with Movsar Barayev before the assault, says Russia avoided a serious political crisis.

Sergei Dedov:
Ibelieve that it all ended better than it might have. Arethere still any secrets? Yes, some secrets remain, of course. Andcertainly the authorities do not want to remember what happened back then. Perhaps it is not even worth remembering. Backthen we were on the verge of a serious political crisis, but, by some miracle, we avoided this. Infact, the maximum program, which the terrorists had in mind back then Ithink, was to achieve the same effect achieved by Basayev's raid on Budenovsk. Thatis after Budenovsk came Khasavyurt (the treaty ending the first Chechen conflict), but after Nord-Ost another Khasavyurt never came.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
We are listening to a question from Bryansk listener Timur.

Listener:
Good evening. Ifeel sorry for all the victims. Butunfortunately Ibelieve that our government is the top layer of our society. Onthe day of the tragedy 500people came, only those who suffered and their families, not five thousand, not ten thousand. Thisis the attitude of the society to itself and the government's attitude towards us. Asfor the authorities, they never thought about people's safety. Forexample the late evacuation of Stalingrad, when hundreds of thousands of people were left behind no one answered for this, and no one asked.
Vladimir Kara-Murza: Were you surprised by the absence of officials at the federal level at today's ceremonies at Dubrovka?

Svetlana Gubareva:
No, Icannot say that it surprised me. Iwas more surprised by something else. Onthe 25th a film was supposed to be shown on REN-TV, a film on Nord-Ost, REN-TV was the only channel that was set to show such a film. Weall, everyone who knew, we waited for this movie. Iknow that the movie was ready for the show because Igot calls from the station informing me about the time, but this film was not shown, not at the time when it was first supposed to be shown nor at the time when the repeat was announced for. This, Irepeat, for me personally confirms just how inconvenient, how unpleasant the topic of Nord-Ost is, and how it is being silenced even after so much time.

Dmitry Milovidov:
Ican confirm that there were no particularly sensational shots used in the preparation of this film. Ijust picked some former hostages for Mr. Prokopenko. Itwas a normal continuation of his famous film 'Return to Nord-Ost'. Wedo not know what the authorities did not like about it.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
How do you explain the reluctance of the Russian authorities to disclose the truth about the events 8years ago?
Anatoly Yermolin: Ithink this is deliberate policy, which shows we are fundamentally different from the Western world, from those Americans. Simply under normal conditions, Iabsolutely support the Americans when they scream about their tragedies, about their troubles at every turn. Evennow on Wall Street there are stores where they have not wiped off the dust (from 9-11). Wehave a different position. Ourposition is that we are okay, so there is no need to remind people about the pain. Wehave a well-known psychological trick: we talk about some trouble for two or three days, and then we completely forget about it. Itis tradition.

Svetlana Gubareva:
Iwant to add that journalists from The New York Times a year after the events of September 11th published a book about almost three thousand people. InRussia, unfortunately, the journalists at Moskovsky Komsomolets at first shouted: let's do a book like this, and then it all stopped. Andnow for 8years we have been trying to collect materials and we are almost finished. Wedo not have 7stories about 7of the hostages, and we have been trying to get help from journalists, but they are not very helpful. Thiscannot but disappoint.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
We are listening to a question of from Oleg, a listener in Krasnodar.

Listener:
Hello. Ihave a comment. Whether Iam correct, see for yourself. Myfeeling is that the priority of those who did this was not so much the release of hostages as it was to instill fear in others, in the terrorists, and, if necessary, in our own people: 'beat your own so that others may fear'.

Svetlana Gubareva:
Iwant to say that the man who just now called is not very mistaken, because in the official document written as a resolution decision by the investigating authority, it states that Russia's prestige in the international arena has been rescued, at the cost of our loved ones. Whatcould be more cynical than such a statement? Whywas my 13-year-old daughter, a citizen of Kazakhstan, supposed to pay with her life for some credibility?

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
What will be the adversarial process in the European Court of Human Rights, who will be against whom in this courtroom?

Karinna Moskalenko:
In this case there is no certainty that it will be reviewed in a public hearing. Aminimum number of cases before the European Court are considered in open sessions, but adversarial hearings are mainly conducted though documents. Russia, as a subject of international law, and the applicants, were given an opportunity to exchange complaints. Inthis case the two sides, not Russia per se but our government, the Russian authorities on the one side and on the other side the plaintiffs who claim that norms of the European Convention were violated, as well as (Russian) national law. Actually, the complaints are to be completed by November 3rd. Judging by the arguments of the parties, the Court may decide, unless of course, they do decide to conduct a public hearing. Butjudging by the procedure, which is now in place, it will not. Andthat is a pity.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
Tell us about the specific outcomes of people who now need help from the state. Canthey be helped by some private donations in the most glaring and acute cases?

Dmitry Milovidov:
Ihave already pointed out the most egregious case. Itis a girl born after the gas attack. During her fifth month the girl's mother went to Nord-Ost. Shewas not released by the terrorists, as were many other pregnant women. Thenthere was a television broadcast being produced and she was prepared for release, but then there was the assault. Doctors did not tell the mother about possible consequences and some time later she had a daughter. Doctors diagnosed the girl with cerebral palsy, but meanwhile the child could do puzzles, the child is very savvy and asks her mother: mommy, why can't Irun around like other children? Thegirl was examined and it became clear that she did not have cerebral palsy, but toxic encephalopathy. Nowbefore the mother is a dilemma: if she changes the diagnosis she will lose the disability check, and she also has two parents who were disabled at Chernobyl. Doesshe need such a truth? Shewas forced to say ‘no’. There are 12cases of hearing loss. Recently one the actors at Nord-Ost passed away, with a very strange diagnosis. Theformer hostages have many very serious health problems.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
What results would you expect in a year, following the next commemoration of the anniversary? Whatrights might there be to protect for your colleagues and friends in this misfortune?

Svetlana Gubareva:
My biggest dream is to await the decision of the Court. Another dream it that there will be published a book in memory of those killed at Nord-Ost. Andyet another dream is that there will finally be a Russian law protecting the rights of victims, because now these people find themselves alone with his or her grief. Theyare completely defenseless. Manyhave problems with their health and with social problems, but they are not solved because there is no legislative basis.
Vladimir Kara-Murza: Do you think that Russia's international prestige suffers from the fact that the truth in such an obvious case had to be found in a foreign court of law?

Karinna Moskalenko:
Yes. Iremember in 2003when Russia reported to the UN Human Rights Council on articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Andthere were issues under Article 6, the Right to Life, and the UN Human Rights Council specially selected the Nord-Ost case. Theystated that the case should be investigated properly, and in an efficient manner, and that the population of the country, the public, should be well aware about what happened. Thatwas the recommendation in 2003, and since then Russia has once again reported back to the Committee on Human Rights, the UN, and it has still not been implemented. AndI also remember this phrase when we tried to appeal the actions of the investigation that made an unreasonable decision, and we talked about the need to bring to justice those responsible for what happened. Andthe phrase was that Russia must maintain its prestige in the international arena. It, of course, sounded sort of cynical. Itotally agree with the person who phoned that the challenge before the authorities during those tragic days was that it was not as important to save the hostages, as it was to deal with terrorists. Whenit is put this way, firstly, it directly contradicts the law, but most importantly, it directly contradicts the norms of morality.

Vladimir Kara-Murza:
Is it right for our fellow citizens to know the whole truth about events at Nord-Ost, even with the help of the European Court of Human Rights?

Anatoly Yermolin:
Today Ihave been getting such unambiguous questions, so Iwill give a definite answer of course it is right. Weall need to know what is happening in our country. AndI believe that this veil of secrecy in the first place aims to justify the lack of professionalism, or foolish decisions made here in this situation. Ingeneral our decision-making process is very flawed, and for all that, in countries that have long been fighting and meeting the terrorist threat, there are algorithms, and direction of counter-terrorist operations, and division of responsibility between politicians and special forces, they have it all, we just have to take and implement it. WhenI tried to do this in the federal parliament, Igot this reply: we are a different country with different legislation.

Dmitry Milovidov:
Many reproach us. Herewe have a progressive president, why not just write him a letter? Thewhole point is that a letter was written, do not think that there was some delay in doing so, it is just so happens that our prosecutor's office is slow with the mail, and just recently we received a response. Naturally, Mr. Medvedev did not read this letter, the letter was flushed down the drain this is what is called sent through jurisdictions to the prosecutor's office in Moscow and to the Ministry of Social Protection. Theanswer can be summarized, that assistance to victims of acts of terrorism is provided at the discretion of the government of the Russian Federation in accordance with a new law on combating terrorism, that you have all been paid and are not supposed to have any free medical care, and so on. Andwhat was the person who wrote the letter asking for? Iwill read a couple of short paragraphs. One can believe the emotional statement of the country's leadership to the media after the new terrorist attacks, that the terrorists will be found and destroyed. Butas to the fact that the government will do everything necessary to help the victims, this is not so easy to believe. AtDubrovka commandos carried out their task, but the authorities still have not done theirs.

Svetlana Gubareva:
Ijust remembered the OSCE conference on the problems of victims of terror attacks that took place in Vienna in 2007. Itincluded representatives from almost every country in the European Union. Whenthey were discussing how, yes, of course, every country has its problems, but while Iwas listening to representatives from other countries, to be honest, a thought was born in my head: if Iwas destined to get into such a situation, why couldn't Ihave been in some other country where Iwould have been protected? Therepresentative from the Russian Federation, Mr. Titarenko, said that in general it was impossible to talk with us. Wewere brawlers.

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