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The tragedy at Dubrovka is eight yearsold.
Written by   
, 27 2010

ImageThe tragedy at Dubrovka is eight years old. Noone is forgotten, nothing is forgotten?

PRONKO: It's 19hours and 9minutes in the Russian capital. Hello, ladies and gentlemen. It's Real Time on radio station Finam FM. Behind the microphone is Yuri Pronko. There are events whose significance is difficult to overestimate, evaluate, and understand. Veryoften these events are points of no return. Forme the event eight years ago at Dubrovka is comparable, perhaps, with the tragedy that Americans experienced on September 11th, 2001. Forme these things are absolutely comparable, even though there were different numbers slain, because of the audacity with which these acts were committed, and the conduct of the authorities both here and there that, in my opinion, lead to more and more questions every year. Thetragedy at Dubrovka is eight years old. Noone is forgotten, nothing is forgotten. What's next? This is the topic of our discussion today. NowI have here in our Moscow studio at Finam FM is a member of the coordinating council of the Nord-Ost regional public organization promoting the protection of victims of terrorist acts, Dmitry Milovidov. Dmitry, good evening.

MILOVIDOV: Good evening.

PRONKO: Thank you for coming. We're still waiting for Gennady Gudkov, deputy chairman of Russian State Duma Committee on Security. Gennady is delayed in traffic. Ihope, but Ihope he’ll still get here. Tobegin with I'd like to do something. Veryoften journalists are accused of cynicism, but life is even more cynical than journalists. Idon't have anything against plays, musicals, operas and operettas and, in general, Ilike to go to the theater. Buthere's what Iwant to ask you: not too long ago in the cultural center, where eight years ago this terrible tragedy played out, they launched a new show. Letme stress again: Ihave no commercial interests whatsoever and nothing personal. Doyou think it unethical to run a new show in the building where the tragedy happened? It's clear that it's commerce. It's clear that it's business. Iunderstand everything. I'm not trying to pressure you. I'll accept all opinions. Ifyou think that this is okay 5533, text message with the letter A. We're doing text message voting. Normally it should be okay, it's been eight years. Asthey say, so what? Thatthey've launched a new musical and it's running, please 5533, text message with the letter A. Ifno, it's wrong and unethical to run such an event in the cultural center on Dubrovka 5533, text message with the letter B. Irepeat: I'm not pressuring you. Iwant to understand your mood, your opinion. Onceagain: if it's okay 5533, text the letter A, if it's unacceptable 5533, text the letter B. Dmitry, what do youthink?

MILOVIDOV: Iwould change the question. Isit ethical that there's still no monument to the victims of Dubrovka? There's a plaque hidden in the corner of the building. Fora year we sought it and then in order to correct the letters on this plaque we had to make the rounds of officials who, you see, are now busy with fresh terror attacks. We're not talking about props, which allowed the creation of this, so to speak, monument. Forsome reason many journalists feel that these little birds and this stele, which stands on Dubrovka, is a monument to the dead. Thedeath toll around this monument was there on the night that the president arrived at the crime scene. Television cameras were set up and a list of the dead was posted on a piece of cardboard.

PRONKO: This was stillPutin?

MILOVIDOV: This was still Putin. In2002. Inthe morning the list disappeared and it's still gone. Analtar stands there, ready for future victims. Themaster of the city took care that those who died in the attacks in metro stations and on airplanes and other attacks had monuments built. So, is it unethical ornot?

PRONKO: And what do the officials tell you? Yousay that you're haunting their thresholds, are you trying to hold some sort of a dialogue withthem?

MILOVIDOV: We discussed it and wrote a letter. Theyresponded with a very beautiful phrase, that this monument, designed by the sculptor Galanovski, isn't a place of burial, but rather a cultural-monumental construction. Thisis a term that spans the entire line. Itwas obviously a monumental phrase. Therefore it would be inappropriate to place a list of the dead onit.

PRONKO: That's simple. It's not appropriate, yes?

MILOVIDOV: It's not appropriate, and below, the kicker: Please accept our condolences. Chairman of the Committee of Culture for the city of Moscow, signed.

PRONKO: Dmitry, please tell us, at what stage is the investigation of this case? Thegovernment officials, the men, the investigators, did they knock it allout?

MILOVIDOV: The investigation is currently suspended, but it's reopened periodically.

PRONKO: Next time would it be worth adding anything? Thisisn't the first time that it's been suspended, isit?

MILOVIDOV: The suspensions and resumptions occur regularly, depending on the European Court's inquiries into the Nord-Ost case. Theyare required to copy materials, assign an investigator, obtain the case files, and who knows where they are anymore? Andcopy them. Thisrequires initiating an appellate procedural action and the resumption of the case. Onemonth later it's suspended for an interesting reason, and every time it's the same: due to the inability of locating suspected accomplices. Youcan name them: Zakayev and Dudayev, not to be confused with those well known figures on television that were destroyed earlier.

The investigation team on the Nord-Ost case was disbanded in December of 2003. After this the case involved one investigator. Aswe learned, it turns out that all resolutions of the investigation had already been accepted. Butit wasn't until 2004that former secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, Mr. Vasilyev, deigned to inform us that the medical part of assault had been a failure, and only then did we find out that there were resolutions from the investigation, and then we started working through the courts in order to find theseout.

PRONKO: Unfortunately Mr. Vasilyev, whom we invited on air to speak with you and with our listeners, is now in St. Petersburg, and due to his work he can't be here rightnow.

MILOVIDOV: It's a pity that there's no opponent.

PRONKO: If Iunderstand correctly, your coordinating council found that those who lost loved ones and relatives are not happy with the investigation and the general attitude towards thiscase?

MILOVIDOV: There was no criminal investigation opened to look into the deaths whatsoever. Thecase was initiated due to an act of terrorism, the relevant article of the Criminal Code, and the hostage crisis. President Putin said: We shall punish no one. After all, they can't be saved. And thus they covered up all the deficiencies.

PRONKO: You know, in this phrase there's a general disregard for the citizens of his country. It's very hard for me to judge, because you, Dmitry, lost a daughter. I'll just explain to the listeners: Dmitry lost a daughter there, Nina. Shewas 14years old at thattime.

MILOVIDOV: Forever.

PRONKO: Forever, yes. Idon't know how you can pronounce so coolly the words of the former president, you know, for me it's a shock. Whatdo you mean, we shall punish no one, because they can't be saved? Once he said: It sank (ed. note: the submarine Kursk). Thisis also his phrase.

MILOVIDOV: It sank, The gas was harmless, and about Beslan: I didn't know.

PRONKO: Do you pronounce it calmly, or have you already experienced it and can no longer respond any otherway?

MILOVIDOV: A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent William Blake. Onthe contrary, we've already mentioned Mr. Vasilyev. Iam very uncomfortable quoting him, but he invented a handy phrase: But the relatives of the hostages will not agree with this.

PRONKO: So, it's known in advance that you wouldn'tagree.

MILOVIDOV: In advance the hole was already dug. Therefore we only work on the case files, just the facts, and no speculation.

PRONKO: But it's a hopeless situation

MILOVIDOV: Not hopeless.

PRONKO: Not hopeless. Andwhat gives you Idon't know if it's even possible in this situation optimism?

MILOVIDOV: Optimism? Allthat has been achieved. Wesucceeded in doing our own investigation based on the criminal case. Welearned the regulations. Wehave now convincingly shown what happened, and what didn't happen. Theresults are evident in those documents we received from the government, that were forwarded to the European Court of Human Rights. Wecan see that we were proven correct.

PRONKO: So, you had to go through the European Court to communicate with Russian authorities, is that how it worked?

MILOVIDOV: We, as ordinary citizens, we can't make the justice system work, but as citizens we must. Wehad no other choice. Wewent through all the steps of the Russian Themis (ed: Greek goddess of divine law and order), we tried to appeal the ruling, but we saw ourselves totally powerlessness and were forced to air our dirty laundry in thatcourt.

PRONKO: And in the literal sense of the word. Dmitry Milovidov is here today on Real Time he's a father who lost a daughter, a member of the coordinating council of the Nord-Ost social organization that promotes the protection of victims of terrorist acts. Dmitry can you tell our listeners, and we now have hundreds of thousands listening, what conclusions you've drawn? Yousay you've conducted your own independent investigation.

MILOVIDOV: As far as the conclusions we arrived at, we'll give the public the facts: Avdyukov, who retired from his post as prosecutor for the city of Moscow, promised that all resolutions from the investigation, all investigation materials, would be available to the public. Butsomething very strange happened: a month after the tragedy it turned out that not a single one of the captured terrorists was in the hands of the investigation. Didthey just disappear?

PRONKO: Not a singleone?

MILOVIDOV: None. Thepublic swallowed it quietly. Let's continue. Theauthorities gave each other medals. TheMoscow city government handed out badges, reading 'participant in the special operation'. There were some decent people who abandoned this play-acting, but there were those who didn't. Heromedals were awarded, according to our information, by secret decree, to Patrushev, other headquarters staff, but only two of the heroes were from the Special Forces who carried out the military assignment to destroy the terrorists. Afterwards, in violation of orders, they returned to the auditorium and evacuated our families. Headquarters ordered them to leave the hostages alone after the fighting was over. Theyended up getting poisoned. Inthe criminal case it was recorded that nine Special Forces soldiers were hospitalized with poisoning. Whydid this happen? Fortunately for them, they were taken to the poison control center at City Hospital #33. It's a great mystery, as to why only five of the hostages were taken there out of several hundred.

PRONKO: No answer tothis.

MILOVIDOV: No answer. Theinvestigation states: Well, it happened like that. After all, there were precedents, such as the Peruvian crisis of 1997. Atthe Japanese embassy in Peru about 500hostages were seized. Solving the crisis took more than a month. Demonstrating political will and composure, leadership, all the while conducting negotiations. Theyprepared a special operation while through all sorts of ways they got hostages out. Andwhen only about 50hostages were left on the premises, the Special Forces attacked. Theresult: one hostage died of a heart attack, two officers from the Special Forces killed. Atthe time the Peruvian security forces discussed with the U.S.Marine Corps the possibility of using non-lethal weapons, such as those that they used at Dubrovka, a fentanyl derivative. Theyreplied: Since you have 400hostages, you should get about 1000physicians, otherwise it's useless. Canyou do this?

PRONKO: Wait, 400people captured. Ifyou use this special compound

MILOVIDOV: For resuscitation you must have at least twice asmany.

PRONKO: That is, they must be on the spot or in the vicinity.

MILOVIDOV: Either the commandos must have paramedic skills, which our law enforcement agencies don't have, or medics literally need to run in right after the SWAT teams. Oneto perform artificial respiration while the other does heart massage. After all, there has been no antidote invented for these special compounds. TheGovernment has only now acknowledged this. Ican't cite the document sent to the European Court, but Ican provide a brief excerpt, don’t misunderstandme.

PRONKO: But nevertheless, they acknowledgedit?

MILOVIDOV: They acknowledged that it would be illegitimate to consider Naloxone to be an antidote. It's a respiratory analeptic, which sometimes is used to help drug addicts, and then only for short periods. Iffor more than 5minutes loss of breath, later there's cardiac arrest and after two minutes resuscitation is futile. Thishappened at Dubrovka.

PRONKO: So, Iunderstand that by comparing different facts you have come to certain conclusions?

MILOVIDOV: The court should do findings. Under our constitution only a court can make a decision. We're only publishing materials from the investigation.

PRONKO: That is, thefacts.

MILOVIDOV: The facts. Butfrom these materials one can see it all in black and white. Avery long time ago on one of the forums we got a message: there are some decent investigators working here, they left everything you could need, just go on in and check these boxes until you get acquainted with the case materials. Wedid this. Really, the investigative team had done a lot of work, but the fact remains that all this work was wasted. Itwasn't used in preparing the resolutions. It's not the fault of the investigators. It's the fault of the state and our society.

PRONKO: But Dmitry, the state is specific officials, it's a concept personified.

MILOVIDOV: The state is also a particular society, which should require officials to perform Whatdo we ask for, anyway? Thetask of our organization is to finish the hostage rescue operation. After all, people who went through a gas attack now suffer from various illnesses. Whatshould we tell a girl whose mother was in her fifth month of pregnancy and went through a gas attack? Thisgirl as far as the investigation is concerned was not a victim. Hermother received a response to her application, to the effect that human life begins at birth, and since little Zlata was born after the attack, she was not injured. Thegirl is growing up, taking her first steps as such though much time has passed, and she can already think and so she asks: Mommy, why can't Irun around like the other kids? Itook her to Roshal. Roshal was made director of one of the famous centers. There they established a different diagnosis, not cerebral palsy, but toxic encephalopathy. Themother was asked if she wished to change the diagnosis. And what will happen? she asked. You'll lose your pension, they said, because we never had such a disease such as toxic encephalopathy until Dubrovka. ButI could be wrong. Andso her mother also has to care for her parents who were handicapped at Chernobyl. Doesshe need a truth such as this? Shesaid: No.

PRONKO: Look, I'm not even shocked. Idon't know where to go with this program anymore, because I'm with you, Dmitry, Ifully agree. It's not just about Putin, who was promised certain preferences by those who wrote all sorts of manifestos and conservatism. Inow appeal to the audience. Theexample that Dmitry just gave, Zlata, was she the littlegirl?

MILOVIDOV: The girl is namedZlata.

PRONKO: It's not even cynicism, you know. Idon't know what words to pick to describe what's happening in this country. Perhaps it isn't normal, it's a kind of surrealism that the mother is being blackmailed, it's blackmail actually: Change the diagnosis means canceling the pension. Ican't understand this! Caneven a single person in this country somehow explain what's going on? Presumptuous, arrogant power! Anything different noway!

MILOVIDOV: You're repeating (cynic comedian) Zadornov's words that he said back then: An embezzled government. There were other words by (musician) Boris Grebenshchikov: I didn't feel myself to be a citizen. Therefore, many officials are trying to forget Nord-Ost. Itnever was. Butthere are decent people. Notvery long ago one of the former hostages attended a concert at the Kremlin Palace of Congresses. Aconcert by Krutoy and Khvorostovsky. Andsuddenly, right after Virgil's great words about the futility of evil, on the screen there was a list of the hostages. Shetold me how she felt at the time. Shedidn't understand what it was, but when it came to her late husband's name, when it came to my daughter's name, just then she realized what it was. Later the concert was repeated on television. Iwas warned that it would be on at a certain time, but still Igot goose bumps. Imake a low bow to these two great people for performing their civic duty, to the memory (of the slain hostages).

PRONKO: Thank God that there are really people like that. But, Dmitry, do you believe that the state the officials and the public wants to strike Nord-Ost from its memory?

MILOVIDOV: Naturally. Andat times they have purely material considerations.

PRONKO: Can you explain?

MILOVIDOV: It's unfortunately that Gennady Vladimirovich (Gudkov) isn't here. Hereceived some interesting queries from the governments of various countries about what happened to funds that were transferred to assist victims of terrorist attacks, in particular at Beslan.

PRONKO: Ibeg your pardon. Ilya, let's see if we can get Gudkov on the phone. Theyjust wrote that he's thoroughly stuck in traffic, so we'll talk with him by phone. Onceagain, it means that he sent requests for financial resources intended for victims.

MILOVIDOV: Idon't know that he sent requests, but he got questions from the parliaments of Germany and Britain on where certain sums went. Moreover, as a member of the Security Commission he received information that the FSB in 2005announced the confiscation of bank accounts of organizations that funded terrorists. Andwhere are those funds? Onceagain they disappeared. Theysuccessfully sold the beautifully renovated theater for the ball-bearing plant (on Dubrovka), but that's another story. Oneinteresting story remains with the gay club. Seating for fifteen hundred. Visitors included members of parliament. Theinvestigation says that perhaps there was some compromising material, but the end result of that theme was not disclosed. Thisis my personal opinion. Ithasn't been explained who the real owner was or what was going on there. Theinvestigation states that everything was diversionary action after a short reconnaissance, that the terrorists supposedly weren't settled anywhere, they weren't based anywhere. Butmany terrorists had arrest records for passport violations. Thearchivists had four records. Theterrorists 'roofed' certain points in Moscow, or more precisely they were covered, excuse theslang.

PRONKO: As such everyone understandsit.

MILOVIDOV: Another story that hasn't been investigated to the finish is the Prima Bank, which had people working for it who seized Nord-Ost. Whatdid this bank do? There are some documents that shed light on its connection. Onceagain Iwas stopped by secrecy concerning criminal case materials.

PRONKO: Come on, that's what we're doing now. Theywrote me that Gennady is already on foot, that is, he abandoned his car. Well, these Moscow traffic jams, you can't walk and you can't drive, but Istill hope that he'll reachus.

With me in the studio here at Finam FM is a member of the coordinating council of the Nord-Ost organization for promoting the protection of victims of terrorist acts, Dmitry Milovidov. Nowwe're going to communicate simultaneously with our audience on a multi-channel phone, the number is 65-10-996, and through our web site, its address is www.finam.fm. WhatDmitry just said, to put it mildly, is shocking.

Igor writes: Who is the guarantor of a citizen's safety in this country, in this city, on this street? What's the responsibility of the guarantor? Actually, there's none.

Ilya writes: It just so happens that on that night, from Friday to Saturday, Ihad to spend 22hours with relatives of the hostages in the gym at the vocational school on Melnikov #2. Myjob was to give the microphone to the speaker. Inaddition to some informational notices from the headquarters, Matvienko came to speak. There was no chance of Putin showing up, though many would've liked to see him. At6:40 am Iheard two explosions. This is how Ilya describes the situation. Dmitry, were youthere?

MILOVIDOV: Iwas there and Iheard the address by Matvienko, this Soviet official.

PRONKO: One must admit that she reached fairly good heights in the administration.

MILOVIDOV: Yes, she got a good position for herlie.

PRONKO: And what was herlie?

MILOVIDOV: That everything was done to save lives, while from the criminal case materials it was shown that hostage rescue was a secondary objective.

PRONKO: Ihave now come to a terrible conclusion the current government covers for each other. Theycan't touch each other. Herethey are, all their names: Matvienko, the governor of St. Petersburg, Shantsev, governor of the Nizhny Novgorod region who is once again a candidate for mayor of Moscow, and Prime Minister Putin. They'll never go against each other. Theycover for each other. Mr. Milovidov is right when he says that they want to simply delete Nord-Ost, because for them it's like a cataract in their eye. Acataract that can't be removed.

MILOVIDOV: Just like Beslan.

PRONKO: Three weeks ago Itraveled to Tskhinval and passed through Beslan. Vladikavkaz airport is located in Beslan. Whenyou drive out of the airport, you can't miss the children's cemetery with the beautiful name: City of Angels. Istopped and got out. Honestly, Ididn't go into the cemetery. I'm a rather strong man who has gone through a lot in life, but one can't remain calm there. Ihad a lump in my throat from the very first moment. People went farther, but Icouldn't because the children's faces on the gravestones it's a terrible sight for any father.

MILOVIDOV: When Iwas there in September of 2004, Ijust fell to my knees. Atnight they were working with backhoe diggers because they weren't able to dig such a quantity of dirt fast enough so that people could bury their loved ones in a timely manner. During the day they worked manually. Theresult was a huge cemetery.

PRONKO: Dmitry, Ihave reached two terrible conclusions. Thefirst is that the authorities cover for each other. Allare involved either directly or indirectly with Nord-Ost, and are in power in various positions.

MILOVIDOV: Why? Someresigned from their posts. Forexample, Health Minister Yuri Shevchenko, who left the worldly life for the priesthood, saying that he and senior staff knew about the use of lethal weapons. About a thousand doses of antidote were prepared, but what talk of antidotes can there be when there never was one even invented? Ifor one wonder: why did Shevchenko take responsibility for someone else's sin? Mr. Vasilyev also left office.

PRONKO: But he's now in the Duma, heading the parliamentary committee on security.

MILOVIDOV: I'm reminded of the Acoustic Commission in (Bulgakov's novel) Master and Margarita, but I'd like to be mistaken.

PRONKO: The second conclusion that I've reached is that none of us are safe. I'm not blowing the situation out of proportion. Welive in a country and in a city where you, to put it mildly, can have anything happen toyou.

MILOVIDOV: They still aren't writing about how can there be Nord-Ost when there are traffic jams whenever somewhere a government bureaucrat (and his police escort) drivespast?

PRONKO: No. Theywrite that Matvienko was, to put it mildly, unconvincing. Natalya writes: Forgetting isn't easy and there's no assurance that this won't happen again. Thisis demonstrated by the recent bombings in the Moscow subway. 65-10-996and www.finam.fm are our means of communication. Please, your thoughts and reflections. Personally I've said everything Iwant to. Fromwhat Dmitry said Inow have lodged in my memory the name of a girl. Itturns out that Zlata is eight yearsold?

MILOVIDOV: Yes, she's alreadyeight.

PRONKO: And she wondered why she couldn't run like other children? Well, this whole damn great big unified power is not worth one Zlata. Knowin advance, all who would defend the bureaucrats responsible for the grief of this young girl and her mother, to all those inhuman monsters that will call and excuse these snakes, every time you do this you'll hear from me the name of this little girl, yes and your ears will be ringing. Before you call us, call yourself up first and find out if you're this type! Ourmeans of communication: 65-10-996and www.finam.fm. Youropinions, remarks and questions. Onceagain Iremind you that my guest is Dmitry Milovidov, a member of the coordinating council for the Nord-Ost regional public organization to promote the protection of victims of terroristacts.

MILOVIDOV: Unfortunately, our listeners are not on equal terms with us. I'm on topic, while they're busy with their daily problems. Everyone has work and everyone has a crisis.

PRONKO: Dmitry they're Muscovites. Atthe very beginning you said it wasn't just the state's fault, but also society's, which regularly swallows the obscene pieces that the authorities toss them. Iappeal to the audience and want to know how long they're going to put up with this? Howlong will they swallow this? Howlong are we going to swallow the fact that in a country where there's a Zlata, Nikita Mikhalkov still writes nonsense about conservatism and so on? There's Mr. Gudkov, arriving in the nick of time. Sitdown. Gennady Gudkov, deputy chairman of the Parliament Committee on Security.

GUDKOV: These traffic jams. Ihad to runhere.

PRONKO: Mr. Gudkov, Dmitry said that the government, the officials and the public, want to delete Nord-Ost and Beslan from their consciousness. Doyouagree?

GUDKOV: Partially, yes, because not everyone in power, not all the officials and not all the people want to delete it from their memory. It's not just me there are plenty of people who would like to get answers to these two tragedies. Notfor the sake of curiosity, but to learn a lesson and not repeat it in the future.

PRONKO: Why was a tragedy even possible? Whyis it that the Nord-Ost organization to promote the protection of victims of terrorist acts has to talk with the Russian authorities through the European Court of Human Rights?

GUDKOV: This tragedy was made possible as a result of wide-ranging reasons, including the issue of terrorism and our policy of placing our interests anywhere and everywhere. Because of unsuccessful counter-terrorism actions, and so on. There are a lot of reasons, but as to what actually happened at Nord-Ost, we'll never fullyknow.

PRONKO: Why?

GUDKOV: Italked with officers from the Alpha Special Forces group, and Iasked them: Guys, you had 40minutes, why didn't you take anyone alive? We could've learned from the terrorists how it all happened. Theysaid: Gennady, you know, it wasn't about that, it was a fight, clusterf*** and all that. Isaid: What the heck kind of special forces group are you? And they told me: We have the command no prisoners. Whatever happens, happens. Naturally, we looked after ourselves. Like any man Ican understand the officers who performed their task and performed it professionally and extremely well, they saved the hostages, but they ought to have at least dragged someone out so they could find out who prepared this operation, how did they get weapons there, who naturalized and registered all these people, how did they get there, how did they get explosives? Lotsof interesting questions. Who's who and who gave the commands, why didn't the terrorists have a plan? It's obvious that they (the terrorists) didn't know what to do with everyone after the capture. Theywere all waiting for some command, and whether they got it or not, we don't know that either. We'll never find these answers, probably not ever, unless there's some miracle.

PRONKO: Isee. Dmitry Milovidov, yourturn.

MILOVIDOV: Imentioned that Ihave the advantage over the audience and Iwant to make it fair. Onour site www.nord-ost.org there is our Memorial Book for the victims, and our report Nord-Ost: Investigation Incomplete. The investigation materials are all collected in a single book. There are many answers contained in the criminal case materials. Inparticular there is a query to the FSB with an investigative report that explosive devices were collected and moved to the Moscow, Kaluga and Bryansk regions. Thatis, into Central Russia. Hereit isn't a question about some region in Chechnya or Rostov. Youmay wonder why the Nevsky Express was blown up and why the terror attacks continue. Before Beslan another 56attacks occurred.

PRONKO: Mr. Gudkov, what is all this? Isit inefficiency on the part of the intelligence agencies?

GUDKOV: Unfortunately, these are systemic problems of our state, which are reflected in the work of the secret services and all our police forces, work that leaves much to be desired. It's reflected in the work of some of the mass media, of the courts, which often release offenders, the quality of criminal investigations, which often don't prove guilt, which is why the courts release offenders. Oneleads to the other. There's no clear answer as to why. It's completely obvious that there's a flawed system of management in our country.

PRONKO: But here's a question that should be given a straight answer. It's about a girl named Zlata, whose mother was taken hostage in her fifth month of pregnancy. Thecynicism of Russian officials no longer shocks me. I'd just like to rip something off them. Howcan they blackmail this mother to change the diagnosis of her child and question her pension in the event the child doesn't have cerebral palsy, which was assumed in assigning her disability payments? Whatare they? Sovery insolent and f**ked up. Havethey completely left the bounds of permissibility, decency and conscience? Howcan they blackmail a mother, who went through all of this in her fifth month of pregnancy, a mother whose daughter constantly asks why she can't run like the otherkids?

GUDKOV: Unfortunately, our government has become totally separate from the people. They're accustomed to acting like cogs in a single mechanism. Givethem the command to quiet down a situation and they'll fulfill it. Givethe command to activate it and they will also satisfy that. Theycould care less how it is with someone. Theyonly remember the people when they raise their drinks in the sauna, then afterwards they go out and s**t on the people from above. There are decent people in our system, but they must still line up in formation and do their work, execute commands that they're given regardless of whether they're moral or immoral, humane or inhumane. Intheir earthly life they can and will escape from responsibility, but what will they do when it's over and they have to answer for it? Whenthe Lord asks: Where was your conscience? Even then they'll assemble their arrogance and reply: We abolished it during the first reading of someone's decree. Wearen't to blame, go ask those who gave the orders. Our bureaucratic system is indifferent to the point of impossibility, and it successfully uses the fact that within every one of us there is a servant complex, a slave complex. Andwhenever anyone of us gets a drop of power he begins to look upon the others as slaves, plebeians, even though he was as a slave just five minutes ago. Ofcourse, he immediately ceases to care about them or even listen tothem.

MILOVIDOV: Here we still have some oriental roots, which force us to make sacrifices. Forsome reason they decided that an assault on Nord-Ost was mandatory. Supposedly there were organizations that conducted public polls, which supposedly established that an attack must happen regardless of whether terrorists released the hostages or not. We've got to show force, period. Theresolution by the prosecutor's office states: For the sake of Russia's prestige in the international arena.

GUDKOV: Idrove to Nord-Ost when it wasn't yet cordoned off and there weren't any Special Forces groups, but there were some managers from the Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service and they were discussing something. Ibrazenly wandered over and could hear part of the discussion. Ididn't hear a word about an assault having to be made be at any price no matter what. Thefact is that the terrorists themselves were illogical and chaotic. Theygave hostages something to drink, then didn't give them anything, let someone in, and then stopped doing that, made contact, and then didn't feel like it. Moreover, they shot a girl, Olga Romanova, who acted heroically and wanted to rescue people. Therefore, in those circumstances where there weren't any clear demands, they hadn't set up a way to negotiate, people were inclined to think that an attack was evident since it seemed that no one would survive.

MILOVIDOV: But there was no authorized negotiator. There are these professionals in the FSB. Ihope they didn't fire every lastone.

GUDKOV: They didn't fire them. There's a group of negotiators. Theonly problem at the time was that we didn't have a commander and we were all waiting to find out whom they would appoint. Among the candidates were a lot of different people. There were members of the Duma and there were Federation Council members and various other bosses. Bythe way, Luzhkov spent a day and a night at the headquarters. WhenPronichev was appointed director of the headquarters then action started to occur more systematically. Later there was a new edition of the law on combating terrorism, which took into account who from the very first second was responsible for negotiations and the outcome of the operation. Thiswasn't done after Nord-Ost, but after Beslan.

PRONKO: Istill want to air Ilya's question. Iwant to hear the views of Muscovites, maybe some memories and thoughts. Letme remind you that today my guest is Dmitry Milovidov, a father who lost his daughter Nina during the events at Nord-Ost, he is a member of the coordinating council of the Nord-Ost organization for promoting the protection of victims of terrorist acts. Andwe have Gennady Gudkov, deputy chairman of the Duma Committee on Security. Mr. Gudkov, I'll personally address Ilya's letter. Hewrites: I grew up and stopped believing in fairy tales. Idon't believe in terrorists. Terrorists are like (computer) viruses that are needed so that they can make anti-virus programs and make big bucks. Terrorism is controlled by the intelligence agencies, and what happened is the direct fault of the security services. Why? It's obvious to scare the people. People will be scared to p*** on the authorities in the outhouse (ed: a famous Putin aphorism). What's it mean? Thatthe authorities are smart? Thepeople are kind of satisfied? Iquoted this to you as it is. Youranswer?

GUDKOV: If we examine international experience with terrorism, we see that the terrorist bombings in Spain led to the resignation of the Spanish government. Theyled to other serious consequences for the authorities. Thisindeed is the immense fault of the great powers that created the phenomenon of modern terrorism.

PRONKO: Today Bin Laden once again came out in support of terrorist acts in France, and soon.

GUDKOV: Secret services actually had a hand in the creation of the terrorist movement, which today grows with a vengeance. Thisis called letting the genie out of the bottle. Let's say that Father Gapon also created a secret movement, but it escaped from his control. Thesecret services were involved in creation of the first terrorist, insurgent gangs, which by means of terrorist attacks attained certain political objectives. Nowterrorism has become the cruelest, most barbaric, most inhuman way of making money and gaining power. There are no other motives. There are pawns drugged by ideology that go and blow themselves up. There are those who benefit from this behind the scenes, whether it's in the form of bank notes or an attempt to seize power. Let's recall the national liberation movements in several African countries. Theywaged guerrilla, terrorist war, and through this they gained their objectives, even though they acted no better than our warriors, and innocent people were killed.

PRONKO: Ilya is right that this is a virus. Avirus that can mutate.

GUDKOV: A virus that has escaped the control of the security services.

MILOVIDOV: The authorities tell us that what is to blame for international terrorism is the fact that millions go into equipping it. Consider the report on Nord-Ost. Thisattack was done for pennies. Maybe one of the terrorists got his mitts on millions. Thisis evident even in the slogans of terrorists they weren't characteristic of the Chechen Diaspora. Allthose black scarves and inscriptions in Arabic. Previously there wasn't anything like this. Thisis clearly money laundering.

GUDKOV: Or done in order to give false leads to the investigation.

PRONKO: Dmitry, say what you mean by pennies.

MILOVIDOV: There is a memo from the leaders of the Prima Bank to a well-known brigadier general concerning the ongoing bankruptcy of the bank, and receipts for what and to whom money was paid. Someof the security guards at the Prima Bank turned out to be the terrorists that seized Nord-Ost, and they were paid certain sums. Explosives wander the country and weapons and all that can be gotten very, very cheap. Theterrorists were in Moscow and for a long time they were under the surveillance by law enforcement. There were also reports of their detention, but they were always able to buy their wayout.

GUDKOV: Yes, it's true. Theinternational terrorist movement exists, but Inever believed that it had no single center. Ithink that our people, who are outside the country and engaged in all this, didit.

PRONKO: Our people who arethey?

GUDKOV: Ihave a theory that this was done by the former secretary of the Security Council's people, because his men prepared a series of terrorist attacks.

PRONKO: You're talking about Berezovsky?

GUDKOV: Yes. I'm not saying that it was by him, but his people did it. Ihave little doubt about it. It's obvious that the origin and motivation of the attack was by our people too. Theorganization was ours, and the command on what to do this too had to come from our center. Idon't know if the command was ever given or not, but later what happened, happened.

PRONKO: One of the recent statements by the deputy prosecutor general of Russia was that weapons of all shapes and sizes have fallen into the hands of terrorists, weapons from military units of the Russian armed forces.

GUDKOV: Certainly military depots were looted.

PRONKO: And so it's an unsolvable problem?

GUDKOV: It wasn't solvable during an atmosphere of war in Chechnya. Inthe Caucasus there are a lot of depots that were ransacked. Whenour troops left, they left the weapons, which then fell into the hands of terrorists and separatists. During the 1990s there was a huge traffic in firearms in Russia. Ifyou remember, there were even assassinations committed with disposable AKMs, which were simply thrown away. Thenthey started a program to bring order in this regard. Ican't say that it's been successful, because the illegal trade still exists, but it's not like it was in the 1990's when the weapons were everywhere and inbulk.

PRONKO: Iunderstand that the deputy prosecutor general spoke about the current situation, about how terrorists now obtain weapons from Russian militaryunits.

GUDKOV: No, there isn't the same ease in acquiring weapons anymore. Imyself performed an experiment. Idecided to order two AKM assault rifles. Theypromised delivery and even took the money in advance, but they couldn't get them even after a year and ahalf.

MILOVIDOV: That's strange, because a weapon went missing at Nord-Ost. There was a weapon used by the terrorists, in 7.62 mm. Theydiscovered and logged in the empty cartridge cases. Butno weapon. Someone just took it and left. There was proof that the weapon was either issued to the Chechen tax authority, or to federal forces. Itfell into the hands of terrorists.

GUDKOV: There are so many civilian weapons given out under fake licenses. Iremember how Ihad a meeting at the department of public safety at the Interior Ministry, and they were just discussing this topic. There were criminal cases and people fired. Theywere also doing a lot of businessthere.

PRONKO: To my great regret, the time of our broadcast is coming to an end. Mr. Gudkov, Istill don't agree with you. Ithink sooner or later we'll find out the truth about Nord-Ost. Dmitry, to you and all those people involved in these complex issues, Iwish you courage and perseverance with all my heart. You're living proof that society is still something worth fighting for, though they also fight for their own safety, because what happened to the victims of Nord-Ost could happen to them and their loved ones tomorrow. Thiswas a tough broadcast. Thanks to all who were with us today. Ithank my guests, Dmitry Milovidov and Gennady Gudkov. Thishas been Real Time on FinamFM.


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