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These were strange terrorists
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, 23 2003


"To hell with such a sovereignty"

Bykov: Mark Grigorevich, after the publication of your autobiography it seemed to me that you had forgiven the terrorists. You even forgave them what I think was the most terrible, the humiliation of forcing you to hold a demonstration
Rozovsky: As far as the humiliation, you are probably correct, though the slogans of this demonstration reflected my own convictions. Sasha called me and said: "If you don't go demonstrate on
Red Square they will kill all of us." She said it this way. Not 'blow up' but 'kill'.

So I went there demanding an end to the war in Chechnya, but I really did wish an end to this war, so it didn't take a lot to force me to do so. They wouldn't let us enter Red Square; they said that the demonstration was unsanctioned. Now that was really sophisticated mockery. At that time I knew that the decision to make an assault had beenmade.

Do you believe that it could have been avoided?
Certainly. I think that, had there been real explosives there, the risk was unjustifiably great. Let's say that one or another of the terrorists was too scared to connect the wires to set off their explosives, but how about the other forty? The only way to get them to release the hostages was to holdtalks.

Unsatisfactory, Mark Grigorevich. TheBarayev people demanded the army pull out.
We would've done this eventually anyway! Itwas only necessary to promise that
Russia would leave Chechnya; we were condemned anyway in due course

But how can you not see the difference? It's one matter to leave as a matter of course, but a different one entirely to leave when a terrorist demands it.
Ah! You're worried about the nation's prestige! Whydoesn't it worry about us when a war is going on? Adirty, pointless war, and yet somehow necessary to someone. Whyaren't you worried that supporting our nation's prestige is always somehow connected with a crazy, monstrous waste of humanlives?

Have you seen a nation that could be defended without a risk to life?
To hell with such sovereignty and such prestige! Damnthem both if we have to pay for them constantly with lives! Ifyour relatives had been there you would've acted exactly the same as Idid.

I don't know, but now your relatives, thank God, are safe, and yet it's as if you're defending Barayev and those with him anyway.
I'm defending? MyGod. Theywere terrorists; there is no doubt about that. Andfurther, I'm very thankful to the 'Alpha' troops who carried out the assault Yes, thankful? That's not the right word I'm ready to get on my knees before the unknown soldier who carried my Sashka unhurt from the building. Kristina Kurbatova and Arseny Kurilenko were sitting alongside her and they died, but my daughter was saved by a miracle. Ihave a lot of questions about 'Nord-Ost', however, and Istill haven't gotten any answers. Thefact is these terrorists weren't ordinary ones. Forone thing, I'm not convinced that an assault was necessary. TheBarayev people had no intention of blowing up the DK (theatrical center): they seized it and then later these games started. There's no need to attribute intentions to them, that they wanted kill everyone whatever the cost. Thestatistics in this matter are terrible: 129people died from our own actions. TheBarayev people killed one person that unfortunate, drunk girl, Romanova, who, by the way, strangely managed to get inside. Iwas there on the first night; a fly couldn't have gotten into the DK or headquarters. Mytheory is that they let her in on purpose. Something along the lines of, let her go start something, let 'em kill her! This, incidentally, was Barayev's worst mistake, that they killed her. Butshe was drunk, at first they covered this up, but she went in there and started to yell at them. Theytold her 'get out!' but she cussed them out even more. Thenthey shot her. These were bandits with whom you don'targue.

They even broke some of her fingers at first. It's clear why she really swore at them.
I repeat: no one can make them out to be sweet and nice, but who let her inthere?

Mark Grigorevich! Well, why does one have to see conspiracies everywhere? Iwas there all three nights and in complete peace Ipassed the inner barricades, while our photographer got into headquarters and was stunned at this.
Well, that means he showed his identification to someone.

What ID? Hejust up and went.
No one would let me in, even though Iwent to offer to switch places with my daughter.

Barayev needed for everyone to see how they killed him

You say 'conspiracy'. Perhaps you believe, as some other people do, that the whole 'Nord-Ost' matter was one big FSB conspiracy?
Well no, Idon't think so, because such an assumption would require completely different actions from me. Thisis, after all, not simply intellectual speculation; it would be my responsibility to accuse the authorities of such a sin. Butthe authorities are guilty in this because they didn't wish to stop the war. Their second sin is that they lied an awful lot about it all. Onecan't lie about such things! Lookfor yourself: the assault supposedly started because Barayev started shooting hostages. Sowhere are these executed hostages, these heroes? Whywas there no nation-wide televised funeral, why did they never tell the country the names of these first victims? Because Barayev didn't shoot anyone on the night of the assault. Theshooting started on the first floor of the building, Sashka heard it for thirty seconds before she fell asleep. Ifhe had planned to start shooting hostages, he'd have announced this live on the air. After all, this was his main means of blackmail! Butfor some reason, whenever he was given to speak, he spoke about everything exceptthis.

Let's assume, we haven't seen everything
But if they had really made such a threat, then why would the authorities hide this? After all, this is the main, if not the only, reason for the assault! Talkabout how Barayev wanted to shoot the hostages started only in the evening of the second day, when Primakov left the DK and couldn't agree to anything. Whatkind of terrorists were these to change their plans so? No, just looking Barayev in the eye on tape Icould tell that this was no ordinary terrorist. Thiswasn't a murderer, but a suicide-martyr.

Who for some reason wished to receive death accompanied by twelve hundred people, including women and children. Toobad this couldn't have gone on in some uninhabited place, let him cover himself in explosives and blow himself up as a sign of protest against the war!
No, as a director Iunderstand what he was thinking. Hewanted something completely different. Heneeded for everyone to see how they killed him. Hewent to 'Nord-Ost' to die, but not to kill. Heand these girls wanted to whole world to see how they were treated.

Excuse me, but the whole world treats them this way! Terror is terror
I've already said that this was no ordinary terror. Whylie and say that they treated the spectators in some ultra-harsh fashion, or that they didn't let the children stand up. Sasha was there. Theygave the kids candy from the snack bar. Werethere incidents? There were. Andthey let them go to the bathroom every two hours. I'm not making excuses for them, you see, I'm just saying that these people came to die, but not to kill. Asfar as the explosives Doyou know when they let the correspondents in to shoot the auditorium? Atabout 8. Sashka was already in the hospital, she was taken there at
, and Ifound out thanks to Roshal. Butthe assault started at 5and lasted three or five minutes, no more. Sowhat did they do there between 6and 8? Whydidn't they show the explosives right away? I'm a director; Isaw the picturesque poses they'd placed the dead Barayev people in. Iknow how a fallen, how a dead person lays, and how they put them on stage for effectiveness Andyet there is something Ican't understand: why didn't the medics go in the auditorium right away? After all, carrying the sleeping hostages out from the booby-trapped auditorium was probably riskier and harder than injecting everyone with the antidote right away! No, they carried them out, and many were carried out incorrectly and because of this there were deaths. Noway you can consider such an assault a victory!

The FSB brazenly allows acts of terror

Are you sad that 'Nord-Ost' has stopped?
Yes, of course it's a shame. Itwas a beautiful play, but, perhaps, they could never perform it again in that same building, because people would have continued to be afraid to go there. They'd have continued to be afraid because they knew that it could happen again. Whatdid this act of terror do for
Chechnya? Nothing. Thewar didn't stop. Whatdid this so-called victory do for Russia? Again, nothing. Everyone was afraid and is still afraid, and understands that there are no guarantees. It's a curse, you understand? Auniversal spiritual curse, under conditions where you can't even talk about guarantees, security, safety

But Mark Grigorevich! Thisspiritual curse is because people aren't ready to fight back, since they value nothing more than their own lives. Thatthey are ready not just to go demonstrate on orders of the terrorists that's fine, who will reproach them for this? Butto justify these demands after the fact?
Ah! Youwant real spiritual resistance, like back during the war. Butyou after all know very well that this is no real war. It's some kind of a game, one very necessary to someone. Awar in which everyone is lying. Inwhich the FSB brazenly allows acts of terror like those in
Moscow, in 1999, in Tushino, Dubrovka, and Mozdok Whathave they ever prevented? Theyfound a weapons warehouse? Whatare they doing in general, what is their notorious counter-terrorism activity? Noone's able to catch Maskhadov

And no one's caught Bin-Laden.
Bin-Laden has his millions, but what does Maskhadov have? Youcompare! Really, can't you see how many lies have been twisted about this war? Andafter this you want the country to have some patriotic uprising and for everyone to get ready to sacrifice their life? Their life and their children's?

Here Iagree with you completely. There can't be heroism in such a war.
Then why are we all putting up with this war? After all, one can't exploit the patriotic rhetoric to the end, then the understanding of what 'Motherland' means would lose all value! Butthe Motherland isn't fighting she is playing games and entombing her own children.

Has Sasha changed after 'Nord-Ost'?
It's like radiation. Like
Chernobyl. Itpasses through you, but when and how it will show up is unknown. Thedoctors say that she has great inner resources and that she will recover rather quickly Buthere Ioffered her a role in 'Perfume' by Susskind; I'm doing this musical. Butshe refused: I don't want to be a victim anymore. The medics know that a soldier in a victorious army, his wounds heal faster. Butthe wounds of 'Nord-Ost' still haven't healed, so this means that is was no victory.
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