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Today is a memorialday
Written by   
, 16 2007
Today is a memorial day for those slain in the explosion of the apartment building in Kaspiisk
On November 16th, 1996, in the Dagestani town of Kaspiisk, an 82-unit apartment building was blown up. Thefamilies of officers and warrant officers from the Kaspiisk district Federal Border Service lived alongside civilians in the 9-storey building. Officers from an aviation squadron and the 'Makhachkala' operational unit of the Caucasus border district were also living there.

The Order of Courage was awarded posthumously to 21service members, including the head of the Caspian border guard, Lieutenant Colonel Valery Morozov, and his wife, Svetlana Morozova.
As a result of the terrorist attack 68persons were killed, including 21children.
The media avoided the memorial event this year, so we invite our web visitors to read Olga Korneyeva's newspaper article from PRO, 11/27/2006
Blast in Kaspiisk: 10Years Later

Ten years ago, on a November night, residents of Kaspiisk, and later all of Russia, were shaken by one of the first apartment blasts. Buried under the rubble of the border guard residence on the beach were dozens of its residents. Among those for whom that night was the last night of their life was the Vlasenko family from Kolomna.

She was called a Decembrist

Two pretty faces look at us from the cover of the January 1995, edition of 'Border Guard'. Theyoung, smiling women are dressed in military tunics. Itis Yelena Vlasenko and her friend. Theywere both were killed in Kaspiisk. Yelena's mother, Lyudmila Nosova, takes out photos of her daughter and Sergei, her son in law. Shetakes out the Order of Courage, which was awarded posthumously to her daughter, and the clock from their apartment, which stopped at the time of the explosion and was later found in the rubble. YuriAlexandrovich Nosov brings over their grandsons class albums from the Tver Suvorov Military School. Theyboth survived Kaspiisk.

We met the Nosov family on the eve of their departure to the scene of their daughter's death. Organizers of the memorial ceremony invited relatives of the slain to come to the tenth anniversary of the date, especially the children who somehow survived the blast in greater numbers than the adults. Wewere unable to catch up to Seryozha and Sasha Vlasenko they study at the Moscow Institute of the Federal Border Service and had flown to Kaspiisk directly from the capital.

Wiping the tears streaming from her eyes, Lyudmila talks about her lost Yelena. Shehas two daughters. Hersecond daughter, Olga, works in Kolomna in the field of social welfare, and is raising a daughter.

Yelena was an exceptionally gifted musician, said Lyudmila Ivanovna Nosova. "She graduated from our music college here in Kolomna and played clarinet in the Kaspiisk Orchestra. Shewas very kind and cheerful. Sheknit and cooked well. Shealways went everywhere with her husband, Sergei, who graduated from our Kolomna military academy. Hewas promoted to lieutenant colonel and in Kaspiisk he was the head of the third branch of the military draft board. Since she followed her husband to the east, all our friends called her 'Decembrist'. Shewent with him to Kaspiisk and served as a warrant officer in the border guards. Theylived together very, very well, and were in love. Sheloved us very much, and her children Lenaprobably had a premonition. Shewas always so cheerful, so full of joy, and she was never discouraged. Butshortly before her death, people told us, she repeatedly told her friends the following: If anything happens to us, don't abandon our children. People were amazed. Perhaps it was a premonition, because she knew something.

Killed in the performance of military duties, so they wrote for all of them. Because the house was blown up after all, it's already been proven that it didn't just collapse like they were trying to say at the beginning. Butwhy did they blow it up? Lenacould really have known something, or suspected it. Recently on TV they broadcast that it was assumed that the blast was connected with the activities of caviar mafia. Thebuilding, as far as Iknow, they had decided to buy it from the city for the border guards. Thena new chief of the border guards was appointed, Morozov. Andthe explosion didn't happen until he got home. Hegot there at 1:20 in the morning, and about 1:50 there was the blast.

The curtains were fluttering, but there was no room

Yelena phone Kolomna on the evening before the explosion: Mom, we're all fine, all is well. Theboys aren't in school the teachers are on strike. That night friends of the Vlasenkos stayed overnight. Theywere put to bed in the boys' room (the boys were 9and 11back then), and it saved their lives. Thehouse stood on the seafront and some of the TNT did not go off it got wet. Therefore the sides of the building partially survived.

The boys' room was at the far end of the apartment. Theywoke up in their bunk bed because the plaster had crumbled, and there was a crash. Theylooked into their parents' room the curtains were fluttering, but there was nothing there. Noroom. Andno Mom and Dad.

In the morning a telegram arrived, said Lyudmila Ivanovna. Telling us to fly immediately to Kaspiisk, but it didn't say why. Somepeople who knew my daughter and son in law sent it, and we were almost the very first to arrive. Friends of Lena and Sergei met us at the airfield and took us to the spot. Myson-in-law was still alive his legs were crushed under a wall panel and he'd lain there until five in the morning when he a rescue dog found him. Hetold the rescuers that he hadn't heard Lena, just what sounded like a woman screaming for a long time. Shewas later found dead. Heasked if the children were alive. Thedoctor went to him and said: now you will be pulled out and your legs will have to be amputated. Buthe died before that. Theraised the panel and he died. Compression syndrome. Wedidn't see Sergei. Weonly know it from the stories, but our daughter, apparently when she heard the noise she got out of bed, but never made it anywhere. Shehad skull and brain injuries and died immediately.

Just imagine, interrupted Yuri Alexandrovich. The house was standing, but it had no middle. Thetwo stairwells on the ends were there, but in the middle there were construction cranes, solders walking around, and dogs. Ludawas in such a state that she stayed with Lena's friends, and Isat there until morning. Theygot Lena, and Iidentified her. Theygot Sergei and some more people. Thencame the commission and they said that it all could collapse. Dogsshowed that there were no more people, so the work was suspended while they brought down the rest of the house. FromMoscow came a refrigerator van and all the bodies were identified.

My son-in-law was very pedantic, like a soldier, simply
s person Lyudmila pauses, her hands covering his face. Sasha told us: Dad kept all the documents in one place in a briefcase. Itsurvived. Itreally helped us a lot, not to have to straighten that out. Lenaand Sergei were brought to Kolomna to be buried. Aman from the FSB was with us the whole time, and he helped. Butto bring anything back is impossible.

The first to be rescued from the remnants of the upper floor by sliding ladder were the Vlasenko boys. Thefriends who spent the night with the boys in the room wrapped them in blankets and then drove them to friends. There they were given clothes and shoes. Friends arrived from Yelena and Sergei's previous duty station, not far from Kaspiisk. They even asked us to give them the children, said the Nosovs. They said: We will raise them if you aren't able. There they have such a custom.

A bag of sugar from a stranger

The boys were in shock. First they were told that their parents were still alive: how can you tell children in this state that their parents had died? Butthen they learned the truth.

To tell them what happened was impossible, said Lyudmila Ivanovna. We even called an ambulance for the children. Andthe whole time they asked: grandmother let's go home now, grandmother let's go home now. After we buried their parents, the next day we took them to School No. 14. Ipicked them up after school and the teacher said: They have even forgotten the multiplication table. Wetreated them for a very long time. Galina Ivanovna Kalinina, a psychologist, she helped us a lot. Weare very grateful to her. Andnow, whenever it's necessary, we always refer to her. Weare very grateful to the 'Combat Brotherhood', an Afghan veteran organization, and the governor and the mayor treated us very well. Somehow, 3or 4months after the tragedy, a man came to us and asked: Do the Nosovs live here? Areyou the ones who lost relatives in Kaspiisk? Andright on the threshold he puts a huge sack of sugar. Hesays: Ican't say whom it is from. Eatit in good health! Weate this sugar for a long time.

Ten years ago the Nosovs both worked, but when the misfortune occurred, Lyudmila Ivanovna left her job and since then has devoted herself fulltime to her grandchildren. Theyhad to sue to get a stipend for children due to the loss of their breadwinner, because at the time officials had decided that the cause of death of the tenants was merely the collapse of their house, to save on compensation. Butthe Nosovs won, perhaps the first of all the relatives of those killed in Kaspiisk. Thecase was tried in Kolomna, with the permission of the chief justice back then, Karabits. Noweven the mainstream media is interested in her experience. Theyask her to send documents in order to help others like themselves.

Lyudmila, has the terrorist attack somehow influenced your grandchildren's career choices?

I think so. Theywere never asked what they wanted to be, and we didn't coerce them. Itwas hard for them, but they didn't want to give up. Andthey are still there the oldest is in his last year, while the youngest is in his third.

Does the Order of the Courage their mother received grant them any kind of benefit?

None. Twoyears ago some young lawyers came here. Theymet with people at the Kolomna theatrical center. Iwent there and asked: Why can't children who are orphaned at least get free transport passes? Iwas told that it was being discussed in the Parliament, but in general, our boys need to punch their way through life using their heads, they aren't girls. Wemust give credit where it's due: when Iturned to the Suvorov academy to sign them up, we received a lot of help. Andthe Federal Border Service also treats them well when the children were young, they were taken to Seoul and to Malta. Thishelped the rehabilitation.

The remains of a collapsed house in Kaspiisk have now been demolished. Inits place was erected a stele and the surrounding stones bear inscriptions with the names of the victims. Twoyears ago relatives were sent a telegram, stating that the case of the explosion of the apartment building had been closed due to the fact that the persons involved in the explosion, according to operational data, were no longer alive.

We bid the Nosovs farewell.

Now and then when the television shows terror attacks, do you experience the death of your daughter and her husband all over again, does this sometimes happen?

Yes. Andeven with this way: when there was a series of apartment bombings in Moscow the children once again suffered from shock. Thepsychologist categorically forbade them from watching TV. Everything seemed to rise up inside them once again. Andfor us, too Every time it is for us a reminder. Anew pain


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