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Valery Draganov on the program 'First Person'
Written by   
, 26 2007
October 26th is the fifth anniversary of 'Nord-Ost', the operation to neutralize the terrorists and free the hostages. Appearing in the studio is Valery Gavrilovich Draganov, a member of the General Council from the 'United Russia' party. Itis no coincidence he was a participant of the events, and since this morning he was at a rally in memory of the victims.

MODERATOR: Psychologically, it is clear: when talking about such events you cannot speak the whole truth one's conscience does not let them put into everyday words. Whatdo you think about it?
DRAGANOV: Actually, Ido have something to say. Along time ago Irefused to speak such mournful rhetoric with participants in the events, the victims or their relatives. Onecan talk about compassion, partnership, and financial assistance, but neither friends nor the government nor any financial, moral or other assistance reduces the pain. Onthe other hand, Ihave found it easier to talk on this subject simply as a person, rather than as a politician as Idid in the past, or as the manager of a large, influential company as Iam now. Simply talking to people in the language of feelings is more useful than that so-called politically correct rhetoric.

Iwas really there today, but Iwas there on other days, and more often Isimply mill around. AndI think, because Itoo have many questions. Ialready told you once how Icarried the wounded and dead from the building, and Iremember how at first we just put the bodies of the victims anywhere we could. Andthe first question that torments me is: why did the doctors not explain what we needed to do?

You can talk endlessly on this subject, but that is what Isaw. There is a lot less officialdom and politeness, and the rally itself is not like it used to be, but it is more of a gathering of people who are simply expressing their thoughts out loud. Andthere is this informal moderator who conducts the rally every year. There are no speeches by one or another senior official, but what moves me is how the subject develops together with the pain. Isaw a stand with color photos of the dead, and Iwas thinking: No, the colored pictures don't look right, black and white is more emotional But when you start to look at them, you know that it is not in the color, it is in the faces. Somehow these faces, even the aged faces and the young and fresh ones, they get ever more sad and more painful with time. Someone from the media asked me when the investigation will be over. Ido not know how to answer this question, even for myself.

MODERATOR: Is it still going on?

DRAGANOV: It is underway. Butin the public consciousness this investigation must be eternal. Letus switch to legal language. There is procedure, and for me as long as there are legal procedures the investigation is not finished. Those who accuse someone of carelessness, of a lack of organization or subjectivity, they are correct. Andthose who defend themselves against such accusations are also correct. Inthis process one party will always be right, and we know who that will be. Itis necessary to suppress all ambition and emotion, and Iam not talking about the 'honor of the uniform', for adults that is even laughable, but to listen patiently and then initiate lawsuits. Therhetoric of certain lawyers surprises me somewhat: they should stick to the legal side of things, rather than becoming more and more like politicians. Butthis is also a matter of taste.

So, what can Isay? OnceI traveled there with Giuliani, the former mayor of New York. Iconsider him a hero he was with his people in hard times, just like Yuri Luzhkov was with his people. Andthe responsibilities that Giuliani and Luzhkov and other governors and mayors have, these are not rhetorical questions. Ishowed Giuliani how it was, and this brave, strong man was very touched. Andit is not surprising, because it does not matter whether you are defending the eleven million people of Moscow or New York, or just one person who faces injury or death, you still suffer, and especially outsiders who want to do something, but cannot, they suffer from a sense of helplessness in a worst-case scenario. Youkeep thinking that it would have been better to be there. ButI can never dot this 'i'.

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