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A person is alive, so long as we remember...

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Gerasimov, Arkadiy
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Written by "-"   
, 26 2011
Article Index
Page 2

 Nord-Ost. Memorial Book Of Lost Hostages

, 2011. 480. ., . .
ISBN 978-5-7493-1595-0
323/ 324(470+571)

The Book of Memory is but a small fraction of what we have been able to do for the 130persons who were killed at Dubrovka, October 2326, 2002. Aperson lives on in the memories of friends, relatives, colleagues.

We have collected their reminiscences, as well as the stories of sympathetic journalists.

The victims were diverse: from the very young to gray-haired elders; funny, talented, busy, dreaming of a career or finishing one with dignity. Theyall still live in the pages of this book and in the memories of the survivors. Wehope they will live in your memory aswell.

This book was published with the assistance of the Office of the Mayor of Moscow.

Cover photograph by Angelos Fasoulis, Greece.

You may download the book in.pdf format here.

To obtain a printed copy of the BOOK OF MEMORY, contact representatives of the coordinating council of the 'NORD-OST' regional public organization. Contact numbers:

(Moscow) Tatiana and Sergey Karpov (495) 7043702, Dmitry Milovidov 79036186194;

(Kazakhstan) Svetlana Gubareva +77053150484.

The materials published below were not included in the book for various reasons.

The promise to “finish off the terrorists in the outhouse” was suddenly real, though it was hardly imagined that a thousand-seat theater in downtown Moscow would be the ‘outhouse’.

The country’s leadership, politicians, and many ordinary citizens, still call the hostage rescue operation in the theatrical center “brilliantly performed.” It was said that during the assault all the militants were eliminated, and the terrorists only shot five people, while the one hundred and twenty-five hostages killed by the gas is a ‘reasonable figure’. Perhaps, but not for us, we for whom these percentages are the names of relatives and loved ones. Whocould ever imagine that, by purchasing a theater tickets, you could end up rushing around to every hospital, praying to all the saints that you might find your child? Simply find them. alive

The authorities ignored the hostages’ pleas to solve the situation peacefully, and on October 26th, 2002, at 5:30 am, gas was released into the auditorium. Dearreader, from the stories of how these ten children were being assisted after the effects of the gas, you may judge for yourself if it may have been possible to save the dying, intoxicated hostages on the steps of the theater center, or on the way to the hospital.

This is how the following children* were being ‘rescued’.

Alexander ZABALUYEV, age 16:

When the ambulance was pulling away from the theater at about 7:50 am, physicians saw a body out on the lawn. Thevehicle stopped, and emergencies ministry personnel helped load the body into the vehicle. Respiration was absent, there was no blood pressure, no detectable pulse in the major blood vessels, and pupils did not react to light. Thephysician pronounced the patient dead”

(According to investigative materials of the 'Nord-Ost' regional public organization)

Kristina KURBATOVA, age 13:

“My wife, Natalya Kurbatova, and Iwere forced to conduct our own investigation. Weturned to the deputy chief physician of the St. Vladimir City Children’s Clinical Hospital. Attending our conversation was the physician on duty at the hospital admissions department on the day my daughter was brought there, as well as an orderly from the hospital morgue.

“It became clear to us from the doctors’ words that when our child was taken to the hospital, no one ascertained her condition. Thephysician on duty mentioned that he was told they were receiving a corpse, and did not examine the girl. Hestated that examining a corpse was not in his duty description

(FromV.V.Kurbatov’s statement to the European Court of Human Rights)

Arseniy KURILENKO, age 13:

After receiving orders to advance at about 7:00 am, a group of rescue service personnel drove to the theater. Therescuers entered the theatrical center and started carrying out the victims and loading them into ambulances. Theambulances were loaded up and driven off. Meanwhile, commandos started carrying victims out of the theater, and they were looking for vehicles with drivers. Oneof the commandos, carrying a boy in his arms, went over to a rescue service vehicle. Theboy was doing very poorly. Theboy was put into the vehicle and taken along Dubrovka Street to its intersection with Volgograd Prospect, where there were ambulances

At about 8am a rescue service employee carried the body of the boy to the ambulance near the highway patrol post on Dubrovka Street. Onexamining the boy, the physician pronounced him biologically dead, and that the death of the child had occurred more than a half-hour earlier

(According to investigative materials of the 'Nord-Ost' regional public organization)

Alexandra LETYAGO, age 13:

“Nobody paid any attention to the plain khaki UAZ ‘box’ that pulled up to the doors of the department at 9am. Those who brought in this vehicle did not know that only the side staff entrance was open, so they spent a long time banging on the doors to admissions.

“The doors were finally opened to them, and they, in turn, opened the doors of their vehicle. Theadmissions staff’s hair stood on end: inside the 12-seat UAZ were stacked, and there is no other way to put it, 30(THIRTY) victims. Nomovement. Nogunshot wounds. Those who were in the front of the vehicle could say nothing about the nature of the injuries, THEY DIDNOTKNOW.

“The first task of the intensive care specialists was simply unloading the vehicle Theyput to work a journalist who had somehow wormed himself into the events. Atfirst he tried to work in his specialty, but after getting a look from head of the department, he began to assist.

“It immediately became clear that several people had died while in the vehicle. Notfrom the gas, but because they were crushed under the bodies. Atthe bottom was 13-year-old-girl. Epicrisis (summary): crushed.”

(From the newspaper ‘Federal Post’)

Nina MILOVIDOVA, age 14:

“While the headquarters representatives were talking about the absence of children among the dead, the body of our daughter was hidden inside a bus that never left the square:

“10/26/2002 at 13:00 at the Theatrical Center on Dubrovka Corpse #11 was removed for examination from the interior of route bus #12, vehicle license number R980TO99RUS”

(From the statement of D.E.Milovidov to the Prosecutor General of Russia)

Dasha OLKHOVNIKOVA, age 11:

At about 8:45 am rescue service workers put an unconscious girl on a stretcher into the rear of the ambulance.

Pupils dilated and unresponsive to light. At8:55 pm, pronounced biologically dead. Diagnosis: death before (arrival) of ‘03’ (ambulance).

(According to investigative materials of the 'Nord-Ost' regional public organization)

Liza STARKOVA, age 16:

At Veterans Hospital #1 (50 meters from the Theater Center) at 7:20 am (patient arrived) in an agonal state: respiratory rate 810per minute, heart rate 36beats per minute, blood pressure 40/0. Initiated resuscitation At7:22 am, ascertained cardiac arrest, resuscitative measures performed until 7:48 am, and then pronounced biologicallydead.

(According to investigative materials of the 'Nord-Ost' regional public organization)

Katya USTINOVSKAYA, age 11:

“Yekaterina went to the show with friends. Whenthey released the gas into the auditorium, Katya lost consciousness and never came to. Shewas brought to City Clinical Hospital #13 at 8:10 am in a second to third degree coma with a respiratory rate of 35breaths per minute, blood pressure 80/40, heart rate of 2025beats per min. Resuscitative measures were conducted for 50minutes**, yielding no positive results. At9:10 am she was pronounced biologically dead.”

(According to investigative materials of the 'Nord-Ost' regional public organization)

Yaroslav FADEEV, age 15:

“In the ‘fridge’ (at the morgue) on Holzunov alley they finally found corpse 5714, which looked like a boy, but with a passport in the name of Irina Vladimirovna Fadeyeva. Onthe page of where children are recorded were the words: son Yaroslav Olegovich Fadeyev, 11/18/1988 “When corpse 5714was found, Ira was escaping from Hospital #13 by climbing over the fence. Shesimply had to, because the prosecutor’s office would not let her leave. Atthe morgue, she was shown a photo on their computer: it was Yaroslav. Iraasked them to bring his body, and then carefully felt her son. Shehad good reason for this, and she found two bullet holes. Anentrance and an exit wound, sealed with wax, but what mother, even by touch, could do not distinguish wax from the body of her son? “Although in the record book at the morgue the cause of death was listed as gunshot wound, it was entered in pencil. OnYaroslav’s death certificate there is a blank spot where the cause of death should be indicated”

(From the newspaper ‘Novaya Gazeta’)

Dasha FROLOVA, age 13:

“At 6:10 am we were near the theater center. Atthat time they brought a girl of about 1314years of age to the vehicle. Atthis point she had no signs of life (absence of breathing, heartbeat, and papillary reaction) “Written on the palm of her hand in ballpoint was: ‘we will not die, no more war’. Ourpatient was no longer in need of assistance”

(According to investigative materials of the 'Nord-Ost' regional public organization)

There were those who at the time could save more lives, and thankfully, in some cases, it was possible. There might have been even more had the efforts of individuals and the authorities fit together, or at least not been mutually exclusive. Wenever found out how all of this could have happened, what went on there, why so many people died during the assault, and, most importantly, why so many died afterit.

But there are lessons from Dubrovka that must be learned for all they are obvious. First of all, the prestige of no government or politician can ever be placed above the lives of citizens. Whenit comes to human life, no political necessity or calculation on saving the lives of thousands through the deliberate destruction of one hundred or ten or even one life can ever be admissible, simply because it always eventually turns evil. Strength, courage, and risk are values only if they pursue a moral purpose. Circumstances may be such that a state’s decision must be made very quickly, but the main thing is that there be a moral reference point, an awareness of the precedence of human life. Anerroneous moral compass, or even its absence in public decisions and policy, destroys a country. Andsecondly: revenge cannot be an objective of either the law enforcement agencies or the courts. Thetask of the army and security forces is only protection, while the court’s task is only justice.

They say that the truth always triumphs, but for some reason only afterwards. Thetruth about Dubrovka will be told when it becomes a civic necessity, when it is no longer treated as merely information, but is understood as the grief and pain of the loss of those whose names are listed in thisbook.

This book is a step towards ensuring that the names of the dead at Dubrovka are entered into that endless list of people whose memory and pain should bind people together.

(Written by Grigoriy Yavlinsky, Soviet and Russian politician, economist, and doctor of economic sciences)

* The official list of victims does not include Alena Polyakova, born in 1990. Journalist Vadim Gasanov told her story in the article: ‘Story of a murdered girl’. Herfeatures are known: light hair in a ponytail, gray eyes, and height about 155centimeters.

** 50minutes is not an arithmetic error. Thegreatest numbers of casualties were brought into City Clinical Hospital #13, and the medics were unable to immediately provide assistance to all admissions. TenPrecious minutes were wasted during thewait.

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