At the place of 2002 terror act at the Dubrovka Theatre Centre. Photo: press service of the Ministry for Emergencies,

23 October 2019, 18:12

Actors of musical "Nord-Ost" share their memories on anniversary of terror act

Artists Sergey Lee and Ekaterina Guseva spoke about the events that took place 17 years ago, when at least 130 hostages died during the assault of the Dubrovka Theatre Centre seized by terrorists.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that the anniversary of the terror act at the Dubrovka Theatre Centre is annually marked in Russia.

On October 23, 2002, during the musical "Nord-Ost", militants took 916 people hostage with the demand to stop combat actions in Chechnya. Three days later, during the assault of the building, at least 130 people were killed, and more than 700 others were injured. Relatives and friends of the victims have been demanding from the authorities to answer questions concerning what kind of gas and on whose order was used during the assault and why no competent evacuation was organized and no medical assistance was provided to the victims.

This year, the memorial ceremony in the square in front of the Dubrovka Theatre Centre is scheduled for October 26.

Artists Sergey Lee and Ekaterina Guseva shared their memories of the events that took place 17 years ago. In October 2002, the artists spent two days in Dubrovka in front of the Theatre Centre, the "Kommersant" reported on October 22.

Sergey Lee said that on the day of the tragedy he was performing in the musical "Notre Dame de Paris". "After a seizure had occurred, many theatres were closed. When an assault took place, there were calls to stop performances. And someone, on the contrary, thought: 'No, we are artists, and we should perform, no matter what is happening.' And on that day, October 26, we were singing the final song, and my whole face was covered with tears ... When I was singing, I just so keenly felt that the world had changed in one day. I thought about my colleagues who were at the Theatre Centre: they were like family members for me," said Sergey Lee.

During the assault of the building, two children were killed, members of the troupe, the artist noted. "They were friends, and they were sitting together in the audience hall. And both were killed by gas. Two children died from the whole troupe. And nine orchestra members," the artist said.

Ekaterina Guseva clarified that after the assault, the artists were not allowed into the building of the Theatre Centre. "They did not let us into the theatre building, and we gathered in an office nearby. We phoned to morgues and hospitals. We had a list, and it contained pluses, minuses, and question marks in front of surnames ... We marked who was alive, who was already gone. We met our colleagues from resuscitation wards, from hospitals," said Ekaterina Guseva as quoted by the "Kommersant".

The artists admitted that after the terror act they had no desire to leave the stage. "I was very scared, both before and after the terror act. But I was not afraid of going on stage," Sergey Lee explained.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 23, 2019 at 12:55 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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