Flowers and pictures of the victims near the Dubrovka Theatre Centre where people were held hostage. Moscow, October 26, 2007. Photo: REUTERS/Grigory Tambulov (RUSSIA)

23 October 2020, 23:52

In Moscow, people honour memory of victims of Dubrovka terror act on its anniversary

On the anniversary of the seizure by militants of the Theatre Centre in Moscow, where the "Nord-Ost" musical was staged, commemorative events have been cancelled because of the coronavirus epidemic. However, people still brought flowers and children's toys to the theatre building. After 18 years passed from the day of the terror act, the question concerning the need for the assault and the use of soporific gas remains disputable.

On October 23, 2002, during the "Nord-Ost" musical, militants led by Movsar Baraev took 916 people hostage. In exchange for the hostages' lives, the terrorists demanded an immediate cessation of the hostilities in Chechnya and the withdrawal of the federal troops from the republic. The demands of the militants were not met, and on October 26, law enforcers carried out the rescue operation and used soporific gas during the assault of the theatre building. 40 militants were killed during the special operation. According to the official information, 130 hostages were killed, and more than 700 others were injured.

Since there were a lot of children among the victims, people traditionally bring toys to the theatre building to pay tribute to the memory of the killed children. On October 26, a minute of silence will be held at the memorial, and a memorial service will be held in the church on Dubrovka, the "Ekho Moskvy" reports.

It is important that the tragedy is not forgotten, says actress Alexandra Rozovskaya, who survived the terror act.

The decision to let the soporific gas into the building was the most bloodless and effective way to rescue the hostages, believes Vitaly Demidkin, a participant of the special operation, as quoted by the "Tsargrad" TV Channel.

Earlier, the "Caucasian Knot" has reported that, according to advocate Igor Trunov, only 60 out of 1000 people who suffered during the special operation had received compensation from the Russian authorities. The advocate has also noted that it is too late for the rest to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 23, 2020 at 06:50 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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