Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 33

On October 31, representatives of the Russian special services and the Russian Procuracy presented to the press their version of what had happened at the theater center at Dubrovka. “A representative of the FSB confirmed the version that the terrorists did in fact have enough time to blow up the theater.” When the presenters were asked why then the terrorists had not done so, “No one was able to provide a precise answer” (GZT.ru, November 1). But that question, journalist Valery Yakov underscored in the November 1 issue of Novye Izvestia, “is among the key ones. There have already been too many testimonies that the terrorists clearly did not intend to explode those bombs…. If, of course, they were bombs at all and not fakes. And they also did not execute anyone at dawn, despite the FSB announcements.” “Why,” journalist Igor Ryabov asked in the October 28 issue of the website Politcom.ru, “did the ‘Chechen widows’ not blow themselves up as they had promised? There were so many explosives in the hall that even the most lightning assault would not have been able to avert a tragedy. And the gas did not take effect immediately…. And why did the terrorists not execute everybody with their automatic weapons once they sensed that gas had been let into the hall?”