Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 33

During the past week, several items have appeared on pro-regime websites suggesting that a significant percentage, perhaps even a half, of the terrorists who seized the theater were foreigners (with the implication being that they were Arabs). However, in an interview with the newspaper Kommersant (October 28), one former hostage, Vladimir Machkov, underlined: “They [the terrorists] spoke Russian very well–without any accent, and the women spoke even too correctly. They struck me as being like teachers of the Russian language. If they made even the slightest mistake or slip of the tongue, they immediately corrected themselves in accord with [Russian] literary norms.”

The October 29 issue of Moskovskie Novosti honored the brave men and women who had, at great personal risk, come to the besieged Moscow theater and engaged in negotiations with the terrorists: “Irina Khakamada, Anna Politkovskaya, Aslambek Aslakhanov, Iosif Kobzon, Leonid Roshal, Ruslan Aushev, Yevgeny Primakov, Sergei Dedukh, Sergei Govorukhin and Grigory Yavlinsky.” “These are those who saved the reputation of our politicians and, in the greater scheme of things, of our society.”