Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 38

The October 20 issue of Novaya gazeta published a detailed description of a video that casts further doubt on the official version of events that happened a year ago, when Chechen terrorists (possibly influenced by double agents working for the Russian security agencies) seized hundreds of hostages in a Moscow theater. Residents of an apartment building across the street from the theater made the video. As reported by Novaya gazeta, they simply focused their camera and microphone on the entrance to the theater, recording everything visible or audible that happened there during the night of October 25 to 26, 2002.

According to the official account of the Putin administration, the gas which disabled the hostage-takers was introduced at about 5 a.m. on October 26. As described by Novaya gazeta, the first gunshot recorded by the amateur video came at 5:32 a.m.; the first images of hostages stumbling out of the building came at 6:21 a.m., with more soon following. The video shows the first ambulance appearing on the scene only at 6:57 a.m. This sharply contradicts the official version, according to which the storming of the building and the beginning of rescue work took place simultaneously. The contradiction further reinforces the widespread argument that the Russian authorities conducted the entire operation with callous disregard for the lives of their own citizens.