Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 32

Much remained unclear about the assault itself and, especially, about what had happened within the theater early on the morning of October 26. According to the October 26 issue of the website, at 3:30 AM, an explosion took place inside the building, followed by shots. At 5:08 AM, the terrorists confirmed that they had killed one hostage and also a man who had earlier entered the building from outside. At 5:30 AM, Russian spetsnaz forces began forming up outside the building. Inside intensive gunfire and three powerful explosions were heard. But then, at 5:45 AM, intensive negotiations with the terrorists on the subject of freeing the hostages began. At 6:23 AM, there was one more powerful explosion and then the sound of tens of explosions and of several shots. At 6:30, there came an official announcement from the Russian side that “the terrorists have begun to kill the hostages.” At 6:35 AM, hostages began running out of the building. Finally, at 6:37 AM, a group of spetsnaz were reported to have entered the building “to save the lives of the hostages.” At 7:14 and then again, officially, at 7:18, it was announced that “the building has been taken by the FSB spetsnaz.” Obviously, this timeline serves to raise a large number of questions.