Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 33

As part of its attempt to reconstruct what had happened during the storming, the website Gazeta.ru interviewed one of the actors who participated in the musical after he had been released from the hospital. The actor drew attention to a key announcement made by the terrorists at 11:00 p.m. on October 25, the evening before the storming (which began after 5:00 a.m. on the 26th): “The rebels said literally the following: ‘Tomorrow at 10:00 AM, Kazantsev [Putin’s special representative] will come. Everything will be normal. They have consented to this agreement, and it suits us. So comport yourselves calmly. We are not beasts. We will not kill you if you sit quietly and peacefully.” After this announcement, the actor recalled, the hostages “immediately relaxed. They began to smile, to drink water, and they [the terrorists] even let the people go to the toilet in groups and not one by one, albeit still under guard” (Gazeta.ru, October 28).