Fifteen years after the hostage crisis at the Moscow music theater

Moscow hostage crisis: 15 years later

Fifteen years have passed since the tragedy that went down in history as the Nord Ost hostage crisis at the Moscow music theatre. Suicide killers of Islam - a group of 35 people, including 15 women - took hundreds of people hostage as they were enjoying a musical. The terrorists' leader was Movsar Barayev. Armed with guns, pistols, and bombs, the terrorists broke into the building of the Moscow music theatre at Dubrovka, where more than 900 people were staying: spectators, among whom were children, artists, and theatre workers.

On October 26th, special forces of the Federal Security Bureau and the Ministry of Internal Affairs stormed the building, first letting sleeping gas into air shafts. Russian law enforcers destroyed almost all terrorists, including their leader Barayev. However, many hostages - about 130 people died as a result of gas exposure -. According to members of the "Nord-Ost" charitable organization, 174 people died.

A series of high-profile trials took place afterwards. In 2003, a Moscow City Court found Zaurbek Talhigov guilty of complicity in terrorism and hostage-taking, sentencing him to 8.5 years in prison. In 2004, a Moscow  court sentenced Igor Alyamkin, a police major, to seven years in prison, for providing Moscow registration to Chechen terrorist Louise Bakueva. In 2014, a man suspected of involvement in the terrorist act Khasan Zakayev was detained in the Crimea. The Moscow District Military Court found him guilty of arranging the delivery of arms and explosives to the terrorists. Zakayev was sentenced to 19 years in a strict-regime colony.


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