A Moscow official stated that the Moscow government declined all responsibility for the hostage crisis
The Moscow government asked the Tverskoy Municipal Court of Moscow to dismiss the lawsuits that were filed by the people, who suffered from the hostage crisis in Moscow in October of 2002. This was officially said at a court session by Andrey Rastorguyev, a spokesman for the Moscow government. As he said, the Moscow government did not perform any actions that would bring moral and material damage to former hostages. “The Moscow government declines all responsibility, since it did not make any orders to render help to the hostages. The Moscow government did not give any instructions to hospitalize them,” Rastorguyev stated.
This is not really a smart statement to make, for the officials of the Moscow government have recently said absolutely opposite things. It was particularly stated before that the actions of the Moscow authorities helped to coordinate doctors’ actions, which eventually resulted in fewer victims. However, the current dispute made the situation different: yesterday's heroes try to do their best in order to decline their responsibilities. Who gave commands to the doctors? Who coordinated their actions and was it possible to avoid such a large number of victims?
Gazeta.Ru published an article entitled “Sorted Out on the Base of Alive-Not-Alive Principle.” The authors of the article rejected the today's statement from the Moscow government. Below is an excerpt from that article. A Gazeta.Ru journalist asked questions to Yury Pavlov, the chairman of the evacuation department of the medical catastrophes center.
“Andrey Seltsovsky, the chairman of the healthcare committee of the Moscow government commanded the doctors during the rescue operation at the music theatre in Moscow. This person worked out plans, tactics and strategies of doctors’ actions. Seltsovsky’s deputy, Lyudmila Kostomarova, managed the situation. This woman (a professor, the director of the scientific ER center) appointed coordinators – the managers of medical groups that were responsible for doctors’ coherent activities at the site of the hostage crisis.
Which doctors rendered help to the hostages that were released right after the siege?
Those were EMERCOM rescuers, the doctors from the healthcare committee of the Moscow government, and many others. We were not allowed to enter the building after the siege. No one told us that there would be a siege. We had no idea, what they were going to use to release the hostages, we did not know, which medicines we were supposed to prepare. We just provided thousands of vacant hospital beds in the nearest hospitals.
What commands did coordinators give you in particular?
They contacted us every 15 or 20 minutes. I was one of organizers. I coordinated the communication between the specialists of the medical catastrophes institute and other doctors.
Some of the hostages were topless. Why?
I think they were searched, no antidote injections were made for them, when they were taken out of the building. They were simply sorted out and then taken to hospitals. Doctors worked really hard, they did their best.
Did doctors instruct the soldiers of the special unit? Did anyone tell them, how to take people out of the building, or anything like that?
No, they didn’t. The special unit had its own rules. They were given a command to take everyone out, so they did so. I screamed something to them when I saw that they were doing something wrong. Sometimes I told them the things, which made absolutely no sense. I remember I told them to carry the people in a more careful way. They did not react to anything, as if they heard nothing. This was a peculiar feature of that atmosphere.
Did you have antidote?
We only had traumatological and reanimation stuff: solutions, splints, caffeine. We reanimated only one woman, though. There were about 300 ER vehicles in the area of the music theatre. Some of them were not used at all. They were not allowed to approach the building because of an opportunity of explosion. It seemed that we were not really needed there.
In other words, if they had put two or three people in every ER vehicle and hospitalized them, there would have been fewer victims?
I think so. It is not clear, though, why it was not done so.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov