Author`s name Olga Savka

Russian government lies to victims of Beslan crisis

The investigation of the hostage crisis in Beslan is very slow

It has been two months since the days of the horrible tragedy in Russia's southern town of Beslan. There is no precise and definite information about the development of the investigation: little is known of what really happened in the seized school of the town. Many Beslan residents, who lost their loved ones in the siege, are certain that the Russian authorities deliberately conceal the truth from them.

Deputy Prosecutor General in the southern administrative district of Russia, Nikolai Shepel has recently visited North Ossetia, where the hostage crisis took place. Shepel and spokespeople for the regional authorities were supposed to talk to local residents and try to ease people's growing indignation over the slow investigation of the terrorist attack. The situation, however, ended up in a scandal. The townspeople were more than willing to meet with the officials, but the latter would not arrive. Several spokespeople for the regional authorities, including Nikolai Shepel, came to the town only two days later.

Deputy Russian Prosecutor General started from saying that 32 terrorists had attacked the school, that the terrorists were drug addicts and that special services discovered terrorists' training camp in the republic of Ingushetia. Beslan residents (over a thousand people came for the meeting with the authorities) replied that they had heard all that information before. Furthermore, they accused the deputy prosecutor general of lies: everybody in the town saw that the number of terrorists was more than 30. The townspeople set out their indignation over the official affirmation, which said that the terrorists had brought all their weapons with them. A lot of people at the meeting confessed of being pressed by investigators, who made them deny the fact that the weapons had been brought to school prior to the attack, the Kommersant newspaper wrote.

Nikolai Shepel failed to answer the question about who exactly conducted negotiations with the terrorists, and why President Putin did not come to Beslan on time. Former hostages said the terrorists hoped to meet the head of state a lot, although they had to deal with Ingushetia's ex-president Ruslan Aushev instead.

Beslan residents harshly rejected the assertion, which said that the terrorists had not put in claims. They said that they were perfectly aware of what the hostage-takers wanted. “I know that a certain international right stipulates the interference of the international community in the event terrorists take over 500 people hostage. Our authorities deliberately concealed the information about the exact number of hostages - over a thousand people - from the whole world,” Ludmila Tsoi said, who lost her daughter in the attack.

To crown it all, Beslan residents voiced resentment about the fact that North Ossetian President Alexander Dzasokhov, who chaired the special headquarters, had not been dismissed from his post. The meeting was over with Nikolai Shepel and other officials of the delegation leaving the hall. “He is not going to tell us anything! Let him leave!” someone of the townspeople screamed.

It is noteworthy that the former hostages and their relatives suggested that Putin had been misinformed, which did not let him come to the meeting. “I think that we have a right to blame the state for all of that. Speaking of President Putin – we were eagerly expecting him in Beslan. He apparently decided not to come to us because of the misinformation,” one of the women said.

Beslan's committee of mothers plans to write an address to the Russian president with a request to relieve them of the half-truth, which is a lot worse than lies.