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Gazeta Wyborcza on Russian spetsnaz assault

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by halldor, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. halldor

    halldor Registered User

    From Gazeta Wyborcza 27/10/2002 (excerpted, my quick translation)

    The assault of Russian spetsnaz on the theater in Moscow has ended in
    tragedy

    W. Radziwinowicz

    Alpha unit had stormed the theater seized by the terrorists at the
    Moscow's Dubrovka. Generals are reporting as a huge success.
    Terrorists poisoned by gas were killed off by a shot to the head.
    Price of the operation is horrible. At least 117 hostages have
    perished, more are still dying poisoned by gas used by the special
    forces.


    Till now, 117 hostaged have passed away. 200 are in serious
    condition, 150 of them fights for their life at the intesive care
    units - announced the chief surgeon of Moscow Andrei Seltsovsky. All
    of them are poisoned by gas that was used by special forces. The
    authorities don't want to divulge its name and ingredients. - It's
    based on some subtance that is used for deep narcosis, but in too big
    dosage, it breaks all functions of the human organism. He added that
    the authorities didn't give any notice to the hospitals to be ready
    for the mass detoxification of patients, surgical teams were
    anticipating wound from bullets. According to Setsovsky in the
    hospitals now, there is 646 former hostages; only two had died from
    bullet wounds.


    Shooting could still be heard , when to the main gate a convoy of at
    least hundred ambulances arrived, soldiers and rescuers begun to
    carry out unconscious hostages, holding them by hands and legs.
    Commanders of the action right away informed all the media about
    their huge success, but their communicates didn't explain why so
    many hostages were unconscious and palsied. The medical personnel was
    loading more and more corpses into black body bags. And then, in the
    crowd at the front of theater you could heard the everything
    explaining word "gas" - The Alpha started their storm from the gas
    attack - this message went from ear to ear.

    Success

    Deputy of the Interrior Ministry Valdimir Vasilyev evaluated Alpha's
    action at "4 + [90%]". Many politicians begun to praise Alpha's guys
    for their "full professionalism".

    Valery Shantsev - vice-major of Moscow and his boss Luzhkov also were
    saying about minimal casualties - supposedly only "around 30" had
    perished. The Interfax agency in one moment announced that there's
    at least 130 killed hostages, and a few minutes later withdrew this
    report, explaining that was an error.

    - To the concert hall, where terrorists kept hostages I walked in
    just after the Alpha's troops - was telling me the rescuer Anatoli
    Belousov - Shooting was still going on, but the hostages were sitting
    motionless on armchairs, some were laying on the floor. Only a few of
    them were able to move towards the exit. The rest needed to be
    carried out. I don't know if there were alive or dead. A rescuer in
    this situation doesn't check victim's pulse. He grabs a person and
    runs with him or her to the exit, there he gives it to ambulance's
    personnel and comes back for the next one. We worked without any gas
    masks. I didn't smell any suspicious odor, but I think people were
    poisoned with some gas.

    Deputy minster Vasilyev and other representatives of authorities were
    still asserting that only fatalities are people killed by terrorists.
    A doctor from the hospital no 13 told me that majority of them
    vomited and choked themselves in sleep on their own vomit.


    Price of success

    - We have in our hospital 40 corpses and nobody perished from
    bullets. All of them got poisoned and chked to their deaths. Others
    are still dying - I heard from some technician of the No 13th
    hospital.

    Families found out that the tragedy hasn't ended yet and there's
    still deadly danger to their loved ones went to the direction of
    hospitals.

    - Somebody phoned to my former husband and told him that our daughter
    Ira is here, at the 13th and she's feeling good and will leave soon.
    We've taken her jacket and came to the hospital. But here, no
    information. We're standing by its gate. Nobody comes out to us, they
    tell us nothing. I'm dying from fear again - tells me Larisa Yuranova.

    Is that not enough that terrorists has kept them for three days under
    barrel, now they arrested them in the hospital, they don't even
    allowed to talk to them on the phone - adds Larisa's husband.

    - And the worst, that Ira's husband disappeared without any trace.
    His parents checked out all the hospitals and he's not on any list.
    What does't mean? - asked Yuranova

    Without any trace

    More people disappeared without any trace. Freed hostages were
    transported by ambulances to the hospitals No 13, 15, 1, 17 and to
    the Sklifasovsky clinic. The most serious cases have landed to the
    Wars Veteran Hospital, which is located the closest to the theater.
    I visited all these hospitals on Saturday. There should be in them
    around 650 patients. In reality there was less than 200 of them.

    Commander of special services on Saturday around noon categorically
    forbade all hospitals' personnel to give any information to
    journalists. Relatives of hostages haven't got any answer to their
    questions if that was true that people who were brought from the
    theater are still dying and doctors can't help them because the
    military doesn't want to divulge what kind of gas the hostages were
    poisoned with.

    Even professor Lev Fiodorov, one of the most distinguished Russian
    specialists on warfare gases, when asked by journalist could only
    tell them his assumptions.

    Lying to the teeth

    Representatives of the authorities are not admitting that the former
    hostages are dying as the result of gas poisoning. Vasilyev assures
    that deaths of people who were freed from the theater is an effect "
    of different chronic diseases that those people suffered"

    A few hours after the storming the Russian TV channels showed a video
    clip taken by the FSB cameramen fron the theater's hall, just after
    when the action has ended. Strange pictures. Dead Movsar Barayev,
    the commander of the terrorists was laying by the wall with a BOTTLE
    OF HENNESY COGNAC, which - as it turned out later - put in his hand,
    one of the Alpha troopers. You could see on the video that the killed
    terrorist women were sitting in armchairs, as like they were
    sleeping. It was obvious that they weren't killed in fight, but in
    their sleep. This could mean that terrorists before the storming
    weren't killing hostages, that there was no gun battle about which
    the represenatives of authorities are telling.

    - Our guys were approaching those witches who had rigged explosives
    on their stomachs, and were shooting in them, applying gun barrels to
    their heads. Well, it's dirty job, but it can't be otherwise - told
    me standing in the front of theater some trooper from the anti-
    terrorist unit.
    Kommersant published its special edition on Sunday about the tragedy
    in the theater, and citing an Alpha trooper wrote that the sleeping
    terrorist women had to be killed by "control shots", because one of
    them could had convulsions and accidentally detonate an explosive
    charge that was rigged to her stomach.


    People don't count

    On Sunday, from the13th first patients were let go. They were
    leaving pale, shocked, escorted by the FSB agents, who didn't allow
    journalists to to to them, were getting in cars with their relatives
    and were going home. But, the tragedy of former hostages and their
    relatives is still going on. Relatives of those who disappeared
    during the storming, still couldn' t found out what has happened to
    them. In dispair, they were running for some information from
    hospital to hospital - for three days the terrorist were torturing
    us, and now we are being tortured by the own state. How's possible to
    keep people in such uncertainty, to not tell what has happended with
    our loved ones. Here, the state always despised people. An individual
    here was always "a zero and garbage" and this hasn't changed - said
    to me an older woman looking for her daughter at the War Veterans
    Hospital.
     
  2. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Wow this stuff from all accounts appears to be very strong and must of overcome them all very quickly. The problem with using gas indoors is there is unequal dispersion of the gas, some areas may become highly concentrated while others rather low concentration. Gas is a darn tricky thing to use in a rescue, even tear gas when used inside a building may get to the point of saturation where people can die from adverse reactions. This stuff seems much more potent from the description. Sounds as if the Unit Commander made a decision to make sure the gas was at the right concentration at the pinnacle of the attack area, if it was a heavier than air gas (which is typical) then they could easily saturate certain areas to where the person vomits and chokes to death or the gas saturation limits the oxygen in the bloodstream. Thanks halldor for the first person translations.
     

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