north ossetia alania

Excerpts from book “The Beslan Diary” that was composed of interviews with The Beslan school siege survivors and their loved ones:

When it’s dark I go outside and call his name very quietly “Zhorik, where are you hiding? Come out, don’t be afraid”. He doesn’t answer and I go to the school. I call his name over and over again and nothing. I look for him everywhere and any time, even when I’m sleeping. But I can’t find him… - Zifa, mother and survivor, lost her son Zhorik.

After the siege was over, local merchants raised price for flowers. And they never dropped since then. The merchants know that we have no choice, we won’t go to our children graves without flowers. War is mother for some people and is stepmother for others. – Lena, mother, lost her child.

I approached a militant and gave him 5 rubbles. All I had. I said to him “Let my mother go”. He laughed at me and said “Do you know how many 5 rubbles coins I have?” He didn’t let my mother go. It’s my fault. If only I had more money… - 7-year-old Mairbek, survivor, lost both parents.

The most horrible thing was that adults would leave dangerous places, for instance the place under to the basketball hoop to which the bomb was attached, and they would put there children that came to the school without parents. It was so hard to watch. Under the hoop there were only children! The scariest thing was not militants. It was our adults. – 14-year-old Vika, survivor.

I couldn’t identify her. How could I? There was nothing left of her. The autopsist suggested to open her mouth and look at her teeth. I opened her mouth and… all her teeth fell out. So I took them all and I laid them on the pavement. She loved puzzles and how I’m collecting the puzzle from her teeth. A neighbor and her husband passed by, saw me, rushed to me and cried out “Oh my God, Dzera, what they did to us!” And I just continued to collect teeth of my child to see if they will match and identify her sooner. – Dzerassa, mother, lost her daughter.

They removed 30 pieces of iron from her body, but there were plenty of them left. They couldn’t extract them. God, how she creams when its raining! This pieces, you can’t confuse this with anything, you know right away when you hear the way she screams. The doctors afraid to remove remaining pieces. So she will scream when its rains until the rest of her life. – Svetlana, mother of 9-year-old survivor Anya


The pictures above are screenshots from rare videos made during Beslan school siege. The text in the bottom of the pictures says “Time for fun”. Now seems as a cruel joke, the text actually has a very simple explanation. The videos was made on the camera that one of kids’ parents brought to the school to film celebration of the day of knowledge therefore the parent named the video “Time for fun”. However, later the camera was used by militants to film their activity inside the school. Smiling man you see on the second and third pictures is  Ruslan Khuchbarov , also known as Colonel, who was the head of hostage takers.