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MOSCOW, SEPTEMBER 2, 2019 — RT’s documentary channel — RTDoc — presented its new film Living for the Angels, where those who survived the tragedy in the southern Russian city of Beslan 15 years ago share their stories. 

RTDoc’s crew joined some of the survivors as they went back to Beslan’s School Number One and remembered how the tragedy unfolded. Former hostages share their stories in the film, and journalists also talked to a special forces officer who was part of the rescue operation.

“Among the hostages were my mother, my older brother Boris, my older sister Vera, and my cousin Anna. My mother, Anna and I are the only ones who survived. Sometimes you wonder, so, there were these brother and sister, right? We were sitting next to each other. I mean, huddled together. And they’re gone, and you’re still here. The question is not even why, but what did I stay alive for? It’s not for nothing. So, I guess I owe it, to a certain extent. I owe it to this world. I must do something good with my life to justify it,” says Irina Gurieva, former Beslan student, who was seven years old in 2004.

“We were supposed to ring the first bell, and I remember how someone passed me the handbell. I remember a boy lifted me, they gave me the handbell, and… I didn’t get a chance to ring it,” recalls Dzerassa Kudzaeva, who was going to school for the first time 15 years ago, along with her whole family, who came to celebrate the occasion.

In 2011, another RTDoc film about the Beslan tragedy, The Town of Little Angels, received a silver OMNI Intermedia Award, which recognizes achievements in television and web design.

RTDoc documentaries have won numerous awards, both in Russia and internationally. In 2019, RT’s documentary about Syrian children who were forced to train in terrorist camps, Where Childhood Died, won the silver medal at the US International Film & Video Festival. In 2018, RT’s Growing up with War: Children of Syria received first prize at the prestigious New York Festivals Awards, while two other documentaries — Love Commandos and Sea Life Savers — took silver and bronze in their respective categories. At the 2017 New York Festivals, RT documentary H2wOe chronicling the severe water crisis in India received top honors. In 2015, RT’s Albino Africa was recognized for Best Documentary at New York Festivals, while in 2014, the competition’s top prize was awarded to another RT production called Blood and Honour. The same year, RT documentary Children of the Tundra won first prize at Russia’s national film awards Strana.