Russia remembers terrorist attack victims

Moscow is marking the 7th anniversary of the tragic events that shook Russia from October 23-26, 2002, when terrorists attacked the Dubrovka Theater during a performance of the popular musical “Nord-Ost”.

The terrorists seized the building and took some 900 theater-goers and actors hostage, including women and children.

The terrorists demanded that the Russian government withdraw troops from Chechnya and put an end to its military operations in the region. Over three days, the hostages were kept in the theater building without food and water.

On 26 October, after peace negotiations with the terrorists had failed, Russian security forces launched an operation to relieve the siege. The building soon came under federal control and most of the hostages were liberated. The terrorists, who had threatened to immediately blow up the building in case of a seizure attempt, were caught off-guard because of a special gas used by the troops. Finally, all the terrorists were eliminated. However, the terrorist attack claimed the lives of 130 hostages, with a large number dying during the rescue operation. It still remains disputable as to whether using knock-out gas was a justified measure.

Today, people are mourning for the victims of this tragedy. At 10am, 130 white balloons were released as a symbol of eternal memory. The names of the killed were read out during a minute’s silence. The religious memorial service was held at noon in the Dubrovka Theater Center. Later today, flowers will be laid on the memorial plaque of the theater building, and a requiem concert will be performed.