The victims of the 2004 terrorist attack revolted in North Ossetia" />

“Putin executed Beslan”

The victims of the 2004 terrorist attack revolted in North Ossetia

The tragic death of 186 children, killed in Beslan (North Ossetia) in 2004 as the result of a terrorist attack, again made the Russian media front pages. It is now the mothers of those kids being beaten and arrested.

The tension grew on September 1 after five women, led by Ella Kesaeva, the Voice of Beslan chairperson, have entered the gym, that had become the venue for one of the worst tragedies in Caucasus, where conflicts are abundant.

In 2004, a group of terrorists seized the school, where 1 128 persons were attending the assembly to celebrate September 1. Almost all of them have been held inside the school for three days without water and food until the Russian special services stormed the building. As the result 334 were killed, including 186 children, and 783 wounded.

“Putin executed Beslan

Zarina, Ella Kesaeva`s daughter, got out of the school building alive. Meduza correspondent Ilya Azar believes “this might be the reason why Keasaeva has enough strength and energy to lead Voice of Beslan.

On September 1 she and four other women entered the school gym during the traditional  mourning ceremony and took off the coats to demonstrate white T-shirts with “Putin executed Beslan inscriptions.

The women were detained, one of them beaten with such force, that she went sick. Late that night all of them were sentenced to public works and fined for about $300.

Two Moscow journalists – Yelena Kostyuchenko from Novaya Gazeta and Diana Khachatryan from Takie Dela – were also detained to be released soon. Two hours later they were attacked by the men  in T-shirts with “Antiterror inscriptions, who poured brilliant green on Kostyuchenko.

 Caucasian Knot video

The detained have made it home safely, but the story took a new turn recently.

Caucasian Knot reports, that on September 14 three cars with 15 uniformed policemen and men in civil clothes drove to Ella Kesaeva`s house. They failed to present themselves or state the aim of the visit, but insisted on seeing Kesaeva. One of them was conducting video filming.

A relative of Kesaeva told them she was not at home and closed the door. The Voice of Beslan leader Ella Kesaeva intends to file a complaint with the North Ossetia Interior Ministry top administration.

Memorial prayer at the school №1 gym in Beslan. September 5, 2016. Photo by Ilya Azar, Meduza

What the mothers of the children, who got killed or suffered, want

“We want to attract attention to what happened in Beslan anew”, Svetlana Margieva, a September 1 action participant, told Meduza. In September 2004 she and her daughter were among the hostages in the gym.

“Putin has consolidated his power on our children`s blood. My daughter has kept asking “Will Putin help us, Mom? until the moment she died on my hands. Other kids have been saying the same. We hoped for Putin, and he has done nothing to save the children.

“We know, that the president and the commander-in-chief is guilty. He was not interrogated despite our complaints. He is above law, Ella Kesaeva adds.

The women from the organization have no doubt, that the Russian special services have not only failed to prevent the September 1, 2004 terrorist attack, but are also guilty of killing children.

Their conclusions are based on the witnesses testimonies and some independent investigations data. After 12 years of the official investigation it is still not completed and seems to move nowhere at the moment.

V oice of Beslan is not the only organization, representing the terrorists victims, not even the most numerous one. Its relations with Mothers of Beslan are tense.

Voice of Beslan activists hold Vladimir Putin personally and the top Russian administration responsible for killing the children in 2004. Mothers of Beslan believe the authorities are to blame for failing to prevent the attack.

“For 12 years we have been demanding the fair investigation. Our methods are legal – we meet with the authorities, the MPs. We are moving step by step. We are waiting for the president and the MPs to realize, that the lessons should be drawn from the past mistakes”, Susanna Dudieva, the Mothers of Beslan chairperson, told Meduza.

Mothers of Beslan denounced Voice of Beslan for the protest action and suspect the Kesaeva organization of political motives.

“This is the place for mourning, it is mean to shout where people moan and suffer, – Dudieva told Meduza. – Any opinion can be expressed outside, not ruining the aura of the place.

“…The Russian and foreign opposition organizations benefit from such methods. In Moscow, in America, or in Europe they enjoyed it, they said “It will serve him right!”, Dudieva said.

The action participants have strongly denied any political motives, including any connection with the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The position of the organization, chaired by Dudieva, they explain by the fact, that Mothers of Beslan have what to loose, as they all are employed by the authorities (Meduza).

Memorial in honor of the victims in the former school №1 gym in Beslan. Photo by Ilya Azar, Meduza

How the Beslan residents access the events?

A number of officials in Beslan told Meduza, they consider the T-shirts with “Putin executed Beslan inscriptions an “inappropriate provocation. They disagree with the mothers accusing the Russian authorities of killing their children.

According to Meduza poll, many in Beslan also believe, that the action was politically motivated and sponsored by opposition.

People are afraid to speak openly, besides they are prone to propaganda, Ella Kesaeva told Meduza.

“Children at school are being told, that commandos were the heroes, – she said. – But there were local men, who went to save children without any protection equipment, and they are being neglected.

Women from Voice of Beslan believe, that many among local residents sympathize with them, but are not ready to speak openly.

“On September 1 many wanted to come to our defense, but were pushed aside. But we heard people crying: “Let them go! Are you cops or terrorists?”

Beslan approach, September 4, 2016. Photo by Ilya Azar, Meduza

Published: 17.09.2016

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