I have previously made a post with lots of photos and detailed information about the Beslan School Massacre, this post expands on it with a documentary that puts the entire hostage crisis into a perspective through firsthand accounts by survivors and negotiators.
Among the people interviewed for the documentary is Ruslan Aushev – former president of Ingushetia who has always been sympathetic to the Chechens. Ruslan Aushev entered the Beslan’s School Number One to have the hostage takers’ demands communicated to him so he could pass them on to Russian president Vladimir Putin. He also used his position of a Chechnya friendly politician to successfully negotiate the release of the smallest children.
Another politician involved in the negotiations with the Beslan hostage takers who was interviewed for the documentary is Aslambek Aslakhanov – advisor to president Vladimir Putin. He had commands from the president to do everything possible in order to save the lives of the children. Aslambek Aslakhanov also had a list of 700 Russian celebrities offered to be taken hostages in exchange for freeing the children.
Meanwhile in Beslan, government officials kept telling the residents that according to their estimates, only 354 people were held hostage in the school. None were able to believe such clearly understated estimate.
On the third day of the Beslan School Hostage Crisis, as special forces stuck with the president’s order not to storm the school or else the lives of children would be endangered, groups of armed volunteers moved in and started the exchange fire with the terrorists. It is widely believed that that’s what started the whole mess and lead to the deaths of 334 hostages. Of course, one could argue that by that time, something simply had to be done because after 3 days of being kept without water in an intensely hot and overcrowded space, children would start dying from dehydration anyway.
The documentary also contains footage from the interrogation of the only captured Beslan terrorist – Nur-Pashi Kulayev. He appeared to be cooperative with the investigators, answered all questions and showed what happened where when taken back to the school. Whether there are more surviving hostage takers who got away is left for speculation. The only thing that’s certain is that the overall way the crisis was handled was a major failure.
50 minutes long Beslan documentary is below: