Skip to comments.To Beslan to her son's grave
Posted on 09/22/2004 9:29:30 PM PDT by struwwelpeter
Ten year-old Zaur Gutnov from our city was shot by terrorists. After the explosion in the school gym, when the falling wall opened a path to safety for the hostages, the boy did not make it. His mother, who leaves in Karaganda, could not find the money to dash to Beslan. The explosions and shootings at the Osetian school were seen by Natal'ya Gutanova on television, but only after the funeral of her son...
The photograph, crossed by a black ribbon of mourning, shows a laughing boy. He was born in Karaganda, where his parents mmet and married - the Russian Natal'ya and Osetian Vladimir. Soon the young family with Zaur and his young sister Gal'ya moved to Beslan, where the boy went to first grade.
"I've been there a few times," recalls Natal'ya, a nice young woman in a black scarf of mourning. Her head his swollen, her eyes dull. "A normal school. Not very big, in an old building. I took Zaur there."
The last time Natal'ya Gutanova saw her oldest son was a year ago. The family relationship had soured. She and her husband divorced, and, pregnant and with her young daughter in her arms, she went back to her mother in Karaganda. Zaur stayed in Northern Osetiya with his father and grandmother. The mother-in-law did not want to part with her grandson. Natal'ya says that she agreed to part with her son because she worried that the boy, who was earning straight 5s (A's) in school, would be thrown by a new program in a school of another country. This year Zaur entered 4th grade.
They shot everyone
"That there was a terror act, that they'd seized the school, I found this out on September 1st, at 9 O'Clock," Natal'ya said quietly. "I heard in on the radio in the marshrutka (van taxi). I went home and turned on the television right away. I grabbed the phone but couldn't get ahold of anyone (in Beslan). The only one I got was a neighbor, who didn't know much, he is very elderly. He said only that his wife and grandchildren were also hostages. I continued calling my (Beslan) friends and acquaintances. Finally the wife of a friend confirmed that, yes, school number one, where Zaur was a student, had been seized, and that he was one of the hostages. Later on the 2nd, my sister called the friend. And he gave us hope, he said that Zaur had run away, that he was being evacuated together with his grandmother. We believed it, that he was alive... But later, on the 3rd of September, when I saw on television how they had blown things up, how the children ran off, I called my husband that evening. He said that Zaur had been killed... But when they had spoken of him running away, obviously they had just been trying to calm me down. Since the 1st of September until the very last day, until he was buried, I hadn't closed my eyes. I couldn't. If only he hadn't been there, but he had so many friends, acquaintances among the children in that school. Almost all of them were there... Under what circumstances Zaur died, I don't know a thing. Now all sorts of rumors are flying about. But only one thing is known for sure: when the hostages had started running after the explosion, he didn't make it. Many children remained with him. The terrorists shot them all."
After the tragic news Natal'ya lived with only one thought - to find her way to her son by any means, but the relatives were not successful in collecting enough money for the road. And the unfortunate mother would not share her grief with anyone. When those who perished at Beslan were buried, in one of the houses along Maykuduk street there was a wake.
"I watched Zaur's funeral on television," Natal'ya continued, almost in a whisper. "I saw many of our acquaintances, and him as well... A nice, affectionate boy. He never refused to do anything, you'd just ask and he'd do it. A gentle, loving boy.
The road to her son's grave
Local officials found out about the Karagandan's plight from journalists at the end of last week. The bureaucrats promised to help. If they were asked. Television people from one of the local stations wrote to Natal'ya about the contacting the district Akim (Kazakhstani city administration). The woman was in such condition that she could not place her signature under the text of her application. The letter was sent to the Akimat. The next day she received a call from the district manager, who confirmed that the Akim would help that mother travel to Beslan to her son's grave. In three days the tickets were ready. On Sunday Natal'ya was to fly to Moscow, then later to Vladikavkaz.
If you are capable of helping Natal'ya Gutnova, you may do this by calling or coming down to the offices of our paper. Or you may transfer money to a bank account in the name of Natal'ya's mother: AO Bank Turan-Alem, account 0301019189. RNN 301910907349 Chernova Galina Sagit'yanovna.
That should read "Gutnova", sorry.
Vot v eshche odnu karagandinskuyu sem'yu prishlo gore. Za chto pogibi nashi deti? Za chechenskuyu neft', za torgovlyu oruzhiem, za razvorovyvanie rossiyskimi chinovnikami millionov? Za zhelanie Putina uderzhat'sya v vlasti lyuboy tsenoy? Otvetstvennost' za sluchivsheesya v Nord-Oste, Beslane lezhit na prezidente Rossii. On - sam silovik, Verkhovniy glavnokomanduyushchiy vsemi, kto v pogodnakh, vozhd', stavshiy takovy blagodarya obeshchaniyu <>. On takoy zhe prestupnik, kak Basaev!
"Here is yet another Karagandan family that has been visited by grief. Why are our children dying? For Chechnyan oil, for arms sales, so that Russian bureaucrats can earn millions? So that Putin keeps Chechnya at any price? Like the responsibility for what happened at 'Nord Ost', Beslan's blame lays with the president of Russia. He himself is violent, as the commander-in-chief of all who wear epaulets, the power that causes this with his promise to 'kill all the terrorists'. He is a criminal like Basayev!"
Too bad this article may never see the light of day in our press. Just like the beheadings. Of course - this did happen to someone else - and really far away from here.
My prayers go out to the kids and parents and town that will carry the scars for ever. My prayers to us for courage when it happens here.
Stay safe bud. And keep your powder dry.
Thank you. I have bookmarked the donation page to discuss with my wife. I looked at the list of dead, injured and missing. The moist eyes came as I scrolled down. The gut-wrenching came as I scrolled further. The rage boiled as I kept scrolling. The tears and sadness and rage overwhelmed me by the time I got to the bottom of this list.
In her interview to the Channel 1st, vice-principal of School #1, Elena Kasimova reported that newspaper "Moskovsy Komsomolets" forged her words. She declared that she never said, "Victims are not getting any damned help". "First of all, it is not true, second, it is not my style of expression", she said.
We want to ask all the journalists not to aggravate our trauma by false reports. We have seen how a lot of you carried your duty with honesty and courage, sometimes risking your own life. With your help we were searching for our lost children. You were first who told the whole world about our tragedy. We are very grateful to you for all work you have done for our children and us. So it is even more painful and insulting to watch and read some frank lies by some of your colleagues, most of who never even been here in Beslan.
Journalists are the same everywhere.
about received donations:
|565.044.803, 04||334.286, 44||47.677, 34|
Rate of exchange as of 23.09.04 = 29.2172 rubels/dollar, $1.23 /Euro, grand total of: $19,790,897.58
In only a little more than two weeks. Amazing.
Well, hearkening in a way to mine to Lukasz above, righteous and good people are the most predictable of all.
I'm impressed, actually, with the generosity of those in a position to send aid.
It's numbers like that which make one wonder why it is the Government believes it's their responsibility always to dole out the AIDS monies which, inevitably, end up in the pockets of FEMA and other agencies rather than reaching Real People.
I'm most amazed that 98% of the donations are in rubels.
Why would that amaze you? It hits them the hardest and I have no doubt, given the size of the average Russian's heart, that those in no position to give anything still managed to contribute something.
What else can a man do in such a situation? I'm sure many are praying as well but I think the Contribution has certainly become a more quantifiable indicator of Modern Man's agnostic or atheistic prayer that those who've suffered be made whole again somehow.
Cry from the Soul (Argumenty i Fakty v Ukraine, no. 52 p 21. Letters to the Editor)
"My only son perished in May of 1995 during the first Chechnyan war. His son - my grandson - was then but two years old. Now the government "generously" pays us 441 rubels ($15... a month). Why do we, the mothers and children of the fallen, receive such miserly sums? I cannot receive treatment in the hospital - no money for medicine. My grandson needs money for school - and all that costs nowadays. His mother beats herself black and blue in hard argicultural labor for 100 rubels a month. Who can raise children, separated from their fathers by war and deserted by their own government, on such a sum? How can I tell my grandchild that his father died a hero? Do we really treat our heroes and their children in this way? Will such children, whose childhoods were so bitter, wish to fight tomorrow for the motherland?! Will they believe that their mothers and children will not be forgotten, like they are right now?!"
Stavropolskiy Region (address with the editor).
Remember how the Red Cross cleaned up after 9/11?
No amount of money can salve the pain in the Beslan folks' souls, but they look well-taken care of at the moment.
Lots of other charities get no publicity, no money. Awhile back I came across this article:
Criminal Express (No. 52, p. 7)
This letter is the first such I've ever seen. It's from a miner, whom we will call Vladimir Ivanovich Konopkin. The letter personally touched me, with its simple complaint about the ever-changing complexities of our modern life. Vladimir Ivanovich was a 50 year-old man who gave up half his life in the coalmines, but lost hope in his remaining years. The government, for which he dug coal for all of those years never gave him anything except arthritis, and did not value neither his labors nor his honesty.
"Being a young man," Vladimir Ivanovich write. "I always repected the laborers from the mines. I was astounded by these strong, masculine people, who at a depth of 700 meters worked the black gold of the Donbass. The labor of the miner was and remains not only necessary, but dangerous. Once upon a time, he was cared for in a responsible manner. Nowadays, the situation has changed..."
During his 20 years of work in the Gagarin mineshaft Vladimir Ivanovich traveled the route from simple miner to shift leader. The mine for him was his school of life. He loved the profession, and gave his all without remainder. Then, with the rich hopes of a young man, Vladimir Ivanovich never knew that the mines in time would become a millstone around the neck of the government, that the sacrifices of the miners would be forgotten, that the miners would be made the lowest of people.
Vladimir Ivanovich wrote his letter from the hospital, or more accurately, from the cardiology ward. His heart could not handle the strain.
"...I want to live honestly, but..." continued Vladimir Ivanovich. "Now it's necessary to carry home from each shift a small, yet extremely needed, bag of coal in order to heat my home and its stove."
From the letter I understood that Vladimir Ivanovich was the only support and hope for his large family. His wife, their daughter with her child, and their teenage son live in an 18 square meter hut which was provided by the government to its "servants." When his wife and daughter fell under the sokrashchenie ("cut-backs") Vladimir Ivanovich, though already retired, returned to the mines in order to prevent them from going hungry. He wrote that there was not a single minute that he did not think about his family, and about how they were getting along with out his help. In the home there was neither coal, nor warmth, nor money with which to buy fuel. The mines give some miserly amount of coal to the families of incapacitated miners, but there was no means with which to bring it home.
"...I have a dream with is like my last will and testament. I would like to believe that the New Year will bring many stars and heavens, that there will be enough for everyone. I wish all residents of Gorlovka, including myself, warmth and comfort in every apartment for the coming millenium, and that no heart should worry about the next day. Dai Bog (God grant)..."
Vladimir Ivanovich died before he viewed the New Millenium, but his thoughts are perhaps reflected in the worries of many of us. New Year's is supposed to be connected with the fulfilment of happy wishes, especially in the service of others. Perhaps if some well-wishers would like to step into Vladimir Ivanovich's shoes for a moment, donations to his family may be sent via:Kriminal EhkspessFurther information may be had by calling: 4-23-91 or 9-10-78.
Artemshakhstroy bldg - First floor.
Ulitsa Usheva 6
Gorlovka, Donetsk District
Dai Bog, Tatiana Semenova, assistant editor.
If you'd like, I can find out the city area code for you.
Thanks for posting this.
Same reason ours are.
To fight a worldwide plague of evil.
And thank you, Russia, for your fight.
Ilona Maksimova Sabeyeva. Born 15 Feb 1989. Last seen on 3 Sep when a soldier carried her from the school. Anyone who knows Ilona's whereabouts please call in Beslan 3-44-94.
Kristina Dzhabayeva Goloyeva, 2 years old. Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Kristina, please call in Beslan 3-61-98, in Vladikavkaz - 42-52-15.
Zlata Sergeyevna Aziyeva, born 1970. Her husbad saw her on video clips as Zlata was carried from the school on a stretcher during the freeing of the hostages. Zlata has a pronounced collarbone on the right side, a result of birth trauma, and an appendectomy scar. Telephones: in Beslan 3-50-94, 5-66-19, in Estonia 8-10-372-55669711 & 8-10-372-3599731. E-mail: Njkool2003@mail.ru & email@example.com
Alina Aslanovna Tokova. 9 years. Anyone knowing her whereabouts is asked to call in Beslan 3-04-25.
Alana Alanovna Lolayeva. 10 years. All who know Alana's whereabouts are asked to call Vladikavkaz 42-81-47 & 44-02-36.
And on and on... thirty-eight still unaccounted for :-(
about received donations:
|706.330.546, 44||663.796, 92||52.342, 65|
At 29 rubels to the dollar and 1.23 dollars to the Euro, this comes to:
Rubel donations: $24,175,162.09
Dollar donations: $663,796.92
Euro donations: $64,381.46
What's the most interesting, is that 97% of all donations were made in rubels.
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