Boris Iljin

* 1953  

  • “I lost my family and moreover ended up homeless. When they began building houses for the survivors they claimed that they would provide housing to the needy… They do allocate apartments, I am on the list but so far I didn’t receive any decree.”

  • “I found my daughter and grandson but couldn’t see my granddaughter among the dead. To this day I don’t know whom I had buried. I still hope for the girl to be alive. I had such high hopes. I was sure this was the case. Three witnesses confirmed that they saw her alive. On 6 December I received a message in Beslan: ‘Come pick up a coffin with the body of a child.’ But there were no medical personnel there, no one from the police or the prosecutor’s office, simply nobody. The nurse who served her shift only asked me to sign that I received the body. I told her: ‘Wait a minute, I will sing it – it says Narmatova Zarina Rustamovna – but can I open the coffin and see with my own eyes?’ – ‘It’s not possible to have it opened. Sign this confirmation that your granddaughter had died.’ I replied: ‘How can I sign this given that I haven’t received any DNA results so far?’ She said that I won’t be able to prove anything to anybody but at least receive a million and then be able to search further. They simply needed to close the case of the missing persons. That’s all. This issue had to be dealt with before the end of the year.”

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    Beslan, 01.06.2014

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They had to close the cases of the missing persons before the end of that year

Boris Iljin
Boris Iljin
photo: archiv post bellum

Boris Alexejevič Iljin was born in 1953 in Uzbekistan. His mother grew up in North Ossetia. In the summer of 2004, he went with his mother, daughter and grandchildren to Beslan to visit his brother who was to go into surgery. Since by the end of August they were unable to obtain tickets back to Tashkent, they agreed that his granddaughter would start her first year of school in Beslan. In the morning of the 1st of September, Boris Iljin’s daughter was taking his granddaughter to school. He himself stayed at home because he wanted to shave. It had been decided that he was going to pick up his granddaughter in the afternoon while his daughter made a second attempt to try and obtain tickets. Suddenly, at 11 a.m., he heard assault rifle shots coming from the school. Boris along with his brother drove towards the school but couldn’t get inside. For three days during the siege at Beslan, Boris was walking around the compound searching for his family and wanting to return them to safety. At one point, his daughter and grandson were close to being released along with the other small children, but then she returned for her daughter and was unable to get out again. When it was all over, Boris Iljin found his daughter and grandson in a morgue. His granddaughter was never found. Later, witnesses will claim that they met her in the tent of the Ministry of Emergency Situations; she can be seen in photos of those who were brought to the hospital. However, she was not found in any of the rooms or the morgue. It wasn’t until the 6th of December that Boris received a call from the prosecutor’s office that he should pick up her body. When Boris arrived, they refused to open the coffin and required that he take a DNA test under suspicious conditions. But, even at the unresolved end of the investigation of his granddaughter’s case, his life still wasn’t without conflict. In 2006, an armed attack was lead to his house. Boris says that armed assaults ordered on survivors of the events of Beslan were rather common. The criminals were probably lured by the significant compensation that they received. Translation coming soon.