Ruslan Tebejev

* 1937  

  • “The worst thing about it all was that our officials claimed that there were 350 hostages. Throughout the three days, they claimed this number. The terrorists got so angry about it that they became mad. Allegedly, they brought a TV into the gym saying: ‘Listen to what they are saying about you. Three hundred and fifty people! Bullshit!’ By that time we knew there were over a thousand people there. Over 800 pupils plus teachers and parents. Altogether some 1200 hostages. I don’t know why they misinformed the public. Our past president and his aide were always claiming 350.” – “Did you try to inform the press about the real number?” – “Of course. We made a list and gave it all to the journalists in the club. We shared all the information, they knew about all of it.”

  • “The best thing Putin could do is to ask the nation for forgiveness. We don’t want no blood. We don’t want to kill people. Even though I could have killed the person who held my son hostage. But I don’t even kill chicken. As a young boy I killed a hen and it took a long time for it do die. Ever since I haven’t done it. If I could I would approach Putin and tell him: ‘I don’t ask for blood or to judge anybody, all of them were acquitted anyways.’ But it is human to say at least – yes, they made mistakes. Forgive them. It can be said in a very humane way. Do you get my point? The only thing I ask the government for is to say: ‘This and this had happened, what can we do…’”

  • “They tried to prove that they never shot from the tanks. Ščepel was the prosecutor there, Kolesnikov his first deputy. I brought in the empty tank cartridges, placed them on the table and they finally, after seven months, admitted that they did shoot. For seven months they were denying shooting from tanks, flame-throwers and grenade launchers. Why they did it still puzzles me. Actually, now I know. All the commanders of the so-called operative HQ, were given a military ranking. A General was promoted to Colonel General. All of them were promoted, not a single one punished! Such a tragedy had taken place and they didn’t find a single culprit! This enrages me!”

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    Beslan, 01.06.2014

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Putin can only ask the nation for forgiveness

Ruslan Tebejev
Ruslan Tebejev
photo: archiv post bellum

Ruslan Tebejev was born in 1937 in Beslan. At the time of the attack his wife, daughter, son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters were present in the Beslan school. His father came from the mountainous area of Kurtatin Pass. He moved to Beslan and started a trade here. But he fell out of someone’s favor, was imprisoned and the house he built for himself in Beslan was confiscated. His family only got the house back in 1991. As he was growing up, Ruslan Tebejev was considered to be a kulak’s son. He was nevertheless allowed to study at a university and doesn’t recall any discrimination from that time. For most of his life he worked as a director of an agricultural supply company Agrosnab. He has two children, a daughter and a son. First, his son was kept hostage in Chechnya, being kidnapped along with his cousin near the border and spending three months in captivity. The family had to pay a ransom of 120 00 USD and in order to do that they had to pawn their house. On 1 September 2004 Ruslan Tebejev was about to walk his granddaughter to her first day of school. However, he got an urgent call from his office and had to go there instead. Therefore, his wife accompanied his granddaughters and his daughter. As soon as he learned about the attack he rushed towards the school. Along with other people whose relatives were in the school he put together a list of the imprisoned ones which contained some 950 names. From the very beginning they were certain that the official number of 350 was nonsense. Ruslan was among the people who started to investigate. They pursued court cases, trying to prove that the government unit fired at the school from tanks. “We were able to prove that this really was the case on 5 April 2005. When a tank shoots, the empty cartridges fall next to it. As the tank left, my friend picked up three cartridges, washed them and brought them to me. In a garden next to the school they found grenade launchers and flame-throwers. Those were the soldiers who were shooting from a five-storied building towards the roof windows. They thought it was concrete but it was a soft roof made of fiberglass. Most people died precisely because of the burning fiberglass, including my wife.” When on the third day hostages started getting out, Ruslan Tebejev found his son, daughter and granddaughter in hospitals. His wife, son-in-law and his mother died in the school.Translation coming soon,