How assault on theatre ended in grim climax
 
Gunmen caught out as they watched themselves on video

Nick Paton Walsh in Moscow
Monday October 28, 2002
The Guardian


The first testimonies from hostages released from hospital about the brutal siege both contradict the version of events offered by Russian authorities, and portray a band of callous gunmen, undone by their own vanity and cruelty.

Giorgi Vasiliev, the author of the musical Nord Ost who was used by the Chechens to relay messages to Russian security officials, told the Guardian yesterday that the release of gas into the auditorium had not, as Russian officials maintained, been triggered by the execution of hostages.

Instead, Mr Vasiliev said the Russian special forces had seized an opportunity to gas the gunmen as they moved away from the bombs rigged in the hall, and gathered in a side room to watch a video of themselves storming the stage two nights previously.

In an astonishing account which clears up many of the discrepancies be

 
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