Hundreds Remember Beslan Victims

MTPeople rallying at the monument to Alexander Griboyedov near the Chistiye Prudy metro on Wednesday to remember the more than 300 hostages killed in the Beslan attack in 2004. Several people carried posters reading "We need the truth!" and "No more lies! N
Hundreds of people gathered around Moscow on Wednesday to commemorate the more than 300 people killed in the Beslan school raid in 2004 and the victims of other terrorist attacks.

About 100 people attended an opposition-organized rally at the monument of Alexander Griboyedov near the Chistiye Prudy metro station, weeping and laying flowers near photographs of those killed in Beslan. Several people carried posters reading, "We need the truth!" and "No more lies! No more blood! No more Putin."

"Tragedies like Beslan can't get out of our minds. Russia's leaders showed their negligence toward civilians there," said Garry Kasparov, the chess champion-turned-politician, whose Other Russia coalition organized the event.


Sergey Ponomarev / AP
Women grieving where their relatives were killed at School No. 1 in Beslan on Wednesday, four years after the attack.
A group of 16 Moscow Cossack cadets in uniform came to the rally to pay tribute to those killed in Beslan, but they left quickly. "I saw a policeman ask their leader to leave," said Svetlana Lyubomudrova, an organizer of the rally.

The gathering was cordoned off, and two dozen police officers and OMON riot policemen kept an eye on the proceedings. The officers only noticeably intervened when they saw the posters critical of Putin. Calling them "extremist," the officers asked the holders to put them away, but they refused. The names were read aloud of those killed after Chechen attackers seized School No. 1 in Beslan, North Ossetia, on Sept. 1, 2004. The attackers held more than 1,000 hostages until Sept. 3, when federal forces launched a chaotic rescue effort.

Rallies also were held Wednesday at the sites of other terrorist attacks -- on Ulitsa Guryanova and Kashirskoye Shosse, where blasts leveled apartment buildings in 1999; in the Pushkin Square underpass, where a bomb exploded in 2000; and the Dubrovka theater, which Chechen attackers seized in 2002.