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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

State Is Failing Terror Victims, Survivors and Relatives Claim

The government is failing to provide adequate help to victims of terrorism, denying survivors medical and psychological treatment and neglecting orphaned children, victims of attacks said at a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday.

Tatyana Karpova, co-chair of a group of former hostages and relatives of victims of the October 2002 Dubrovka theater hostage crisis that left 129 hostages dead from the effects of a narcotic gas, said many survivors are not being provided treatment for health problems.

Speaking at a meeting attended by terror victims and state officials, Karpova presented medical records of dozens of theater-raid survivors who developed ailments including memory loss, hearing disorders and heart problems blamed on the gas. She said there is no comprehensive program to provide free medical care to gas victims.

Olga Grachyova, deputy head of the Moscow city government's social security department, called for a clear-cut federal program on aiding terrorist victims.

Dmitry Milovidov, who lost his son at the theater, said that the government has also failed to take care of children whose parents died in terrorist attacks. Milovidov said 67 children became orphans at Dubrovka and that many of them are being cared for by grandparents. "Many old couples have been forced to sell their apartments in Moscow" and move to cheaper apartments, Milovidov said.

Activists also called for laws that would give survivors of terrorist attacks, and their relatives, special status entitling them to financial support and certain privileges, including a possible exemption from compulsory army service.

Susanna Dudiyeva, 44, who lost her son in last September's Beslan school seizure, said that the state has forgotten about the victims.

"These were our children who took the bullets on themselves ... but it could have been other children, your children!" Dudiyeva said bitterly.