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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dubrovka Victims Commemorated

APA mourner walking past a stand with portraits of Dubrovka victims at a memorial outside the theater on Friday.
Several hundred people gathered Friday morning on the steps of the Dubrovka theater to commemorate the more than 129 hostages who perished in the siege in 2002.

The gathering was sponsored by Nord Ost, a group formed by the relatives of the victims and named after the musical playing at the theater at the time of the siege.

Former hostages, their relatives and relatives of victims of domestic and international terrorist attacks addressed the crowd.

"Today is a day of mourning and I wish you courage and patience," said Igor Trunov, the lawyer representing the Dubrovka victims and their relatives.

Some mourners stood silently, their eyes glassy with tears, while others wept openly.

Among them was a middle-aged woman, Natalya, dressed in white. Both she and her husband had been hostages. He died in the siege, leaving her to raise their 12-year-old son, a friend holding her hand said.

"I don't want to say anything," Natalya said when asked to comment. "My child and I are in pain."

Larisa and Valentin Medvedev lost their 38-year-old son, Vadim. He is survived by his wife and two sons, 15 and 18.

"They hadn't gone out for so many years and finally decided to go," Medvedeva said. "He loved music so much and died as a result."

"No money offered by the authorities can make up for the loss," said Irina, Vadim's wife.

Mikhail Metzel / AP
A woman weeping during a service at the Dubrovka memorial on Friday.
Footage of the siege and rescue operation was displayed, as were photos of the dead. A moment of silence was observed near the close of the meeting, after which 129 white balloons were released in honor of the dead.

Relatives of the victims of the 2004 Beslan school siege, the 2002 Volgodonsk apartment bombing, the 2005 London metro bombing and the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States attended, Interfax reported.

First Deputy Mayors Lyudmila Shvetsova and Yury Roslyak, City Duma Deputy Sergei Mitrokhin, head of the Nord Ost group Tatyana Karpova and co-chairwoman of Voice of Beslan Ella Kesayeva were in attendance, Interfax reported.

"Forgive us that the killers haven't been found and punished," a recorded male voice said over a piece of classical music just before the release of the balloons. "Sooner or later, everyone will have to face divine justice."