It is nine years since terrorists seized a school in Beslan, North Ossetia during the First Bell ceremony which marks the first day of school in the Russian Federation.
In Moscow the Kremlin claimed - that the terrorists were refusing to negotiate and that there were many hundreds less inside the school than the real figure of over 1100, including 770 children. The terrorists were enraged by the lie and refused to give the children water. They were prepared to talk to people they trusted. It is telling that Anna Politkovskaya, one of those whom the terrorists trusted, was poisoned on the flight to the North Caucuses.
Federal forces used tanks and heavy artillery on 3 September 2004 when they stormed the school hall. This was supposedly after explosions were heard within the school. An independent investigation carried out by explosives expert Yury Savelyev placed this in question, suggesting that the explosion came from outside.
Savelyev concluded that the authorities decided to storm the school building, but wanted to create the impression they were acting in response to actions taken by the terrorists.
331 people died before and during the storming of the school. The questions raised by the tragedy and the study carried out by Yury Savelyev have never been answered. Although in theory the investigation is continuing, there is no evidence that the authorities want to find out the truth.
Unlike the families of those whose lives were cut short that day.