I received a note from Oleg Avchenko, our egg host in Vladivostok, on
October 25. It was short, but I knew what it meant:
Two days later, the Russian hostage crisis where Chechen
rebels were holding over 700 people in a theater was violently resolved
when government officials stormed the building after pumping poison gas
into it. Sadly, about 120 of the hostages died from the effects of the
gas, and another 150 are described as in critical condition. The rebels
killed two people, and all 50 of them were killed in the attack.
Oleg provided timing details adequate for a GCP prediction:
Later, Oleg wrote to say the storming of the building actually began
earlier, at about 02:30 (5:30 Moscow).
The formal prediction was for deviation during the period from 02:30 to
05:00 GMT (5:30 to 8:00 Moscow) on October 26.
The following figure shows the result, which
has no overall trend, with chi-square 9020.1 on 9000 df, for p = 0.439.
The figure is, however, a virtually direct visualization of Oleg's
comments, with a powerful trend beginning at about 6:30, marked as the
"First Entry", and culminating
in a maximum departure around the time Oleg believes was the peak of the
Following the figure is part of a report from the scene.
The following is an extract from a longer description. Moscow time is 3
hours ahead of GMT, so 6:35 in the report corresponds to 3:35 GMT:
Coverage of the storm of the theatre: the exact number of victims, the
reaction of the relatives, who was the first to open fire, unknown
victims among the fighters of the Interior forces, the line of corpses
the main entrance, the dead are being taken away and passed for wounded,
the deathly gas.
By Irina Borogan, Andrey Soldatov
6.35 A group of about 6-8 fighters of the Interior forces are running
across the square towards the building.
They run up to the main entrance and with the help of their legs and
begin to break the glass. They manage to enter the building.
In the meantime the square is being filled up by military machines and
ambulances. A minute later they are joined by the armored carrier which
had been waiting on the corner of the 1st Dubrovaskaia and Melnikov
streets. It stops about 120 metres away from the theatre entrance. We
hear 2 shots fired inside the building. They are answered by ....from
We can see the fighters of the "spetsnaz" come out leading first one
woman, and then another one.
All of a sudden the inside the building is lighted up and we can hear
bursts of gun-fire. About 10 ...
are hiding in the grass to the right of the building (right below our
windows). With the help of our binoculars we can see another group of
fighters being placed at the same time to the left of the theatre.
At about the same time we hear 2 explosions inside the building,
accompanied by a white light. These must have been grenades. After that
the groups placed all around the parking-place, all run across the
in the direction of the main entrance.
6.40 3 explosions one after another inside the building, accompanied by
red light. Followed by bursts.
6.45 A small group of the special forces carrying a lantern sets out
across the hall of the ground floor in the direction of the wing of the
building where there is a library.
6.47 At 3 points inside they are beginning to break the windows and cut
the poster with the enormous letters "Nord-Ost", which covered the
glass walls of the entrance hall of the 1st floor.
6.50 Someone is being dragged out of the main entrance. A few seconds
later we can see (right under our windows) 2 fighters carrying a young
man dressed in a gray sweater. We can't understand whether it is a
disguised terrorist or a journalist found on the spot of the operation.
stretcher appears at the main entrance and a woman is being accompanied
out of the building. Judging by the sounds, the shooting goes on at the
back side of the theatre, where 3 back-entrances are situated. A man is
being dragged out the building - it must be a terrorist. After that the
fighters come out with 3 men, trying to cover them. Everywhere glass is
being shattered. Probably that is meant to prevent fragmentation shell
wounds if the terrorists carry out the promise to blow themselves up.
7.00 the doors of the main entrance are thrust wide open. 3 "Defender"
jeeps are being driven up to the building. Empty buses are moving along
Melnikov street right below our windows. In front of the main entrance
there are now dozens of people, shouts like "come on!" are coming from
all around. A woman hostage can be seen almost creeping out of the
building. Someone else can hardly walk. A body is carried out; followed
by another one. (4.00 GMT!!! - my remark - Oleg Avchenko)_
7.03 Shooting can be heard. At the same time a group of people is being
accompanied out of the building. A girl is being carried out. Then a few
7.06 Bodies are still being carried out: now not only by fighters of the
special forces but also by rescue forces (in white helmets). They are
being placed in a line right in front of the main entrance of the
theatre. Now there are over 20 of them. We begin to get very much
alarmed: judging by their clothes (and because they being carried mostly
across the shoulder) they are mainly women, or even young girls. Thank
God, they finally lead out someone alive. A few ambulances packed with
the wounded leave the square.
4 buses stop to the right of the building; we can clearly see them from
our windows. In the meantime to the left of the main entrance they go on
throwing down bodies; the amount corpses keeps increasing extremely
rapidly. A few minutes later they occupy the whole area: all the steps
the left are covered with multicolor sweaters which were worn by the
hostages. We get scared: only 3 days before these women dressed up in
order to look well at the theatre.
There isn't enough room, and the corpses are now thrown one over
The first bus with the liberated hostages on board leaves from the
entrance area. They owner of the flat that we find ourselves in, draws
our attention to the fact that all the hostages look strange: as oif
were asleep. A few minutes some rags are carried out of the building
(they might be table cloths or curtains) and thrown over the bodies.
There is no hope left that among those bodies there could still be
Judging by the length of the row of dead bodies, there is more than a
Another bus leaves.
Soon we hear on TV that a certain Member of staff reports of the
successful conclusion of the operation: the hostages are liberated, the
terrorists are killed (only some of them escaped). No a single
mentioning of the victims. At the moment 2 more bodies are being
carried out of