GENERICO.ruCrimeA survivor from Crocus spoke about the terrorist: a cry was heard in Russian with absolutely no accent

A survivor from Crocus spoke about the terrorist: a cry was heard in Russian with absolutely no accent

“There was no security there at all”

Among the whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that arose after it became known about the tragedy in Crocus, a question flashed in my head: Could any of your loved ones or acquaintances have been affected by the nightmare that happened in the concert hall? It seems that there were no such people. However, on Saturday evening an old friend called and was taken aback: “My daughter was there with her husband. It’s a miracle we got out!” The story of these participants in the tragic events impressed with surprising and important moments for understanding what happened.

“My wife and I knew that Katya and her husband Alexei were going to go to the concert of the Picnic group,” says Vladimir. – Suddenly at about 8.25 pm a call from her: “Mom, we’re fine, don’t worry.” The wife asks: “What happened?” We had not yet heard the messages on TV. “There is a terrorist attack here – explosions, shooting. But we have already left there. Let’s go home now.”

Then, when they had already reached the apartment, and we had watched television reports about all this horror, my daughter, hot on the heels, shared with us what she had experienced. But today she and her husband were thoroughly shaken, so they went out of town to get some rest.

We managed to get through to Ekaterina. She shared her memories of what happened on Friday evening on the 22nd.

– To begin with, my husband and I were surprised by how “easy” the access control was at Crocus City Hall before this concert. In my opinion, there were no guards there at all… Well, maybe there were guards standing somewhere, but we didn’t notice them.

It seemed surprising: at the very entrance to the Crocus building there were several frames and next to them was the only woman with some kind of metal detector. And a crowd pours past her – hundreds of people rushing to the concert. And further to the left, where the entrance to the concert hall was, there were 7-8 more frames, but next to them were ordinary ticket takers and some – I didn’t understand – volunteers or something, or assistants: “Put your keys, phones, purse here and go through the frame.” When the crowd poured in just before the start of the concert, of course, there was no question of any search at all. And, I repeat, we did not notice any security in the hall.

When the attack began, my husband and I had just taken the escalator to the balcony. From above you could see from behind some people with machine guns running towards the crowd that had huddled around these very frames at the entrance to the hall and shooting in front of them. They moved ahead and, once in the hall, continued to shoot.

The husband, looking at all this from above, expected that security would appear at any moment, that the police would round up the thugs, but no one appeared. Then we decided to find some kind of emergency exit from the balcony. However, it turned out that from there you can only go down the escalator or through the auditorium. Since there was a real meat grinder going on in the hall near the escalator, we went into the hall, hoping to get to the stage area, near which there should be emergency exits.

Getting there turned out to be difficult. Realizing that something wrong was happening, the audience jumped up from their seats and moved downstairs. The entire staircase ended up filled with people. We tried to climb straight up the chairs, but only managed to get through three rows. At that moment, the terrorists burst into the hall and began shooting from the side of the stage at the rows of the amphitheater going up.

To avoid getting hit by bullets, we lay down. The shooting went on almost non-stop. Suddenly a bang sounded. I looked out through the gap between the backs of the chairs and saw that a fire was breaking out near the stage. At the same moment, a loud exclamation was heard in Russian, in my opinion, completely without an accent – “Burn, ****!”

And this was like a push in the back for me. I realized that here we would really burn. Taking advantage of the opportunity, we jumped out through the same door onto the balcony and saw that someone was running down the escalator. And there, on the first floor, just opposite him, the doors were already open, or maybe they were windows broken by someone onto the street.

When we were going down the steps, the radio broadcast in Crocus suddenly came to life. The announcement seemed strange. There is shooting, fire, smoke all around, and the announcer calmly reports: “Dear viewers, for technical reasons the concert will not take place. Please leave the building.” It looks like it was just a pre-recorded phrase.

– I didn’t hear anything like that at that moment. Perhaps this was later announced on the broadcast, but we were no longer in the building then.

As soon as we went down to the hall, Alexey, instead of running towards the exit, darted somewhere to the right. It turns out that he saw a woman with a child nearby. A boy of about 13 was wounded in the chin, in the neck, in the leg, so he could not walk. His mother tried with all her strength to drag him by the hand in order to quickly get to a safe place. Alexey ran up to them and took the teenager in his arms.

We ran out into the street. But at that moment there were no ambulances or police cars in front of the Crocus building…

Here I immediately remember our visit to Diana Arbenina’s concert six months ago. In that case, everything around the concert hall was cordoned off by the police, there were buses with riot police, several ambulances… But here – no one.

I had to move towards the Moscow Ring Road. While still inside the building, I tried to contact the emergency service “112”, but there were no beeps at all. But, apparently, someone who was on the street before us called the ambulance. The wounded boy was handed over to the brigade from one of the first vehicles to arrive – already at the exit from the Moscow Ring Road to the Crocus.

Then we went back. Soon another couple caught my eye – the man was in a hurry to move away from the Crocus, carrying in his arms a girl of 11-12 years old, who was also hit by a bullet – it seems, in the shoulder, in the stomach… However, with every step he grew weaker, and it was clear as he bows to the ground under the weight of his burden. Alexey again acted as an assistant. “Is this your daughter?” – “No, someone else’s girl. She found herself alone in the crowd and lost sight of her parents. So I decided to take her out…” This victim was also carried to one of the ambulances.

Just like many other spectators, we rushed out into the street without outerwear, which remained in the wardrobe located in the lower tier of the building. I was wearing only a T-shirt, Alexey was wearing a jumper. Guys nearby came to my aid, one of them gave me his denim jacket.

In general, I would like to note that – and this was noticeable literally from the very first minutes after the attack – those who found themselves in Crocus did not lose their human appearance in the face of mortal danger. Although bullets were whizzing around, the audience did not push, did not knock over each other in the crush… Before my eyes, when one of the women stumbled, everyone immediately stopped and gave her the opportunity to get up. Even hysterical screams were not heard, only isolated exclamations were heard.

– Alexey and I arrived at Crocus by public transport. Now they wanted to catch a car, but on the Moscow Ring Road, where they went to vote, none of the drivers stopped: after all, at that moment the information about the terrorist attack had not yet appeared in the news. And suddenly a taxi stops nearby and some girls get into it. It turns out that when they got out of the building they realized to immediately place an order, but in the heat of the moment we didn’t even think of that. One of them saw us, understood everything and offered to help: “Let’s get us there.”

And so we got out of this mess…

The trials that befell Ekaterina and Alexei, of course, did not passed without a trace either for them or for Katya’s parents.

“The night after the terrorist attack, when my daughter talked about all this, we, of course, were surprised, gasped, groaned. However, they truly realized what had happened later. On Saturday morning it hit everyone. And us – the elders, and our youth, – admitted Vladimir. – Katya and Alexei eventually went to the dacha to recover from a stress injury, and my wife and I here in Moscow have already used up almost the entire supply of sedative medications. But it hasn’t completely let go yet.

Now, after some time, I imagine with horror that the lives of my daughter and son-in-law were literally hanging by a thread. What if this hair were to break? They have two children of their own – their granddaughter is 12, and their grandson is only 10…

But, to our great happiness, everything ended well. Some good forces saved Katya and Alexei in this deadly chaos. My daughter even laughed yesterday – supposedly, this was thanks to the lucky token number that was given in the Crocus wardrobe: the sum of the first two and last two digits is equal to eight, and eight is a lucky number. He says that it will even be a pity to part with such a “talisman” now. However, it is unlikely that she will be able to keep the souvenir “amulet”: like many other visitors to this ill-fated concert, she will have to go to Crocus City Hall and receive her outerwear there in the wardrobe.

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