Beslan - october '16
Beslan, North Ossetia.
A beautiful region in the russian Caucasus, virtually unknown in the west until 2004.
On September 1st of that year, the first day of school, a group of Chechen and Ingushetian terrorists held captive over 1000 adults and children in the city's School Number 1, in an attempt to force russian President Putin to recognize the independence of Chechnya and withdraw the russian troops stationed there.
The action ended in bitter tragedy: after three days of siege, russian troops stormed the school, and in the ensuing fights almost 400 adults and children lost their lives. The action has been mightily controversial: some see the soldiers of the regiments who assaulted the school as heroes, and celebrate them as such, others, like the “mothers of Beslan” led by Ella Kisaeva, consider the russian authorities – and some of the soldiers – accomplices in the massacre. I visited the old – and the new – school thanks to Mondo in Cammino (“World in march”), a non governmental association that supports the efforts for the truth by the mothers of Beslan, women that, at the risk of their own safety, fight the russian authorities demanding the truth about the incident to be finally revealed.