Russian President Vladimir Putin revealed on Thursday that the terrorist attacks in Moscow and Beslan in 2002 and 2004, respectively had been the most difficult parts of his presidency.
“The hardest [moments] are large-scale terrorist acts, including the one in Beslan. I will never forget it”, Putin said during his annual end-of-year press conference in Moscow, also mentioning a “terrorist attack on Dubrovka”.
The statement came after Putin addressed last week a meeting of the Russian Human Rights Council where he called the Beslan attack his personal pain “for the rest of his life.”
“This is such a pain, both of mine and the whole country,” he said during a discussion related to the problems of the attack’s survivors.
1 September marked the 15th anniversary of the tragic events in the southern Russian city of Beslan, where hundreds of children and adults were held hostage by 30 terrorists in a local school.
The victims were held hostages there for three days, without food or water. Overall, the attack claimed the lives of 334 people, including 318 hostages, of which 186 were children.
The tragedy in the Moscow Dubrovka Theatre, where the popular musical Nord-Ost was showing, occurred on October 23-26, 2002.
A group of Chechen militants took visitors and employees of the theatre as hostages. Three days later Russian security services stormed the building, killed all the terrorists and released the surviving hostages. The attack claimed the lives of at least 130 people.