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Dispatches: BeslanThe school siege at Beslan was the bloodiest act of terrorism ever to take place on Russian soil. Yet beyond this horrible truth remain many unanswered questions. There is no agreement on who the terrorists were. How many they numbered? Where they came from? How they got to Beslan? What they wanted? Whether they were all killed or captured? And just how the siege which began on September 1 2004, ended so catastrophically? This Dispatches special uses testimony from eyewitnesses, survivors and security services. This is combined with video and audio archive footage presents the fullest account of what happened at Beslan.

The film examines the background to the events of Beslan. It also looks at the Russian state’s reaction to the atrocity and the motivation of the hostage-takers. Beslan School Siege also documents how a small town is coming to terms with the loss of its children.

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Dorian Lindberg
2 years ago

When this was happening I told my GF that they should make a deal. She said that Negotiating with terrorists is a bad Idea. It turns out that both of us were wrong. RIP those poor souls.

5 years ago

This is what a person would call - - Extremist Anarchy. Who the terrorists were nobody knows or how many of them survived in the aftermath. Looking at the faces of each child reminded me of another story that hardly got any publicity was Rwanda because of the O.J. Simpson trials. Hundreds of thousands of children were needlessly butchered some by their own families at gun point. Many could say religion was part of it, while others say it was because of a political scandal, or maybe both combined.

Like Beslan... Rwanda was quiet, serene, and quite humble. Now put either a Christian, or Catholic mission between them. Now you have a trigger point, which would start a genocidal atrocity that would echo through the ages for hundreds of years. Nearly nine hundred thousand died in Rwanda because the hutu's declared that the tutsi's were evil, and literally took it to heard because of their innocent upbringing. Beslan is no different. Put two religious institutions together in one place you have a volatile bomb ready to go off, and the school was the perfect stage for that to happen.

Extremists who use religion believe that their faith is the true one no matter what anyone else says to convince them otherwise. Since everyone dies the same way of old age, accidents, or like Beslan... terror, then the cell believed that letting them die by the gun was ultimately no different since the body is just a shell holding our life force before death. In their minds they released them from the earth by the quickest way possible. To kill... takes a rigid heart, and nearly no emotions when pulling the trigger. It is disheartening to see such acts, and listening to the witnesses who survived.

Yet for the cell who attacked them they chose that school simply because it was the easiest, most public place where both parents, and children would be attending. It wasn't all about a political agenda, and if it was they would have made demands, but they did not. No... it was only about being recognized for their faith. Using god as their ally, and justifying mass murder as a means to an end.

9 years ago

Why does everything happen in September???

Phillip Kalaveras
10 years ago

I will never forget or forgive what happened in Beslan. I hope to go to Beslan someday and bring with me some water from my home for the children who will forever be in Beslan

11 years ago

what happened in beslan used to happen in chechnya everyday but no one is crying over the chechen people

11 years ago

You ppl are going on and on over which "religion" kills more, which country does the worse torture, who has more terrorists.... Most of you are missing the point. Several evil bastards took over a school and killed innocents! I'm sitting here weeping for the pain these ppl have/are endure! Religion doesn't kill people any more than a knife, gun or sticks kill people.
PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE! People with f***** up twisted views & ideology, but to blame it on a certain religion or political view is to take away responsibility where it lies ~ and it lies ONLY with those evil bastards who woke up that day, knowing full well what they were going to do! Murder!
Sure, some of the terrorist may have been victims themselves of terror attacks from the state or whomever, but to me that only makes them even more morally evil, culpable and cruel. They, knowing the pain it has caused themselves, do the same to OTHERS? And this is supposed to justify what exactly?
I don't have all the answers, but lets keep the focus on what these bastards did as a cowardly evil act. To give argument to religion or politics, is to only further their so called "cause".
They are mass murderers, nothing more.

Cepera Vikentiev
11 years ago

I am sad for reading comments that we ask for this troubles. we ask for this to happen? are u f-ing insane? My brother die at Beslan, he know nothing of politics.I was 2nd year- I know nothing of politics. I only know loss and hate. There is not a winner in war.

11 years ago

According to US ideas all they would have had to do I put a NO GUNS sign on the door and this would have never happened

12 years ago

funny how religion..................., the thing that is supposed to free us from evil, is the very center of evil itself. from times before christ, religion has waged war on itself, killing the very people it said to protect. christians, muslims .................. what about humans? religion created war, now let war kill religion.

12 years ago

PUTIN DONT NEGTIATE WITH TERRORIST he knows thats pointless anyhow these terrorist action taken by muslims gives russia america iseral india and china public support to fight against allah's misguided freedom fighters and give them the fast track to allah'a paradise.

12 years ago

@ Z I cannot disagree more with YOU. Islam is much more violent than Christianity has ever been. Islam was spread by force and conquest Christianity was not. When "Christians" commit crimes they are going against the teachings of the bible. Jihadists pride themselves on being "pure" to Islam and following the false Prophet Mohammed. Tell me what the hell does NATO and the US in Iraq and Afghanistan have to do with Beslan? What prompted you to bring that up? Our democratization of those two countries will improve the peoples lives there and improve our and the regions security. What has Russia done to improve Chechen lives and security in he Caucuses?

12 years ago

Lutfi: anything based on blind obedience, either to religion, political belief, even to your own country could lead human to atrocity. I often say this in my class: what ever your believe is, it must not stop you from thinking and feeling. Remember once we watched OSama and then Schindler's list? Both have the same cause: blind faith, one to false verses of religion and the other to human race.

lutfi fadhila
12 years ago

1. the terrorists are mostly sad and desperate people who envy happy people. they want others to feel their misery by hurting others

2. the terrorists thought that they would enter the heaven. but they killed people and spreaded sadness. will real god accept their behaviour?

3. yes mrs Lilis, it's not real realigon should be. i know verses in holy Quran that talk about killing. but i guess the terrorist just blindly do it without "translate" it with heart and mind. plus, the verses have terms and condition, such as war. the terrorist is totally stup*d

12 years ago

I ve just watched this movie and couldn't stop crying for those innocent children who suffered and victimized beyond any sane person could imagine. I think it is a very good movie to teach my students in Indonesia about the danger of blind faith because it is getting stronger and stronger here. Could anyone tell me how I can get this movie legally? It is very critical for them see what will happen if they use violence on behalf of blind faith.

12 years ago

"Batang Makati 5 Islam is the Devils religion, and this tragedy,only shows how evil that occult is..We the people of the world must be vigilant, we must inform ourselves about the evil of this religion, and do our part to get rid of this pest"…

I could not disagree with you more! To blame it on the Islam only is one of the stupidiest things I have heard! Please read a little and pull your head out of your ass before making such a dumb comment. Probably there are equal number of cruelties made by so called "chritians" over innocent people of any other than Christian religion,so don't go and bring out any religion in this horrible act. Is Russia right to be in Chechnya and to do whatever they are doing there -NO, were those people that did this in Beslan right-NO,were the people who flew the planes at the "world trade center" buildings right-NO,but it is the people and goverments that does that- so my point is -it's not the religion that is evel -it's the people that use it for their own selfish purposes.And it is not only religion that they are using,with the same meaning you can use the word "democrasy"also-we all see the "democracy" being introdused to Iraq and Afganistan-not that they don't need it and that Iraq's and Afganistan's people should not live better -but we all know why USA and NATO are over there ,please don't insult our inteligence.

Greenock Bhoy
12 years ago

That was horrible to watch.
While not forgetting what Russia is doing to Chechnya is equally bad.
They must reach a settlement.

12 years ago

Its as simple as this:

Developed country --> Hunger for more resources --> Invasion of a poor country --> Killings --> Orphans --> Orphans grow up and look for answers ---> Developed country suffers a 9/11 ---->

And the cycle continues ;]]

12 years ago


"if somebody killed my wife and kids , id happily kill there’s . seems fair play."

- The children of beslan killed your wife and kids?
Killing innocents for a greater cause is never okay, do not let a priest, rabbi, imam, president or military ruler tell you otherwise.

12 years ago

they wanted Russia to get out of there country and stop killing there woman and children with bombs form there governments weapons of murder and torture. all that evil s@#$ . so they took over the school with there harts filled with anger and revenge. the right chemistry to do such a thing. if they got Russia out they would have been heroes in there lands. so it looks to me as an eye for an eye attitude. if somebody killed my wife and kids , id happily kill there's . seems fair play.

12 years ago

YES @ J.Ray well said my man or woman . well said .

12 years ago

When people have nothing to live for, especially if an Army like the Russian Army attacks and kills your family and innocent civilians, people end up with nothing to live for. What these terrorists did was 100% wrong. However, they didn't do this for fun. They did it to get revenge. What are they suppose to do when an army occupies your land and kills your family?

-Hey, thanks for killing my family!


Islam is a peaceful religion. These terrorists would have done the same even if they weren't Muslim. When the US or Russian Army kills civilians its an "accident". When Muslims do it, "They are all Terrorists"

12 years ago

With Georgia as intimate neighbour and Georgia also held to be an Israeli-occupied state ......?

12 years ago


12 years ago

Hey, look up what the russians do to checnyans over the past 50 years.

12 years ago

hear hear August!
You got it wrong Batang.. now you're just part of the problem.

Batang Makati
12 years ago

Islam is the Devils religion, and this tragedy,only shows how evil that occult is..We the people of the world must be vigilant, we must inform ourselves about the evil of this religion, and do our part to get rid of this pest...

12 years ago

This is why ALL GOVERNMENTS must be destroyed along with PEOPLE WHO WANT TO CONTROL OTHERS!

13 years ago

I watched this film late last night... cried when I saw children running out of the school half naked, dazed and throwing up the water they were given because they were so dehydrated from not having anything for 3 days.

It boggles my mind that human beings are extreme 'tit'for'tatters'... that when they suffer a loss (ie: family - wives, children etc.), they want those that hurt them to suffer as well by committing such atrocities such as this on defenseless men, women and children without conscience.

Don't they know that these children are ALL OF OUR children??! That we all come from the same fabric, the same beginnings... that we are morally obligated to care for one another - esp. those that need it most?

It's like any other zealot that puts "God" in their terrorist actions... it's just a cop out. By bringing God into it, they 'think' it absolves them from their own malicious behaviour because they do it in His Name... -- bullsh*t. They know it, you know it and I know it... they are doing it because they have hatred in their hearts... they want others to suffer and 'enjoy' the power they have when they do it. God has nothing to do with any of our human
behaviours... we all have a CHOICE to do what's right... we're not puppets... and should look within (and above) to do the right and peaceful actions we all know we should be doing.

13 years ago

The religion of peace strikes again. How unfortunate that the religious intellectuals on this site choose to pollute discussions on science when their mealy mouthed smugness could be here instead; explaining God's purpose and love.

13 years ago

It's hard to believe how evil humans can be.There are no governments,militaries,or police that can keep you safe from terror such as this.All people must battle the darkness inside of their own heads and realize we are all one.Anyone who thinks God is on their side is dangerous as hell.Any religious type flag wavers need take a good look at themselves because they are standing real close to the flames...