The timeline of the Beslan School Crisis follows (Read Part 1 HERE). All times are Charlie Time Zone/UTC+3/Moscow Time.
Wednesday, 1 September 2004
0900: Day of Knowledge festival, the beginning of the school year and welcoming new pupils, begins.
0930: School Number One is stormed by 32 armed men and two women (who are wearing suicide bomb belts). In the ensuing chaos, approximately 50 escape the terrorists and flee the school grounds. 1200 are taken hostage and moved to the gym. Eight are killed in the initial storming. Ten male hostages are executed immediately after moving to the gym.
1000: The terrorists begin placing IEDs packed with nuts, bolts and nails in the gym and surrounding school buildings and campus. The hostages are also surrounded by, and wired to, explosives. Betrozov Ruslan, one of the hostages is shot.
1020: President Vladimir Putin returns to Moscow from Sochi.
1026: Media mistakenly claims that two schools have been seized.
1110: Officials state that the hostages number between 200–400, with 15–20 terrorists.
1115: Terrorists force children to stand in the windows as human shields.
1130: Alexander Dzasokhov, President of North Ossetia, arrives at SNO.
1134: North Ossetia closes its borders, and cancels all flights to the capital, Vladikavkaz. The military is mobilized to protect kindergartens, schools, and other public buildings.
1150: A message is delivered to the incident command center by a released hostage. The terrorists threaten to kill 10 hostages if electricity or communications are tampered with or cut, 20 hostages for every one terrorist wounded, 50 for every killed–up to five killed terrorists, at which point everyone will be killed. The terrorists also demand to speak with Alexander Dzasokhov, Murat Zyazikov, and the children’s doctor Leonid Roshal.
1156: Media corrects details of the unfolding scenario, confirms one school has been taken.
1300: The terrorists drop a note from one of the windows demanding Russian withdrawal from Chechnya.
1325: The terrorists refuse Incident Command’s offer to exchange the children for high-ranking Ossetian officials.
~1400: Russian Spetsnaz arrive, establish tactical command, and begin establishing positions around the school.
1500: Two females with suicide belts detonate/are detonated.
1640: One adult leads 12 students off school grounds from the boiler room where they had been hiding since the initial attack.
~1800: Russian leaders request an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
1930: Incident Command establishes contact with the terrorists.
2000: The terrorists tell The New York Times correspondent that they belong to the Riyadh al-Salihin, and are led by Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev.
2031: The terrorists refuse offer of shipment of water and medicine to hostages.
2130: Leonid Roshal (the doctor) arrives in Beslan and begins negotiations with the terrorists.
2300: Initial negotiations last two hours. Roshal offers the terrorists safe passage to Ingushetia and Chechnya, and repeats the request to replace the children with adults. Both are refused, as are water and medicine. Negotiations end with no agreement reached.
By the end of Day 1, the hostages have gone 15 hours with no water. This was a specific tactic used by the terrorists. The hostages were also made to relieve themselves in place.
Thursday, 2 September 2004
During the night, the UN Security Council votes to condemn the hostage taking. After the failed negotiations, the terrorists confirm their plan to deny the hostages all food and water. By the morning, President Vladimir Putin postpones a state visit to Turkey.
1000: Ruslan Aushev, the President of neighboring Ingushetia, enters the school and negotiates face-to-face with the terrorists. At the same time, Roshal renews negotiations. The terrorists are given guarantee of safe passage out of North Ossetia as well as large sums of money. Hostage-takers reject both offers.
1100: President Vladimir Putin addresses the Russian Federation for the first time since the crisis began. He clarifies that his main concern is the lives and health of the hostages.
1200: The Russian Interior Minister, Rashid Nurgaliyev, and FSB head, Nikolai Patrushev, arrive at Incident Command and set up a national-level crisis team.
1240: Ruslan Aushev fails again to reach an agreement with the terrorists, but does manage to convince them to release nursing babies and their mothers (26 total).
1530: Two RPGs are fired by the terrorists at the security forces on the perimeter.
2000: Official estimates of the number of hostages change from ~350 to 1000+.
2100: Negotiations continue throughout the night to allow delivery of food and water and medicine to the hostages. All of which is declined. (Though the supplies are stacked within sight of the hostages, causing further anguish.)
Friday, 3 September 2004
1250: The terrorists agree to allow medical workers to retrieve the bodies of KIA, which have been dumped outside. Two trucks are needed for the bodies.
1259: Medical workers approaching the gym are fired upon by the terrorists.
1305: Two explosives detonate in the gym. Windows are blown out and part of one wall is destroyed. Many hostages die in the explosion. Very many others are wounded. (Exact numbers of each are unknown.) In the chaos, many other hostages flee. The terrorists open fire on those fleeing. Approximately 30 hostages escape.
1310: Russian Spetsnaz (from special units Alpha and Vympel) begin their assault.
1330: A portion of the roof of the gym collapses. Many hostages are crushed. Ambulances (both actual and make-shift) evacuate escaped hostages to a nearby military field hospital.
1340: Russian forces reach and ingress the school gym.
1345: A group of terrorists flee the school grounds. Russian forces pursue.
1400: More hostages are pulled from the gym as assault forces sweep and clear the buildings.
1405: Russian forces report the objective (the school) is under control.
1415: Five terrorists killed.
1428: First responders enter gym.
1430: A group of terrorists set a defense in the school’s cafeteria. Women and children are used as human shields.
1440: Rescue/Assault forces blow open walls to allow more hostages to escape.
1515: Many more hostages freed. Initial reported KIA in gym is 100.
1525: ~13 terrorists escaped to a home south of the school. They are surrounded by Russian forces. A group of T-72 tanks destroys the home.
1555: Three terrorists are trapped in the school basement. An unknown number of hostages are used as human shields.
1730: Russian officials report the assault by Alpha and Vympel was unplanned.
1735: Nur-Pashi Kulayev, one of the terrorists, tries to escape with the other hostages, and is recognized and assaulted by enraged hostages.
1850: Basement assault ends. All terrorists and hostages KIA.
2015: Incident Command reports all terrorists have been killed or captured.
2100: 646 people admitted to medical facilities. 227 of those are children.
2120: Confirmed hostage KIA reaches 200. 79 positively identified.
2150: Sporadic fighting continues. (Undoing the previous 2015 official report of all enemies KIA.) Incident Command reports two further terrorists KIA in the last hour.
2208: Three terrorists reported taken as prisoners.
2300: Official EKIA (Enemy Killed In Action) reported as 28.
Clearing, rescue, and recovery continues through the night.
Saturday, 4 September 2004
0315: Putin orders the entire town of Beslan sealed, and the borders of North Ossetia remain closed as security forces continue site exploitation. Forces continue to search for terrorists.
0400: Putin flies to Beslan and visits hosptials.
0800: Putin confirms unplanned assault.
0954: Six critically injured children flown to Moscow.
1100: Official hostage death toll hits 322. 155 children.
1530: In a nationally televised speech, Putin admits to “deficiencies” in the response to the crisis. But he is quick to add that “Weak people are beaten.”
1800: Site exploitation and most rescue/recovery is finished. Locals are allowed into the destroyed school.
This ends the official timeline of the Beslan School Massacre. The following and final piece of this series will cover the immediate aftermath.
It is of *utmost* importance to maintain realization of three basic facts as you read these articles:
1. Evil men and women tortured, used, and murdered innocent men, women, and children.
2. Innocent men, women, and children were tortured, used, and murdered by evil men and women.
3. Heroic men died trying to stop one group, and save the other.
All other politics and bullshit in this matter are side static (though of immense importance down their own lanes).
Featured image courtesy of https://rus.mil