Searching for your killer

In 2009, being in Moscow, he called me and asked me to show the pictures I took in Ostankino in 1993. Of all the shots he was interested in only a few, shot already from the side and from above, from someone’s apartment in a house opposite the television center. Its owners then easily let us in, two journalists who had just jumped out of that meat grinder and found themselves cut off from the main events by a solid wall of fire, which seemed to be coming from all sides. The wildest thing is that I completely forgot who happened to be next to me. Someone from the radio, I think. We looked out the window and sent everything we could see to our editorial offices by the owner’s phone.

In those photographs, almost completely black, only the lines of tracer bullets were visible: they came from both sides, from both buildings of the TV Center. Some lines ran into the road between buildings. It was not visible in the pictures, but I knew that there were people lying there, trying to squeeze, grow into the asphalt under the crossfire. Otto tried to understand from which side the bullet that pierced him came.


Трассирующие пули, летящие со стороны главного корпуса телецентра Останкино. Фото Дмитрия Борко

Click on the picture to see more bullet marks

Some, like this one, were even more surprising: it seemed that the commandos, who were in both corps opposite, were shooting at each other.

Along the way, it turned out that before the start of the shooting, we stood with him almost shoulder to shoulder, but did not notice each other. I also met Olga Trusevich many years later. The other day, when I told her about Otto and myself, she said in amazement: “Wow, then they said that everyone who stood at the door died. But look – there are already three of us who survived.”

Then Otto Paul sent me his article published in the American magazine Man’s Journal. It was called “In Search of the Man Who Shot at Me”.

Otto Paul was a little wrong. The same valve from a plastic bag was made for him not by Vlasov, but by a member of the “voluntary sanitary brigade named after M. Voloshin” memorial doctor Alexander Sokolov. In the picture he is on the left:


Отто Пол и перевязывающий его Александр Соколов.

Doctor Sokolov (left) and Otto Paul

I advise you to read the article – this is perhaps the most intelligible thing about these events that I have read recently: Hunting Down the Man Who Shot Me.  Perhaps, indeed, one must be a foreigner …

Today the site does not have a few photos that were published in the paper version of the magazine. Here they are:


Пропарламентский ополченец несет гранатомет, который, возможно, инициировал перестрелку. Американец Майк Данкан, позже убитый, вытаскивает жертву в безопасное место на территории Останкино. И другие карды противостояния. Фото из журнала Man's Journal.

A pro-parliamentary militia is carrying a grenade launcher that may have initiated the firefight.
The confrontation began to intensify the day before, when protesters burned a truck.
American Mike Duncan, later killed, drags the victim to a safe place on the territory of Ostankino.
The picture was taken earlier, on the same day, as soldiers try to contain the onslaught of protesters.


Четырнадцать лет спустя: Отто Пол (крайний слева) на встрече русских солдат, охранявщих Останкино; Игорь Чекулаев, который был заместителем командующего войск специального назначения. Фото из журнала Man's Journal.

Fourteen years later: The author of the article (on the left side) at a meeting of Russian soldiers who served at Ostankino; Igor Chekulaev, who was the deputy commander of the special forces