The story of a woman concerning the storming of the village of Goy-Chu (Komsomolskoe) and the possible death of her children

The recording is in Russian

Place of interview: Goysky village cemetery

Interview date: late March – early April 2000

The woman was a resident of the city of Grozny. Her relatives lived in Goy-Chu, to which she decided to travel in the hopes of bypassing the war. Her eldest son lived in Moscow at the time, and her younger daughter and son remained in Goy-Chu with her. The two younger children lived in her brother’s house while she herself lived with her sister.

Once the bombardment of the village had begun, the woman fled from the village on the assumption that her brother and her children had also left. However, she later discovered that her brother and children had in fact remained in the village during the bombardment.

Following the end to hostilities, the corpses of hundreds of victims were carried out from Goy-Chu and were buried in the cemetery of the neighbouring village of Goiskoy. The woman stayed in the cemetery for seven days in a row, like many other mothers and sisters searching for their missing relatives. She examined the mutilated bodies – some missing heads, ears or limbs, and others which had been crushed by tank tracks and wheels of APCs – hoping to find her son and daughter among them. She was informed that her teenage son had been hacked to death with an axe near the school, along with another child.

Comment from the Natalia Estemirova Documentation Center: the incident relates to the storming of the village of Goy-Chu, which lasted between March 4 and March 22-23, 2000.