Bloody Drama

His back to the wall, Putin retakes a Moscow theater from a Chechen suicide squad, but the cost is high

They are gassing us! We really beg not to be gassed. We hope it will not be like the Kursk!" As a thick, visible mist enveloped hostages and their takers in Moscow's House of Culture theater, Anya cried for help through her cell phone. The hostage thought she was about to suffocate slowly just like the sailors trapped aboard the crippled Russian submarine Kursk in 2000. "We see it, we feel it, we are breathing through our clothes. We are all going to be blown up!"

But the fast-acting sleeping agent being pumped into the theater was the key ingredient in...

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