Poor John Giduck…such a victim of continued misunderstandings about differences between the facts at Beslan and what is contained in his book, Terror At Beslan. The list of people and organizations that can’t seem to get their own facts right about POW Network military “misunderstoodee” John Giduck is growing longer seemingly by the day…as are the list of inaccurate facts in John Giduck’s Terror At Beslan book.

This time, the “misunderstandings” come from Dmitry Belyakov, who was a photographer that was actually “on scene” during the Beslan school massacre in September 2004. Note the difference here…Dmitry was on scene for the events at Beslan and John Giduck claims to have arrived “before the final assault”  “immediately after”, “the next day” (4 September 2004), or “two days later” (5 September) depending on what which version of John Giduck’s own story you choose to believe.

Dmitry was also embedded with the Russian Spetsnaz Alfa and Vympel anti-terrorist units during the Beslan school siege and subsequent assault.  These are the same Spetsnaz units that John Giduck claims to have trained with…you know…over 18 years… “much of which spent in Russian uniforms”. Yeah, right.

How can we confirm that Dmitry was on-scene at Beslan?  Well, I’ll let Dmitry tell you his own compelling story…the text was copied verbatim.

Mr John Giduck: I have been sent a link to your fantasy disciption of Beslan school massacare. I was a witness of these events as a photojournalist, embed with Alfa and Vympel anti-terrorist units thanks to long-term relationships through two Chechen campaigns.
First of all, here I declare you not only a very poor reporter, who did not work hard to check out the facts and made a lot of mistakes in your article, but I also would like to stress, that you are dishonest crook. You have STOLEN my photograph, which was taken by me at the time of events, and you were even brave enough to say {courtesy of John Giduck} as if you were there with a photocamera in hands under terrorist’s fire.

Here are the lines, where you have made mistakes and my corrections:

1) there were 32 terrorists, not 49 as you said.

2) You say: «Children were beaten savagely; older teenage girls were raped, some repeatedly, through the days of the siege.» This is not true at all. No single woman has been raped. These were dirty lies, syndicated by the Chechen-Ingush terrorists themselves with a view to mock and humiliate Ossetian hostages. There were also no reports about savage beatings.

3) You say: «21 of the largest adult males and older teenage boys were shot to death». Facts: 9 adults were taken upstairs after they were forced to barricade windows and shot. One man has escaped.

4) You say some fantasie about «Three PKM belt-fed machine guns were set up in the 80-yard-long main corridors». How did you calculate those? There were not only PKM, but PK machine guns too. And then… why three? Could there be 4 or 5 even? Just how the f…k do you know , if you were not with these guys, of course?

5) You saying about «two BTR 80». Well… me, myself have counted then 5 APCs there, belonging to the anti-terror units of FSB and MVD. There were BTR 80 and BTR 70.

6) And finally you lie again: « 21 elite Special Forces soldiers were killed and more than 60 wounded» Facts: 10 anti-terror fighters of the FSB have died through the siege. Heaviest loss through all history of both Alfa and Vympel. At least 2 more were badly wounded, but survived. I don’t know how many were lightly wounded and shell-shocked. 2 of emergency ministry (rescue workers) have been killed by the terrorists.

And more facts about Beslan massacare:

Massacare in North Ossetian town of Beslan, which is a small community of just 35,000, was Russia’s worst ever terrorist attack. 1100 hostages including 750 children were taken hostage by the men from the Riyadus-Salikhin terror group, that included two female suicide bombers. It is believed they were blown up by their leader after expressing doubts during the siege.

On the first day the terrorists executed a man in front of his two children and the other hostages simply because he had dared to speak. They then led 9 men at gunpoint to a classroom on the first floor, sprayed them with machine gun fire and threw their bodies out of a window. The hostages were held for three days in soaring temperatures, without food or water.

Most of those who died were killed when three explosions went off at noon on September 3rd. The first blast is thought to have been accidental, the other two were triggered by the terrorists.
Alltogether 334 people (186 children of them) have been killed as a result of 52-hour siege.

17 children lost both parents and 72 were seriously disabled. One single block of flats close to the school lost 34 children.

Here is a link to my FLICKR photostream, where anyone can see MY PHOTOGRAPHS FROM BESLAN.


Good luck with better stories and do make correction with my photograph. Byline should go as this: Photo by: DMITRY BELIAKOV/ for The Sunday Times.


..and there you have it.  Another voice in the growing chorus of voices saying that John Giduck has made the most fundamental errors in his Terror At Beslan book.

I’m glad that it isn’t just me providing scrutiny of the details here. But, then again, if not me, who?


John Giduck’s Biggest Problem Seems To Be John Giduck

Terror At Beslan’s John Giduck Varies On First Day School Siege Details

John Giduck Clings To Flawed & Improbable 5 September 2004 Beslan Arrival

John Giduck Does (Not) Hold “Our Nation’s Highest Security Clearance”