Alex Soifer, professor, Interdepartmental Studies, was recently recognized by the United States Air Force Academy for his efforts to screen the film “The Moscow Siege” for cadets, faculty and guests Oct. 27.
The film depicts in graphic detail the four-day October 2002 ordeal of patrons trapped inside Moscow’s Nord-Ost Theater when it was stormed by Chechen separatists. The siege ended when a nerve gas was piped into the theater, incapacitating the terrorists and allowing Russian commandos to enter and shoot them. The terrorists, as well as more than 100 hostages, died.
The film supplemented the USAFA’s Social Science 412 course and members of the Slavic Studies Club also attended. Soifer secured permission from the film’s London-based producers for the screening and added personal commentary for the cadets.
“I think cadets who attended the film viewing came away with a deeper understanding of the complexities of ethnic conflict,” Lt. Col. Jennifer Alexander said in a USAFA press release. “Several cadets mentioned they didn’t realize the extent of the damage inflicted in Chechnya by the Russians. They saw the possibility that the Chechens were not just terrorists but also victims.”
To see the complete version of the USAFA announcement, visit http://www.usafa.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123278832.
To see an account of the siege, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkxRdSZzeGc