A survivor tells the details of what she experienced in the Moscow attack

Russian artist Alyona Kazinskaya recounted the moments of horror she experienced last Friday, as she witnessed the details of the bloody Moscow attack that took place in Crocus City Hall.

Kazinskaya and her friend bought two tickets to attend a concert by the rock band Picnik, which performed in front of 6,200 people in a concert hall near Moscow. The two friends thought about taking their daughters, but in the end they decided to go alone.

Kaczynskaya posted her first 10-second audio message on her channel on the Telegram app at 8:01 p.m., and her voice appeared trembling and breathless as the loud sound of gunfire was heard in the message.

“I love you all,” she said. I’m at Crocus City Hall for a Picnic concert. There are people shooting at the concert. Call the police.”

While four gunmen carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles stormed the building and opened fire on the audience, Kaczynskaya found herself surrounded in the deadliest attack on Russia in 20 years.

Kaczynskaya said in an interview with Reuters that she quickly realized that the sounds she heard were gunshots and not sound effects, and she and her friend tried to persuade the audience to leave their seats and escape out of the hall.

She added, “We tried to attract the attention of the audience and we succeeded in doing so.” But people were already running to get out and we couldn’t catch up with them. At this moment, the gunmen entered the hall, and I threw my friend to the ground and told her, ‘It is better for us to crawl.’”

Kazinskaya said that the first thing that came to her mind was to get out of the hall at any cost, and then “another idea came to my mind, which is that I am wearing white, which makes me an easy target.”

She also added, “Finally, the third idea was that I would publish anything at that time.” Yes, I am very afraid, but I will publish these messages on my channel (via the Telegram application) because this way, anyone will find them and hear them and in turn will ask for help.”

At 8:08 p.m., she wrote three messages in quick succession, the order of which was mixed up because her fingers were shaking on the phone.

The text of these successive messages was: “Please call the police… Crocus City Hall… there is a shooting.”

At that time, the two friends were able to exit the hall but were still trapped inside the building. Then the shooting stopped and another danger appeared.

At 8:17 p.m., she posted a one-word audio message: “Fire!”

The gunmen used gasoline to start a fire in the huge concert hall.

While the two friends took refuge in the toilet, smoke was rising everywhere, and they tried to get out six times, but they were unable to see anything because of the smoke and were forced to retreat every time.

Kaczynskaya began to lose hope. So I left a four-second voice message at 8:23 p.m. and thought it would be the last.

“I love you,” she said in the message. Farewell”.

In the midst of this chaos and confusion, they found themselves in another toilet where many people were hiding, and there was a man saying that he thought he could find a way out, so they followed him until they were able to exit the building, but until this moment Kaczynskaya did not feel safe.

“Two thoughts came to my mind,” she said. The first was that I needed first aid because I couldn’t breathe, I had pain in my lungs and I was having an asthma attack. The second idea is that I want to get away from the building as much as possible.”

At 8:31 p.m., Kaczynskaya left a new voice message saying, “I am still alive and receiving first aid.” And I left (the building). Thank you all”.

Kaczynskaya said she “hugged everyone” when she returned home.

She added that she will not go to clubs or large parties again before a long time has passed since this accident, but she feels comfortable because of the great support she has received.

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