Russia's Sobchak doesn't blame Putin for 2002 hostage crisis

Russian presidential hopeful Ksenia Sobchak has urged President Vladimir Putin to conduct a full investigation of one of the country's worst hostage crises, but stopped short of blaming him for a deadly raid 15 years ago.

Sobchak, a socialite and opposition-leaning TV star who announced her run last week, laid flowers Thursday at the scene of the October 2002 siege of a Moscow theater by Chechen rebels.

Special forces stormed the building, killing the 41 hostage-takers. At least 127 hostages died from effects of a narcotic gas used to knock out the militants. Two died from gunshot wounds. The siege was widely seen as one of the darkest moments of Putin's presidency. Many blamed Putin for the deaths.

Sobchak sought to portray Putin as a bystander in the events.