Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Chechnya: The Violence Continues

Prague Watchdog continues to document the attacks, abductions, shoot-outs and "sweep" operations (zachistki) that take place almost daily in Chechnya. The NGO fulfils an important role in reminding the world that, far from being "normalized", as the Kremlin claims, the situation in the republic is one in which Russian federal troops are meeting determined resistance. The terrorizing of the local population by armed gangs under the control of the Moscow-installed government of Ramzan Kadyrov also shows no sign of lessening.

A recent PW report by Ruslan Isayev (my tr.) gives an idea of the daily tension and violence, which are ongoing:

CHECHNYA (June 27) – A "Ural" lorry carrying Russian servicemen was blown up by persons unknown at around 3pm Moscow time this afternoon two kilometres west of the village of Chechen-Aul, a source from the Interior Ministry of the Chechen Republic told our Prague Watchdog correspondent.

Two conscripts were killed and one wounded in the explosion, the source added.

In the Leninsky district of Grozny today, a group of armed persons abducted two local residents – Abdula Bachayev and Ayub Takayev. According to certain information, officials of the Security Service under the command of Ramzan Kadyrov – so-called “kadyrovites” – were involved in carrying out the abduction. The whereabouts of the abducted men is not known.

On the same day, the body of a member of the “Vostok” battalion, Ruslan Ezerkhanov, was discovered by local residents in the cemetery of the village of Kurdyukovskaya in the Shelkovskoy district; the body bore the marks of bullet wounds. The identity of the soldier’s killers has not been established. An investigation is underway.

A group of Russian sappers came under fire from guerrillas on the Gansol-chu - Alleroy highway in the Nozhay-Yurtovsky district. One officer was wounded as a result.

On Friday June 24 an attack on a military convoy of federal forces took place on the southern outskirts of the village of Shalazhi in the Urus-Martanovsky district. Three soldiers were killed, and four were wounded. The attackers hid in the forest.

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