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According to Air Forces monthly Russians have been testing whole
bunch of new recon hardware in Chechnya with the latest rumored
addition being a KA-31 Helix thought to be equipped with an advanced
ground surveillance radar. Other hardware mentioned was KA-50 and Mi-
24 Hinds equipped with infrared sights.
May 30, 2000
The French daily Le Monde reported last week that
President Vladimir Putin and Economic Strategy
Minister German Gref were involved with a German
real estate development company whose co-founder
was arrested earlier this month on charges of money
laundering and ties with organized crime. In an
article published Thursday called "Mr. Putin's Name
Appears in Liechtenstein Money-Laundering Case,"
the newspaper said that until March of this year Putin
and Gref had a vague "adviser" status with the St.
Petersburg -based Immobilien und Beteiligugngs AG,
or SPAG - a German company that was founded in
1992 in collaboration with St. Petersburg's City
Hall and had subsidiaries in the "northern capital."
One of SPAG's founders and shareholders, Rudolf
Ritter, was arrested May 13 in Liechtenstein's capita,l
Vaduz, on charges of money laundering and ties
with organized crime. According to Le Monde, last
year's report by the German secret service BND
said that Russian criminal groups had transferred
money to SPAG through a Romanian bank for purchase
of real estate in Russia.
A Russian translation of the article appeared
Friday on the web site Inopressa.ru and was re-printed
Saturday in Kommersant newspaper without any editorial
The French newspaper mentions one Vladimir Smirnov,
who runs SPAG's St. Petersburg subsidiaries
Znamenskaya and Inform-Future, and describes him as
In response to Le Monde's inquiry, the presidential
administration denied that Putin had ever worked for
SPAG. "The president has never worked there as a
consultant," the newspaper quoted the presidential
press service as saying. "He has never received any
salary there." However, Markus Rese, the director
of SPAG, was quoted by Le Monde as saying that both
Putin and Gref had unpaid advisor status with
the company until March. "It was ... some kind of a
patronage," he said.
"Nothing makes it possible today to assess Putin's
exact role in the German company," Le Monde said.
In 1994, when Putin was St. Petersburg's deputy mayor
in charge of foreign investment, Znamenskaya
was contracted to build a shopping complex in the
city center, the newspaper said, and the company
boasted that it was the only foreign company working
in major real estate development projects in the
The French daily also said that, through another
business, Smirnov is connected with Vladimir Kumarin,
described as the leader of St. Petersburg's powerful
Tambov criminal gang.
The presidential press servicesaid on Monday that it
had no comment on the article in Le Monde.
INTERVIEW WITH THE MINISTER OF CULTURE, MR. AKHMED ZAKAEV.
WHAT IS THE RESPONSE OF THE PRESIDENT OF ChRI MR. ASLAN MASKHADOV, TO
THE REPORTS THAT THE DEPUTY OF THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY TO
CHECHNYA WAS KILLED AS A RESULT OF AN EXPLOSION IN GROZNY?
“In contrast to Russia, the political leadership in the face of Mr.
Aslan Maskhadov, gave a correct and lawful appreciation to the events
between Chechen Republic and Russian Federation i.e. Russian is engaged
in an expansionist war aimed at destruction of a people and naturally
receives and will receive casualties – a war is a war. Russian
leadership should stop spilling crocodile tears about this event.
Especially, since the Russian society begun to realize that these
casualties and sacrifices are aimed at the satisfaction of personal
ambitions of Russian generals, who define external and internal policy
and who in doing so, make a great career in the government structures”.
ARE THE STATEMENTS OF MR.VAKHA ARSANOV, IN THE INTERVIEW TO THE RUSSIAN
NEWSPAPER “MN”, COORDINATED WITH THE PRESIDENT MR. ASLAN MASKHADOV?
"In the interview to “Moskovskie Novosti”, Mr. Vakha Arsanov raised
questions which are strategically important and the decisions about them
should be made on the meetings of the National Defense Committee. Since
these questions were not discussed in the NDC, the Vice-President Mr.
Vakha Arsanov expressed his own position and therefore there is no need
to discuss his statements".
Thursday, June 1, 2000
Kavkaz Center reports:
Raid on Russian Camp near Starye Atagi
Commander Khattab announced that a special unit of the ‘Majlis-ul
Shura of the Muslims of Ichkeria and Dagestan’, commanded by Amir
Yakub, together with assault units of the central and of the
southwestern front attacked a camp of the aggressors between the
villages of Starye Atagi and Chechen-Aul.
The attack was waged from four sides. Two tents with more than 40
Russians in it were burnt down. The Russians’ sentries were killed,
and their firing positions were pinned down.
The Chechen mujahideen fired upon the enemy for one hour. There
was no active resistance of the enemy. The Chechen fighters went into
the camp and captured a great amount of weapons.
According to Chechen scouting up to 120 Russians were deployed in
the camp. In the fighting 42 Russians were killed, while two motor
vehicles and one armoured vehicle were destroyed. The mujahideen did
not suffer any casualties.
Chechen Ambush near Gekhi
Near the village of Gekhi a mobile unit of the mujahideen under the
command of Amir Jannat mounted an ambush and attacked a group of
An Ural truck was blown up with a remote-controlled mine.
Afterwards the Russians were fired upon with infantry weapons. 4
Russians were killed. After 20 minutes of fighting reinforcement
troops of the occupants arrived. Having waited until these units had
arrived on the scene of action, the mujahideen detonated another two
mines and at the same time opened fire with grenade launchers. This
time five Russians were killed, while another military vehicle was
set on fire.
Russian “large-scale operation” in the Southwest of the ChRI is a
This communicated by Shirvani Basayev, the prefect of the Vedeno
According to him, there are no Russian large-scale operations at
all. Irregular shooting with all kinds of weaponry takes place, while
the Russian aviation is bombing the peaceful Chechen villages.
Russian armoured columns are moving about from one place to the
other, chaotically firing upon mountain slopes and woods.
Reports that 400 mujahideen are encircled by the Russians are
complete lies. Just to the contrary, it is the Russian formations in
the mountains that are cut off: they are able to get supplies and
ammunition merely by air transport, emphasizes Shirvani Basayev.
Shirvani Basayev says, the units of the Chechen Armed Forces
carrying out successful operations against the aggressors. The
Chechens are exercising the military initiative.
The casualties of the mujahideen in the last week proved minimal.
One fighter fell, while several others were slightly wounded. But in
the operations below Gekhi and around Chechen-Aul in one week of
fighting more than 180 Russians were killed.
Successful Operation of Chechen Special Services
Chechen special services carried out a successful operation against a
high-ranking representative of the Russian aggressors: Sverev, the
deputy of the general-criminal Koshman, was killed. Koshman himself
is wanted by the Chechen authorities for criminal activities and war
crimes against the Chechen state and against the Chechen people.
According to Kavkaz Center’s correspondent, special units of the
Armed Forces of the ChRI and other state organs are carrying out
measures to trace out and kill the leaders of the Russian criminal-
terrorist formations, of the occupational regime, and also of the
gangs of national traitors.
Kavkaz Center’s sources within the Chechen special services
refused to comment on the incidents in Volgograd, but did not rule
out that everywhere where the aggressors and occupiers are deployed
anything might happen.
________ _______ ______ _____ ____ ___ __ _
Large group of Chechen rebels surrounded - report
MOSCOW, June 1 — Russian military sources in Chechnya were quoted as
saying they had encircled a large group of rebels on Thursday as part of
what the army calls a concerted drive to destroy guerrilla units.
The report, which was denied by rebels and could not be independently
confirmed, came a day after Moscow suffered the latest setback in its
eight-month war against separatists in the North Caucasus when a mine
blast killed a senior Russian official in Russian-held Chechnya.
Interfax news agency quoted sources at the military command in
Mozdok, just outside Chechnya, as saying 600 rebels were encircled
during a battle involving powerful artillery and air strikes near the
southern village of Nozhai Yurt.
The same sources earlier said 400 rebels were surrounded, Interfax
The Chechen rebel website kavkaz.org quoted guerrillas in the region
as saying there was no large-scale operation by Russian troops.
''Information about the alleged entrapment of 400 mujahadeen is an
absolute lie,'' it said.
''There is sporadic gunfire from all sides and from all types of
weapons... The aggressors' armoured vehicles weave from side to side,
chaotically firing at mountain slopes and into forests.''
According to Interfax, Russian forces in Chechnya reported having
killed 25 Chechen fighters in the previous 24 hours. the forces said the
dead included 20 killed by an air strike near the villages of Alleroy
and Kurchaloy in southeastern Chechnya.
The attack on Wednesday killed Russia's second highest civilian
official in Chechnya, Sergei Zverev, and the Moscow-appointed deputy
mayor of the capital Grozny, Nusreda Khabuseyeva.
President Vladimir Putin condemned the attack and vowed to answer
the Chechen ''bandits'' in kind.
Rebels take initiative from Russians in fight for Chechnya
VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia, May 31 — Rebels killed the Russian government's
second-highest official in Chechnya, a spokesman said Wednesday — the
latest in a series of attacks that has the military on the defensive
despite its claims that the rebels have been defeated.
Sergei Zveryev was riding in a car in the capital, Grozny, when a
remote-control bomb ripped through his vehicle Tuesday evening, said
Musa Dzhamalkhanov, a spokesman for Russia's temporary administration in
Grozny Mayor Supyan Makhchayev, who was with Zveryev, was injured in
the bombing. Makhchayev's assistant was killed.
The Chechen rebels' ability to pull off such an attack in the
Russian-controlled capital was yet another sign of their stepped-up
resistance. Eight months after Moscow sent its forces into the North
Caucasus republic to quell rebel activity, it is the rebels who appear
to have the initiative, able to launch attacks almost anywhere, analysts
The events of the last days have made that reality even more stark.
Over the weekend, three Russian police officers were killed in an ambush
in Grozny. That was followed by an attack on Russian troops that left
five dead in southern Chechnya on Monday.
''These new events are an answer to Russian claims that the conflict
is coming to an end,'' said Alexei Malashenko, an expert on the Caucasus
at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace in Moscow. ''I have a feeling the
Russians weren't expecting this.''**
The Chechen attacks mark a low point for Moscow in the war that
started late last summer.
Scores of Russian soldiers and police officers have been killed in
ambushes in recent months. Each time, the Chechens have surrounded
Russian units, often inflicted serious losses and then escaped. And in
recent weeks, the rebels appear to have stepped up their campaign by
trying to assassinate Chechens who work for the Russian-backed
Analysts said the string of high-profile attacks could mark the start
of more active rebel campaigning against the Russians now that summer
has arrived, warming the region and masking many areas in thick foliage.
On Monday, Russian commanders announced the start of another
offensive on rebel strongholds in the mountains. But there was no sign
that the Russian forces were making headway or curbing the rebels'
ability to strike back across the province.
''One has the idea that the federals, as before, don't have a
well-thought-out tactical plan that takes into account rebels turning to
methods of a partisan war,'' said the Segodnya newspaper, which has been
critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Russians also appear to be having problems building local support
in Chechnya. On Monday, the Kremlin's representative in Chechnya,
Nikolai Koshman, dismissed former Grozny Mayor Bislan Gantamirov, who
had been put in charge of a pro-Moscow Chechen militia.
Gantamirov was dismissed for neglecting his duties, Koshman said.
Gantamirov had been reported to be under consideration to eventually
lead Chechnya, under strict control from the Kremlin.
Despite their tactical successes, the rebels probably are not strong
enough to oust Russian forces from Chechnya, as they did four years ago.
And with the Russians ruling out a political settlement, the conflict
appears to have settled into stalemate.
''I don't see any political will among the Russians to end this
war,'' said Viktor Kremenyuk, deputy director of the Center for USA and
''As long as the rebels keep getting supplies, this will go on
*It might become boring, but the Russians didn't come to Chechnya in
order "to quell rebel activity" - they were invading a sovereign country
and brought some Chechen rebels, like Gantamirov, with them in order to
use them as local Quislings. It doesn't help to continue this Newspeak,
calling the legal Chechen government bodies and their armed forces
"rebels" - it remains nonsense.
**This is >incredible< but might nevertheless be true. Everybody out
here who has followed the Chechen events for some years couldn't have
any doubts about the developments which have come true now. What kind of
a state is Russia where such backyard thugs and bozos can become elected
tyrants? It also sheds some light on the Western support for the
intellectual giants in the Kremlin. Especially if one presupposes that
our Western geopoliticians know exactly what they are doing. N.S.
Thursday June 1
Russia Targets Chechen Fighters
By YURI BAGROV, Associated Press Writer
NAZRAN, Russia (AP) - Russian warplanes and artillery targeted what the
military claimed were hundreds of Chechen fighters today during a fourth
day of bombardment aimed at driving rebels from their mountain
Russian officials in Chechnya claimed Aslan Maskhadov, the elected
president of Chechnya and commander of the Chechen forces that drove
Russian troops out of the republic in the 1994-96 war, had been wounded
in the most recent fighting.
Maskhadov was wounded overnight outside the village of Malye Shuani in
the Nozhai-Yurt region, where Russian forces have directed much of their
bombing and shelling, said a spokesman in the Russian-administered
northern Chechen town of Gudermes. The report could not be confirmed
The military said that up to 600 fighters had been surrounded in the
rugged region around Nozhai-Yurt in southeastern Chechnya. However, the
military has often exaggerated the damage it has done to militant
formations and their equipment, and the claim could not be verified.
The ground troops were holding back from close-quarters fighting with
the militants, instead trying to pinpoint rebel positions for air and
artillery strikes. It's a tactic Russia has followed throughout its
nine-month campaign to subdue the rebellious republic, relying on its
overwhelming advantage in firepower.
Russian troops [said they] launched a major operation Monday to clear
rebels from the mountainous Vedeno region and from the Nozhai-Yurt area
on the border with the neighboring Russian region of Dagestan.
Russia suffers stinging reverse as top official killed in Chechnya
GUDERMES, Russia, May 31 (AFP) -
Moscow suffered a stinging reverse in Chechnya on Wednesday as Russia's
second-ranking official in the breakaway republic was killed in an
attack blamed on rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov.
President Vladimir Putin vowed an "adequate response," insisting that
Russia would "wipe out terrorism" in Chechnya, where Moscow's troops
have been battling separatist fighters for nine months.
Sergei Zverev and an assistant to the pro-Moscow mayor of Grozny died
late Tuesday when the Russian official's car ran over a
remote-controlled landmine on the outskirts of Grozny and was
simultaneously raked with gunfire.
The top official had left the capital on his way to Urus-Martan, 25
kilometers (15 miles) southwest of the capital.
Grozny's pro-Moscow mayor, Supyan Mokhchayev, who was also in the car,
was injured in the attack.
"Either we wipe out terrorism and banditry there, or we tremble in the
face of terrorism and we will face this threat everywhere for a long
time to come," Putin said, cited by the Interfax news agency.*
It was the first time a high-ranking Russian official has been killed in
Chechnya since hostilities resumed there last October.
The Kremlin's top civilian representative in Chechnya, Nikolai Koshman,
who flew to the republic to lead the inquiry into his deputy's death,
accused Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov of being behind the attack.
"According to preliminary reports, Maskhadov was behind the terrorist
act that was committed in Grozny," Koshman said, cited by the ITAR-TASS
Putin's spokesman on Chechnya, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, for his part
suggested that the target may not have been Zverev but Mokhchayev.
Fears that the conflict would spread grew meanwhile after a blast in the
southern Russian city of Volgograd on Wednesday killed three Russian
soldiers and wounded 15 when a bomb exploded near a military base.
Local prosecutors in the city, 900 kilometers southwest of Moscow and
550 kilometers north of Chechnya, labelled it as a "terrorist" attack
and said Chechen guerrillas may well have been responsible, according to
The bomb was attached to a tree and detonated as a group of 89 soldiers
were leaving the base, security officials told ITAR-TASS.
A number of suspects had already been detained, the officials said, but
declined to release the names of those arrested.
Russian troops poured into Chechnya on October 1 in a self-declared bid
to wipe out "terrorists" and "bandits" who invaded southern Russia and
were blamed for apartment block blasts in Russia that killed 292 people
But Moscow estimates some 3,000 fighters are still active in southern
Chechnya, and government troops have so far failed to deliver a
knock-out blow to the rebels, who have killed hundreds of Russian
soldiers in a series of bold raids this year.
On Wednesday, Russian troops clashed with rebels in the remote
highlands, where a new operation to crush the dogged guerrilla
resistance entered its third day.
Moscow said it had cornered at least 400 rebels in the Nozhai-Yurt and
Vedeno districts in eastern and southeastern Chechnya.
More than 100 rebels have been killed so far in the three-day offensive,
while the Russian side has lost nine dead and over 30 injured, according
to the military.
But leading Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, quoted on the separatist
Internet website, www.kavkaz.org, denied any rebel casualties in recent
days and dismissed Russia's talk of a major offensive in the south as
*He could order the generals to retreat and then turn himself in - this
would reduce terrorism in Chechnya by 99%. N.S.
Chechen Rebels Claim To Have Killed Dozens Of Russian Soldiers
MOSCOW, Jun 1, 2000 -- (Agence France Presse) Chechen fighters have
killed dozens of Russian troops during two operations south of Grozny,
the separatists' spokesman Movladi Udugov told AFP by phone.
A convoy of 100 Russian soldiers was attacked by rebels on Wednesday 10
kilometers (six miles) from the Chechen capital Grozny, he said.
A total of 42 officers and soldiers were killed in the attack, according
to the rebels. There was no independent verification.
Four other Russian soldiers were killed earlier in the day when their
vehicle ran over a remotely-operated mine near Guekhi 25 kilometers (15
miles) southwest of Grozny.
The same fate befell another five soldiers who came to their aid, the
The rebels gave no indication that there had been any casualties among
There were no Russian reports of attacks south of Grozny on Wednesday.
Russia's second-ranking official in Chechnya was killed in a rebel
ambush on Tuesday in which Grozny's pro-Moscow mayor, travelling with
him, was wounded.
Russia's deputy representative Sergei Zverev was killed late Tuesday
when his car drove over a remote-controlled landmine, a Russian official
Ugudov made no comment on that incident.
Red Cross again working in Chechnya
GUDERMES. May 30 (Interfax) - The International Committee of the Red
Cross (ICRC) has resumed its activity in Chechnya giving out bread in a
number of populated areas. Members of the Russian society of the Red
Cross are also participating in the action.
At present, bread is given out to 3,500 needy residents of
Gudermes, Shali, Argun and Urus-Martan, ICRC's North Caucasus
representation office told Interfax. In early June, about 7,000
residents of Grozny will also receive free food from the Red Cross.
Wednesday May 31
US And EU Renew Call to Moscow to End Chechen War
LISBON (Reuters) - President Clinton and European Union leaders
Wednesday renewed a call to Russia to end the fighting in Chechnya,
where Moscow has launched a new offensive against rebels.
``We continue to urge the Russian government ... to bring the fighting
to an end, to allow effective access to humanitarian organizations and
to encourage political dialogue,'' they said in a statement during a
The new call coincided with news that a land mine had killed Russia's
second highest civilian official in the rebel region.
The Moscow-appointed deputy mayor of the capital Grozny was also killed
in the blast, and the mayor wounded. Sporadic fighting was also reported
in Chechnya's southern mountains.
The eight-month war in Chechnya, in which thousands have died, was
discussed at the summit meeting between Clinton, Portuguese Prime
Minister Antonio Guterres, whose country holds the rotating EU
presidency, and EU Commission president Romano Prodi.
ITAR-TASS IS AN OFFICIAL RUSSIAN NEWS SERVICE
Over 2,300 Troops Die in Ncaucasus during this Campaign.
MOSCOW, June 1 (Itar-Tass) - A total of 2,331 federal troops died and
6,803 were wounded in the North Caucasus during the anti-terrorist
operation between August 2, 1999 and June 1, 2000, first deputy chief of
the Russian General Staff Valery Manilov told reporters on Thursday.
According to the general's data, 2,051 federal troops were killed and 5,
816 wounded in Chechnya between October 1, 1999 and June 1, 2000.
Colonel-General Manilov said that the losses of the United Army Group in
Chechnya were as follows over the last week (May 26-June 1): 22 killed
and 75 wounded. The general noted that this number includes five
servicemen who died of wounds last week.
The deputy chief of the General Staff added that these data includes
information on losses only among servicemen of the Russian Defence
Ministry and officers of the Interior Ministry.
Chechnya: Prague Hearing Casts Spotlight On Rights Violations
By Jeremy Bransten
In a Renaissance palace set amid the quiet, manicured gardens of Prague
Castle, tales of war, killing and abominable brutality were told last
week. The subject: Chechnya. The occasion: a public hearing to examine
allegations of war crimes and human rights violations by Russian forces
in the war-torn republic. RFE/RL correspondent Jeremy Bransten reports
on the proceedings.
Prague, 31 May 2000 (RFE/RL) -- Far removed from the chaos of the
battlefield, a public hearing on Chechnya provided an opportunity to
examine Russia's conduct in Chechnya, based on eyewitness testimony and
The hearing last week (26 May) was organized by the Czech Republic's
People in Need foundation, which has been active in helping civilian
victims of the Chechen war. The group showed graphic video footage of
atrocities allegedly committed by Russian forces in Chechnya and
presented eyewitness testimony.
The conclusion, as expressed by Oleg Orlov -- who heads Russia's
respected Memorial human rights association -- is that the Russian
government is misleading the public by calling the Chechnya conflict a
well-targeted anti-terrorist campaign.
Orlov said the operation is a full-scale war that has already cost
thousands of innocent civilian lives. He said Russian military
commanders are conducting their campaign with total disregard for
Chechnya's civilian population. Worse, Orlov and other speakers said
reports that contract soldiers and special Russian police units have
terrorized and murdered Chechen civilians are well-documented and
corroborated in numerous instances.
"If this were an anti-terrorist operation, such an operation would have
one obligatory and distinguishing feature and that is, a careful
selection of targets. The aim of an anti-terrorist operation must be,
above all, the defense of the population and only as a second priority
the isolation and liquidation of the terrorists. What do we see in
reality? The exact opposite. From the very beginning and up to the
present time, the operation conducted by Russia's armed forces in
Chechnya is distinguished by one important characteristic: its lack of
Orlov gave examples of Russian military raids which have claimed scores
and sometimes hundreds of civilian lives. He said that Russian forces,
when pursuing even a single suspected Chechen fighter, are capable of
killing masses of civilians in the surrounding area. He described one
such incident, which occurred last October, when Russian forces were in
hot pursuit of rebel Chechen commander Shamil Basayev. The commander was
never caught, but countless civilians got battered in the crossfire.
"On 27 October, the Russian media reported that Shamil Basayev's house
was rocketed. They said the house was destroyed, that Shamil Basayev
himself survived and that some of his bodyguards were killed. This was
presented as a successful Russian military operation. But what they did
not tell us was that those rocket attacks and subsequent bombing raids
destroyed the entire surrounding neighborhood. No fewer than five
buildings with 12 apartments apiece were destroyed, one five-story
apartment building was wrecked, a whole block of one-floor apartment
buildings were shattered, a market and a taxi stand together with all
its cars, passengers and drivers were destroyed."
Such operations, Orlov said, happen in Chechnya on almost a daily basis.
The bodies of dead Chechen civilians are often tallied as "rebel"
casualties by the military, to raise the body count and make the war
appear a success.
Since the Kremlin has blocked off journalists' access to Chechnya, Orlov
and his colleagues rely on in-depth interviews with Chechen refugees
arriving in neighboring Ingushetia to piece together the side of the
story not being told by the Russian media in Chechnya. So far, field
workers from Memorial and Human Rights Watch -- a respected Western
human rights organization -- have collected detailed evidence of alleged
war crimes by Russian forces from more than 750 people. They have also
spoken to Russian soldiers who are shocked by the carnage they are
ordered to carry out in Chechnya.
Compelling evidence at the Prague hearings came from a Chechen civilian
who saw his three brothers massacred in the village of Komsomolskoye in
March, while Russian forces destroyed the settlement in their pursuit of
Chechen fighters. Again, the Chechen fighters were not caught in the
operation, but scores of Chechen civilians lost their lives.
The Russian military's indiscriminate shelling and bombing of civilian
areas throughout Chechnya contravenes Russia's own constitution as well
as international treaties governing the conduct of war. That is the
conclusion of many human rights specialists -- including UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson.
But the most disturbing aspect of Russia's intervention in Chechnya is
the numerous accounts of torture and killings allegedly conducted by
Russian forces in detention camps and civilian settlements. Orlov said
much of this dirty work is done by paid mercenaries, known in Russian as
"kontraktniki," as well as by special police units normally used to put
down riots in prisons.
Diederik Lohman, head of the Human Rights Watch office in Moscow,
screened a graphic video at the hearing, showing the aftermath of one
such rampage of looting and killing by "kontraktniki." The raid was
conducted on 5 February in the suburb of Grozny known as Noviye Aldi.
The video was shot by surviving villagers themselves, who detailed how
the mercenaries went from house to house, demanding that the villagers
give them whatever precious metals they had -- even gold teeth -- as
well as money, alcohol and other loot, in exchange for sparing their
But those left in Chechen towns and villages are the old and infirm --
the poor. Everyone who could, left at the start of the fighting. So when
the mercenaries descended on Noviye Aldi, villagers had little money to
bribe them. Over 80 of them -- including many old men and women -- paid
the ultimate price. The video showed piles of bodies, mutilated in
gruesome ways -- left as they were felled by the "kontraktniki." The
survivors told their tale:
Weeping woman: "My sons! They were guilty of nothing!"
Man with woman weeping in background: "And this all happened after we
went up to the Russian soldiers and told them to come to Aldi, that
there were no Chechen fighters here. And this is what they did when they
arrived -- you can see it all. It was on the 5th of February 2000. Drunk
soldiers came in the middle of the day and committed genocide."
The video could serve as a unique and detailed piece of evidence if war
crimes trials are ever held on Chechnya. Orlov wondered aloud how those
responsible for such atrocities could return to civilian life in other
parts of Russia.
"Terrible crimes are being committed by law enforcement officers --
namely, by special police units sent from the various regions of Russia
to Chechnya. It is terrible on many counts. And one can only imagine how
these people will uphold law and order when they return to their home
regions all over Russia, after having gorged on blood here, so to
Last week's Prague hearings directly challenged President Vladimir
Putin's assertion that no civilian lives are being deliberately
imperiled in Chechnya. Western politicians have repeatedly called on
Russian authorities to halt their deadly campaign in the republic and
investigate allegations of human rights violations.
Moscow has paid lip service to Western concerns by appointing its own
human rights commissioner for Chechnya, Vladimir Kalamanov. But so far,
Kalamanov has done little more than accuse Western politicians of bias.
On the few occasions when Moscow has allowed foreign delegations from
the OSCE and Council of Europe to travel to the republic, the visits
have been carefully choreographed. When the UN's Mary Robinson
complained after her visit in April that she had not been given free
access to the villages and detention camps she wanted to inspect,
Kalamanov publicly accused her of lying.
Czech President Vaclav Havel -- for many years known as the conscience
of his nation thanks to his dissident writings and years spent in prison
as a defender of human rights -- closed the day's proceedings by
remarking that the West should seek to integrate Russia into the family
of stable, democratic nations.
Havel said Western leaders do Russia a great disservice if they set
special, lower standards for Russia.
"Russia faces a formidable task to define itself in some way, to find
its identity, to find its relationship to other nationalities, and to be
able to ask them whether they want to live together in one empire. This
is a formidable task, and I think we will help Russia to complete it
only if we tell Russia the truth about what we think of its actions."
Havel said Russia must be treated as an equal -- but an equal in every
sense of the word. When Moscow grossly violates human rights standards,
it must be held accountable. And in Chechnya, Havel said, there is
little doubt the Russian leadership must account for a lot.
© 1995-2000 Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Inc., All Rights
Pressing Issues - 1.6.00
Gantamirov was Sacked for Truancies
Nikolay Koshman is Winning the Struggle for Power in Chechny
Nikolay Koshman, the acting Government representative in Chechnya,
sacked his deputy, Beslan Gantamirov, for "frequent absence from work
and non-fulfillment of his duties". Sacking of the former mayor of
Grozny was not a surprise. Gantamirov really appeared at his job place
very rarely because he did not have anything to do there as all
decisions were made by Koshman himself. The so-called "Gantamirov's
militia" was put out of business as well. Koshman assessed it as
"unmanageable" and dismissed 295 out of 353 men.
Gantamirov, who was the hero of "Grozny storm" felt uneasy about his own
idleness. He was sure that the gratitude of the Kremlin should go beyond
writing off several years in jail, where he was put for misappropriation
of state money. Gantamirov wanted to get access to distribution of funds
that were allocated for restoration of Chechnya. He also counted that he
could become the head of the state. However, Koshman counted on the same
things and thus, conflicts between them were inevitable.
The situation of Koshman is also undetermined. He remains the acting
representative and it is not obvious that he is to be re-appointed.
Apart from Koshman's office, the so-called provisional administration of
Chechnya, headed by Hasan Muslatov, claims to have access to
distribution of financial flows to the republic. But eventually, it may
be neither Koshman, nor Gantamirov, who will be responsible for Chechnya
– Segodnya wrote.
Wednesday, May 31, Segodnya, p.1
WEDNESDAY, MAY 31, 2000
REFUGEES CONFRONT NIGHTMARES
Chechen children seek solace through art
Fred Weir (fweir@...)
Special to The Christian Science Monitor
A pencil-and-crayon drawing tells the story in startling detail: A
fighter plane with a bright red star on its fuselage spews rockets
toward a multistoried apartment that's already aflame. On the ground
below, a group of terrified figures are fleeing.
"That's my house," says the artist, 11-year-old Milana Sulipa, a slight
Chechen girl whose dark hair is sternly gathered into a bun. Her mood
seems to be wound just as tightly.
"That's my mother and me," she adds, pointing to a large and a small
figure at the bottom of the picture.
Milana, a refugee from the devastated Chechen capital, Grozny, is one of
hundreds of children who each day visit this makeshift schoolroom at the
edge of the Sputnik refugee camp in eastern Ingushetia. Sitting at small
folding tables, with sunlight streaming through the tent's canvas
windows, a volunteer encourages the kids to use painting as a means to
reflect on their nightmarish experiences. The sessions are called art
"I couldn't draw a helicopter gunship to save my life, but most of these
children can represent one perfectly, down to the smallest detail," says
psychologist Tamara Khaduyeva. Herself a refugee from Grozny, she works
for a private British charity, the Center for Peacemaking and Community
Development. "They put their experiences onto paper, over and over
Over 200,000 Chechens have fled into neighboring Ingushetia since Russia
launched a military operation last October to crush Chechnya's
decade-old independence drive. About 80 percent of the refugees are
women and children, and a majority of them are from Grozny.
All of the volunteers working with refugees are either Chechen or
Ingush, because the entire region is still deemed unsafe for foreign
nationals. After the 1994-96 Chechen war, armed gangs ran rampant in
Ingushetia, and kidnapped hundreds of people, including many foreign aid
workers. Though there have been no kidnappings for several months, UN
monitors, journalists and international humanitarian workers only make
brief visits to the camps, always accompanied by heavily-armed guards.
The Sputnik camp, just a mile from the Chechen border, is an overcrowded
tent city of about 10,000 sitting on a bleak plain, virtually in the
shadow of the high, snow-capped Caucasus Mountains. Administrators here
say the threat of cold and hunger that stalked the camp last winter has
receded with the coming of spring and greater quantities of
"Still, there is nothing resembling normal conditions here, especially
for the children," says Murat Sarapalov, an Ingush volunteer for the
United Nations. "There is a crushing need to address not only the
physical survival of these kids, but also the spiritual pain and
hopelessness they are feeling."
A handful of volunteers, funded by donations from Western governments
and charity groups, are trying to come to grips with the post-traumatic
stress disorders they say afflict most Chechen children.
"All that violence has influenced their minds," says Fatima
Abdoulkhadjeyeva, a refugee from Grozny who works with the Agency for
Rehabilitation and Development, a Dutch-funded charity. "Gradually they
start to hate the Russians. A new generation of rebel fighters is
growing up here in the camps."
Mahmoud Gidayev, a 10-year old with close-cropped brown hair,
illustrates that point. His drawing also shows a helicopter pounding an
apartment building with rockets and bombs. But his explanation is
different. "That's a Chechen helicopter," he says grimly. "That's a
The Kremlin's forces, which have occupied most of the separatist
republic of Chechnya after eight months of bitter fighting, insist they
have conducted the war with due regard for the lives of civilians.
But human rights experts and other observers say the Russian Army
advanced through Chechnya behind a screen of heavy weapons fire that
devastated everything in its path.
The volunteers working with Chechen kids in the Sputnik camp say the
frightening images they keep putting down on paper are drawn from life.
"If someone wants to say that these children are making things up, then
let them," says Ms. Khaduyeva. "I don't want to argue about that. My
purpose here is to help the kids face their experiences and hopefully to
heal their minds."
She shows a series of drawings done by nine-year-old Zareta. In the
early drawings the girl's home, a village farmhouse, is a charred wreck
and several family members are lying dead outside. But by the 10th
version the girl has drawn an underground bomb shelter, and her family
is depicted as safely hiding inside.
"That's a huge victory," says Khaduyeva. "However horrible the things
she has gone through, she has worked them out. She has allowed herself
Grozny, once a city of 250,000, is today a near-deserted ruin. Most of
its population is dispersed among refugee camps, a situation experts say
will probably take a long time to redeem, if ever. Moscow has shown no
sign of being ready, or willing, to commit the resources to rebuild the
city. Officials have even mused about moving Chechnya's capital to
Gudermes, the republic's second largest town, which is still largely
"We have to consider the scenario in which most of these refugees remain
homeless and displaced for many years," says Fritz Lherisson, a UNICEF
representative. "All wars are in some sense against children, but this
war has shown no mercy to them. There is a desperate need to reach them
in those camps, to provide them not only with material assistance but
also with a chance to believe in the future."
Dear list members,
qoqaz.xyz now provides a well-made "Glossary of Russian Weapons and
Troops" and troops:
It is large because of its many jpg's without thumbs and (as far as I
see it) there are some mistakes concerning the significance of the
single Russian troops deployed in Chechnya - but indeed it is a very
________ _______ ______ _____ ____ ___ __ _
In the area of the settlement Gekhi, a mobile Chechen unit attacked
6/1/00 Using a radio-controlled mine, an “Ural” truck was destroyed.
Thereafter, the enemy was shot at from the ambush and in the course of
the battle 4 federal soldiers were killed. The assistance unit that
rushed to the rescue of federal troops, exploded on two mines and as a
result 5 federal soldiers were killed and one armored vehicle burned.
Special Forces unit of the Field commander Khattab, attacked Russian
base between the settlements St
6/1/00 Two tents, in which there were dozens of Russian soldiers, were
fully destroyed. The battle lasted for one hour. Chechen units fought
their way in to the territory of the base and collected large quantities
of trophy weapons. Chechen reconnaissance informed that the base was
manned by 120 federal troops. Latest reports indicate that a few dozens
of Russian soldiers were killed, two trucks and one armored vehicle
burned in the attack. There were no casualties on Chechen side.
The ChRI succeeds to the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949
6/1/00 The MFA of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria acknowledged today
that the ChRI has succeeded to the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and
their Two Additional Protocols. The MFA informs that The instrument of
the succession was deposited with the Swiss Federal Council yesterday.
CHECHEN REPUBLIC OF ICHKERIA
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
10-384 6/1/00 07 May 2000
To the President and Distinguished Members of the Swiss Federal Council
The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria present our compliments to the Swiss
Federal Council. We have the honor to notify you that the Chechen
Republic of Ichkeria has succeeded to the former Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics with respect to the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949
and their two Additional Protocols of 1977. This succession took effect
as of 1 November 1991, the date of our independence and upon which the
Chechen Republic assumed responsibility for conducting the international
relations of Chechnya after the dissolution of the former Soviet Union.
We have also the honor to convey to the Swiss Federal Council the
longstanding Will of the People and State of the Chechen Republic of
Ichkeria to be bound by the said Conventions and Protocols, and to
affirm the full application and strict observance of their provisions in
all circumstances, and without any reservations or qualifications. This
solemn step has been taken because of our firm belief in the lofty
humanitarian principles and objectives for which these Conventions and
Protocols have been laid down.
The Russian Federation has already recognized the Chechen Republic of
Ichkeria as a de facto independent nation state. This was done by means
of the Treaty on Peace and International Relations concluded between the
Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and the Russian Federation that was signed
by President Boris Yeltsin and myself on 12 May 1997. In this regard,
attached you will find a scholarly article written by Francis A. Boyle,
Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois College of
Law in Champaign, Illinois U.S.A. that was published in Volume 18, Issue
No. 1 of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (1998) explaining why
this 12 May 1997 Treaty constituted de facto recognition of the Chechen
Republic of Ichkeria by the Russian Federation under international law
and practice. We have appointed Professor Boyle to serve as our Attorney
of Record with Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Powers in order to
conduct our legal affairs.
Furthermore, this is to notify you that the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
has succeeded the former Soviet Union with respect to its Declaration
under Article 90 of Protocol I, effective from our date of independence
on 1 November 1991 when we assumed responsibility for the conduct of the
international relations of Chechnya after the dissolution of the former
Soviet Union. We hereby reaffirm that as provided for under Article
90(2) of Protocol I, the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria recognizes ipso
facto and without special agreement, as regards any other High
Contracting Party accepting the same obligation, the competence of The
International Fact-Finding Commission to enquire into allegations made
by any such other Party. The Russian Federation has also reaffirmed the
prior Declaration made by the former Soviet Union under Article 90 of
Consequently, in light of the manifest grave breaches and serious
violations of the Four Geneva Conventions and Protocol I committed by
the Russian Federation in the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, we call upon
The Commission to exercise its duties under Article 90(2)(c)(i) and (ii)
of Protocol I with respect to the international armed conflict between
the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and the Russian Federation as well as
the military occupation of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria by the
Russian Federation. In particular, we call upon The Commission to
enquire into those facts giving rise to those grave breaches and serious
violations of the Four Geneva Conventions and Protocol I by the Russian
Federation, and to facilitate, through its good offices, the restoration
of an attitude of respect for the Four Geneva Conventions and Protocol I
by the Russian Federation in its relations with the Chechen Republic of
We most kindly request you to notify immediately all the High
Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions and Protocols, as well as
the Secretariat of the United Nations Organization, of our succession to
the Geneva Conventions and Protocols as required by your obligation as
their depositary. In this regard , we call to your attention the
identical requirements of article 62 of the First Geneva Convention,
article 61 of the Second Geneva Convention, article 141 of the Third
Geneva Convention, and article 157 of the Fourth Geneva Convention,
mandating that "immediate effect" be given to this Instrument:
The situations provided for in Articles 2 and 3 shall give immediate
effect to ratifications deposited and accessions notified by the Parties
to the conflict before or after the beginning of hostilities or
occupation. The Swiss Federal Council shall communicate by the quickest
method any ratifications or accessions received from Parties to the
Please accept, Excellencies, the assurance of our highest consideration.
Subject: INDEPENDENT CHECHNYA:TREATY OF PEACE WITH RUSSIA OF 12 MAY 1997
This Treaty constitutes a de facto (though not yet de jure) recognition
of the Chechen Republic Ichkeria (CRI) by the Russian Federation under
international law and practice. Therefore, the Government of CRI should
be able to use this Treaty in order to obtain recognition as an
independent nation state by other states, whether on a de facto or a de
jure basis. Since Russia has already recognized CRI as a de facto
independent nation state, then other states should be willing to do the
same, if not more. My reasons for this conclusion are as follows.
The most important element of the Treaty is its title: "Treaty on Peace
and the Principles of Interrelations Between the Russian Federation and
the Chechen Republic Ichkeria." Under basic principles of international
law, a "treaty" is concluded between two independent nation states. In
other words, the CRI is being treated by the Russian Federation as if it
were an independent nation state under international law and practice.
By comparison, the words "compact" or "accord" are used for an agreement
concluded between a federal state such as the Russian Federation and one
of its component units. Quite obviously, the use of the word "treaty"
instead of "compact" indicates that Russia is treating the CRI as an
independent nation state instead of a component unit of the Russian
Likewise, normally there is no such thing as a "treaty on peace" between
a federal state such as the Russian Federation and one of its component
units. Therefore, once again, my conclusion is that Russia is treating
the CRI as if it were a de facto independent nation state instead of a
component unit of the Russian Federation.
Likewise, the use of the language "Treaty on...the principles of
interrelations" indicates that Russia is treating the CRI as an
independent nation state instead of a component unit of the Russian
Federation. Normally, "the principles of interrelations" between a
federal state such as the Russian Federation and a component unit are
determined by the Constitution of the federal state. This document says
nothing at all about the Constitution of the Russian Federation.
Therefore, my conclusion once again is that the Russian Federation is
treating the CRI as if it were a de facto independent nation state.
Certainly the most important element of the title to the Treaty is the
use of the term "Chechen Republic Ichkeria." That is the precise name
which the Chechen People and the Chechen Government have determined to
give to their independent nation state. In other words, once again, the
Russian Federation has provided the Chechens with de facto (though not
yet de jure) recognition as an independent nation state on their own
Furthermore, this "treaty" is concluded between "the Russian Federation
and the Chechen Republic Ichkeria." It is already well recognized that
the Russian Federation is an independent nation state under
international law and practice. Russia can only conclude a "treaty" with
another independent nation state under international law and practice.
Conversely, an independent nation state such as the Russian Federation
would not conclude a "treaty" with a component unit of that federal
state. Therefore, once again, my conclusion is that by means of this
Treaty the Russian Federation has accorded the CRI recognition as a de
facto (though not yet de jure) independent nation state under
international law and practice.
Article 1 of the Treaty basically parallels the requirement of Article
2, paragraph 4 of the United Nations Charter that member states "shall
refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of
force...." Likewise, U.N. Charter Article 2, paragraph 3, requires
member states to "settle their international disputes by peaceful
means...." So by means of this Treaty the Russian Federation has
formally recognized its obligation to treat the CRI in accordance with
these two most basic requirements of the United Nations Charter. Once
again, this is normally a commitment given by one independent nation
state to another independent nation state, not a commitment given by a
federal government to one of its supposed component units.
The second Article of the Agreement is extremely important: "To build
our relations corresponding to the generally accepted principles and
norms of international law..." Yeltsin has publicly proclaimed that one
of these principles of international law is maintaining the territorial
integrity of states, presumably the Russian Federation. But my guess is
that he made this statement in order to deflect public criticism of this
Treaty for the time being. In my professional opinion, the only way that
Article 2 of this Treaty can be properly read in light of everything
that was said beforehand in its text is that the Russian Federation is
treating the CRI as if it were a de facto (though not yet de jure)
independent nation state under international law and practice, with an
international legal personality of its own. Only independent nation
states are subject to "the generally accepted principles and norms of
international law." Once again, treaties are concluded between
independent nation states, not between a federal state and one of its
supposed component units.
Article 3 of the Treaty says that this "treaty is the basis for the
conclusion of further treaties and accords over an entire complex of
interrelations." In other words, this Treaty contemplates the conclusion
of additional treaties in the future. But notice the express use of the
word "treaties" to characterize the nature of the agreements in the
future. Once again, treaties are concluded between independent nation
states, not between a federal state and one of its component units.
Hence, my conclusion is that by means of this Treaty the Russian
Federation is treating CRI as if it were a de facto independent nation
state under international law and practice.
Articles 4 and 5
Articles 4 and 5 of the Treaty follow the normal procedures for the
conclusion of a treaty between two independent nation states, as opposed
to a compact or an accord between a federal state and one of its
This Treaty is signed and brought into force immediately by the two
presidents acting in their capacities as heads of state. The presidents
only act in the names of their respective states. This Treaty binds the
two states, including their respective presidents.
For all of the reasons indicated above, it is my conclusion that by
means of entering into this Treaty, the Russian Federation has granted
de facto recognition to the Chechen Republic Ichkeria as an independent
nation state under international law and practice. Therefore, it is my
recommendation that the Chechen Government use this Treaty for the
purpose of obtaining international recognition of the Chechen Republic
Ichkeria as an independent nation state, whether on a de facto basis or
a de jure basis, by other states around the world and by international
organizations. Since the Russian Federation has treated the Chechen
Republic Ichkeria as a de facto independent state under international
law and practice, then there is no good reason why other states and
international organizations should not do the same thing, if not more.
Francis A. Boyle
Professor of International Law
University of Illinois College of Law
American Muslim Assistance Letter to Clinton
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From: "Bella Shidiskas" <shidiskas@...>
From American Muslim Assistance's home-page
for immediate release
American Muslim Assistance Letter to Clinton Urges President to
pressure Russia on HR abuses
June 1, 2000
Washington DC - American Muslim
Assistance signed a letter today, urging President Clinton to bring up
with Russian President Putin the issues of human rights violations by
Russia in Chechnya. Citing allegations of indiscriminate bombing of
civilian areas, use of torture on detainees and other gross abuses,
American Muslim Assistance joined the coalition for International
Justice in signing this letter, prior to President Clinton's visit
with Mr. Putin next week. The letter reads:
We the under-signed
organizations write to urge you to make the issue of human rights and
accountability for violations of international humanitarian law in
Chechnya a priority during your upcoming meeting with Russian
President Putin. We are dismayed that the United States has allowed
the Russian government to pay virtually no price for having inflicted
massive crimes against unarmed Chechens, including summary execution
of civilians, rape, arbitrary detention and torture of detainees,
deliberate attacks on doctors, clinics, and hospitals, and
indiscriminate bombardment of densely populated civilian areas.
The U.N. Human Rights
Commission meeting in Geneva was an opportunity to have pressed the
Government of Russia to end its consistent practice of gross abuses of
human rights against civilians by establishing a formal international
commission of inquiry to gather documentation with which those
responsible might have been held to account.
community, led by the U.S., instead deferred to the Russia's
government's insistence that it investigate itself. To date, the
Government of Russia has made no meaningful effort to carry out a
credible investigation. Your meeting with President Putin will be an
important time to warn him that failure to carry out a thorough and
impartial investigation, in cooperation with U.N. human rights bodies,
will result in the United States strongly supporting the creation of a
formal UN-established commission of inquiry.
We are particularly
concerned about the plight of those persons being held in so-called
filtration camps. Eyewitness testimonies indicate that torture and ill
treatment is routine and rampant. The failure to date of the Russian
authorities to permit regular visits to the camps by human rights and
humanitarian organizations is an outrage, and permits the continued
torture of prisoners there.
U.S.-Russia meeting is an opportunity for you to address the large
disparity between your administration's response to vast abuses of
human rights committed by such international pariahs as Slobodan
Milosevic, and comparable abuses in Chechnya committed by an American
ally. This disparity is deeply corrosive to American moral and
political stature, and a disservice to Chechen victims. We
respectfully urge you, at a minimum, to indicate that the United
States will promote a formal international investigation of war crimes
in Chechnya if Russia does not immediately permit access to all
detention sites for representatives of the International Committee of
the Red Cross and commence a credible and independent investigation of
its forces' conduct itself.
and other members of
Coalition for International Justice
RFE/RL CAUCASUS REPORT
Vol. 3, No. 22, 1 June 2000
EXIT GANTEMIROV? On 30 May, Russian government
representative in Chechnya Nikolai Koshman fired his
controversial Chechen deputy, Beslan Gantemirov, "for
failing to discharge his service duties, breaches of
discipline and systematic absenteeism" both on his own
part and on the part of the 2,500 pro-Moscow Chechen
militia he commanded. But Gantemirov made clear that he
does not consider Koshman's decision legitimate: he
argues that only Russian President Vladimir Putin, who
appointed him to that post, has the right to dismiss
Gantemirov's dismissal is surprising since only six
weeks ago he was being touted as a possible future
Chechen leader. On 21 April, Russian Army Chief of
General Staff Colonel General Anatolii Kvashnin
personally promoted him to the rank of army lieutenant-
colonel, one day after acting Russian presidential aide
Sergei Yastrzhembskii had predicted that "Gantemirov
will play a significant role in the political process in
What went wrong? One possible explanation is that
Gantemirov was too vocal in his criticism of the Russian
military's tactics in Chechnya: in mid-April he told a
Russian national TV station that the military campaign
was three-four months behind schedule. He has also made
derogatory comments about fellow members of the Russian
representation in Chechnya, accusing its members (in an
interview published in "Vremya-MN" on 4 May) of being
"mired in corruption" and of forging ties with "Chechen
and Moscow oligarchs."
Alternatively, someone within the Russian
leadership may have considered Gantemirov unsavory
and/or not totally trustworthy. There are indeed grounds
for doing so: he transferred his allegiance during the
first Chechen war from President Djokhar Dudaev to the
pro-Moscow puppet leadership, was named mayor of Grozny,
and then in the spring of 1996 was arrested on charges
of embezzling millions of rubles allocated for
reconstruction of the ravaged capital.
But Gantemirov consistently told journalists who
interviewed him in pretrial detention that he had been
framed to protect others, and in the fall of 1999 he was
pardoned by then Russian President Boris Yeltsin --
possibly at the behest of his protector Boris
Berezovskii -- and returned to Chechnya (see "RFE/RL
Caucasus Report," Vol. 1, No. 43, 22 December 1998 and
"RFE/RL Newsline," 8 November 1999).
Or Moscow may simply have planned all along to use
Gantemirov and his followers as long as seemed expedient
and then simply discard them. The issue that served to
alienate Gantemirov from the Russian government was the
latter's shabby and discriminatory treatment of his
fighters in comparison with regular Interior Ministry
personnel. (Gantemirov's men, for example, were paid
only 450 rubles per month, while federal personnel
received a daily wage of 950 rubles.) In mid-May, the
Russian authorities in Chechnya decided to disband
Gantemirov's militia, and at the same time to set about
recruiting OMON forces from among the Chechen
population. That move, if implemented, would have
deprived Gantemirov of a power-base at a time when
hostilities in Chechnya were localized in the
southernmost districts, and when his political options
had already been limited by the draft Russian
legislation on direct rule in Chechnya, which does not
provide for the post of a republican president.
Despite this latest move, Gantemirov is unlikely
simply to vanish from the Chechen political scene.
Interfax quoted him on 31 May as saying he has no
intention of disbanding his personal militia detachment,
which numbers some 760 men. What is more, in an
interview published in "Kommersant-Daily" on 12 May he
pledged his overt opposition to "those upstarts and
political and economic opportunists" currently seeking
to carve out a niche for themselves in Chechnya. (Liz
Copyright (c) 2000. RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
Geez, why can't people get the facts right?!
From the above-cited report:
<<Alternatively, someone within the Russian
>leadership may have considered Gantemirov unsavory
>and/or not totally trustworthy. There are indeed grounds
>for doing so: he transferred his allegiance during the
>first Chechen war from President Djokhar Dudaev to the
>pro-Moscow puppet leadership, was named mayor of Grozny,
>and then in the spring of 1996 was arrested on charges
>of embezzling millions of rubles allocated for
>reconstruction of the ravaged capital.>>
Gantemirov did not "transfer his allegiance during the first Chechen war."
Gantemirov was one of Djokhar Dudayev's biggest financial backers, and the
head of the National Guard. After becoming Grozny mayor, he fell out with
Dudayev (for whatever reason), sided with the Chechen Parliament in the
spring of 1993 when it protested Dudayev's plan to rewrite the Constitution,
strengthening the Presidency; gave the Parliament a home in the Grozny town
hall when Dudayev dismissed it; and, finally, swore vengeance after a bunch
of his policemen were killed (including two relatives of his) when Basayev &
his tanks seized the police headquarters, which was adjacent to the
parliament. In short, he had split with Dudayev long before the war began.
And, of course, he was the "commander: of the anti-Dudayev opposition force,
quartered in Urus-Martan.
Gantemirov may be all sorts of things. One thing he is not, however, is a
weasel turncoat type.
>EXIT GANTEMIROV? On 30 May, Russian government
>representative in Chechnya Nikolai Koshman fired his
>controversial Chechen deputy, Beslan Gantemirov, "for
>failing to discharge his service duties, breaches of
>discipline and systematic absenteeism" both on his own
>part and on the part of the 2,500 pro-Moscow Chechen
>militia he commanded. But Gantemirov made clear that he
>does not consider Koshman's decision legitimate: he
>argues that only Russian President Vladimir Putin, who
>appointed him to that post, has the right to dismiss
> Gantemirov's dismissal is surprising since only six
>weeks ago he was being touted as a possible future
>Chechen leader. On 21 April, Russian Army Chief of
>General Staff Colonel General Anatolii Kvashnin
>personally promoted him to the rank of army lieutenant-
>colonel, one day after acting Russian presidential aide
>Sergei Yastrzhembskii had predicted that "Gantemirov
>will play a significant role in the political process in
> What went wrong? One possible explanation is that
>Gantemirov was too vocal in his criticism of the Russian
>military's tactics in Chechnya: in mid-April he told a
>Russian national TV station that the military campaign
>was three-four months behind schedule. He has also made
>derogatory comments about fellow members of the Russian
>representation in Chechnya, accusing its members (in an
>interview published in "Vremya-MN" on 4 May) of being
>"mired in corruption" and of forging ties with "Chechen
>and Moscow oligarchs."
> Alternatively, someone within the Russian
>leadership may have considered Gantemirov unsavory
>and/or not totally trustworthy. There are indeed grounds
>for doing so: he transferred his allegiance during the
>first Chechen war from President Djokhar Dudaev to the
>pro-Moscow puppet leadership, was named mayor of Grozny,
>and then in the spring of 1996 was arrested on charges
>of embezzling millions of rubles allocated for
>reconstruction of the ravaged capital.
> But Gantemirov consistently told journalists who
>interviewed him in pretrial detention that he had been
>framed to protect others, and in the fall of 1999 he was
>pardoned by then Russian President Boris Yeltsin --
>possibly at the behest of his protector Boris
>Berezovskii -- and returned to Chechnya (see "RFE/RL
>Caucasus Report," Vol. 1, No. 43, 22 December 1998 and
>"RFE/RL Newsline," 8 November 1999).
> Or Moscow may simply have planned all along to use
>Gantemirov and his followers as long as seemed expedient
>and then simply discard them. The issue that served to
>alienate Gantemirov from the Russian government was the
>latter's shabby and discriminatory treatment of his
>fighters in comparison with regular Interior Ministry
>personnel. (Gantemirov's men, for example, were paid
>only 450 rubles per month, while federal personnel
>received a daily wage of 950 rubles.) In mid-May, the
>Russian authorities in Chechnya decided to disband
>Gantemirov's militia, and at the same time to set about
>recruiting OMON forces from among the Chechen
>population. That move, if implemented, would have
>deprived Gantemirov of a power-base at a time when
>hostilities in Chechnya were localized in the
>southernmost districts, and when his political options
>had already been limited by the draft Russian
>legislation on direct rule in Chechnya, which does not
>provide for the post of a republican president.
> Despite this latest move, Gantemirov is unlikely
>simply to vanish from the Chechen political scene.
>Interfax quoted him on 31 May as saying he has no
>intention of disbanding his personal militia detachment,
>which numbers some 760 men. What is more, in an
>interview published in "Kommersant-Daily" on 12 May he
>pledged his overt opposition to "those upstarts and
>political and economic opportunists" currently seeking
>to carve out a niche for themselves in Chechnya. (Liz
>Copyright (c) 2000. RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
>Was the salesman clueless? Productopia has the answers.
Friday, June 2, 2000
Kavkaz Center reports:
Fighting in Dzhokhar
Units of the Chechen mujahideen continue to be active in Dzhokhar.
According to the staff of the central front, units of Chechen
fighters commanded by Arbi Barayev last night entered the industrial
district of the town and attacked groups of the aggressors. Fighting
occurred near the so-called ‘Stalin pond’.
The Chechens directly approached the Russians and attacked them
massively with grenade launchers and flamethrowers. Shooting upon the
enemy lasted for more than two hours. The mujahideen fired from three
sides, changing their positions without letup.
In this night combat 15 Russians were killed, while 5 vehicles and
2 BTRs were destroyed. Several mujahideen were wounded, but no one
Arbi Barayev reported to the staff of the central front via radio
that after the attack all fighters had returned to their deployment
places without losses. The wounded were taken care of; one heavily
wounded mujahid was brought to the mountains.
Vakha Arsanov Did Not Give an Interview to ‘Moskovskie Novosti’
The Chechen vice-president Vakha Arsanov yesterday evening told
Kavkaz Center’s correspondent that he was astonished to see that
Russian media reported him to have given an interview to the
newspaper ‘Moskovskie Novosti’. Mr. Arsanov officially repudiates
these reports. He emphasizes that they have been invented by the
No Russian Large-Scale Operation in the Southwest
The Russians continue to insist on the fact that they are carrying
out a certain large-scale operation in the southwestern districts of
the ChRI. But according to Kavkaz Center’s correspondent at the staff
of the central front, no large-scale operations of the Russians are
perceptible in this region.
During the last two weeks the situation in the Nozhay-Yurt and in
the Vedeno Districts did not change. The mujahideen are controlling
the situation and are continuing to attack the Russians. The Chechen
fighters are suffering minimal casualties.
As reported earlier, the only thing the Russians are doing in this
region is to attack Chechen villages haphazardly with artillery,
helicopters, and aviation. During the last week about 23 civilians
________ _______ ______ _____ ____ ___ __ _
CHECHEN REPUBLIC OF ICHKERIA
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
6/1/00 The MFA of the ChRI informs that Russian officials’ claims that
Aslan Maskhadov, the elected President of the ChRI, was wounded
overnight outside the village of Malye Shuani in the Nozhai-Yurt
district of Chechnya are not true.
President Aslan Maskhadov is well and fine and continues to lead the
legitimate struggle of the Chechen people against the Russian
aggression. The Russian reports, however, do show that the Russian
authorities are trying to murder the legitimately elected President of
the ChRI. This becomes even clearer if one recalls that the first
President of the ChRI, Djokhar Dudaev, was murdered by Russia during the
Therefore, the MFA of the ChRI urges the international community condemn
immediately the Russian attempts to murder Chechen political leaders.
Hundreds Of Chechen Rebels Said Surrounded
(K.I. - Kremlin's mythogenesis is visibly activated
before Clinton's visit )
MOSCOW, Jun 2, 2000 -- (Reuters) Russia said its troops had trapped up
to 600 rebels in the Chechen mountains on Thursday in part of what the
army says is a major drive to destroy guerrilla units in the breakaway
Rebel spokesman Movladi Udugov strongly denied any separatist
fighters were trapped in the area near Nozhai Yurt, a village in the
southeast of Chechnya close to the border with neighboring province of
"They don't have anybody trapped there. If anyone is trapped it is
the Russian troops who have been deprived of the ability to move
freely," he told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.
He also said rebel forces were responsible for a mine blast in the
Chechen capital Grozny late on Tuesday which killed Sergei Zverev,
Russia's second highest civilian official in Chechnya, and
Moscow-appointed deputy mayor Nusreda Khabuseyeva.
Other rebel leaders have said that Udugov does not always speak
officially on their behalf.
Udugov added that the rebels, waging guerrilla-style warfare against
the numerically superior Russian military, had launched a major
attack near the villages of Chechen-Aul and Stary-Atagi
located in strategic lowland territory near Grozny.
More than 40 Russian troops were killed in the operation, after nine
died in an earlier attack in nearby Gekhi, he said.
The Russians claimed victories of their own in an increasingly
familiar exchange of reports from the war-torn province in which each
side tends to exaggerate the other's losses while playing
down its own.
SERGEYEV SAYS OPERATIONS GOING WELL
State-controlled ORT television quoted Russian Defense Minister Igor
Sergeyev as saying army operations in Nozhai Yurt were going well and
had succeeded in trapping up to 600 rebel fighters.
He also said 50 had been killed in the last 24 hours.
Interfax news agency quoted Colonel-General Valery Manilov as saying
that troop losses during
the campaign against separatist fighters in Dagestan and later
Chechnya continued to mount,
rising by 22 over the last week to 2,231.
Moscow has long since said it controls lowland northern and central
Chechnya and is concentrating efforts on tracking down remaining rebel
strongholds in the mountainous south.
But a series of bloody ambushes on troop columns inside areas it says
it controls show the war is a long way from being over, defense
Russian officials have so far dismissed the idea of peace talks,
saying Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov cannot be trusted to
guarantee that any peace deal would be respected as he was not in
control of all the rebels.
Unconfirmed reports that Maskhadov had been wounded early on Thursday
were played down by Moscow. Chechnya spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky
told Interfax that he had "very serious doubts" about the accuracy of
He added that a bomb blast in the southern city of Volgograd on
Wednesday which claimed the lives of two Russian servicemen and
wounded several others was the work of the Chechen rebels.
Viktor Kazantsev, President Vladimir Putin's special representative
in the North Caucasus region, said on ORT the explosion was a worrying
sign that the conflict could spread.
Putin oversaw the start of the war, prompted by lawlessness in the
region and bomb blasts which killed nearly 300 Russians.
The rebels have denied any involvement in the bomb blasts, but have
threatened to continue ambushing Russian troops inside and outside
Chechnya. The same tactic helped force Russian troops out after a
previous Chechen war in 1994-96.
(C)2000 Copyright Reuters Limited.
Former Chechen Leader's Admin Chief Now Pro-Russian Says Report
MOSCOW, Jun 2, 2000 -- (Agence France Presse) The former head of
Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov's administration, Apti Batalov,
who was arrested April 14 by the Russians, left
prison Thursday and announced his intention to collaborate with
pro-Russian Chechens, the public ORT TV station reported.
"The inquiry did not prove my participation in illegal armed groups,
which was why I was given an amnesty and released," he told ORT as he
He was met on his release from Lefortovo prison in Moscow by Bislan
Gantamirov, head of a pro-Russian Chechen militia group and a former
mayor of Chechen capital Grozny.
Explaining his change of position Batalov said: "I learnt that
Maskhadov degraded me, treated me like an enemy of the people, and I
was condemned to death there." (*)
Batalov said he would return to Chechnya to participate in peace
((c) 2000 Agence France Presse)
(*) K.I. - if I remember right we had an official Chechen FM
statement here which contained nothing of the above (I could not
fin it by search here). Russians misslead Batalov and I hope he
will be their one day star.
In general. it is advisable to perform a search on this egroup
to find quite a number of materials in which Batalov has been
Chechen Fighter Takes Holiday in Moscow
(K.I. - so what ...)
MOSCOW, May 31, 2000 -- (Agence France Presse) A wanted Chechen
fighter who was shooting at Russian troops only eight weeks ago, is
now on holiday in Moscow, drinking coffee in
the heart of the Russian capital.
The athletic 20-year-old Khussian, who was under the command of the
Chechen warlord Khattab in the dissident republic's mountains, said:
"Khattab told us he had enough men and said we
go home to rest. Since I had caught a cold in the mountains, I
In late March, he had returned to his village in northern Chechnya -
then under Russian control - where he waited for a few weeks until
the marks of his Kalashnikov on his shoulder and hand had
The Russians identify fighters by such signs.
Then Khussian said goodbye to his mother and two sisters and left for
"Tomorrow, I shall leave for Kazakhstan, I still have some relatives
there," he said, casting nervous glances right and left.
Khussian, putting on an engaging smile, said he did not fear being
arrested, "because I love it here. Moscow has become so beautiful
The last time he was here was in 1991, when his family stopped over on
their way back to Chechnya from Kazakhstan. Like 500,000 other
Chechens, Khussian's ancestors were deported there by Stalin in 1944,
allegedly for collaborating with the Nazis. His father died there.
In December, 1994, Russian troops marched into Chechnya after it
declared independence. "I wanted to fight them, but my mother said
'No'. I was 14 and I was the only boy in the family".
Once Russia and Chechnya signed a peace agreement in August, 1996,
Khussian began studying in hopes of finding a job in Russia. "In
Chechnya, we were living in poverty, not to mention criminality."
But then the second war against Russian forces broke out. One night
last November. when the Russians entered their village, Khussian and
three friends left for Grozny to meet up with a cousin
who had already taken up arms.
"My cousin told me to leave, saying the war was meaningless, but I
stayed on. A few weeks later, he was killed during a battle,"
He was given military training for just a few days in a camp southeast
of Grozny. "Half of us were Arabs, Pakistanis or Afghans.
I spoke Russian to them, or used sign language."
In December, Khussian's unit, under Khattab's command and that of
Shamil Bassayev, left for the mountains where the young man took
part in his first fight.
"They were paratroops. There were 1,300 of us, 200 of them. We wiped
them out. At first I was scared to shoot, but I was never frightened
of being killed," Khussian said.
Later, on reconnaissance missions, Khussian often spotted Russian
positions. "They pretended not to see us. They are frightened of
He admitted that Chechen civilians were tired of the war. "They hate
Bassayev and Khattab, but they also despise (Chechen President Aslan)
Maskhadov. No one listens to him any more."
Khussian went on: "Chechen pride pushed me into the war. We cannot
kill all the Russians. All we have to do is to elect a good president
who will look after his people."
((c) 2000 Agence France Presse)
Chechen rebels attack Grozny post
NAZRAN, Russia, June 2 — Chechen guerrillas fired grenades on a Russian
military headquarters in Grozny, wounding two soldiers, officials said
IT WAS the latest of a series of hit-and-run attacks in
Russian-controlled territory that prove the Chechen fighters are far
from defeated, even though Russian troops occupy most of the rebellious
At least 15 grenades landed around the military commandant’s office,
which handles administrative business for Russian forces, Interior
Ministry officials said. The militants also strafed the building with
A deputy platoon commander and a conscript were wounded, they said.
Rebels also shelled police headquarters in the Urus-Martan and Vedeno
regions, both of which are in Russian hands.
STEPPED-UP REBEL ATTACKS
Rebel fighters have repeatedly attacked Russian positions and
vehicles in Grozny itself, even though the Russians took control of the
Chechen capital more than four months ago.
Russian forces kept up their bombardment of rebels in the mountains,
launching air strikes against rebel positions in the Argun gorge, a key
refuge for the militants.
Chechen rebels say launch strike on capital Grozny
MOSCOW, June 2 — Rebels fighting Russian forces in Chechnya said on
Friday they had launched an overnight attack on Grozny and the Russian
military command warned of a major new separatist offensive on the
The rebel Internet website Kavkaz.org said 15 Russian soldiers had
been killed in about two hours of fighting when a unit led by field
commander Arbi Barayev entered an ''industrial region'' of Grozny. It
said there were no rebel losses.
There was no independent confirmation of the reported deaths and each
side has tended to exaggerate the other's losses while playing down its
own during the eight-month campaign.
''The Chechen fighters steadily approached the enemy and carried out
mass strikes from grenade launchers and flame throwers,'' the website
Russian news agencies reported that a central command position in
Grozny had come under heavy grenade and automatic weapon fire overnight,
but it was not clear whether it was the same incident referred to by the
Interfax news agency quoted interior ministry sources in Gudermes, a
city east of Grozny, as saying two soldiers were injured in the battle.
In Mozdok, just outside Chechnya, military command sources told the
same agency the rebels had devised a plan dubbed ''Operation Grozny'' to
wrest control of the city, using a second attack on nearby Argun as a
They said over 500 well-armed fighters were still in Grozny, which is
officially under Russia's control. Defence analysts say many rebels
disguise themselves as civilians during the day and then attack Russian
positions at night.
GENERAL SAYS ''MILITARY PHASE'' OF CAMPAIGN OVER
Anatoly Kvashnin, Russia's chief of staff, said in Grozny the
''military phase'' of the campaign was over, because all big rebel
groups had been largely destroyed or dispersed.
U.S. President Bill Clinton said in Germany the Chechnya war was a
''tragedy'' which could prove ''self-defeating'' because of high
civilian casualties. He is expected to discuss the conflict with Putin
when they meet in Moscow at the weekend.
Around 4,000 appeals are made monthly by Chechen citizens complaining
of human rights abuses, Vladimir Kalamanov, Russia's human rights envoy
to Chechnya, told Ekho Moskvy radio.
He said international organisations such as the Council of Europe,
the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the
International Committee of the Red Cross had mandates to operate in the
The Red Cross would also be allowed into the notorious Chernokozovo
detention camp north of Grozny where Russian troops have been accused of
torturing Chechen civilians.
RFE/RL Newsline 1.6.2000
INGUSH PRESIDENT QUITS RUSSIAN ARMY
President Putin signed a decree on 31 May stripping Ruslan Aushev of his
rank of lieutenant-general, Interfax reported. "Izvestiya" the following
day interpreted that move as heralding a crackdown on Aushev, who has
repeatedly criticized Russian policy in Chechnya. But Aushev himself
told "Kommersant-Daily" that he had always planned to leave the army on
reaching the age of 45 and had submitted his resignation in October
RFE/RL Newsline 2.6.2000
RUSSIAN GENERAL WARNS INGUSH
Colonel General Anatolii Kvashnin, who is chief of Army General Staff,
warned on 1 June that Russia might intervene militarily in Ingushetia if
"terrorist activities" in that republic intensify, ITAR-TASS reported.
"The Chechnya of the past few years should serve as a graphic example to
the Ingush people of what happened to that republic's living standards
under bandit rule," he said. Kvashnin was inspecting a barracks under
construction in the Chechen district of Shatoi, south of Grozny, for
some 14,000 Russian troops to be stationed permanently in Chechnya.
Senior Russian commanders have blamed the Ingush leadership for the
ambush by Chechens of a Russian troop column in Ingushetia last month
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 15 May 2000). LF
© 2000 RFE/RL, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Another outrage. Kvashnin is openly threatening Ingushetia with a
treatement similar to the one given Chechnya. For how much longer can
the world continue to regard such anti-human activities and threats as
"internal issues"? These fascist generals must be stopped before they
start on their next murder spree. N.S.
RFE/RL Newsline 2.6.2000
GOVERNMENT TO TRIM SPENDING ON LAW ENFORCEMENT, BUT NOT ON CHECHNYA...
The military campaign in Chechnya cost 562.8 million rubles ($20
million) in the first quarter of 2000, the government information
department revealed on 1 June, while the Fund for the Financial Support
of Regions reportedly provided almost one-third of that amount or 159.3
million rubles (see also "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 April 2000). Finance
Minister Aleksei Kudrin told reporters on 1 June the government plans to
reduce spending on "power" ministries and agencies in 2001 and that such
spending will be reduced to 26.8 percent of the total budget from
29.2 percent this year. However, ITAR-TASS quoted Kudrin as saying
that defense expenditures, including spending on the operation in
Chechnya, will not be reduced. He added that spending on law enforcement
activities and security has been high and should be reduced. JAC
© 2000 RFE/RL, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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