The Judges of the International Court of Justice-the World Court of the United Nations System-met three times to consider my lawsuit for genocide against Russia by the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria as authorized by President Maskhadov-RIP.. Each time they informed me that I had not established to their satisfaction that CHRI was a "state" entitled to file a lawsuit in accordance with the Statute of the International Court of Justice. My papers are still there. Fab.
Francis A. Boyle
Professor of International Law
General Agent for the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
504 East Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, Illinois 61820
IN THE NAME OF GOD, THE COMPASSIONATE, THE MERCIFUL
APPLICATION BY THE CHECHEN REPUBLIC OF ICHKERIA
INSTITUTING PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
To Their Excellencies the President, the Vice President and the Distinguished Judges of the International Court of Justice, the undersigned being duly authorized:
I have the honor to refer to Article IX of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 9 December 1948 (hereinafter referred to as the Genocide Convention). Under its jurisdiction conferred upon the Court, and in accordance with Article 36(1) and Article 40(1) of the Statute of the Court as well as Article 38 of the Rules of Court, I hereby submit this Application by the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (hereinafter referred to as ChRI) instituting these proceedings against the Russian Federation (hereinafter sometimes referred to as Russia) for violating numerous provisions of the Genocide Convention against both the People and the State of ChRI in the following case. The fate of the People and the State of ChRI literally rests upon the success of this Application and its annexed Request for the Indication of Provisional Measures of Protection against the Russian Federation.
I. Statement of Facts
A MESSAGE FROM HIS EXCELLENCY ILYAS AKHMADOV, FOREIGN MINISTER OF THE CHECHEN REPUBLIC OF ICHKERIA:
Human rights organizations, independent observers, political dissidents, experts, and historians speak in one voice that what has been happening to the Chechens is a direct result of a deliberate Russian State policy aimed at total annihilation of the Chechen People. The Russian policies towards the Chechens have not changed since the beginning of the 18th century. Russia's brutality in the 19th Century decreased the Chechen population by 90%, leaving only 50,000 souls alive. In the 20th century, the Chechens were subjected to Russian genocidal policies at least three times. For history records that a half of the Chechen nation perished when it was deported en masse to Soviet Central Asia by Stalin. And now, at the beginning of the 21st century, the Chechens are in danger of being totally wiped out.
From the very outset of this war, Russia has intentionally destroyed the civil infrastructure of Chechnya, with the aim of depriving Chechen civilians the basic means for physical survival. Gas, electricity and water supplies were, and remain, cut off. In addition, historical monuments in Chechnya have been systematically attacked and pillaged, with the purpose of destroying the Chechen nation's cultural heritage. In other words, the Russians had a very clear idea of what they were targeting: the target was not the political leadership of Chechnya, nor our military forces, not even the criminal elements in Chechnya, but the Chechen nation and its collective psyche as a whole.
Chechen civilians are denied the right to leave not only Russia but also even Chechnya itself. Faced with growing international pressure, Russian authorities have only allowed a small number of Chechen civilians to flee to Ingushetia, where they are kept in unspeakable conditions. The Russian Government continues to prevent international and national humanitarian aid organizations from helping those refugees. There is no Albania for these refugees and no aid organizations. The Russian aim is absolutely clear: to inflict on the refugees conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction and prevent births. The Russian State is inflicting all of this cruel suffering upon these innocent people because of their ethnicity.
Chechens have been victimized not only inside and around Chechnya, but also on the whole territory of the Russian Federation. In Moscow alone, an estimated 20,000 of the Chechens have been arbitrarily detained, beaten, denied access to lawyers and deprived of their possessions. The same intimidation and racism is a daily reality for those Chechens residing throughout Russia. Most of these Chechens are people who have lived in historically Russian regions for several years. Again, they have been subjected to such unlawful policies simply because they are ethnic Chechens.
However, this pales into insignificance when compared to what has been going on inside Chechnya itself. Grozny is a mirror of Russian brutality. No city has suffered such a devastating onslaught from aerial and long-range artillery bombardment since the end of World War II. SCUD type missiles and air-fuel vacuum bombs, prohibited by international conventions for use against populated areas, were used in the attack. This was going on while an estimated 40,000 Chechen civilians were still inside of Grozny. Grozny, a city of a half a million people before the 1994-96 war, has now been reduced to rubble. If after this anyone has doubts about Russian intentions towards the citizens of Chechnya, they must be deaf and blind. What the Russian Armed Forces did in Grozny was to deliberately butcher, through the use of savage and disproportionate force, thousands of innocent civilians, the absolute majority of whom were ethnic Chechens.
The same tactics have been used in other populated areas of Chechnya. The most recent example is a southern Chechen village, Komsomolskoe, which no longer exists. The Russian tactic of using weapons of mass destruction indiscriminately against both civilian and military targets has completely destroyed more than half of Chechnya's total of 400 towns and villages. All this, however, is only a drop in the ocean of Russian savagery that is seeking to drown the Chechens in their own blood.
Mass executions, direct and deliberate attacks on civilian convoys, using Chechen civilians as a human shield in combat-zones, arbitrary detention of every Chechen male from age of 10 to 60, concentration camps, torture, ill-treatment and rape represent the real nature of the Russian State. Massacres in Aldy, Katayama, Alkhan-Yurt, Kotar-Yurt, Gikalo, Samashki, Alkhan-Kala: it would be too long a list to name all the cases. The so-called "infiltration" camps that are more akin to the concentration camps of World War II, a description furnished by Radio Liberty correspondent Andrei Babitsky who was imprisoned in the Chernokozovo Camp for reporting the truth about Russian brutality in Chechnya. The camps at Chernokozovo, Tolstoy-Yurt, Mozdok, Khan-kala, Chervlenay, PAP1 and PAP2 in Grozny, where Chechens are executed and tortured on a daily basis, are known to the whole world. In short, the Chechen people are facing the serious threat of being totally wiped-out as an ethnic group.
Since December 1994, Russian policies towards the Chechen nation have taken the lives of 160,000 people (120,000 in the first war and an estimated 40,000 in the present war). Bearing in mind that the total Chechen population is only just above 1 million, it is absolutely clear that one out of seven Chechens have been killed. Once again, their only transgression was to be born Chechen.
Indeed, there is a crucial difference between Serbian policy in Kosovo and Russian policy in Chechnya. What is being committed in Chechnya is not simply "ethnic cleansing" but genocide, which is defined in Article II of the 1948 Genocide Convention as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such..." The definition so fully represents the Russian policy in Chechnya that it seems it was intentionally set to define the present Russian crimes.
It all becomes even more unspeakable, if one recalls that the Chechens have been constantly punished for a very simple reason. All the Chechens want is to be self-masters. All the Chechens ask is to be allowed to exercise their right to the self-determination, which is quite clearly fixed in International Law and has been successfully applied in a number of cases since 1945. Surely, such intentions can hardly be named excessive.
In the first nine months of the current war, out of a total Chechen population of approximately one million, 40,000 civilians have been killed due to Russia's disproportionate use of force. 250,000 people are languishing disease-ridden and hungry in refugee camps in Ingushetia under threat of forcible return to the war zone. 100,000 refugees have escaped to the mountains to avoid the exaction of the Russian occupying forces in the North of the Republic and in Grozny. They are denied the minimal aid provided in the camps in Ingushetia. Thousands of men from the age of 10 to 65 have been arrested and sent to filtration camps. Horrendous crimes have been committed by the Russian military against Chechen women. Chechen medical teams have been arrested, beaten up, and prevented from attending the sick and wounded. Mountain villages are subjected to renewed and increasingly frequent air bombings, rockets and missiles attack, killing indiscriminately hundreds of civilians -- women, children, the elderly. Russian forces take revenge on civilians for their abysmal military performance. The population in the South is doubly at risk -- from indiscriminate bombings, and the deliberate campaign of terror conducted throughout Chechnya by Russian forces with the encouragement of the Russian Government.
Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
The International Crime of Genocide
Article I of the Genocide Convention provides that the Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law, which they undertake to prevent and to punish.
Article II of the Genocide Convention defined the international crime of "genocide" as follows:
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Article III of the Genocide Convention provides that the following acts shall likewise all be punishable: (a) genocide; (b) conspiracy to commit genocide; (c) direct and public incitement to commit genocide; (d) attempt to commit genocide; (e) complicity in genocide.
According to Article IV of the Genocide Convention, persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials, or private individuals.
According to Article V of the Genocide Convention, the Contracting Parties undertake to enact, in accordance with their respective Constitutions, the necessary legislation to give effect to the provisions of the Convention and, in particular, to provide effective penalties for persons guilty of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article III.
For at least the past six decades, the Russian Federation and the former Soviet Union have ruthlessly implemented a systematic and comprehensive miliary, political, and economic campaign with the intent to destroy in substantial part the national, ethnical, racial and religious group known as the Chechen People. This Russian/Soviet campaign has consisted of killing members of the Chechen People in violation of Genocide Convention Article II(a). This Russian/Soviet campaign has also caused serious bodily and mental harm to the Chechen People in violation of Genocide Convention Article II(b). This Russian/Soviet campaign has also deliberately inflicted on the Chechen People conditions of life calculated to bring about their physical destruction in substantial part in violation of Article II(c) of the Genocide Convention. This Russian/Soviet campaign has also imposed measures intended to prevent births within the Chechen People in violation of Article II(d) of the Genocide Convention. This Russian/Soviet campaign has also forcibly transferred Chechen Children to another group in violation of Article II(e) of the Genocide Convention.
Most recently, these facts have been documented by several major outside, independent, objective, reputable and prestigious international human rights institutions and organizations that have issued reports and statements condemning the criminal behavior of the Russian Federation in the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria: e.g.. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe; Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe; Amnesty International; Amnesty International USA; Society for Threatened Peoples; Human Rights Watch; International Commission of Jurists; International Helsinki Federation; Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe; Physicians for Human Rights; Physicians for Global Survival; and the World Council of Churches, inter alia.
Genocide: Actus Reus
The 1944 Genocide
I hereby incorporate by reference and as an integral part of this Application and its Statement of Facts pages 61 to 74 of John B. Dunlop's classic book Russia Confronts Chechnya (Cambridge University Press: 1998) that can be found in Appendix I to this Application, which I have entitled Soviet Genocide.
The 1994-1996 War and Genocide
War crimes against Chechnya: arguments and facts
D'you know the land where folks are crying?
Where puffs of smoke are near and far?
Where craft with bombs are flying?
Where bombs make people dying?
This land is called Chechnya
All homes are ruined there
There beats front-line thunder
There is hell everywhere
And frozen people hunger
This land is called Chechnya
By Khizar Akhmadov
Another Chechen genocide. More than 100,000 killed, even more wounded, crippled, homeless.
Majority of the population is turned to refugees. It is absolutely impossible to count those mangled morally and spiritually.
Misanthropic behavior of the Russians does not correspond to international conventions. For the fourth time within two centuries, Chechen settlements are being erased from its geographic maps. Humankind must condemn the mass slaughter of the Chechen people, its instigators shall be put on international trial. Below you will find materials placed only in respected publications, reports of human rights organizations and broadcast by the radio station Liberty. The bulk of the testimonies, which are cited, belongs to prisoners of concentration camps and other eye-witnesses of horrible events. However, innocent war victims took away with them the cruelest mysteries of the war.
1. The newspaper Moscow Komsomolets (MK) publishes such testimonies under the rubrics "Anguish, which is unlikely to pass. Thus, MK continues the chronicle of cMVDes against the humankind committed by those, who ignited the bloody hell in Chechnya."
The article entitled "Militants" and "Peacekeepers" (you are going to be drained in the camp, so that your mama will hardly recognize you)" by A. Kolpakov and Y. Kalinin was published on February 7, 1995.
"Strictly in line with the recommendations from the Security Council, the first military stage to restore the constitutional order in Chechnya has been completed, and the second peaceful stage is launched. It is generally considered that the main difference between the two stages is that now interior bodies will play the key role in establishing order, with the army doing what they can to help.
The transition to the second, peaceful stage affected significantly the state of the Chechen population. While earlier the army simply bombed and shelled inhabited areas, now the police are dealing with every Chechen (and not only Chechens) in person. Their major task is to locate and neutralize guerillas. They do it as follows. Special police squads (OMON) enter settlements and search every house. During the search valuable things are seized, household goods are broken, livestock is shot at the discretion of raiders. Naturally, some troubles may happen to women.
However, man aged 18 to 50 suffer most of all. They are all, without distinction, considered militants, put in a helicopter and taken to the filtration camp in Mozdok for identification. Aside form that, there are such camps in the Stavropol-based prison and in Pyatigorsk.
The Chechens have never been eager to let Russian troops into their villages. However, in the village of Assinovskaya they risked. The elder came to an agreement with the Russian command about letting special police into the village without any resistance; then, they jointly inspect all the houses and leave satisfied if no guerillas are found there.
They let them in. Now only special police live in Assinovskaya. All the inhabitants scattered with horror to neighboring towns and villages. One could meet refugees from Assinovskaya on any road and in any settlement. Aside from that, those who had not been identified as militants started returning home from the Mozdok-based camp. We managed to talk to one of them in a hospital.
Khasan Chitaev, 52. The right part of his face is a solid yellow-blue bruise. A meager, exhausted and constantly coughing person. He speaks without accent, because he graduated from an institute in Moscow.
"They took me from my house in Assinovskaya and started beating with carbine butts, then put me in a vehicle and beat on the way. There were 15 of us. We stopped out in a field, they pushed us out, and put faces in mud. I heard them talking over walkie-talkie: "How many do you get? Well, take some five more and we send the helicopter." Right on the road they stopped a vehicle, picked out five men, beat them up and tied green ribbons to their sleeves. Special police usually carry green ribbons with them. They tie such a ribbon to your tie and your are considered a militant.
The Mozdok camp is a number of carriages in a railway dead-end siding. There were 20 of us in the cell. We were beaten all the time. A special police office used to stand near the toilet and hit everyone, who passed by with a club. Beat, beat, beat...
They began stoking furnace in the morning and it was too hot. Only one cup of water was given per ten daily. And that's it. We were given nothing to eat at all during these eight days. They called us for interrogations and beat again. My arm and ribs are broken. They used electroshock to torture me. Here are the signs on my arms. Frankly speaking, I was almost ready to confess. I thought prison is better than torment. But suddenly they released all of us. They had seized my watch, money and a leather coat in the very beginning, and now they took off my boots. We were said: "You have 40 minutes to leave the territory of North Osetia, otherwise we will catch and put you in prison again."
I do not know how I managed to get here, to the town of Sleptsovsk, to my brother. I crept along. Now I undergo medical treatment."
Here is another story. A 30-year old man, however, asked to keep his name confidentially. "I owe my life to journalists and a human rights activist, I do not know who. Just three days ago I though I would die... On January 24, seventeen of us, all civilians, were arrested at the Samashki block post. They wanted us to admit we were guerillas. Then they took us up in a helicopter and started beating with carbine butts in the face. One man was shot in the head and they threw him down, then another and three more. I though it was the end. But they beat me unconscious and, probably this was why, I was not shot dead. I regained consciousness when began losing height. All my fellow countrymen were severely beaten. When the helicopter was landed, a major came up to us and started yelling at the officer who was with us in the helicopter: "Whom have you brought? Did I tell you to bring these people!? Now, go and shoot them!"
But we were not shot. A private told us: "If you are transferred to Mozdok, you would hardly survive." We were blindfolded and loaded in a helicopter again, and beaten severely again. Almost everyone lost teeth and had kidneys injured. In Mozdok, special police got in the helicopter and began beating us with carbine butts. When we couldn't stand up, they threw us on the ground, and forced us to squat and make push-ups. Those who could not squat, were shot in the back of the head. There was an Ingush, 44, with us. He could not squat and they beat him in the groin (it was a mess), and then shot him dead. After, they put a gun to the back of my head, but someone kicked me and the shot missed. I started yelling: "I am not a militant, I live in Russia and I came here to take my mother from the village," but they did not cease beating me.
They put a hand grenade in his bosom and asked him to take it out with the hands tied behind his back. He tore his bandage and took it out. They did not beat him. Another man was ordered to run up to a coal pile. If he had managed to reach the pile, he wouldn't have been shot. He failed... The cruelest troops is the Ryazan Convoy. In fact, there are two convoys there - Kazan and Ryazan convoys. So, Ryazan soldiers knifed one Ingush like a sheep because he spat in the face of a soldier. Two men, who had been arrested in Grozny, were castrated before our eyes. Then we were handed to FSK (Federal Control Service) and placed in a railway carriage. They have three carriages and keep about 250-270 people there. They are given dried crust and 150 grams of water per day.
Aside from that, there are a lot of Russian troops, which refused to go into battle. They are forced to carry coal from one pile to another and mop floors 40 times per day. A FSK major told me: "Are you a guerilla?" I said "No," but he answered "We'll find out." After, journalists and representatives of the OSCE came, and soon we were released. Nine people in total. Well, I think, I would never die after that."
2. Komsomolskaya Pravda, December 14, 1994; Igor Rotar "I do not care whether it is an Ingush or a Chechen - admitted frankly a paratrooper. - They are all bandits. If I could, I would have... "I would not repeat what this soldier would have done. I feel shame and disgust...
After troops entered the village of Dolinsky, they resorted to searches following the tested scheme and using cruelly their fists and carbine butts. A local man became indignant and showed resistance. They simply shot him dead. After that, all members of the village self-defense group put up arms: such groups were set up almost in every Chechen settlement in the beginning of the war..."
3. Izvestia, December 29, 1994; testimonies of Tangiev, a victim of the Ingush MVD.
"A column of nine to ten vehicles with refugees headed on from Grozny to Nazran on the highway Rostov-Baku on December 17. Near the village of Assinovsky, Sunzhensky district, a column of Russian armored vehicles showed up. They started fire without warning. A driver was wounded. A woman, who was with us, jumped out yelling for help. She was shot point-blank. We took to our heels and they fired on us. I and three of my companions were wounded and we crawled to a neighboring village. I do not know what happened to other refugees."
4. Komsomolskaya Pravda, December 27, 1994; Valentina Karkavtsev. "I am holding a leaflet of the Russian National Unity of Barkashov: in response to "a pro-Chechen hysteria, deliberately ignited by mass media and numerous parties and groups, "decisive people in black with swastika on their sleeves are ready" to render ideological and other assistance to the executive authorities."
4. Moscow News, #66, December 25, 1995 - January 1, 1996. An extract from the article "I am afraid to get insane (confession of a bombing pilot):
"I did not bomb the airport to destroy Dudaev's bombers, it sounds funny. We were explained that it is necessary to deliver a frightening blow, to show our potential might... the usage of aircraft is madness and barbarity. As I see it: it was decided to destroy Grozny completely... the majority awaits a cease-fire order. No one wants his family name to penetrate the press: all are afraid of shame and Chechen revenge. Vodka is used to relieve physiological strain. The longer this madness lasts, the more clearly people understand which mess we got into. When I heard a desperation yell of a Russian parliamentarian who had settled in Grozny, I realized the horror of what was going on. Today I am afraid of reading newspapers and watching TV, not to become insane."
6. Komsomolskaya Pravda, January 6, 1995; S. Kovalev: "Probably, being tired of bombing Grozny, the aviation moved its air strikes to other Chechen cities. Perhaps, Shali suffered most of all. But if they bombed the location of a tank unit, instead fighters stroked a suburban food market and hit cars."
7. Independent newspaper, December 28, 1994; "Russian MVD personnel found eight wounded members of the volunteered corps, swindled them from locals saying they would be taken to hospital in Mozdok in a helicopter. Later, villagers found eight bodies thrown out from the helicopter."
8. Komsomolskaya Pravda, January 6, 1995; S. Kovalev. "There in Chechnya a systematic slaughter of the whole nation is going on. The villain Grachyov became tangled in lies and wants to dodge his responsibility, using human lives as a cover. The head of FSK Stepashin is well matched with him."
9. Radio Station "Liberty," January 11, 1995; "Liberty Life": "At the plenary session of the Russian State Duma, some deputies demanded to stop speaking about humanism. This issue could be discussed, after Chechnya is done with."
10. Komsomolskaya Pravda, January 11, 1995; An extract from the article "The war has a financial face":
"Yes, the war has the moral of its own. The moral is the absence of any moral. Maybe, that was why a colonel of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations gave me a calm and qualified answer that a needle with tail unit I saw in Chechnya is not the filling of a needle bomb, but a "petal" of a special shell, which "explodes up in the air and has a mass destruction character." This weapon was worked out for a possible war with China. Then it turned out all right. In Chechnya they proved useful.
11. Chas Pik, #2, January 11, 1995; An extract from the article "Is thrice-repeated lack of talent a crime?":
"The military hysteria in Chechnya is escalating. The Russian air force is actively using the banned weapons - bombs with balls' filling. Which specific features they have? Bombers fly away, silence reigns. People begin getting out from basements, while a parachute with an oblong object is descending from the misty sky. An explosion bursts out some time later, thousands of killing balls cover thousands of square meters. This bombing in the mist is, probably, called, "dot strikes."
12. Radio Station "Liberty," January 11, 1995; "Liberty Life":
"Many eye-witnesses saw Russian bombers dropping some chemicals above the Grozny flood pool. Consequently, people could not drink its water."
13. Independent Newspaper, January 14, 1995; An extract from the article "Battles go on":
"The Chechen tragedy could be realized not in Grozny, where the opposition has escalated to a great extent during the last 24 hours, but in a children trauma section at the Hasavyurt Central Hospital, where wounded children are taken to. Surgeon from the trauma section, Suleyman Mantakov, says that 60 patients are 58 wounded from Chechnya... according to Mantakov, most of them are seriously wounded with ball bombs, the use of which is banned by the Vienna Convention."
14. Radio Station "Liberty." In February of 1995, special program "The War Against Chechnya. Voices without Comment" (author - Savik Shuster) was broadcast many times. Extracts of the program:
"Sleptsovskaya. Office of the Ingush Minister for Emergency Situations. About 30, dark glasses on. There is another man with him. Bloody eyes, dark-red bruises, one arm in plaster. An Ingush policeman. He has been through the Mozdok filtration camp.
-- We passed two fortified posts. Cars and Ids were thoroughly checked at the second one. Then police searched me: 'Do you possess a private weapon?" I said: "No." They searched me and took my money. Later, we were blindfolded and kneeled. Then - beating. They were Russian policemen. Russian OMON special police, police. One policeman said to another: "Where are we going?" The latter said: "Out in the field." When the car stopped, three of us were led out of the vehicle. I was blindfolded, nevertheless I knew the situation. The fellows arrested with me were killed. It was a wonder that I escaped. I do not know how. This is my destiny, I guess. I had my hand broken two times. Wrist and fingers. Kidneys and liver were seriously injured. They beat me with a butt. The beat me all over my head and face. My nose bridge was broken. I showed no resistance. There were masked people. In fact, no one beat us in the carriage. The only disadvantage: no one helped the wounded. We used to ask: "Are you dead? Not yet. You will die yourself." No one changed our dressing. There are many people there. They are being filtered and transferred further. The only thing I heard once was: "Maybe we should use an electric chair." It was said not to me, somewhere nearby. I saw no such brutality. I understand what is war, I understand what is to be in captivity. I understand that prisoners of war could be beaten. I understand this all. But I wasn't a prisoner of war. I am a Russian officer. I am staying voluntarily in the Russian Federation. I served in the Army, Soviet Army. At that time their primary goal was money. They crashed my car driving an URAL truck. My ID, my officer badge, private token, passport for foreign travels, technical passport for my car, driving license, and a significant amount of money was seized. When the investigator began interrogating me - "Where is your ID?" - I said, that police had seized it. Then he claimed: "How shall I release you?!" I was lucky, they freed me. I was lucky at that point. They were almost ready to release me when they saw I had money. I was knocked down, blindfolded and kept like that for several hours. I was moved from one base to another. You never know where you are being moved. They drop you down from the vehicle. There are wounded in the vehicle. They do not belong to rebels. Someone said: "Why do you dirty boots? Put your boots on him?" And they did. They took my hat and leather coat. Then I was asked: "Do have a "pushka" (a gun in Russian slang)?" I said: "What is it? I am not a cMVDinal." I knew what they meant. Then they asked: "Do you have "babki" (money, Russian slang)?" I answered: "No, everything was taken away." They dropped us down and started beating right there in the field, near Mozdok. We were beaten severely. Brutal faces. They were interior troops. Out in the airfield in Mozdok. They wore blue police uniform. Police mercenaries, all aged 30 to 35. I could say only one thing and it would be fair: border troops and soldiers act quite loyally. They check IDs objectively. When they saw that I am a policeman: "Bon voyage! Bye-bye!" they behave correctly and politely. This is border and ground troops. As for MVD, OMON and special forces - they act like... Never in my life I saw such horrible faces. One could think that they lost their families. Some casts reign there. Someone says: "Two aces. Shoot them." I was blindfolded, saw nothing. I could hear only shooting. It seems that almost nothing could be done. There are no boundaries. Different people work for local police. One group does not obey to another. They do not obey to their leadership. If a colonel says "Stop!" - they do not listen to him. I have never seen or heard such a thing.
The village of Assinovskaya. Chechnya. Ingushetia is nearby. MVD troops control the village. It is almost impossible for journalists to go there. Those who could, had already escaped. Jaha Alusheva, Aslambekova, Magomet Mirzoev, teacher of history, succeeded (they speak in turn).
-- Girls, young and older men were detained right in the street and driven away. Probably, to Mozdok. They steal household appliances, everything they see, carpets. Even potatoes. They steal everything they could, everything that we have. They do not feel ashamed, took young girls. TV sets, carpets are gone. They leave nothing. No one could live at home. I left our house with my five children. We afraid of going out and live at home. They torture, rape, beat, abduct people and take them somewhere.
-- They steal and loot. Men are driven away, and women are subject to humiliation. This is what they do here.
-- I would recall only facts that I saw in our village. I saw everything what was going on in the village of Assinovskaya during one week. They take 10 to 15 people daily. People disappear leaving no trace. Moreover, they take teenagers. Men. They undress them completely, took their footwear; put them across armored vehicles. Then, they sing songs and drive across Assinovskaya. I saw it myself. After all the inhabitants are driven to basements, they took household appliances, everything, and load trucks. They have no disgust feelings, similar to feature films about the WW II, when fascists used to catch chickens and pigs, the same is going on now. Many are drunk. They took everything they could, and then blow up these houses. So that there are no even walls. About 10 to 15 people disappear every day. It is clear that there are no rebels in this village. Those who wanted to struggle against the Russian army are in Grozny and other cities. Now, a total extermination of people is going on.
-- Total extermination of people. There was no such a thing. How it is possible to kill children, women, rape young girls, torture and throw dead bodies from armored vehicles. It is in broad daylight. Pyotr Kosov, colonel, was in Assinovskaya quite recently.
-- We saw enough of MVD cruelty. Here I saw real fascism. In front of you they search and beat people, who did nothing wrong. Hands are tied with wire. What is it? It is fascism. They wear green ribbons to remember how many Chechens each of them killed. One had six ribbons. He is the chief. It is something absurd.
Talk to soldiers, how do they call them. The ideology of their aggression. How officers teach it. We lost the Crimea. We must take revenge here, to show the whole world that we are not going to lose anything. And we must everyone here that who we are the Russians.
The village of Chervlenaya. North-West part of Chechnya near the Daghestan border. New authority - temporary administration - has been established there. A bus station. I came up to a woman.
-- Even civilians are being killed, she says. - They are peasants. They take civilians who guarded their houses and property. They kill all of them. No one conducts investigation. They simply kill people. If they see a man, they kill him. And that's it. Most women have already fled the city. Only men stay to guard their houses. They bring dead every day. There are people whom we could not get out, just in order to bury them. They have been lying there for months. Soldiers kill them. We could bury one of our relatives. I buried my husband. They are Russian citizens. They came in, saw many goods, a car with the Moscow registered license plate and demanded keys to start it. We did have the keys. Someone parked it there. My son said: "My father parked it hear and left. We do not have the keys." They put him on the ground and began shooting. Suddenly, an accidental bullet hit his head. They killed him and another boy, 23, and seized the goods."
15. Radio Station "Liberty," February 1, 1995.
"Sergey Sirotkin, Sergey Kovalev's deputy, claims that official information is 90% lie. Later, providing evidence and fact, Sirotkin said on the air:
"Often, independent mass media see everything what is going on from Nazran and Grozny, for a simple reason: the Chechen side is absolutely open for contacts, it is accessible to journalists, and even under difficult circumstances they render assistance and are ready for cooperation. The Russian military hamper journalists' work, sometimes they act without respect or even fire at them. No full information from the other side is possible, they are leak-free. When people fight for the just cause and use right methods, they have nothing to hide. Maybe they have something to conceal - casualties, their own talentless. It is useless. Obviously, it is necessary to hide looting, filtration camps, tortures. Everything that I call fascism as it is. I saw it and know why they hide it. I saw hands almost cut by handcuffs, which are put on the hand, rather than on the wrists. Then, they beat the chain until sinew appears from outside. It proves that they have something to hide. Therefore, they must think how to offset Chechen information by information of the Russian origin."
16. Literature Gazette, #9, March 1, 1995; from the selection of testimonies by M. Yandieva (society Memorial) entitled "Return to concentration camp": Idrisov Akhmet, 29, a resident of Grozny: "In the afternoon of January 23, 1995, I was driving towards the village of Samashki. I was stopped at a Russian MVD reinforced post somewhere between Sernovodsk and Samashki. I showed my ID. They checked the car and my pockets. They found coins and decided to carry a check up; led me away from the highway and handcuffed. Put me in a car near their armored personnel carrier. Later, they brought brothers Ganievs (Makhail and Magomed) and Hadjiev Musa (from Novy Sha-roi). All of them were handcuffed. Drunk OMON policemen went out of the bunker and beat up the brothers and then Hadjiev. Cigarette butts were used to burn their bodies. Some twenty minutes later, they took me out of the car and began beating. When asked "Why?" they said "You must be killed, you killed our soldiers." They beat me until 4 in the morning. After, all were seated, blindfolded, in armored personnel carriers. While on the way, they offered me: "Let's make a contract: if you get out with a hand grenade with the pin out, you would live." They put under the wheels of their armored vehicle. Then I was moved to a helicopter. We flew about five minutes, then landed and took aboard several people. The number of prisoners went up to 17 people. All of them were beaten up. Bayonets were used to make prisoners conscious again. One was killed. Another was stabbed with a bayonet four times. One man was dropped from the helicopter. The prisoners did not know where they were taken. They pulled out gold teeth of the prisoner thrown away. He was beaten to death. They - are masked OMON police, Russian and not only Russian special policemen. In the Mozdok camp the prisoners were kept near a coal warehouse. From the helicopter to a prison truck, then to railway cars. Six days later I was released...
Amirkhan Israilovich Mutaliev, 29, a resident of Grozny: "... we were met with the words "captured guerillas are brought." Thirty interior troops. All of them are tall and tough. Later they admitted they were mercenaries (from Zaporizhzha, Volgograd, Samara). We were unloaded and beaten with butts and boots. They dragged me away. Six people kicked me for about five minutes trying to target my face. No less than five people beat each of us. They drove up a prison truck. Those unconscious were made conscious again. In from of the truck they kicked me again. More than twenty people were put in the truck. Our faces were almost unrecognizable. We drove about 15 to 20 minutes. The truck stooped close to a railway carriage, then they beat us again. They counted 23 people in one compartment. After that, we were taken to another compartment and undressed there. Hands grew numb and got untied. Using a powerful flashlight, they searched for callosities (of an automatic carbine) on hands and shoulders. They asked: "Where did you fight?" and moved us back to different compartments. Only twelve of us remained in the compartment. We were given dried crust and water in juice bottles. Guards were quite different: brutal and not so brutal. No one dared to sleep. At 8AM we were led to toilet. Masked interior troops never called each other by name. They led us to toilet as criminals, under convoy. We ran, holding our arms behind the back. If the guard near the toilet did not like someone, he beat him. They asked with humiliation: "D'you wanna pee or ... what?" they usually gave us 10 seconds. On the way back we also had to run. If you stay for a time, they use clubs. If you do not get water in the toilet, those who wait in the compartment will stay thirsty. From January 27 to 31, we were given a can of rice porridge (250 grams) per two. They wanted to give pork to us, but couldn't find it. We eat mostly dried crust during these days. Five investigators appeared on the second day. On January 31 they called us by last name. They gave us back our belongings that had been seized through the bars in the wall. We were forced to sign a document stating that we had no claims. Then we were led out, but we did not know where. There were piles of coal there, a fence, firewood, something like a reserve base. It was close to a bus station, some women told us. We crossed the railway and came up to a bus stop. Usman Khomutaev (the former head of the fourth section of "Water Station") walked hardly with his brother. I didn't recognized him, he couldn't even walk by himself."
Ibraghim Ugurchiev, a journalist, resident of Grozny: "Leaving the basement, I came up to my apartment where I planned to pick up some documents and writings. On the way back I hear a woman yelling. I saw several troops who were dragging a frightened girl; her mother or grandmother was yelling. When they saw me, they fired two bursts. I managed to hide behind a corner...
Two days later, on January 12, twelve or thirteen of us, including women, one of them with an infant in hands, headed at 9AM through the 15th dairy sovkhoz. Russian interior troops stayed close to the station of Sernovodsk. All of us were checked at a reinforced post. When it was my turn, I took out my ID of the Journalists' Union of the USSR, a recorder, keys to my apartment, everything that I had on me. Their commander started yelling that we, journalists, are unreliable people, and that he wouldn't let me go until he knew the contents of the tape. I explained that the recording was in Ingush about countryside life, an interview with the head of the administration of the village of Gazi-Yurt and the director of the local secondary school. However, the commander did not listen to me. They put me in an armored personnel carrier and drove to Mozdok. Tall, as if specially selected troops were standing near railway carriages. They all had clubs and some of them had dogs. They began yelling at us right away, urged us on and used their clubs. The lieutenant who brought me turned once and then simply left, as if he saw and heard nothing. That was how my journey with special troops on the territory of the Russian Federation began. Usually, if people go sightseeing, a guide describes different points of interest and wonderful places of Russia. During my trip, "the guides" were mere fascists, they showed me Russian well-made carriages for criminals, and they proved specialists in guarding: they use their fists successfully, know all vulnerable spots of human body, one blow - and you lose consciousness, clubs are used perfectly; when someone is yelling they use suffocating methods rather skillfully. I tasted all of it between the interrogation about my spying and beating or kicking. I hardly managed to say that I had already told everything I knew to intelligence and counterintelligence chiefs. After these words, the officer became softer and kicked so hard that I lost consciousness. When I regained consciousness, special troops began beating and kicked me, they forced me to undress. They took my watch with gold bracelet, they seized everything, including my wallet and leather coat. I did not see it. The same continued in the railway carriage on the way to Pyatigorsk. When they undressed us for another check, a dog appeared, which began biting everywhere, and then I understood they had not felt sorry for me, they simply wanted something new, a free concert. Then they did the same to my neighbor, an Ingush, Mohammed Meyriev, 18. That was how we got to Pyatigorsk. There in prison, a new method of torture occurred to them. They put us face to the wall, hands behind the back, legs apart - as wide as possible. To that end, they kicked in the groin. Later, they used clubs, beating in the head and the back, until you fall on the ground. Another guard kicks you waiting for you to stand up. When I couldn't hold hands behind the head, they kicked and broke one of my ribs. After, they put us into different cells and beating stopped. It lasted for two days. Two days later, we were sent to a Stavropol-based jail. Our trip to Stavropol was similar to that from Mozdok to Pyatigorsk. In the Stavropol prison, they kneeled me in a puddle, hands behind the head, and kicked as much as they could. When I raised my head, I received a club blow (cutting skin above the eyebrow) and then I lost consciousness."
17. Newspaper Smena, issues from January 21 to January 31, 1995. Extracts from the article by A. Gorshkov "Grozny: welcome to hell":
"As for information about hundreds and thousands of tons of humanitarian cargoes, which have allegedly flooded Chechnya, aid goes there quite selectively. They say that the bulk of such aid sinks at air bases in Mozdok and Beslan - the main transport points, through which the war is fed with materiel and cannon fodder. The bulk of the cargo, first of all food products, goes to the troops and a smaller part goes to addressees, refugees and civilians of the devastated area. At the same time, the aid delivered on the federal line is distributed in the areas controlled by the Chechen opposition and the army and never gets to south of Chechnya and Ingushetia, where the majority of the refugees are settled. <...>
Apartments and hospitals become targets for dot bombings. Jet fighters organize a real hunt for vehicles with refugees. Bombs and missiles hit mountain villages, where residents of Grozny try to hide. According to eyewitnesses, some pilots are especially cruel. A short time after the first air strike, they deliver another blow to the same area. The food market in the city of Shali was bombed nine times within several hours. That day, 89 people were killed there. It seems that locals resigned themselves to the fact that death is walking somewhere around. They got used to bury dead people in inner yards and waste grounds. They could define the source and target of artillery fire, they could say a shell explosion from a ground mine. They learnt to live when it seems impossible to live at all. And they managed to remain human qualities. I remember an old man and a woman who fed pigeons with bread they had just received as humanitarian aid while a cannonade was heard nearby. The only thing they could not understand why they were bombed. The same questions one could read in looks of all the civilians who I talked to in the streets and basements of a front city. "Tell them to stop bombing us," demanded a Russian old woman. She lived in Grozny during the Great Patriotic War and recalled how the city had been bombed at that time. "The radio said: "Air strike!" All ran downstairs. Then "all clear" signal was broadcast. We came out and hugged. And now... My husband fought against fascists, but saw nothing similar." I could not explained to her that those who give orders do not care about her and tens of thousands of other old people subject to heavy fire.
Inhabitants of Bamut!
You are betrayed. People from Dudaev's entourage say that he fled the country with his family. His close aides drive KAMAZ trucks from Grozny. Trucks are loaded with goods seized from the Chechen people. They call upon you to fight and to shed blood in order to take with them as much as they can. Do not believe in their words! Those who still hold weapons, cease the useless opposition. If someone fires on Russian troops from your town, we will immediately answer with powerful missile-bomb strikes. Your life and your children's life is in your arms.
Such leaflets are now spread from helicopters above Chechen villages. The commandment of the united group of Russian troops in Chechnya sign these leaflets and sometimes they keep their word: Bamut has not been bombed over the last week... For other civilians "the extermination of illegal armed groups" turned out as a merciless war against the population, which suffers the bulk of losses as a result of continuous fire, except for nuclear and chemical weapons. Not surprisingly, it could be used at this war. Therefore, chemical and biological troops have been sent to Chechnya.
It won't be an exaggeration to say that civilians, regardless of their nationality, became hostages of the army... A teacher began fighting against the federal troops after his best pupil had been killed. He said that troops came to the house where the boy lived. They raped his mother, tortured the boy, then put a gun barrel into his mouth and shot him dead. The teacher swore to avenge him. There are a lot of such people among those who have been fighting against the regular army in Chechnya for several weeks already. These "guerillas" throw themselves under tanks, with grenades attached to the waist. Such suicide bombers make a fatal flight on Dudaev's private helicopter - passing the air-defense system, they suddenly appear above the air base in Mozdok, frightening the Mozdok-based generals. For several weeks they confuse maps of the army commandment, upsetting the plan of a short victorious war. When defense Minister Grachyov says that 17-year old boys fight 35-year old professionals, I recall Rustam. I met this rebel, 14, several times in Grozny, on the city square, near the café Minutka. He sported an adjusted camouflage with an anti-tank grenade in his bosom. Rustam set on fire two armored personnel carriers using Molotov's cocktail.
* How did you do that?
* Ran up close to it and threw a bottle.
* Were you afraid?
* I got used to it.
I drank coffee with a group of such Gauroches, while waiting until bombing is over. A 13-year old intelligence boy shared two of his inmost desires with me. Now - to find arms, after the war - to become a professor. When armored vehicles entered the city, the boys almost fight each other for the right to blow up a tank.
* Do your parent know that you are here?
* No, my mother joined a women's battalion two weeks ago. I haven't seen her since...
This war could be won by means of exterminating the unruly people. Anyway, the rebels who I talked to in Grozny, had no intentions of surrendering.
-- This is the hearth of my ancestors and would defend it to the last, - words of a woman with an automatic carbine define the common spirit.
Another my interlocutor used to work in Moscow as the deputy chief engineer at the presidential building department. When the war started, he moved to Grozny with his family.
-- I always wear white shirt, in principle. Soldiers shall see me like this, dead or alive. I wouldn't be defeated anyway.
Once, Pavel Grachyov said that our troops died in Grozny with a smile on the face. We leave it on his conscience. The question is whether our boys knew what they die for?
Partisan war for long years - this is not a possible prospect, but an absolute reality even in the case of Grozny's capture in the near future. For hundreds and thousands of people this war will never end. Maybe there is a sublime justice in that all those who worked out that operation, gave orders, bombed women and children, will live in the fear of revenge until the end of their days."
18. Izvestia, January 19, 1995; from the article Partisan war in Chechnya":
"We walk up to the village of Shatoy. We were said that here, where it is difficult to get for the press, air strikes are especially frequent. It turns out that this wonderful place is considered the "partisan nest" in high headquarters of our brave army.
One look would be enough to realize that only a full idiot will deploy military units or materiel there. The village, though the district center, is rather small and open from all sides. We hardly stopped and people gathered around us. All are excited. Someone is crying. It turned out that the last air strike took place just two hours ago. Yesterday, also was an air strike. And the day before yesterday. A woman, refugee form Grozny, has just been killed. Three peasants have been wounded. Several houses have been destroyed and hit with missile fragments.
-- These devils have been punishing us for five days already, and we do not know what for, tall boy Halash Balakirev says.
We scatter as rabbits. But where could you run? We have almost no basements, we couldn't imagine that they would fight against civilians. We are being simply exterminated.
A young woman, Leila, refugee from Grozny. She used to work there as an obstetrician. A destroyed apartment and almost all stuff were left in the city.
-- We thought that the most important thing is to be alive, we'll gain our stuff again. We ran away to our relatives in the mountains. They found us here, as if they have been hunting for us. It is better in the city than here... We make sure in it ourselves. Suddenly, as by order, the crowd become silent, they look in the sky with fear. Still, we hear nothing. We only see that people in the street stand motionless and nestle up to the walls, one to another. Then we hear the din. People scatter and hide wherever it is possible.
-- Drive away from our house! -- a frightened woman begs us. - They target cars!
The noise is growing. We run to the car, drive away and feel like a target. We pass five or six houses and see an old woman waving her hand:
-- Quick, run, hide yourselves!
We mark time. 1:27PM Moscow time, January 15.
An old peasant says suddenly:
* Damn this war!
The strike develops as it should. Silver flashes are seen in the sky - first, the fighter fires small missiles, trying to mislead a possible counter attack. Maybe someone has a Stinger in the shed?
We run into the inner yard. There are several old women: Chechen and Russian, a small shivering boy with them.
Two more flashes. Volley! We squat and sit close to each other. Fortunately, the blow missed.
To calm the boy, we ask:
What's your name?
How old are you, where do you live?
Thirteen. I came from Grozny with my mother.
The fighter makes a turn and develop a new attack, or maybe this is his partner? This time he goes right above us, and several hundreds of children, women, old and young people, who feel guilty of being unable to defend themselves.
The old woman leads us to the corner, towards a brick pile. This shelter is unlikely to protect us if a bomb falls nearby!
-- Pray, pray! - orders the old woman quickly. We move closer to each other. The women desperately whisper prayers in different languages, thus trying to protect us and themselves.
And it strikes! On the other side of the street. Then, everything calms down. Now, women cry, they do not pray, but curse the pilots. At the same time we hear similar desperate curses in other houses and yards, children sob.
People come out looking for each other. And they run up to us to see the results of the attack. A missile has struck near the hospital, just above the head of chief doctor, Gaisan Sautiev. Window glass fragments wounded, cut up young woman, Berlant Kabaeva. She is bleeding and is sobbing because of pain and horror.
There are many wounded in hospital. None of them could be taken for a militant. Women, children, the elderly. The village and its neighborhood do not look like a military base. While staying in the village, we managed to explore the area quite thoroughly: by car, on foot, squatting or even crawling. We could certify to military commanders that they are mistaken in their maniac intention of destroying a military base here, in the village of Shatoy. The same is in other mountainous villages, which we travel through following a steep road, and which are subject to continuous bombing.
We enter the village of Borzoi when the family of Kemilbek Erzunkaev is gathering their belongings near the house destroyed in the morning. They are moving to their relatives. There were 30 people in the house, including refugees and some ten children. Two missiles hit the yard and a shed at 7:30AM. The children were still asleep, and it kept them safe from bomb fragments. Three cows, a horse are killed. The house is half destroyed. The family and their guests leave not because it is cold and not cozy any more here. They are afraid of a new air strike.
-- They usually return and bomb the same area again, clarifies old man, Kemilbek. - Two days ago they destroyed a house in the village. When people started putting their place in order, the fighters came back, fired a missile and fired a burst on people. Do not stay for long here, they will soon return. His feeling came true. On our way to another village, we see two fighters above the place where we were talking to the old man just half an hour ago. They develop a new attack. Later, we hear remote explosions. It difficult to say why Russian bombers and fighters methodically target civilians. Do they take them for military bases and residents of rebels indeed? We do not believe. We saw rebels in the mountains, in other places and routes. We also saw vast and comfortable places for protected bases of rebels. Maybe, Dudaev militants have them in mind, while talking about the prospects of a partisan war in the mountains. It seems to be at the threshold already. There are a lot of Dudaev's adherents in Chechen villages, we made sure in it ourselves. They are eager to go into the mountains if necessary and continue fighting. The new stage of the war could become more cruel and lengthy. Still, every day bombers and fighters attack mountainous villages and bring death to the "enemy," who is too vulnerable."
19. Independent newspaper, January 27, 1995: "Kremlin dissatisfied with behavior." From the interview with President of Ingushetia Ruslan Aushev:
"...as for exact definition of the conflict, we will soon know it. But the essence is more important for me - a methodical extermination of civilians is going on. Judging by the scale of bombings, it is genocide, extermination of the nation. It is much worse than deportation. Today, many old people compare the current situation to the horrors of Stalin's actions. It was a cultural-tourist trip from North Caucasus to Siberia, Kazakhstan, and Middle Asia, they say and add: "we were not killed or bombed at that time, simply moved away."
-- The presidential palace has been captured, Russian troops control the north part of the republic, the rebels are gradually moving south. Is this the war end?
* No, another war, partisan war, begins. In fact, it has already begun. In the north regions, home guard engages into military operations moving between Russian troops. Some locals do not have weapon yet, but they are ready to fight even though they understand they would eventually be crushed. The might of Russian troops, except for strategic missile troops and submarines, is based near Grozny."
20. Izvestia, January 28, 1995; article "Using club and swearing against human rights":
"Several railway carriages stay in a dead-end sliding in Mozdok, right where the united group of Russian troops is located. These are prison carriages, prison cells instead of normal compartments. This is a filtration station. Traditionally during the war, those who fight in Grozny and other Chechen regions are moved here, if they haven't been dealt with on places. We failed to get to the filtration station in Mozdok: naturally, a special permission of the MVD and FSK commandment is needed. However, a MVD officer, who I happened to talk with in Mozdok and whose name I do not dare to cite, confirmed the existence of the filtration station and that a lot of people are kept there. He also warned us against coming close to these carriages.
The group of human rights commissioner, Sergey Kovalyov, and the author of this material managed to meet one of those who passed the above mentioned filtration station and who was lucky enough to get out alive. His name is Azamat Paragulmov. He is about 40. Ingush. He used to live in Grozny in Pervomayskaya street, 52, before January 1, 1995. Now he is living in another place and is taking cure. You will now read what had happened to him and his friends - decoding of a tape recording. No comment is necessary, though an answer from the military prosecutor's office wouldn't be too much."
Evgenia Albats. Izvestia.
Azamat Paragulgov's story, recorded by members of the group of human rights commissioner, Sergey Kovalyov, in Nazran. The editorial board has made no corrections, only repeated phrases have been removed. The story is below:
"I was detained on January 1 in Grozny. In morning, after the assault, when shooting ceased, I went to a friend of mine who lived in Tatarskaya street, 57. His last name is Khamidov, he is FSK major. I knocked on the window. He went out. At that point troops appeared. They asked: "Who we are, and what we do?" We said we lived there. Khamidov said he is an FSK major of Ingushetia. The troops cursed back: "Which .. FSK, which .. Ingushetia. You are (fire) spotters. Do you have weapon?" Khamidov answered: "Yes, I have a portal time gun." They took it away and led us away. First, we were kept in a yard. Troops brought there a chum of alcohol. They beat and pushed us under a hatch. During the night we hear: "Get out one after another, we will execute you." Khamidov got out, but they hit him with a metal bar and he fell down. I moved and they fired a burst. A bullet hit the blanket. They were too drunk... Then, they dragged me out, put a duster in my mouth and beat me with carbine butts. But they did not kill me. I understood from the conversation that those who arrested us, contacted their headquarters, which was located at the cannery. Later, they took us there. A major general ordered to kill us twice. But an officer, his last name was probably Shugaev, was rebuked for not executing the order.
They beat me up severely, tied my hands and legs with a nylon thread, and attached me to a tree using aluminum wire. I was said: "Guerillas will fight soon. If you still alive, we will shoot you at 3AM." Then, bombardment started. It was rather heavy. They laid down in trenches on mattresses, and watch whether or not a mine would hit me. I think, they were OMON police, because federal troops always stay close to armored personnel carriers, whereas these troops walked around. After the bombardment was over, an officer in pea-jacket untied me. He led me back to the basement. Khamidov was there and felt sick. He had brain concussion. I felt quite fine, however. My nose was crashed, it was bleeding, I found it difficult to breathe and my head was not clear after beatings. I was mad at them: I fought for neither of the sides, and got into such a mess. While sitting in the basement I heard them talking over radio and cursing Russian troops: you had been bombing us for half an hour already. They had two or three times similar skirmish. Then they moved us to the cannery, I know, I used to work there. Some bags were put on our heads. We arrived. Someone asked: "Who are they?" Our guards say: "Spotters." - "Shoot them." And they began beating and kicking us. I told to our escort: "Tell them we are FSK officers.." Noise, uproar, cursing... They led us inside, a corridor actually. There were many officers and a general. Khamidov enters first, then Nakhaev, I was third... General yells: "Which prisoners, which interrogation? Yesterday night I ordered to shoot them, why did you take them?" Khamidov began explaining. The general came out of the table, his chair fell down, and slapped him in the face twice. Noise, uproar, mess, they beat me up. I do not know the name of the general. He ruled there. In front of me he yelled over the radio: "Which housing, which apartment blocks, which residential area! Take, the f*..., down everything!" They beat us again. And again interrogation. I was
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