The War in Dagestan

The Moscow Times reports more proof of how very well Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is doing keeping the peace in the Chechnya region. Send our athletes there in 2014 for the Olympics? That would be suicide.

Three days of intense fighting between police and insurgents in a wooded area of Dagestan ended Saturday with five officers and about a dozen militants left dead, officials said.  Clashes are frequent in Dagestan, but the fighting in an area near the border with Georgia and Azerbaijan was some of the most intense in recent months. Helicopter gunships fired on the militant positions.

Regional Interior Ministry spokesman Mark Tolchinsky said14 insurgents were killed, but Interfax cited the Federal Security Service as saying 12 died.  “The group committed several crimes in two regions in Dagestan,” Dagestani Interior Minister Adilgirei Magomedtagirov told reporters.  “There are at least three non-Russians with Arab nationality among the dead militants, perhaps even four,” he said.

State-owned Vesti-24 television showed a row of dead rebels lying in the snow with Kalashnikov rifles slung across their limp shoulders.  Magomedtagirov said a collection of Kalashnikov rifles, machine guns and a sniper rifle were found where the militants were hiding.  Earlier, television showed helicopter gunships firing from the snowy skies at targets in a forest and armored vehicles rolling into the mountainous area.  The police action, which began Wednesday, came after officials in the regions complained to regional authorities about the presence of the gunmen.

Underscoring the seriousness of the fighting, state-run television prominently showed a meeting Friday between Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Dagestan’s leader, Mukhu Aliyev.  In the Dagestani capital, Makhachkala, police fatally shot four men Friday who failed to stop their car at a checkpoint and began shooting at officers, city police spokesman Shamil Guseinov said.  The bodies of the four were shown on television lying among shattered glass near a battered, white Lada car.

Dagestan’s militants are seen as having been inspired by separatists in neighboring Chechnya.

The fighting is the latest round of violence to plague the North Caucasus, pitting criminal gangs, Islamic militants or feuding clans against one another or against government and police forces.  A three-hour shootout Thursday north of the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria left four gunmen killed.

11 responses to “The War in Dagestan

  1. I don’t really think the athletes flying-in to Sochi (in Krasnodar Krai) would lurk around in the forests and settlements of Dagestan to get themselves into crossfire.

    Btw, the main rebel group in Dagestan is http://www.jamaatshariat.com/

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    That’s not really the question, is it? Isn’t the question whether Dagestani suicide bombers would lurk around in Russian airports or on the Olympic grounds and whether Dagestani militia might fire missiles at airplanes or into the Olympic venues. Given that others were willing to attack Beslan and Dubrokva, we feel it’s a pretty safe (so to say) bet that they would.

    • Please tell me more regarding sighting of any “suicide bombers lurking around in Russian airports” since 2004 (almost 5 years ago, or some 10 years before the planned games).

      5 years (till 2014) is a lot of time, but regarding the current situation they don’t seem to any have AA missiles at all. They downed a helicopter and killed its door gunner few days ago, but they did it with gunfire.

      Beslan was in 2004 and Dubrovka in 2002. They are also dead since then and their bodies were destroyed, so they can’t even return as zombies.

      LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

      You seem to be missing the point: Then, the Olympics wasn’t being held. It’s a special motivating factor, you see. Suppose a bunch of Chechens decided to have a party with singing and dancing in the ruins of the Beslan school. How do you think Russians would react? That’s basically how the Chechens will see the Sochi party.

      And if you think they can’t attack, presumably you’d have no problem going to Sochi for the games, right? If so, do send us a postcard — should you live long enough to do so.

    • Oh, and the targets of hostage takings in 2002 and 2004 were of course Russians (and Ossetians). In Moscow they even wanted to release all of foreigners (to the representatives of their respective embassies with media present as a PR move), but the Russians actively sabotaged this offer and this some of them died in the Russian attack.

      Regarding “Chechens vs whole world” myth, see for example (there are also many other bogus Chechen sighting around the world):
      http://easterncampaign.wordpress.com/2007/08/24/imaginary-chechens-attack/

      The others mostly also stay in their own republics (where they are supported by their own populations, fighting largely for their own local aims and reasons).

  2. There seems to be a significant row between Kremlin and Dagestan (slobbering meetings notwithstanding). Several months ago Moscow wasn’t able to install their tax man in Makhachkala, and a few weeks ago Kremlin sacked well-connected Dagestani from the seemingly insignificant role of the head of Exhibition Center.

    While public disapproval of Mukhu Aliev isn’t nearly as high as it was in Ingushetia, I am sure Putin may pull the strings of “popular anger” and isn’t shy to show it

  3. Robert, I understand your sentiment. There are many reasons to remove Olympics from Sochi; rebels or gangsters from Dagestan and Chechnya are not on the list.
    However, consider recent situation in Moscow Vnukovo airport. Unknown robbers drove to the tarmac in a car with fake Luzhkov’s license plate, got into airport VIP room and relieved one Mr Kahrimanov of 45 million rubles that he for whatever reason brought to Moscow from Dagestan capital.

    Is it plausible that Mr Kahrimanov happen to be in Sochi during the opening ceremony? Remember that unlike Moscow, Sochi is within driving distance from Dagestan. Also remember, that Sochi borders on Abkhazia that serves as one big neighborhood off-shore for money laundering.

    Could it be that another group of Ocean 11 decided to relieve Mr Kahrimanov of his ill-gotten currency in Sochi. And consider also that the heist went bad. Given FSB propensity to solve hostage situation the way they solved it in Beslan and Nord-Ost, what is the expected number of killed and wounded?

  4. Actually Abkhazia is the perfect location for setting up a new off-shore banking hub, given that Switzerland–and most of the other traditional off-shore banking havens–have recently capitulated to the New World Order by agreeing to “name names” and turn over private banking data to other politically-interested state actors.

    In the first place, it’s not as if Abkhazia has anything to lose from defying the NWO clan (as the NWO doesn’t even recognize the right of Abkhazi state to exist to begin with, and thus Abkhazia relies completely on Mother Russia for protection from the warlike, maniacal and genocidal Georgian horsemen).

    In the post-Soviet era perhaps Abkhazia will never become the “vacation destination of choice” that it once was, but it still has to base its economy on something.

    Perhaps Abkhazia can base its economy on gambling and legal prostitution (like the otherwise-worthless ‘dessert one’ Los Vegas does) or perhaps it can base its economy on private banking (as formerly-neutral Switzerland once did).

    In the second place, assets placed with Abkhazi banks can always be sterilized and legitimized through those banks’ connections with perfectly above-board Russian banks, when and where it is suitable to do so.

    Try tracing banking transactions through banks located in a country that you refuse to even recognize. And good luck with that project.

    • Misha,

      “In the second place, assets placed with Abkhazi banks can always be sterilized and legitimized through those banks’ connections with perfectly above-board Russian banks, when and where it is suitable to do so.”

      Above board Russian banks? Who are you trying to kid?

      Abkhazia is already a criminal (and repulsive and genocidal) KGB mafia state.

      Your opinions only confirm the criminality and stupidity of the average Russophile.

    • Amazing, do Russophiles have any intelligent arguments? I heard some Eastern proverb, “even if you say ‘sugar’ three times, it won’t get any sweeter in your mouth”. By calling Saakashvili warlike, maniacal and genocidal (triple curse) it will suddenly become so, right? And by calling Russian banks perfectly above-board – they will suddenly become ones! Incredible…

      In the post-Soviet era perhaps Abkhazia will never become the “vacation destination of choice” that it once was, but it still has to base its economy on something.

      Unlike Adjaria, I may add. Batumi, despite initial tension with Gamsakhurdia, chose a lesser evil and is now flourishing. As far as Abkhazia goes – there is always Somalian style piracy! Imagine the possibilities – the country is not recognized by anybody, there is Olympic-size construction with Olympic-size corruption going next door…

  5. Btw, the Russian claim was since self-corrected:

    “The issue is now clarified. The point is that out of the 12 casualties, so far only the leader, the commander, has been approximately identified. And the Minister has supposed that at least three of them can be mercenaries. But to prove that, we need to hold plenty of procedures and examinations, and only then we’ll be able to tell something in particular,” Mr Tolchinskiy [head of the Dagestan MVD] press service] said.

    Of course, there were never any “Arab mercenaries” in the region whatsoever – there were just a few volunteers.

    The other side said 14 troops were killed and 20 wounded in the battle (officially 5 killed and 3 wounded).

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