More Bloodshed in “Pacified” Chechnya

Bloomberg reports:

A suicide bomber killed four policemen and two builders after being stopped outside a theater in Grozny, capital of Russia’s Chechnya region.

The bomber blew himself up yesterday after police barred entry to a hall where 800 people were watching a play, Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov said on the ministry’s Web site today. Four other police officers and another bystander were injured, the ministry said.

Chechnya’s Kremlin-backed president, Ramzan Kadyrov, said he had planned to attend the performance, but was late, RIA Novosti reported. Kadyrov is struggling to contain separatist violence even after convincing the federal government in April to lift a 1999 counterterrorism decree. Islamic separatists and federal troops have fought two wars in Chechnya since the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev said his government-in- exile asked the military wing to halt attacks on Chechen police as of Aug. 1 and called on followers of Doku Umarov, the self- proclaimed Emir of the North Caucasus, to comply, Kommersant said today.  Zakayev held talks last week on restoring stability in the region with Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov, the chairman of Chechnya’s parliament and a representative of Kadyrov’s government, the Chechnya Peace Forum said in an e-mailed statement on July 24. The U.K. granted Zakayev asylum in 2003, the same year Kadyrov’s father was elected president of Chechnya. Kadyrov’s father was assassinated in May 2004.

RIA Novosti adds:

The suicide bomber who set off an explosive device in Chechnya’s capital on Sunday, killing six people, has been identified, a police spokesman said on Tuesday.  “During the course of the investigation experts established the identity of the bomber, who set off the explosion near the concert hall. He was Rustam Mukhadiev, a resident of Argun [a town in Chechnya’s Shalinsky District] born in 1988,” the spokesman said. According to the police, Mukhadiev had been a member of armed opposition groups since 2007. “He joined the militant group headed by Muncigov, also known as ‘Shatral,'” the spokesman added. According to the police, the blast occurred 40 meters (130 feet) from the concert hall at 17:00 Moscow time (13:00 GMT) on Sunday. At the time of the attack, there was a crowd of the people on the square. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov was due to attend the event in the concert hall, but he arrived late.

Four police officers were among the six people killed.

The previous terrorist bomb attack in Grozny occurred on July 7, when a bomb went off in a trash can, injuring nine people.

10 responses to “More Bloodshed in “Pacified” Chechnya

    • It’s actually quite a day as usual in Ingushetia and Dagestan.

      The four Grozny policemen were actually all high-ranking officers, for some reason assigned to cordon duty (and this reason may be Kadyrov trusted them personally to ensure his security and not go out like his father did).

      Btw, Zakayev just announced a ceasefire regarding the Chechen police.

  1. The Kremlin’s Violent Underbelly

    The Kremlin has been caught off guard by a spike in violence in the North Caucasus over the past few months. One reason for this: The Kremlin had believed its policies in the region were successful. After canceling its anti-terrorist operations in Chechnya (largely at the insistence of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov), the authorities were convinced that the situation there had stabilized.

    It is clear, however, that the picture is far less rosy. It has become obvious that the number of insurgents in the North Caucasus — primarily in Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan — is greater than official figures have stated and that they have deep reserves and the ability to operate at a fairly professional level. The militants have also formed, if not coalitions, then at least mutual understandings with other political forces, primarily those that have suffered from the government’s fight against corruption. The result is that the daily news coming from the Caucasus sounds more like war coverage, including attacks on well-known religious figures, government ministers and even Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov.

    It is no longer possible to explain the spike in violence on the seasonal factor — that insurgents are most active in the spring and summer. In Ingushetia, the policies of Yevkurov have caused fear not only among militants, but also corrupt officials who had grown fat under the republic’s previous leader. In Chechnya, the reason for the troubles is the political and human costs associated with the policies of Kadyrov, who is hated as much as he is loved by the population. What started as the Kremlin’s attempt to “Chechenize” the conflict in the republic — that is, to convert it into a domestic struggle rather than one between Russian troops and local forces — has now turned into a “Kadyrovization” of the problem, with all of its numerous drawbacks. As a result, Moscow is becoming increasingly annoyed with Kadyrov’s absolutism and the way his strong loyalty to the Kremlin is coupled with attempts to transform Chechnya into something bordering on an independent state. Neither can Russia’s leaders be too happy about the murders in Moscow and Dubai of the Yamadayev brothers, who had connections with the siloviki, or the recent killing of human rights activist Natalya Estemirova in Chechnya. All of these murders have been linked in one way or another to Kadyrov.

  2. Same goes for “Pacified” Afganistan and Iraq.
    Why are you so pathologically concentrated on Russia in this respect?

    La Russophobe:
    “The previous terrorist bomb attack in Grozny occurred on July 7, when a bomb went off in a trash can, injuring nine people.” …..

    Let me add one more remark: You MUST NOT use the word “terrorist” while talking about Chechen rebels fighting the bad ruskies for the dignity and independance of their native land.
    Since they are fighting bad and ugly ruskies call them rebels, freedom fighters or whatever you want but not terrorists for God’s sake.

    • Pathologically? THIS BLOG IS ABOUT RUSSIA, you blockhead. That’s why.

      Perhaps you haven’t noticed (because you’re an idiot), BUT AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ ARE NOT PART OF THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. Chechnya is part of Russia. Idiot.

      Moreover, why does it it ANY WAY excuse Putin’s failure that George Bush might also have failed? Does it really make you feel better to know that while Russia will be destroyed America will too?

      And meanwhile, THE RUSSIAN STATE HAS COLLAPSED TWICE IN THE PAST CENTURY while the U.S. has not.

      The ignorance and stupidity in your “comment” is so thick as to be unbearable. Gosh, you’re dumb.

    • @”Same goes for “Pacified” Afganistan and Iraq.”

      And by “Afg[h]anistan and Iraq” you probably meant the separatist rebels of Puerto Rico.

      Now, you may compare the situations.

      @La Russophobe:
      “The previous terrorist bomb attack in Grozny occurred on July 7, when a bomb went off in a trash can, injuring nine people.” ….. Let me add one more remark: You MUST NOT use the word “terrorist” while talking about Chechen rebels fighting the bad ruskies for the dignity and independance of their native land.

      It’s the RIAN’s choose of wording. (The “terrorist bomb” in question injured the Russian military commandant of Grozny.)

  3. This one is pretty funny (did this Russian wear a “Wahhabite” beard or something?). It also explains the constant stream of the reports of “bandits” “destroyed” in their cars in Chechnya nowadays:

    Chechen MIA treats execution of Russian colleagues as “tragic accident”

    The incident on July 30, when Chechen militiamen opened occasional fire on the car with their Russian colleagues, having killed two of them, is treated in Chechnya as a “tragic accident”, referring to external similarity of one of the casualties with a Wahhabite ideologist.

    According to the latest data, the casualties were two employees of the Operative-Search Bureau (ORB-2) of the Russian MIA for the SFD (Southern Federal District), who were sent to Chechnya from Yakutsk and Tyumen. A criminal case was opened on the fact of the incident.

    “Ramzan Kadyrov has in fact provided his power agents with a carte blanche on any actions against the people who just seem suspicious. Recently he kept repeatedly stating that militants, their possible helpers and even members of their families shall be liquidated. He also advised not to try detaining potential IAF (illegal armed formation) member, but open fire to kill at once, to avoid any victims among participants of special operations,” said the source.

    “Moreover, the practice is now widespread in the republic, when for every killed militant Kadyrov encourages his militiamen and other servicemen by presenting cars, money and other values to them,” the source has added, having emphasized that as a result of this practice militiamen are ready to kill any suspicious person.

    • Meanwhile, “the bandits” (real ones) at work:

      Five Police Killed In Chechnya As Violence Grows

      August 03, 2009

      GROZNY, Russia (Reuters) — Five police officers were shot dead in an ambush in Russia’s Chechnya, officials have said, the latest in a string of attacks that have undermined the relative calm seen in the province in recent years.


      “The scale of insurgency operations in Ingushetia, Daghestan, and Chechnya is getting quite staggering,” said Tatyana Lokshina, an expert on the North Caucasus with Human Rights Watch. “The Kremlin is definitely worried.”

      Chechnya, the scene of two separatist wars since 1994, saw a sharp fall in violence after the Kremlin handed power to former rebel Ramzan Kadyrov in 2007. Rights groups said his forces achieved stability through a campaign of kidnap and torture.

      In May, Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov said there were no “terror attacks” in the region in 2008 for the first time in years.


      But analysts say other factors have been more important in fuelling the violence. Economic hardship and heavy-handed clampdowns by regional leaders are persuading more young men to join the rebels, swelling their ranks, Lokshina said.

      Pavel Baev, an analyst with the Oslo-based International Peace Research Institute, said a fall in funds provided by Moscow, due to the financial crisis, made it harder for Kadyrov to buy off violent rivals.

      The recent spate of attacks in Chechnya is a sign Kadyrov’s power is on the wane, he said.

      “For a while Kadyrov seemed to be defeating the rebels,” Baev said. “But this now looks like it was a temporary retreat…rebel forces exhausted by a long war have regained their strength.”

      • The ambushed group was the Nizhny Novgorod unit of “Temporary Grouping of the Russian Interior Ministry for the Chechen Republic”, their commander (a colonel) was killed in the attack. In addition to 5 killed, 6 Russians were also injured.

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