Tag Archives: chechnya

The Hydra of Terrorism in the Failed State called Putin’s Russia

Alexei Malashenko, an analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Center, writing in the Moscow Times:

Once again, Russia and the world were shocked by an atrocious terrorist attack, one in which at least 39 people were killed in the Moscow metro.

The country’s terrorists have made it clear that they are still as strong and capable as ever to strike at any time or place. The group’s main leader, Chechen rebel Doku Umarov, has been warning for years that jihad will spread to all of Russia. The suicide bombers and their supporters carried out Monday’s mission with their typical professionalism and precision. The media have reported the existence of two special schools in the Caucasus for training suicide bombers, and now those graduates have brought their “skills” to practice.

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Putin has lost control in the Caucasus

The New York Times reports, under the headline “With Breakdown of Order in Russia’s Dagestan Region, Fear Stalks Police”:

At a certain point last summer, when snipers on rooftops began picking off police officers, Col. Mukhtar Mukhtarov’s wife blocked the door with her body and refused to let him leave home in his uniform.

For 25 years, it had been one of the great joys of Colonel Mukhtarov’s life to walk the streets in his red-striped police cap. But by last summer all that had been turned so thoroughly on its head that he quietly went back to his bedroom to change into civilian clothes.

His son Gassan, a 20-year-old beat officer, has known the job only this way, thick with fear. He changes in his car outside the station house. Aware that militants often follow police officers for days before killing them — his neck sometimes prickling with the sense of being watched — Gassan Mukhtarov swaps license plates with friends to make himself harder to track. He is still not safe. He knows that.

“They’ve known who I was from the first day,” he said.

It is all a measure of how thoroughly order has broken down in the Russian region of Dagestan, in the North Caucasus. Fifty-eight police officers were killed in attacks here last year, according to the republic’s Interior Ministry, many of them while running errands or standing at their posts. Last month alone, according to press reports, 13 officers were killed in bombings and gangland-style shootings.

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EDITORIAL: A Postcard from that Special Hell called “Russia”


A Postcard from that Special Hell called “Russia”

Is Russia the very worst place on this planet?

We challenge you to carefully read our original translation published below in this issue, thoughtfully reflect (if you dare) on the photographs published along with it, and come to any other conclusion.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is hell on earth.

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Another Original LR Translation: Lethal Garlic — More “accidental” fatalities in Ingushetia

WARNING: This post, a translation from the website of the Russian human rights organization Memorial, deals with gruesome acts of violence in the war-torn breakaway republic of Chechnya.  Following the text is a series of explicit photographs of civilian casualties resulting from a Russian “anti-terrorist” campaign.  The photos are very disturbing and all readers are advised to exercise caution in deciding the click the jump and view the entire post.  You can read the text without seeing the photographs by scrolling carefully and stopping where the text ends and the photos are marked to begin.

This translation has been prepared by LR staff. As always, corrections are welcome and encouraged.   

Hat tip:  Reader “Robert.” 

Lethal Garlic:  More “accidental” fatalities in Ingushetia 


February 15, 2010 

On February 11-12, 2010, in a forest on the border of Ingushetia and Chechnya, near the Ingush villages of Arshty and Datta, a special military operation was conducted by Russian forces.  The government reported on the destruction of a large detachment of rebel fighters and denied that any civilian casualties had occurred.  However, on February 12th we began receiving reports that there had in fact been civilians killed, and the next day we visited Arshty.  The following day we visited the Achkoi-Martan district in Chechnya.  Working with representatives of Human Rights Watch, we interviewed dozens of witnesses.  As a result, we can confidently assert that in the region where the operation was carried out were a large number of civilian residents and at least four of them were killed. 

The assault carried out by federal forces began with a missile barrage in the early morning hours on February 11th.  It continued throughout the day, ceased with the onset of darkness and then resumed the next day at dawn.  Federal forces initially reported that the cadre of rebel fighters numbered 15-25, and it was reported that from half to nearly all of them had been killed.  The President of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, visited the area on February 12th and claimed that 18 rebels had been killed.  A list of various wanted figures was given by Ingushetia’s Prosecutor Yury Turygin as having been killed in the attack. 

But we learned on February 12th that among those killed were also civilians who had been in the nearby woods gathering wild garlic, and the reports we received were confirmed by the president’s press secretary in an interview with Echo of Moscow radio, where he stated:  “During the course of the special operation about 70 local residents were evacuated from the woods where they had been collecting wild garlic, but unfortunately four of them came under fire and were killed.”  The president did not include these victims with the 18 persons killed in the raid.  [Story reported in English by RIA Novosti on February 13th here.] 

To see for ourselves, Memorial staff left for Arshty on the afternoon of February 13th.  The villagers confirmed that there had been civilian casualties, including children.  On the south-eastern outskirts of Arshty Memorial was shown the bodies of seven adults, six wrapped in sleeping bags, perhaps to identify the remains of militant fighters. 

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Annals of Russian Barbarism in Chechnya

Oksana Chelysheva writes us via Facebook:

New proofs of the innocence of the Gataev couple and the role of the security police of Lithuania in fabricating charges against them were announced at the press-conference held in Helsinki on January 22.

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EDITORIAL: Russia and its Bandits


Russia and its Bandits

Our hearts skipped a beat last week last week when we read reports indicating that Russian “president” Dima Medvedev had declared his intention to “eliminate the bandits” who were plaguing his country.

At last, we thought!  Finally Russia’s so-called leader has seen the light and is going to arrest proud KGB spy Vladimir Putin and his gang of thugs who have been robbing the nation blind for years.  And that’s to say nothing of the murders.

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Vladimir Putin, War Criminal

Leila Pliyeva holding photos of her son Alikshan Pliyev

The Washington Post reports:

Aliskhan Pliyev was talking on his cell phone with his girlfriend one autumn afternoon when two dozen masked men in uniforms stormed into his family’s house, grabbed him and began to hustle him away.

The 30-year-old construction worker’s three sisters screamed, demanding to know where the intruders were taking him. “None of your business!” a man in a black mask shouted, before Pliyev was driven off in a convoy of cars and vans escorted by an armored personnel carrier. He hasn’t been seen since.

Officials here in the Russian region of Ingushetia say they don’t know anything about Pliyev’s abduction, one of scores in recent months that have caused fresh outrage and grief in a region already scarred by over 15 years of fighting.

But the young man’s kidnapping in the outskirts of Ingushetia’s largest city bears the hallmarks of what rights activists call Russia’s “policy of state terror,” a shadow war against violent Muslim separatists in the North Caucasus, a strategic crossroads of Europe and Asia.

A central tactic in the war, activists say, is forced disappearances – the brazen snatching of young people from their homes or off the street, often by gangs of masked men who move freely, even in areas heavily patrolled by Russian military and police. The pace of forced disappearances has doubled in the past year, following a spike in militant attacks on police and authorities, including suicide bombings, ambushes and assassinations.

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