Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 7 Issue: 39


The Nazran-based Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (SNO) reported on October 10 that Russian troops the previous day had shelled the village of Selmentauzen in Chechnya’s Vedeno district. According to a report posted on the council’s website,, two shells hit the house of Abdurashid Mutushev, almost completely destroying it. There was no information regarding whether any of the Mutashev family’s ten members were hurt in the bombardment. In 2002, Abdurashid Mutushev took Anna Politkovskaya to the village of Khatuni, where the 45th regiment of the Russian Defense Ministry’s airborne troops was based and where local residents detained by the Russian military were incarcerated. According to the SNO, relatives of Mutashev believe the shelling, which took place two days after Politkovskaya’s murder in Moscow, was deliberate.


The mother of Elina Ersenoeva, the young Chechen journalist who was reportedly forced to marry Chechen rebel warlord Shamil Basaev in autumn 2005 and was abducted at gunpoint, apparently by pro-Moscow Chechen security forces, this past August has reportedly also been kidnapped (Chechnya Weekly, September 15). Kavkazky Uzel reported on October 11 that Rita Ersenoeva was abducted from the village of Stary Atagi in Chechnya’s Grozny agricultural district on October 6 by “representatives of unknown power structures” and driven off to points unknown. Kavkazky Uzel said it learned of the abduction in a report by the Russian-Chechen Information Agency. According to the report, unknown persons telephoned Rita Ersenoeva on October 6 saying they had information about the location and fate of her daughter and suggested meeting near the district’s administration building, where they would pass her the information. Along the road to the administration building, Rita Ersenoeva was abducted by a group of people wearing camouflage uniforms.