Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 7 Issue: 11


Radio Liberty correspondent Andrei Babitsky was questioned for six hours by the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office in connection with his interview last year with Chechen rebel warlord Shamil Basaev (see Chechnya Weekly, August 3, 2005), as well as his relation with “leaders of the illegal armed gang formations,” Kommersant reported on March 13. Babitsky, who lives in Prague, was questioned after arriving at Moscow’s Sheremetevo-2 international airport on March 11. Babitsky said he was told the questioning was connected to a case involving the incitement of racial hatred, but that he was not told who was being charged with this crime. Babitsky said the official who questioned him was “very friendly” and made it clear that the Prosecutor General’s Office had no complaints against him.


An officer of the Dagestani Interior Ministry’s Department for Combating Organized Crime was shot dead in Makhachkala by assailants with automatic rifles as he was returning home from work, Interfax reported on March 13, quoting a republican law enforcement source. The attackers seized a pistol from the slain police officer. On March 10, a bomb blast killed Magomed Magomedov, deputy head of the Dagestani Interior Ministry’s Criminal Investigation Department, as he was being driven in a car in Makhachkala. His driver was wounded.


Two members of an OMON special police unit from the city of Tolyatti were wounded on March 10 in an attack in the town of Sleptsovskaya in Ingushetia’s Sunzhensky district, Kavkazky Uzel reported. Citing Ingushetian law enforcement sources, the website reported that the incident took place in the “Uzbekskaya kukhnya” café located near the town’s central market. Unidentified attackers fired on the servicemen at point-blank range and ran off. A source in the Sunzhensky police told Kavkazky Uzel that the incident took place when the policemen got into a fight with two young people who, in the course of the fracas, took automatic weapons from the policemen and shot two of them, wounding them seriously.