Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 44


Agence France-Presse, citing an anonymous government official, reported on November 22 that six soldiers had been killed and five wounded in 18 attacks on Russian positions by Chechens separatists over a 24-hour period. In a separate incident, three soldiers were killed and three were wounded when their armored vehicle ran over a mine in Chechnya’s southern Vedeno district, the news agency reported. Also in southern Chechnya, one soldier was killed and another was wounded in clashes with rebels that also left one rebel fighter dead. Meanwhile, a police officer was shot dead at a street market in Grozny. The assailant escaped, but some 20 people were arrested.


Human Rights Watch said in a November 18 press release that Russian law enforcement officials have used “ill-treatment” to coerce confessions from suspects in the October 13 armed attacks in Nalchik. The group quoted the lawyer for Rasul Kudaev, a former prisoner in the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, who was arrested ten days after the Nalchik attacks, as saying that her client “was severely beaten in detention and could not walk without assistance when she saw him on October 26.” Human Rights Watch quoted witnesses as saying that “other detained suspects had told them of prolonged beatings both immediately after their arrest and subsequently in detention at the organized crime department of the police” and that several of the witnesses said that the detainees had “clearly visible injuries that appeared consistent with the reported ill-treatment.” The group also quoted lawyers for at least five of the ill-treated detainees as saying that the officials who are investigating the October 13 attacks had illegally barred them from representing their clients.


Chechen Prime Minister Sergei Abramov was injured in a traffic accident outside Moscow on November 17 while en route to the airport to fly to Chechnya, where he was due to meet with the presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District, Dmitry Kozak. Abramov’s car collided with a truck, leaving him with a ruptured kidney and broken ribs. An aide, Tamerlan Mingaev, told RIA Novosti on November 23 that Abramov was in stable condition and recovering quickly.