Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 5

Two graves with the bodies of six people were discovered on the outskirts of the village of Zamai-Yurt in Chechnya’s Nozhai-Yurt district on January 29, Kavkazky Uzel reported on January 31. A law-enforcement source told the website that those buried in the two graves were men dressed in camouflage uniforms. “All of them died from bullet wounds,” the sources said. “It is possible that they were members of the illegal armed formations and died in battle against federal troops, but other versions cannot be ruled out.” On January 29, Kavkazky Uzel quoted Ismail Bakaev, a resident of Chechnya’s Vedeno district, as saying that locals had discovered three mutilated bodies on the outskirts of the mountain village of Dargo on January 24. “All of the murdered were men, but it was not determined who they were or when they were killed,” Bakaev said. “We photographed the bodies after which we buried them in the local cemetery. I think that those who are searching for their missing relatives will be able to identify them by the details of their clothes and other characteristics.”

The Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (ORChD) reported on January 27 that residents of the town of Shali had blocked the road leading into the village of Agishty to protest to abduction of locals. According to an ORChD press release, on January 22, members of “undetermined power structures” kidnapped Shali resident Zelimkhan Khazhakhonov from his home on Ulitsa Kurgannaya. Another Shali resident, Adam Islamgeriev, had disappeared the previous day, and the press release cited “unconfirmed information” that he had been murdered by Russian servicemen who had driven to the town from the Shali district village of Agishty. On January 24, relatives of Islamgeriev blocked the road leading into Agishty not far from a military unit’s encampment, demanding that the military immediately release him or his body. The protesting relatives were joined by civilians working for the military unit. The demonstrators agreed to disperse only after a military officer came out and promised to punish those responsible for Islamgeriev’s disappearance.