–SERBIAN WAR CRIMINALS IN CHECHNYA?
A group of Serbian terrorists was sent to Chechnya by the Russian secret services several months ago, United Press International reported on November 18. The group was headed by Rajko Kusic, a Serb paramilitary commander who is wanted by the Hague War Crimes Tribunal for involvement in the slaying of Bosnian Muslims. According to UPI, the Bosnian media, citing “sources inside the government secret services of Bosnia-Herzegovina,” reported that before being sent to Chechnya, Kusic’s group received training at a camp near the Bosnian town of Zepa. Kusic reportedly maintains close ties to both Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.
–RUSSIAN DESERTER GRANTED ASYLUM IN U.K.
Britain has granted asylum to a Russian conscript who left his unit in Chechnya, the Moscow Times reported on November 22. The Immigration Appeal Tribunal, Britain’s highest judicial authority on asylum applications, decided to grant Andrei Krotov asylum in May, but only recently made the decision public. Krotov deserted his combat reconnaissance unit in Chechnya in early 2000 and fled to Britain, where he immediately sought asylum. According to the tribunal’s ruling, Krotov considered the war politically motivated and was afraid he would be required to “kill innocent civilians and destroy property in a reprehensible manner.” The tribunal noted that there were “numerous credible reports of human rights abuses and atrocities committed by federal forces” in Chechnya in 1999 and 2000, and that fear of the consequences for his disobedience was a “significant part” of Krotov’s claim for asylum.