Insurgent Violence in Dagestan Shows No Signs of Letting Up
A suspected member of an “illegal armed group” was killed in Dagestan’s Sergo-Kala district on March 4, Interfax reported. Dagestan’s Interior Ministry identified the dead militant as Magomedshakir Magomedov, a resident of Dagestan’s Kayakent district who was recently registered as “an advocate of a radical and extremist Islamic movement” and allegedly a member of the “Izberbash sabotage and terrorist group.” Itar-Tass reported on February 27 that a large bomb placed next to the Mozdok-Gazimagomed trunk gas pipeline in Dagestan’s Kayakent district had been disarmed. A Federal Security Service (FSB) source said the bomb consisted of a tin bucket filled with saltpeter and aluminum powder, an electric detonator and a timer. On February 26, five people, including four policemen, were wounded when a remote-control explosive device damaged a bus carrying a group of law-enforcement officers in Makhachkala. RIA Novosti reported that a platoon commander and three policemen were hospitalized with contusions while a civilian passerby sustained minor injuries.
Russian Nationalists Commemorate Chechnya Battle
Hundreds of Russian ultra-nationalists held a demonstration in Moscow to mark the battle in 2000 in which several dozens of Russian paratroopers died when rebels overran them in the Chechen town of Ulus-Kert. As The Associated Press (AP) reported, anti-immigrant groups have seized on the battle, which has been memorialized in movies and documentaries, to target Chechens and people from the North Caucasus. According to Agence France-Presse, some demonstrators shouted slogans like “Great Victory!” and “Praise to the Heros!”, while others carried placards bearing photographs of soldiers condemned for crimes in Chechnya, including former Yuri Budanov, the Russian tank commander who was found guilty of strangling an 18-year-old Chechen girl to death in 2000. AP reported that Alexander Belov, leader of the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, called for naming Budanov as Chechnya’s president.