–ATTACKS INCREASING IN CHECHNYA?
Contrary to the image of “normalization” projected by the Kremlin, the number of rebel attacks in Chechnya classified by the Kadyrov administration as “terrorist” rose by more than 50 percent from 2002 to 2003. In the year just ended the total number of such incidents was 543, as compared with 351 in 2002, according to Kadyrov’s interior minister, Alu Alkhanov.
–LATEST RUSSIAN CASUALTIES
Eight Russian servicemen were killed in firefights or mine explosions in Chechnya during a twenty-four-hour period ending on January 8, an official of the Kadyrov administration told the Associated Press. The sixteen attacks by rebel guerrillas during that period included an ambush of a military convoy in the southern Shali district. At the same time, the official said that pro-Moscow forces across the republic seized at least 120 people on suspicions of rebel activity.
–SWEEP SAID TO LEAVE SIX MISSING
Gunmen of Kadyrov’s personal army conducted a “zachistka” security raid in the village of Valerik in western Chechnya’s Achkhoi-Martan district during the night of December 27-28, according to a January 12 article in Nezavisimaya gazeta. Human rights activists of the Society of Russian-Chechen Friendship told the newspaper that the raiders burst into private homes and seized some eleven people. Five of the detainees were released the next day, but two weeks later there was still nothing known about what had happened to the other six.