Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 43

– Policemen Targeted in Chechnya

Two policemen were wounded on November 7 when unknown gunmen fired on a police patrol in the Chechen capital Grozny, Kavkazky Uzel reported. The website quoted an anonymous Chechen Interior Ministry officer as saying that the attackers fled after police returned fire. On November 5, an employee of the Chechen Interior Ministry’s criminal investigation department was wounded by unidentified gunmen in Chechnya’s Grozny district. “Unidentified people shot and wounded an officer of the criminal police with submachineguns from a passing Lada car in the village of Prigorodnoye, Grozny district, on Monday evening [November 5],” On November 6, Itar-Tass quoted an unnamed source as saying. “The policeman was returning home from his precinct.” According to Itar-Tass, the policeman was hospitalized. On November 3, a local policeman was seriously wounded near an automobile market on Petropavlovsky Highway on the outskirts of Grozny during an attempt to arrest two suspected rebel fighters. According to Kavkazky Uzel, a young girl who was in the area when the shootout occurred was also wounded. One of the suspected fighters, a 23-year-old local resident named Turpal-Ali Yunusov, was killed, while the other, Magomed Salgeriev, managed to escape. RIA Novosti reported on November 3 that a serviceman was wounded when unknown gunmen fired on two Interior Ministry vehicles traveling on the Grozny-Argun Highway near the Grozny district settlement of Petropavlovskaya. According to the news agency, the wounded serviceman was an engineer from Bashkortostan.

– Hunters and Forest Rangers Murdered in Kabardino-Balkaria

On November 5, RIA Novosti reported that the bodies of nine men, all of them hunters or forest rangers, were found in a wooded area in Kabardino-Balkaria where police suspect they were killed after running a cross a group of militants. . A police source told the news agency that the attackers killed the victims, identified as four hunters and five gamekeepers who were accompanying them, and took away their rifles. Citing Kabardino-Balkaria’s Interior Ministry, the Associated Press reported on November 5 that the bodies of the men, aged 30 to 50, were found on November 4 with their hands tied and gunshot wounds to the head. The ministry said they may have been killed the day before. Ruslan Bichelov, identified as the brother of a ranger killed, said on NTV television that the attackers took hunting rifles and knives the men had been carrying and killed four dogs that had been with them. According to NTV, the hunters and rangers who were killed were dressed in camouflage and traveling in two vehicles of a make often used by police and security forces, suggesting the attackers could have mistaken them for law-enforcement authorities. AP quoted regional investigator Valery Ustov as saying in televised comments that the murderers of the hunters and rangers may have been involved in an October 2005 attack on law-enforcement and government offices in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria’s capital. Ustov gave no specific grounds for the suspicions, AP reported.

– Strasbourg Court Again Rules Against Russia in Chechnya Case

The European Court for Human Rights ruled on November 8 that the investigation into allegations that former Grozny resident Suleiman Medov had been tortured was not conducted effectively. Arsen Sakalov, director of the Ingush NGO “Pravovaya initsiativa” (Legal Initiative), which is aiding the plaintiff, told Kavkazky Uzel the Strasbourg-based court ruled that while Medov had not presented sufficient evidence to prove he had been tortured by federal Interior Ministry personnel, the Russian authorities did not properly investigate his torture allegations and must pay him 5,000 euros ($7,333) in compensation. Medov claims he was tortured by federal forces in several detention facilities in Chechnya in 2000, including the notorious Chernokozovo remand center.