Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 33

– More Violence in Ingushetia

Three servicemen were injured in a shooting that took place in a forest in the outskirts of the village of Yandare in Ingushetia’s Nazran district on August 14. ITAR-Tass reported that unidentified persons fired on the Interior Ministry’s Internal Troops who were conducting a special operation in the area. The servicemen returned fire but the attackers managed to escape. The wounded servicemen were hospitalized. Isa Merzhoev, acting chief of police in Ingushetia’s Sunzhensky district, was seriously wounded by an unidentified gunman in the village of Troitskaya on July 11, ITAR-Tass reported. According to the news agency, the attacker fired at Merzhoev from close range with a weapon fitted with a silencer and then fled the scene. The federal Interior Ministry recently announced that it had sent an additional 2,500 servicemen to Ingushetia, tripling the number of federal Interior Ministry troops deployed there, as part of a “complex preventative operation” against rebels set to last until the end of August (Eurasia Daily Monitor, August 15).

– Another Attack on Police in Kabardino-Balkaria

Unknown assailants fired on a vehicle carrying policemen in the village of Elbrus in Kabardino-Balkaria, the Caucasus Times reported on August 10. No one was hurt in the attack. The website noted that this was the third attempt on the lives of law-enforcement officers in Kabardino-Balkaria’s Elbrus district in the past two months. The website of the Chechenpress news agency on July 26 posted a statement by a group describing itself as “the mujahideen of Kabarda and Balkaria” claiming responsibility for the July 23 murder of Akhmat Teberdiev, head of the criminal investigation department of the police department in Kabardino-Balkaria’s Elbrussky district. It also claimed responsibility for the July 7 murder of Zaur Khamdokhov, a captain with the anti-organized crime directorate of Kabardino-Balkaria’s Interior Ministry branch. Teberdiev was shot to death and Khamdokhov was killed when a bomb blew up his car (Chechnya Weekly, July 26 and August 2).

– Dagestani Police Break Up Protest by Detainees’ Relatives

The Associated Press reported on August 10 that police in Makhachkala, Dagestan, dispersed a demonstration of about 30 women picketing the main government building to protest the abduction of their relatives in recent months by suspected members of the security services. The protesters, who said the abductors usually wore camouflage uniforms, demanded for the dismissal of Dagestan’s interior minister and chief prosecutor, the For Human Rights group said in a statement. The demonstration was organized by the “Mothers of Dagestan” organization (Chechnya Weekly, August 9). Kavkazky Uzel on August 10 quoted protesters as saying that while breaking up the demonstration, police kicked them and beat them with clubs. Kavkazky Uzel reported on August 14 that members of the “Mothers of Dagestan” were continuing a hunger strike they had announced earlier this month. The women vowed to continue the hunger strike until Dagestani President Mukhu Aliev received them.

– Strasbourg Court Finds Russia Responsible for Death of Serviceman in Chechnya

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, ordered Russia to pay 2,000 euros (around $2,695) as moral compensation to a resident of the town of Krasnokamsk in Perm Krai whose son was killed while serving with the Russian army in Chechnya, Interfax reported on August 13. According to a Krasnokamsk human rights group, Maria Vershinina filed the suit with the Strasbourg-based court in December 2003 after the Russian Defense Ministry failed to comply with a 2001 verdict by the Krasnokamsk city court ordering it to pay compensation for the death of her son, Sergei, in October 1999. The Krasnokamsk court had ruled that Sergei Vershinin’s death was the fault of the command of the Vladikavkaz military unit.