The federal Prosecutor-General’s Office stated in an item posted on its website on June 13 that there is a growing problem in Chechnya with the republic’s law-enforcement officers joining “illegal armed groups” – that is, rebel groups. “The number of illegal armed groups that include law-enforcement officers has increased in the Chechen Republic recently,” Interfax quoted a statement by the Prosecutor-General’s Office as saying. It added that the Chechen prosecutor’s office and Chechnya’s Interior Ministry “are taking all the necessary measures to detect such people.” Citing the Prosecutor-General’s Office, Interfax also reported that a court in Chechnya’s Shali district had found a member of the Chechen Interior Ministry’s regiment in charge of guarding facilities in the republic’s oil and gas sector guilty of joining a rebel group and helping militants freely move across Chechnya. The Interior Ministry officer was sentenced to four years in prison. (See Andrei Smirnov’s article below.)
Citing Chechnya’s Interior Ministry, Interfax reported on June 13 that Chechen law-enforcement agencies detained a man who confessed to procuring medicines and clothing for militants. The man, a resident of the Grozny rural district, was detained in the Vedeno district center on June 12. He told interrogators he had contacts with an illegal armed group headed by someone named Shatral in the village of Dargo. Chechnya’s Interior Ministry told Interfax it was hunting for members of the illegal armed group.