More horrifying stories from the endless war the world forgot.
The sixty, seventy or eighty bodies found unburied at a dacha near Russia’s main military base had their hands tied or wired behind their backs and were killed by knife or gunshot. Because it would be “too expensive” to move them to a morgue, the corpses decompose in an unrefrigerated hangar on the base, where technicians work to identify them in the few days before nature forces a burial. The prosecutor for the pro-Moscow administration, Vsevolod Chernov, has affirmed categorically: “All of those identified are either rebels or civilians who collaborated with them.”
Russian news agencies reported that the Federal Security Service had freed Anatoly Fabritsyn, a Ukrainian held as a slave in Chechnya since 1990. Fabritsyn said he went to Chechnya on an offer of employment, but when he arrived his papers were taken and he was effectively enslaved–used to dig trenches, herd cattle and transport munitions–and frequently starved and beaten. Cut off from the outside world until his rescue, he did not know the Soviet Union had ceased to exist or that Ukraine was an independent country.
Russian Colonel Yury Badanov, accused of the kidnap, rape and murder of an 18-year-old Chechen woman, is on trial in Rostov-on-Don. Badanov claims he thought the woman was a terrorist. The colonel’s defenders inside and outside the courtroom call him a man who was doing his duty. The rare trial of an officer for offenses against Chechen civilians has attracted enormous media attention.
Two Chechen field commanders arrested in Baku, Azerbaijan were turned over to Russian authorities. Ruslan Akhmadov is accused of kidnapping four telecommunications workers (three British nationals and a New Zealander) who were later beheaded. Badrudi Mutrazaev is charged with beheading a captured Russian soldier. British officials may be asked to participate in Akhmadov’s interrogation.
For further information, see Jamestown’s special reports on Chechnya at https://chechnya.jamestown.org.