Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 5 Issue: 44

The Chechen Times reported on November 26 that a mass grave containing the bodies of eleven unidentified young people, aged 12 to 20, was discovered near the Gudermes district village of Jalka on November 20. On November 19, a charred body was found near town of Barzoi in the Shatoi district. The body was identified as that of a local resident with the surname Avtugeriev, who had been kidnapped earlier. On November 16, local residents in the Grozny rural district discovered three bodies in the vicinity of residences located near a dairy farm. The victims, males aged 20-40, showed multiple signs of torture. According to the newspaper, the Russian Defense Ministry’s “Zapad” special operations battalion is based in that area. In August, Chechnya’s First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov charged that officers from the Zapad battalion and other special units had engaged in extortion and kidnapping.