Eight Russian troops were slain in Chechnya during a 24-hour period ending on July 10, according to the Associated Press. An unnamed official in Grozny’s pro-Moscow administration told the news agency that five of the servicemen were killed by gunfire, including an episode in Grozny in which a federal soldier was shot from a passing car. Another three Russian servicemen died when a mine blew up their vehicle near the village of Itum-Kale on the Argun River in Chechnya’s southern highlands.
Ruslan Isayev of Prague Watchdog concluded in a report published on July 6 that the overall situation in Chechnya “has steeply turned for the worse over the past couple of days. Explosions, shoot-outs and kidnappings now occur in various parts of the republic almost on a daily basis.” The examples he gave included an episode in which five residents of western Chechnya’s Sunzhensky district near the border with Ingushetia “were abducted by a group of unknown armed masked men, who arrived on vehicles without number plates.”