Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 38

On October 17, the online daily Vesti.ru published the text of an interview with Vladislav Reznik, deputy head of the “Unity” faction in the Russian parliament and deputy chairman of the State Duma’s Budget Committee. “Unity,” as Reznik noted during the interview, “is a presidential faction supporting the government.” He and a group of the members of his faction had recently returned from inspection visits to Chechnya and Tajikistan. On the subject of Chechnya, Reznik complained that the Russian Combined Group of Forces based in the republic does not possess a single medical helicopter for the evacuation of badly wounded soldiers. In addition, many of the military helicopters used in the war have been grounded due to mechanical problems. Reznik saw twenty such helicopters at a military base in Chechnya. Other helicopters being flown are older in age than the officers who fly in them, including captains and majors. “I would send the most up-to-date weapons to Chechnya,” Reznik recommended. “The equipment which I saw there is very old… [including] armored vehicles from the time of the Afghan war.”