Fsb Death Squad Operating In Ingushetia?

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 5 Issue: 22

The May 27 issue of Novaya Gazeta includes a document that claims to be a letter from an FSB officer in southern Russia’s Stavropol region. If authentic, the letter sheds additional light on the mysterious kidnapping in March of Rashid Ozdoyev, an investigator for the Ingushetia procuracy. Ozdoyev disappeared after sending a written protest to the FSB headquarters in Moscow about that agency’s atrocities against Chechen and Ingush civilians in Ingushetia (see Chechnya Weekly, May 5).

The letter now published in Novaya Gazeta purports to be from an FSB officer named Igor Onishchenko, who writes that he has just come home to Stavropol after a tour of duty in Ingushetia. As a result of that tour he received an award for his participation in a successful operation to “take away a local prosecutor” who had “compromising information” about the head of the FSB in Ingushetia.

Onishchenko, or whoever might be writing in his name, also claims that the FSB’s headquarters in Ingushetia had a quota of kidnapping at least five people every week. The letter states: “At the beginning of 2003, we indeed detained only those who were participants [in underground guerrilla groups]. But after September…we began to seize everyone without distinction simply because of their external appearance [i.e. they looked like ethnic Chechens or Ingush rather than Slavs]….Sergei and I personally crippled more than 50 people. I buried about 35.”