Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 6

The official RIA Novosti press service reported on February 7 that, “Four Russian [military] helicopters have crashed in Chechnya over the past two weeks, leaving twenty-three people killed, one person wounded and three others missing…. The causes of these accidents are currently under investigation. The suggested theories include terrorism, human error and technical failure.” “It’s no longer separate incidents, but a tendency,” presidential spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky complained with exasperation on February 8. He emphasized that extra finances had to be provided for the upkeep of the equipment of the federal forces operating in Chechnya (Gazeta.ru, February 8).