The masked gunmen who conduct state sanctioned kidnappings in Chechnya often arrive in armored vehicles; this has been considered to be proof that they are federal servicemen. But according to an article in last week’s Moskovskie novosti, the members of Akhmad Kadyrov’s private army who engage in such kidnappings also have access to armored personnel carriers.
The widow of a kidnapping victim in Grozny told the weekly’s correspondent, Igor Naidenov, that the men who burst into her home were speaking with each other in Chechen, not in Russian. “I asked where Chechens would have managed to get armored personnel carriers,” wrote Naidenov. “Aminat looked at me as if I had just been born. It turns out that the [Kadyrovite] Chechens have regular business dealings with the federals for this purpose, renting out their armored vehicles for their nighttime operations–and then sharing half the profits with them. More recently they are said to have begun sharing only one-third, not half. Just who decided these terms is unknown.”