Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 8

The presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District, Viktor Kazantsev, has announced that the conscription of young Chechen men into the Russian military will commence during the first half of 2001; they will undergo military service only on Chechen territory (Ekho Moskvy Radio, February 9). Major General Ivan Babichev, the military commandant of Chechnya, has elaborated on Kazantsev’s statement, explaining that Chechen youths will be drafted into “construction battalions,” to be formed within the ministries of Defense, Emergency Situations, and the Railroad Corps. The plan will allegedly “give work to thousands of youths, who will be able to help their families” (Glasnost Foundation-Chechnya, February 16).