Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 26

On the evening of September 11, relations between Russian military forces based in Chechnya and the pro-Moscow Chechen police became strained “to the maximum.” After a Kamaz truck carrying soldiers from the Russian military commandant’s office of Oktyabr’sky District in Grozny swerved at great speed, while traveling in the center of Grozny, into an oncoming lane and crashed into a bus carrying Chechen civilians–killing one woman and injuring seven–the pro-Moscow Chechen police quickly appeared. “Almost immediately gunfire broke out. Who shot first is not known.” One policeman and one Russian contract soldier were killed in the 5-minute firefight. “Relations between the local police and the soldiers based in Chechnya are becoming worse and worse. All the more so because they report to different authorities, and for the time being there is no coordination between them” (Izvestia, September 12).