Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika yesterday (February 25) painted a negative picture of the security situation in the North Caucasus. Speaking at a meeting of prosecutors and officials of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Interior Ministry and State Narcotics Control Committee (FSKN) on the subject of crime in the North Caucasus Federal District, which was held in Essentuki, Stavropol Krai, Chaika said that measures taken by the district authorities to normalize the situation in the region have “not produced the needed results, while law enforcement agencies’ actions do not measure up to the level of the threat that has evolved,” adding that a number of high-profile crimes have yet to be solved in Dagestan in particular and other parts of the federal district. He said that “corruption has affected virtually all levels of government, law enforcement and judiciary bodies,” adding that bribes have been growing exponentially. Chaika said that the level of crime was especially worrying against the backdrop of uncontrolled trafficking in arms and explosives, noting that in 2009, crimes involving the use of firearms grew the most in Ingushetia (92 percent) and Dagestan (65 percent) (RIA Novosti, February 25).
Still, a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor-General’s Office, Marina Gridneva, told the meeting that law-enforcement agents killed 316 militants in special operations in the North Caucasus in 2009, and that courts had given prison sentences to another 200 (ITAR-TASS, February 25).
Meanwhile, a roadside bomb went off on the Kavkaz federal highway near the village of Troitskaya in Ingushetia on February 25 after it was discovered by interior ministry internal troops. No one was hurt in the incident. On February 24, police reported finding another explosive device, along with a fake bomb and a black flag with Arabic writing on it, in the village of Ordzhonikidzevskaya in Ingushetia’s Sunzha district. That same day, unidentified attackers fired automatic rifles and grenade launchers at the building of the interior ministry operational investigations bureau in the city of Nazran. No one was hurt in the incident, after which three improvised explosive devices were found around the building. One of the devices detonated after it was discovered, sending three local residents to the hospital with concussion and causing a blaze on a natural gas pipeline that was quickly extinguished (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, February 26; RIA Novosti, February 25).
On February 23, an FSB officer, Mikail Shadyzhev, was killed when his car was fired on in Ordzhonikidzevskaya. A Nazran resident who was with him in the car at the time of the attack, Amir Albogachiev, was wounded and hospitalized (www.newsru.com, February 23).
On February 21, an aide to a State Duma deputy was wounded along with his driver and two relatives when their car was fired on in the village of Ekazhevo in Ingushetia’s Nazran district. The Duma aide was identified as A.M Chukhraev (www.newsru.com, February 21). On February 19, the car of the head of the registration department of Ingushetia’s road police was fired on in the village of Barsuki in Ingushetia’s Nazran district. No one was hurt in the incident (www.newsru.com, February 20).
On February 19, unidentified attackers fired on the home of Rustam Khalukhaev, a member of the anti-terrorism center of Ingushetia’s interior ministry, in Nazran. No one was hurt in that incident (www.newsru.com, February 19). That same day, two bombings in Nazran wounded 17 policemen. Ten officers were reportedly injured in the first blast, which took place as a bomb disposal expert was trying to defuse an explosive device. A second explosion reportedly injured seven policemen (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, February 19).
In Dagestan, police discovered an insurgent dugout near the village of Kakshura in the republic’s Karabudikhkentsky district on February 25. An anti-personnel mine went off as police were searching the dugout, but no one was hurt (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, February 26). On February 24, the acting traffic police chief of Dagestan’s Novolaksky district, Yusup Gairbekov, was shot to death when unidentified gunmen opened fire on his car. The incident took place on the Khasavyurt-Novolakskoye highway (RIA Novosti, February 24). On February 22, two policemen, a major and a captain, were killed when their car was fired on the outskirts of the village of Bata-Yurt in Dagestan’s Khasavyurt district. That same day, a bomb blast in the city of Khasavyurt injured two passersby. On February 20, two policemen were killed and a civilian wounded in Dagestan’s Gergebilsky district when gunmen fired on a police post from a wooded area (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, February 22).
One Russian interior ministry internal troops serviceman was wounded on February 24, while trying to defuse an improvised explosive device in the Leninsky district of the Chechen capital Grozny. According the Kavkazsky Uzel website, two bombings targeting police took place in Grozny’s Staropromyslovsky district on February 17 but were hushed up because a British delegation headed by Lord Frank Judd was visiting the republic at the time (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, February 25).