As a result of a spate of assassinations of pro-Moscow Chechen administrators and Muslim clergy, General Gennady Troshev, commander of the North Caucasus Military District, ordered on June 8 that, within three days’ time, all local pro-Moscow leaders and the imams of Chechens mosques should be provided with firearms with which to protect themselves. (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, June 10). On June 10, 228 Makarov pistols were distributed to the heads of city, district and village administrations and to leaders of the clergy (Strana.ru, June 10). Nikolai Britvin, deputy Russian plenipotentiary presidential representative in the Southern Federal District, announced on June 13 that a guard of three to five men will be provided to protect pro-Moscow Chechen officials. “Several of them,” he added, “will even travel about in armored vehicles” (Russian agencies, June 13).
These measures appeared, at least at the outset, to be strikingly inadequate. On the night of June 11, a group of unidentified gunmen broke into the house of the pro-Moscow chief of administration of the village of Valerik, Lukman Madalov, and shot him dead. Yakub Nogmirzaev, the deputy head of administration of the village of Beloveche, in Gudermes District, was also assassinated. And, on the night of June 14-15, Said-Selim Aidamirov, who had resigned the post of head of administration of the settlement of Gekhi just two weeks previously, was also killed by intruders (Reuters, June 12; Strana.ru, June 14; Lenta.ru, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, June 15).
A group of officer-psychiatrists attached to the internal troops of the Russian Ministry of the Interior have flown to Chechnya to offer psychological assistance to MVD soldiers stationed there. It was noted that MVD soldiers who had been in battle and then found themselves in a condition of “neither war, nor peace” were in danger of losing a sense of reality. The Russian psychiatrists contended that, after four months’ service on the front lines in Chechnya, a soldier is in need of complete rest and “psychological rehabilitation.” Unfortunately, they warn, many of the MVD soldiers are being kept on the front lines for eight months and longer (Strana.ru, June 5).