Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 19

The Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (ORChD) reported on May 13 that an “armed clash” occurred on May 11 between members of Chechnya’s presidential security service who are subordinated to First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov and Russian army personnel. The shootout was apparently the result of, as the ORChD put it, “lack of coordination between different force agencies.” Citing the testimony of relatives of kadyrovtsy involved in the fight, a group of thirteen soldiers attacked a presidential security service unit based near the settlement Prigorodny, but two of the attacking soldiers were killed and one wounded. When the kadyrovtsy realized that the attackers were Russian soldiers, they ceased their counter-attack, after which representatives from the Russian military headquarters in Chechnya and from Ramzan Kadyrov’s office were called to the scene. Each side said it had mistaken the other side for a rebel unit, the ORChD reported.

This was not the first shootout between pro-Moscow Chechen forces and federal troops. Another such incident took place on March 21, when Chechen police attempted to halt a Russian column after one of the vehicles in the column ran over a cow belonging to a local resident, who, backed by the police, demanded compensation. A heated exchange escalated into a gunfight in which two Chechen policemen, two local residents and one Russian serviceman were killed (see Chechnya Weekly, March 23).