Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 41

On November 5, Putin visited the headquarters of Russian military intelligence (the GRU) in Moscow. While there, he commented that, “the spetsnaz [special forces] of the GRU has rather effectively recommended itself in Chechnya.” He went on to add that “the effectiveness of all units of the GRU is constantly growing, and this is shown by the special operations conducted recently [in Chechnya].” Putin also revealed that 421 soldiers of the GRU have died since the beginning of hostilities in the summer of 1999. Up until now, these figures had been kept in secret (RIA Novosti, November 5; Kommersant, November 6).