Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 7 Issue: 5

Agency France-Presse reported on February 1 that four Russian soldiers had been killed and six injured in fighting around Chechnya over the previous 24 hours. AFP reported on January 30 that fighting between federal forces and Chechen rebels had left five Russian soldiers dead and 10 wounded over the previous 24 hours. The French news agency cited unnamed officials in Chechnya’s pro-Moscow administration as the sources for both reports. Radio Liberty’s Russian-language service, meanwhile, reported on January 31 that three Chechen policemen were wounded in an attack on the commandant’s office in Grozny’s Staropromyslovsky district. One of the victims was in extremely grave condition, the radio station reported.

Citing the joint press center of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Regional Operations Headquarters in the North Caucasus, Interfax reported on January 31 that five rebels had been detained in special operations in Chechnya. One rebel was caught during a security operation in the Shelkovskoi district village of Staroshchedrinskaya. He had taken part in a 2004 attack on two police vehicles outside the village of Starogladkovskaya that killed one policeman and wounded two others. A second rebel, who had taken part in the August 2005 rebel attack on the village of Roshni-Chu, was captured in the Achkoi-Martan village of Samashki, while another rebel was captured in Gudermes. Two other rebels were caught in the Nozhai-Yurt district village of Gilyani, while a fifth rebel fighter surrendered to authorities in the Vedeno district village of Makhkety, also giving up a Kalashnikov rifle, a grenade launcher with 14 rounds, nine artillery shells, four hand grenades and a large number of cartridges.

Meanwhile, Chechen Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov, who is currently serving as Chechnya’s acting prime minister, said on February 1 that Chechen law enforcers last year killed 140 rebels and detained 341 others. Thirteen of those killed and 25 of those detained were militant ringleaders, Kadyrov claimed. “A total of 49 militants agreed to give themselves up to the authorities,” Kadyrov told journalists. “The rate of solving terrorism-related crimes was up 100 percent on the year.” At the same time, 121 law enforcement officers were killed and 283 injured last year, Kadyrov said. “This merely illustrates once again what President Vladimir Putin had in mind when he told Tuesday’s news conference that Chechen law enforcers were doing their job honestly, with diligence and self-sacrifice,” Kadyrov said.