Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 17

All week,” the online daily wrote on June 7, “large detachments of rebels have been making attacks on representatives of the [pro-Moscow] authorities in Chechnya. This past night they attacked the house of the head of administration of the village of Shalashki and abducted the head of administration of the village of Assinovskaya…. Beginning on June 3, every night they have made several sorties into villages and district centers attacking the organs of military and civilian power. The novelty of this consists in the fact that the rebels are now acting in detachments of up to fifty persons, not five to ten, and that they are fighting openly and not stealthily. Before dawn they shoot up commandants’ offices and local administrations and then retreat without hindrance…. Especially bold was the attack that took place [on the night of June 5-6] on the village of Assinovskaya… A large detachment of fifty men shot up the checkpoint manned by OMON from Rostov-on-Don and then in the village itself they attacked the commandants’ office and the administration of the FSB.” Up until now, noted, Assinovskaya had been considered a quiet spot during the current conflict.

The commander of the Russian Combined Group of Forces in Chechnya, Lieutenant General Vladimir Moltenskoi, warned on June 5 that, “There exists a likelihood that bandit elements, having gained the support or aid of one or another persons, will try to penetrate the ranks of the [pro-Moscow Chechen] police.” There is a need, Moltenskoi went on to caution, to prevent the legalization of persons “who behaved themselves inadequately during the first or second [Chechen] campaign” (Chechenskaya Respublika,, June 5).