Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 139

An agreement was signed on July 15 between Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and Chechnya’s National Security Service. (RTR, July 15) The text was not published but is said to concentrate on the struggle against terrorism, sabotage, and kidnapping. Unlike a cooperation agreement signed some months ago by the Russian and Chechen Interior Ministries (and said still to exist "only on paper"), the Russian and Chechen security chiefs seem determined to make this latest agreement work.

Kidnappings are occurring virtually every week in Chechnya and terrorist attacks have caused considerable loss of life in Russia. Maverick Chechen field commanders not under Djohar-gala’s control have claimed responsibility for several of these attacks. The Chechen authorities, who have accused the Russian security services of inspiring both the terrorist acts and the kidnappings in order to destabilize the situation in the republic, are keen to investigate such incidents jointly. Russia’s FSB is equally keen for cooperation since many of those whom Russia accuses of terrorism (such as Chechen field commander Ruslan Kharkhoroev, accused by Moscow of masterminding the bombing of a bus in Nalchik) are known to be in Chechnya.

The head of the Department of National Security of Chechnya-Ichkeria, Abu Movsaev, announced after the signing of this week’s agreement that an operation will soon be mounted to free some of the several dozen hostages being held captive in Chechnya. According to the new agreement, the Russian security services may also take part in the operation. (RTR, July 15)

New Crisis on Mir.