The War on Dagestan’s Police Continues

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 10 Issue: 4

The Regnum News Agency on January 28 quoted Russia’s Interior Ministry as reporting that an arms cache containing several grenades for grenade launchers, eight hand grenades, more than a thousand cartridges of various calibers and food and medicine was discovered in the village of Endreyaul in Dagestan’s Khasavyurt district.

Itar-Tass reported on January 22 quoted Dagestani Interior Ministry spokesman Mark Tolchinsky as saying that Dagestani and Russian police, acting on a tip-off from a member of a rebel group, discovered an arms cache in the village of Arkabash near the city of Khasavyurt. The cache, which reportedly belonged to rebels who were killed during a special operation late last year, contained two Kalashnikov assault rifles, a machinegun, over a thousand cartridges of various calibers, several hand grenades and grenades for grenade launchers.

Also on January 22, Interfax reported that a police car in Makhachkala came under attack by automatic weapons fire and that unidentified attackers fired grenade launchers at the Khasavyurt city police and prosecutor’s office. No policemen or other official personnel were injured in the attacks, but one local resident suffered shrapnel wounds.  

The Caucasus Times quoted Dagestan’s chief prosecutor, Igor Tkachev, as saying during a meeting in Makhachkala devoted to reviewing the results of last years work that an “undeclared war” against security personnel is ongoing in Dagestan. He said that a hundred attempts were made on the lives of law-enforcement officers last year and that 57 people, including seven civilians, were killed in 2008, while 114 were injured. Still, Tkachev said that 16.9 percent fewer crimes were committed in Dagestan in 2008 than in 2007. He said that 77 members of “illegal armed formations” were killed last year and that eight surrendered.

Separately, the Caucasus Times quoted Garun Kurbanov, Dagestan’s minister for ethnic policy, information and external relations, as saying that 100 attempts were made on the lives of law-enforcement officers last year, and that 36 employees of Dagestan’s Interior Ministry were killed and 68 wounded.