Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 13

On April 25, the Russian website Kolokol.ru summarized the contents of an article that had appeared in the official government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta. In an act of protest, eleven Russian policemen from Tula have demonstratively quit their posts in the Nozhai-Yurt district of Chechnya and have returned home to Tula while, at the same time, turning in their resignations from the police. Another 170 remain at their posts but have also written declarations concerning their intention to resign. The principal reasons cited for these actions are “poor food and lowered salaries.” Instead of being paid 300 rubles a day, as earlier promised, the policemen are now receiving only 200. There are reports that the eleven policemen who have already left Chechnya physically assaulted two of their commanders, Colonel Vyacheslav Demin and Major Sergei Ishin.

Events such as the incident involving the Tula policemen may help to explain why the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs has decided to press ahead with the “Chechenization” of police personnel based in the rebellious republic. On April 23, the deputy head of the pro-Moscow MVD of Chechnya, Colonel Akhmed Dakaev, announced that, by August 15 of this year, the process of transferring law enforcement functions from “temporary” (that is, Russian) departments to “permanent” (that is, Chechen) departments will be completed (Kavkaz.strana.ru, April 23).