Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 5

On January 22, Russian Deputy Interior Minister General Ivan Golubev told a press conference in Moscow that the ongoing “antiterrorist operation” has, since the fall of 1999, cost the internal troops and other forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs 2,700 dead and more than 7,500 wounded (RIA novostei, January 22). This was an important admission, because, until Golubev’s statement, Russian government spokesmen had been asserting that combined fatalities for the MVD and the Ministry of Defense amounted to some 2,600 men. Ministry of Defense casualties, which were not announced, could be as much as double those suffered by the MVD. Recently Britain’s Guardian editorialized: “Unofficial estimates suggest that 6,500 Russian servicemen have died and at least 20,000 have been injured [during the war]” (Guardian, January 24). It now seems almost certain that Russian military and MVD fatalities incurred during the present 1999-2001 war exceed those suffered during the longer 1994-1996 conflict.