WINTER: THE GOOD NEWS AND THE BAD
Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 43
With winter approaching, the intensity of combat operations in Chechnya is likely to diminish. During the leafless winter the republic’s forests provide the rebel guerrillas with less cover to shield them from federal observation and bombardment. During the next several months we should expect fewer firefights between rebel and federal soldiers, and therefore fewer military casualties on both sides. Unfortunately, that probably will also mean more “zachistki” security sweeps as the federals raid both real and imagined rebel hiding places in civilian homes. And these sweeps will almost certainly be accompanied by the kidnappings and other atrocities against civilians that have often been a part such raids in the past.