MORE EXPLOSIONS IN CHECHNYA

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MORE EXPLOSIONS IN CHECHNYA

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, April 9, 2003, EV

A white Niva car was blown up at 3:40 p.m. on Monday, April 7 by a powerful landmine the guerrillas had laid in Grozny. The blast hurled the car 15 meters through the air. Five armed FSB officers were killed.

This was the second major terrorist attack by the bandits since the referendum. In the opinion of Alexander Nikitin, deputy prosecutor of Chechnya, this was a deliberate act aimed against some specific people representing the federal government in Chechnya. Criminal proceedings have been instituted.

Along with that, Alexander Nikitin said that members of the group which blew up a bus on April 3 have been identified. That terrorist attack killed eight Chechen builders, and ten more people were injured. To date, the planners and perpetrators of the explosion have been identified, and the gang leader’s name is known. The investigation team has been searching for these people in order to detain them. No specific information is being disclosed, in order not to impede the investigation.

A European Union delegation has arrived in Chechnya to study the situation. The dignitaries are planning to visit Grozny, where they are scheduled to meet with Akhmade Kadyrov, head of the administration, and Anatoly Popov, prime minister of Chechnya. Today, the group is scheduled to visit Khankala and meet with representatives of the security structures.

DUMA CONCERNED ABOUT GEORGIA’S FRIENDSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES

Izvestia, April 9, 2003, p. 3 EV

At a joint meeting of the Duma committees for international affairs and CIS affairs held on Tuesday, it was decided to request an official report from the Security Council, the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry, and the FSB relating to the intergovernmental defense treaty signed between Georgia and the US. The draft request will be considered the next Wednesday immediately after official conclusions are obtained, said Dmitry Rogozin, chairman of the Duma international affairs committee. In his opinion, the clauses related to the possible consideration of changing the status of Abkhazia and North Ossetia, which belong to Georgia, by the Russian parliament in connection with the bilateral Georgia-US treaty, should be eliminated from the draft document. He assumes that such a statement of the problem exceeds the framework of the bilateral treaty under discussion, which, in his opinion, “violates the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty.” Rogozin also said that the Duma would return to the question of ratifying the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty by the end of the spring session.

ROTATION OF TROOPS EXPECTED IN CHECHNYA

Izvestia, April 9, 2003, p. 3 EV

Preparation for replacing the Airborne Troops units stationed in Chechnya are about to be completed. Troops rotation will begin in the second half of April, said Colonel General Georgy Shpak, the Airborne Troops commander. In his words, the rotation will be conducted in a single phase according to a schedule approved by the General Staff. Personnel who will replace their comrades-in-arms in Chechnya have been through a three-month training course with a special program and are prepared to take on missions in the mountainous terrain of the North Caucasus.

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