GUERILLA WAR IN CHECHNYA TRANSFORMED INTO TERRORIST WAR

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After the fall of Grozny and the defeat of the main bandit forces in the mountains, the guerilla war has gradually been transformed into a terrorist war. Lone kamikazes have joined the battle.

On Sunday, 14 attacks were organized including five large terrorist acts against the federal forces. Using cars filled with explosives, kamikaze tried to break through to locations of federal forces’ concentration and to kill federal soldiers. A series of terrorist acts were also committed in Gudermes, Urus-Martan and Argun on July 2 and 3. However, five large attacks of the militants failed and the militants managed to implement their plans only in Argun.

It is interesting that during all of the attacks on the federal garrisons, the militants ensured that their kamikaze were killed. After explosions of cars, the damaged installations were covered with a barrage of small arms and light artillery (mortars and grenade launchers) fire. In all cases the terrorists attacked the military commandant’s officers and administrative buildings, which shows that these attacks had been seriously planned.

Meanwhile, we can hardly fully agree with the version that the terrorist acts in Chechnya were associated with the appointment of mufti Kadyrov, the head of the provisional administration of the republic. According to Yakub Deniev, the former acting head of the republican administration, all statements about defeat of the bandits are a bluff and bandits have enough forces for resistance. According to Deniev, the recent terrorist acts are also aimed at frightening people who believe in the federal government. Deniev says that the terrorist acts will continue and he will not be surprised if such acts will be conducted in the cities of other Russian regions. He adds that “there are enough fanatics ready to sacrifice their lives for the ideas of wahhabism. These are primarily youths, who have been trained in the camps of Hattab and vahhabi centers abroad.”

Colonel General Valery Manilov, the Senior Deputy Chief of the General Staff, disagrees with Deniev. He says that the series of terrorist acts in Chechnya on July 2 and 3 is not directly connected with activities of Akhmad Kadyrov in his capacity. According to Manilov, the planning of the terrorist acts began at least four months ago, before the appointment of Kadyrov had even been discussed.

We can agree with the opinion of Manilov. First, such terrorist acts require a thorough and long preparation, including the accumulation of forces and the selection of kamikaze ready to die. Second, Kadyrov is only one of the new political figures in Chechnya, who openly combat the terrorists and religious extremists. Meanwhile, the wahhabis are fighting against the system. Their main goal is to attract as many followers of the radical branch of Islam as possible and to organize a religious state in the North Caucasus.

Of course, Kadyrov, an adherent of traditional Islam, is against the wahhabis. Due to this, many actions of the terrorists are targeted against him. For instance, last Sunday, a house where Kadyrov had lived in was attacked. The mobile detachment of the Interior Ministry in Mozdok reported that on the afternoon of July 2, militants in two cars fired at the house. Militiamen started chasing the terrorists, but they fled at a high speed throwing away two assault rifles on the way.

The situation in Chechnya is far from peaceful, although the illegal armed forces are unable to carry out large scale organized combat operations. At any rate, this circumstance does not prevent the militants from inflicting damage on the federal forces.

On June 22, Manilov announced that the overall casualties of the federal forces during the antiterrorist operation in the North Caucasus totaled 2,405 killed and 7,005 wounded. That is, the average daily losses during the entire second Chechen campaign amounted to about 7 servicemen.

According to Defense Minister Marshal Igor Sergeev, the recent terrorist acts in Chechnya “are acts of despair on behalf of the militants.” Answering the question of journalists how the federal forces plan to counteract the tactics of terrorist acts, which the militants chose, he said that he saw “the way out in accomplishment of the tasks set within the framework of the antiterrorist operation in Chechnya.” Sergeev advocated the “improvement of discipline in the federal forces.” He also advocated the necessity of more active work in the populated areas of Chechnya, including organization of the local law enforcement agencies, which “allows taking the situation in Chechnya under control and exclusion of possibility of terrorist acts.”

We can hardly agree that actions of the militants are “acts of despair.” Mercenaries and fanatics are currently fighting on the side of the bandits. This means that both have quite real goals connected with destabilization of the situation in the North Caucasus. The high morale of the militants and their willingness to continue combat operations is confirmed by the video cassette with the speech of separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov, which was recently disseminated in some populated areas in Chechnya. the speech contains threats to Kadyrov, Russian authorities and the military. In his speech, Maskhadov predicts the termination of combat operations and the withdrawal of federal forces from Chechnya no later than “within two or three months.” According to Maskhadov, the tactics of mine warfare chosen by the militants do not leave any chance for the Russian troops to establish control over Chechnya. Maskhadov also said that Russian authorities will have to negotiate with him over the terms of ending the war and restoring peace. Of course, the federal forces will not leave Chechnya. They are deployed in the republic for a long time. This means that the war against the fanatics and the militants will continue. The federal forces will be on the guard and many people will understand that the act of granting permission of free movement to all citizens and the cancellation of the curfew on the eve of the terrorist acts were mistakes, as a result of which dozens of Russian soldiers and militiamen lost their lives.

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