CONCENTRATION OF TROOPS IN THE ZONE OF CONFLICTS IS NOT A CURE-ALL

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A war has again started in the North Caucasus. It has now moved to Ingushetia, a small federal subject situated almost in the middle of the region. The casualties in the federal forces are catastrophic – over 60 kills, at least 100 wounded during a single night! Nothing of the kind has ever occurred even on the fiercest days of hostilities in 1999-2001. Ingushetia was then considered a relatively stable region. We may now say with sorrowful confidence that it is becoming an arena of permanent hostilities. The guerrillas managed to intercept the initiative. This happened in May, following assassination of Chechen leader Akhmad Kadyrov on the Victory Day. The guerillas have revived since then and terrorist attacks, explosions of gas pipelines, industrial objects are taking place all over Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia for two months already.

Meanwhile, subversive actions performed at the Kavkaz highway early in the morning of June 22, crowned activities of the Islamic extremists. The observers don’t miss the fact that the separatists conducted their most significant actions on the days historically linked to the start and the end of the World War II. The guerrillas are as if reminding that Chechens and Ingushs had suffered violence from Stalin’s regime exactly the World War II. Behaving like this seems to be beneficial for somebody; although, it is clear enough that actions of the extremists won’t widely be supported by the international public opinion. However, some international organizations say Moscow was wrong to reject peaceful talks with the separatists.

At first glance, the center is aimed at rendering social support to the Chechens, solving the issues related to liquidation of devastation, creation of new jobs, etc. However, a series of factors curb the confidence of civilians. These factors concern the permanent activities of the federal forces, which are fighting the guerrillas. Chechnya and the neighboring regions are densely in the troops, which are unlikely to be withdrawn. Following the terrorist attack of May 9, over 1,000 people will increase the staff of Chechen police. A regiment of traffic police has been formed in Grozny now. After the terrorist attacks of June 21-22, it has been decided to station an extra interior forces regiment in Nazran. This is sure to help the authorities have the situation under their control. However, the stake on force will stabilize the situation in the North Caucasus for a short while only. As is widely known the largest military grouping of some 300,000 servicemen, representing various security structures is located here (in Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Stavropol territory, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachayevo-Cherkessia). How efficient is it? Why the Kremlin is still unable to curb the extremists? Why are they being eliminated, but the strength of the guerrillas and separatists are not reducing?

It should be noted that a more alarming fact is evident here: international extremist groups acted in Nazran and the Kavkaz highway on June 21-22. Allegedly, many locals Ingushs were among them. This is said to be the reason why the saboteurs couldn’t be detained, as they dissolved between the people. The exact strength of the terrorist groups is unknown so far. Some sources say 1,500 guerillas took part in the operation. Meanwhile, almost a year ago heads of the federal forces in the Caucasus were saying that only 700-800 are fighting with the guerrillas. This is a minor part of a 1-million population of Ingushetia ad Chechnya. Why are the guerillas so active and effective in combating the federal forces?

Many are asking these questions now. However, the Kremlin provides no strict replies, showing an evident wish to establish order in the North Caucasus by an iron hand.

Apparently, political and economic steps are required in addition to military operations, so that the population so that the people would start believing in the federal authorities. Unfortunately, this is not observed to the full extent so far.

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