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Kavkaz News: Grozny (Dzhokhar) Evacuated By Rebels

Transcript from the official news agency of the Chechen rebels.

February 2nd, 2000  

Kavkaz-Tsentr reports:

History repeats itself. The same thing happened in the Botlikh and Novolaksky Districts of Dagestan when the Dagestani Mujahideen left a village there: The Russian generals continued to report fighting, storming empty villages.
During the night of January 31st to February 1st all Chechen armed forces left Dzhokhar. During this operation 9 fighters died and 17 Mujahideen were wounded.
Meanwhile the aggressors continue to imitate combat activities in the town. Various quarters are being bombed by the Russian air force--the Savodsky District was subject to the most intensive bombardment.

Shamil Basayev has been wounded in the leg by shell-splinter. He himself told this to Kavkaz-Tsentr's correspondent after a commanders' meeting, which reviewed the results of the regrouping of the Chechen units and their withdrawal from Dzhokhar.
Basayev says that he has to disappoint his enemies: "I'm alive and I'm healthy. My leg has been wounded by a shell-splinter. I'll continue the struggle to defeat the enemy."

The Chechen vice-president Vakha Arsanov reported to Chechen journalists on heavy fighting near Duba-Yurt. Yesterday the aggressors tried to assault the Chechen positions there three times. The most ferocious fighting took place on the south-western fringe of the village. The Chechen Mujahideen, having repulsed the Russians, counter-attacked. More than 50 Russians were killed, and 2 BTRs and 2 tanks were knocked out.
The fights for the two tactical heights controlled by the Chechens at the mouth of Argun Valley continued as well. The aggressors used aircrafts and helicopters. The next morning the fighting resumed again. According to the Chechen command a great number of armoured vehicles is moving towards the village.

February 1st, 2000  

Kavkaz-Tsentr reports:

During the night of January 31st to February 1st the armed forces of the Chechen Republic left Dzhokhar. Shamil Basayev declared that a well planned regrouping of the units of the Mujahideen defending the town has been carried out. According to him the Chechen army has fulfilled its tasks in the Chechen capital. Basayev says that the forces of the ChRI are going to continue their struggle according to the plans for the defense of the Chechen Republic. According to the Chechen command, during the last 24 hours about 130 Russians were killed in Dzokhar and 9 armoured vehicles were knocked out. Six Mujahideen died and 5 were wounded.

Today at about 10:00 local time (+0300) the Chechen generals Aslambek Ismailov and Khunkarpasha Israpilov were killed in action.

On the evening of January 30th the mayor of the Chechen capital Dzhokhar, Lecha Dudayev, was killed. Lecha Dudayev (a nephew of the ChRI's first president Dzhokhar Dudayev) had commanded a unit of the Mujahideen since the beginning of the Russian onslaught on the Chechen capital, trying not to fail in his duties as mayor.

All last night the Russians shelled and bombed Itum-Kale. The Russian unit that occupied the tactical height near Itum-Kale yesterday is shelling the village and the road to the Georgian frontier with mortars. They are trying to enlarge the area they have occupied. Russian helicopters are continuously trying to land in the area of the airborne operation in order to supply the aggressors. The Mujahideen lost 3 men on this battlefield, whereas the Russian casualties are unknown. According to the Chechen command the Mujahideen managed to shoot down another two Russian helicopters (5 since the beginning of the operation). The following Russian officers have been taken prisoner near Itum-Kale: Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Petrovich Zhukov (chief of the North Caucasian airforce administration), Captain Anatoly Mogutnov, paratrooper Dmitry Beglyankov.

A meeting of the commanders of the Dagestani Mujahideen in Chechnya has been held. According to one of these commanders, Shamil Gergebilsky, about 4,000 Mujahideen from Dagestan are fighting in Chechnya among the troops of the Congress of the Peoples of Chechnya and Dagestan.


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