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Kavkaz News: Chechnya War Moves To Mountains

Transcript from… the website of the official news agency of the Chechen rebels.


February 10th

Kavkaz-Tsentr reports:

The intensive fighting near Day in the southern high mountains continues. During the last 24 hours the Russians tried to extend their earlier success of having occupied a tactical height. These efforts were supported by fighter helicopters.
Last night the Mujahideen managed to stop further Russian advance. They outflanked the Russians by moving behind their lines and attacked at dawn. Afterwards the Chechens retreated to their former positions under cover of mortar fire.
The Chechen command have made it known that the Russians lost more than 70 men and 4 pieces of armour were knocked out. One Mujahideen died and 4 were wounded.

The villages in the southern and southwestern districts of Chechnya were bombed and shelled most heavily yesterday. The district capital Shatoy has been the target of an unprecedented bombing-raid: 23 "Scud" and SS 21 rockets were launched and more than 150 bombs of different sizes were dropped on Shatoy. The Russians used napalm, phosphorous bombs, and vacuum bombs. The whole night Shatoy was shelled with "Uragan" and "Smerch" rocket launchers.
Due to these attacks about 30 civilians died in Shatoy. According to the Chechen command various places in the following districts of Chechnya are being attacked with rockets and aircraft: Vedeno, Shatoy, Itum-Kale, Sharoy, Cheberloyevsky, Urus-Martan, Achkhoy-Martan. This morning the villages of Duba-Yurt, Varandy, Zonakh, Borzoy, Khattuni, Elistanzhi, Shaami-Yurt, Khidi-Khutor, Yalkhoy-Mokhk, and others were bombed.

Yesterday evening bitter fighting took place near Khidi-Khutor in the Nozhay-Yurt district of Chechnya. The Chechens attacked advance units of the aggressors and managed to force them back to their former positions in fierce combat actions in the woodlands of this region. About 40 Russians were killed and one BMP was destroyed. The Mujahideen suffered no casualties, but civilians died and were wounded in the massive artillery attack on the village of Khidi-Khutor.

Citizens of Dzhokhar who managed to escape from the town during the last few days have reported pillaging and killing of civilians by the Russian troops. Victims of these crimes are not only Chechens but also Russian inhabitants of the town. A women from the suburb of Michurina, Syeda Saralapova, says she saw Russian soldiers shoot more than 20 people at once--the majority of the victims were women and children. Two of the female victims were her neighbours from Michurina: Zoya Sultanova and Malika Serbiyeva.
High officers are said to have taken part in the plundering in Dzhokhar. Eye-witnesses are shot if the Russians see them. According to the Chechen command, since the withdrawal of the Mujahideen from the Chechen capital at least 600 civilians have been shot by the Russians.


February 9th, 2000

Kavkaz-Tsentr reports:

The Chechen vice-president Vakha Arsanov is denying all rumours regarding his death. He has invited the Russian aggressors not to hurry: "The bullet on which my name is written won't miss me, but other bullets won't miss the Kremlin's cannibals. Every man has his own apportioned lifetime. When we die, we go to paradise, you go to hell."

Stubborn fighting has persisted for a month near the mountain village of Day. As reported earlier, the Russians carried out an airborne operation there and are trying to break through in the direction of Itum-Kale.
According to the Chechen command, this morning the Russians managed to capture one of the tactical heights near Day that had not been manned by the Mujahideen. Now bitter fighting is taking place there. The Russians are using helicopters and bomber-planes. The Chechens have occupied the opposite height.

After bitter face-to-face fighting during the last three days the combat actions for the mouth of the Argun Valley are of a stationary nature again. But according to the Chechen command's estimation this is only a temporary development. According to the commander of the Mujahideen in this combat area, Daud Akhmedov, the Chechen reconnaissance has observed a massive concentration of Russian troops near the village Alkhazurovo. A resumption of the Russian assault is expected. Meanwhile Russian aviation and artillery are attacking Chechen villages.

Last night the Chechen Mujahideen carried out an operation against the aggressors near Tsa-Vedeno. A few days ago advance units of the Russians, so-called marine infantry, had moved towards Tsa-Vedeno in order to occupy favourable positions. Having carried out a masked operation the Mujahideen now attacked unexpectedly. Until dawn the main forces of the Russians gang have been forced to retreat. Several Russian sub-units are still hiding in the forests of this region - having lost their command, they are trying to get back to their main forces on their own.

During the whole period of fighting for the Chechen capital about 30 doctors and nurses worked in Dzhokhar and rendered medical aid to the Mujahideen. Among them was the Health Minister of the ChRI, Umar Khambiyev, who himself is an excellent surgeon.
Some of these physicians during the last days managed to escape from the town alive. According to them during the whole Russian assault on Dzhokhar and the bombardment of the town, hospitals have been one of the favourite targets of the Russian bombers. The Chechen command makes known that the majority of these doctors, among them Umar Khambiyev, have been arrested by the Russians were brought to a concentration camp in the north of Chechnya.

Russian media reports about a bomb explosion in Khabarovsk (Russian Far East) that destroyed five blocks of flats. Kavkaz-Tsentr's correspondent asked Abu Movsayev (chief of the Special Administration of Chechnya's State-committee of Defence) for a comment. Movsayev explained these incidents as the common "pre-election blasts" organized by Putin's FSB. Putin lately warned the Russian population of the possibility of further terrorist acts in the Russian federation - and he knew what he was saying. Movsayev reminded of the events in Ryazan, where local policemen arrested FSB-member who were just trying to deposit explosives in the cellar of a block of flats.
Movsayev explains the fact that these incidents usually take place far form the country's centre with the desire of the Kremlin's leadership not to disquiet to much the politically active part of the Russian population, i.e. the inhabitants of Moscow.


February 8th, 2000

Kavkaz-Tsentr reports:

The bitter fights near Duba-Yurt at the mouth of Argun Valley continue. According to the Chechen command a tactical height there changed hands twice during the last 24 hours.
After a mighty artillery attack and bomb-raids the Russians managed to force the Mujahideen out of their positions on this height and to occupy it for 6 hours. The Chechens re-grouped their units, counter-attacked and regained control of the height. Two Chechen fighters died, and 7 were wounded. According to the Chechen command the Russians lost about 45 so-called "elite" soldiers. Three mortars, 4 machine guns, one state-of-the-art Russian 12.7 calibre sniper gun and a great amount of equipment has been captured. One tank and 2 BMPs have been knocked out.

The Chechen vice-president Vakha Arsanov has visited Shamil Basayev. Arsanov praised the distinguished performance of the Chechen armed forces during the withdrawal from Dzhokhar. In the name of the Chechen government, he paid his tribute to the discipline, fighting spirit and coordination of the Mujahideen which will qualify them for further tasks in the fight against the aggressors.
Having met Basayev, Arsanov said that Basayev's wounds are not cause for concern. According to him the Chechen surgeons performed an excellent operation.
It is said that since the beginning of the fights in 1992 Shamil Basayev has been wounded 14 times. This last wounding was the most serious one.

The aggressors continue to bombard the Chechen villages they proclaimed "liberated from Chechen fighters" a few days ago. They are bombing and shelling the villages of Alkhan-Kala, Khambi-Irzi, Shaami-Yurt, Kotar-Yurt, Gekhi-Chu and others. These villages were passed through by the Chechen fighters during their withdrawal from Dzhokhar last week. The Chechen rear-guard has destroyed almost every Russian sentry and garrison in these villages. Not having been able to hinder them from doing so, the Russians take it out on the civilian population. Most heavily bombed was the village of Kotar-Yurt: Half of the houses there have been destroyed, and dozens of civilians were killed. Due to the bombing and shelling the people aren't able to bury their slain.

The abductions in Chechnya, among them of journalists, until now have been used by the Kremlin as a means of propaganda to justify the extinction of the Chechen people.
The story of the journalist Babitsky now sheds light upon the question who is the real organizer of these abductions in Chechnya.
The Chechen leadership has always blamed the Kremlin and its special services to be responsible for the kidnapping and claimed that these events were part of a great campaign to discredit the Chechen state. According to the Chechen government the kidnapping gangs act under direct control of Russian special services. But until now the Chechen side was unable to furnish proof of this.
Now the kidnapping and so-called exchange of Babitsky is a vivid example for the activities of Russian special services.
The Chechen command considers it possible that Babitsky has been handed over to a gang under the control of Russian services that now (if Babitsky is still living) might try to squeeze money for him. If this is true, in a short time we may perceive the Kremlin's classical propaganda story: that Babitsky has been captured by another group of Chechen blackmailers.


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