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Kavkaz News: Rally For Free Media In Moscow

Transcript from... official news website of the Chechen rebels. News from Feb 11th and 12th.

February 12, 2000

Kavkaz-Tsentr reports:

According to "Radio Liberty" more than 1,000 people took part in a mass meeting in Moscow organized by the "Fund for the defence of glasnost" to demonstrate for the freedom of the press on occasion of the events around Andrei Babitsky. Several noted journalists and members of Russian civil rights movements delivered addresses. The leader of the "glasnost"-fund, Sergey Grigoryanz, called the video showing the exchange of Babitsky a falsification. Sergey Yushenko, deputy chairman of the security council of the state duma, called for a boycott of the presidential elections.

The fighting at the entrance to the Argun Gorge has increased again. After some decrease in the activity of the Russian aggressors in the area of Duba-Yurt, the tension in that sector is growing again. The Russians made repeated attempts to break through the Chechen defence positions. Assault units of the aggressors, supported by tanks and airforce, have begun to advance in the direction of Duba-Yurt. Advanced units of the enemy have reached the outskirts of the village. Fighting has broken out there.
Chechen units have stopped the advance of the aggressors with fire from RPGs and mortars. The fierce fire-exchange continues.
At the same time, according to Chechen scouts, assault formations of the Russians are trying to circumvent the positions of the Mujahideen and to move in the direction of a number of tactical heights at the entrance to Argun Valley. The Mujahideen prevented this plan and directed their fire at him. Mobile units of the Chechen Mujahideen are moving fiercely against the enemy. According to the Chechen command, during the last 24 hours, at the mouth of Argun Valley more than 90 aggressors have been killed, 5 armoured vehicles were knocked out.

The prime-minister of the Islamic Leadership of Dagestan Sirazhudin Ramazanov has met with Shamil Basayev. The situation in Dagestan has been discussed, some resolutions about the further commitment of the Dagestani volunteers in Chechnya were passed. The majority of these volunteers is fighting in the Islamic Peacekeeping Force under the command of Amir Khattab.

The Command of the Chechen Defence Forces informs about fighting in the area of Serzhen-Yurt and Beni-Khutor.
The Russians have thrown 35,000 men and hundreds of armoured vehicles into an assault on the Chechen positions. The offensive of the enemy is supported by airforce and artillery. Chechen Mujahideen units don't engage in larger battles with the aggressors. In several sectors the Chechen fighters allowed the enemy to pass and attacked him from the rear.
Having advanced in the area of Beni-Khutor, Russian armoured vehicles are digging in in the bed of Khulkhulo River. The Mujahideen are holding their defence on the wooded mountain slope.
Also today, information arrived about the activation of the aggressor formations in the direction of Vedeno-Eshalkhatoy. Early in the morning, the Russian airforce began to carry out bombing raids on the Chechen positions near Eshalkhatoy.

About 300 civilians, aged between 14 and 65, have been taken hostage by the Russian aggressors in the villages Shaami-Yurt, Kotar-Yurt, Gekhi-Chu. More than 250 women and 70 minor children have been executed.
Inhabitants of Shaami-Yurt village inform that about 300 Chechen males, aged between 14 and 65, from the civilian population, have been arrested by the Russian aggressors and were taken away in an unknown direction. Among those taken hostage are invalids and seriously wounded.
According to some sources, about 100 hostages have been executed on the way.
The Chechen command informs that the artillery shelling of villages in south-east Chechnya continues. The villages Roshni-Chu, Gekhi-Chu, Shaami-Yurt, Zakan-Yurt, Khambi-Irzi and others were hit by the shelling. According to precise accounts, in Kotar-Yurt, the Russian aggressors murdered 360 local citizens, among them more than 250 women.
In the villages of Kotar-Yurt, Gekhi and Shaami-Yurt, 70 minor children at the age of around 10 were executed.


February 11th, 2000

According to a report from 'Interfax' the Ukrainian nationalist party 'Rukh' has strictly rejected demands by the Russian government to close the Chechen Information Bureau in Odessa hosted by Rukh.

Units of the Mujahideen continue to attack the aggressors in various regions of the country. Last night a Russian armoured column was attacked near Avtury in the Shali District. 2 BMPs and 2 trucks were destroyed.
In the Argun District the enemy's means of communication were attacked. In the course of this operation a train with war equipment and armoured vehicles was destroyed.
Near Aleroy a Russian sentry was attacked. More than 70 Russians were killed.

According to commander Aslambek Abdulkhadizhev last evening the Amir of the United Command of the Islamic Government Forces of the Madzhlis of the Muslims of Ichkeriya and Dagestan, Commander of the Eastern Front of the Chechen Army, Shamil Basayev, presided over a meeting of commanders.
In this meeting 19 commanders of the eastern theatre of war and the chief of the Special Administration of the State committee of Defence of the ChRI, Abu Movsayev, took part.
Aslambek Abdulkhadizhev says that Shamil Basayev is willing to take active part in the war against the Russians despite his wounding. "He's not going to sit in the staff!", says Abdulkhadizhev.
Kavkaz-Tsentr's correspondent saw Basayev sitting in a chair after the meeting, his foot bandaged.

The Russians heavily attacked Itum-Kale with artillery and 'Scud' and SS-21 rockets. The Russian air force made use of vacuum bombs and napalm.
There are no Chechen fighter positions inside Itum-Kale they have their bases on the heights outside the settlement. More than 40 civilian inhabitants of Itum-Kale have died.
The Mujahideen attacked at several places near Itum-Kale. The principal combat actions took place along the road to the Georgian frontier.

The leadership of the ChRI today published official data on the number of Chechen hostages in the hands of the Kremlin regime.
According to this list during the first Chechen war (1994-96) more than 1,500 Chechen civilians were carried off by the Russian forces. The fate of these people remains unknown. There is evidence that the majority of these people have been shot at unknown places.
Since the beginning of this new aggression against Chechnya about 3,000 civilians have been kidnaped. There are reports that more than 700 Chechen hostages have been shot. Thousands of citizens of the ChRI are held prisoner in concentration camps in the occupied territories or beyond the Chechen frontiers.
About 250 children age 10 to 15 years are kept prisoner in a children's concentration camp in Naursky District. More than 100 children of 10 to 15 years were shot as 'members of bandit formations'.

Despite the Kremlin's denial the Russians continue to put into action long-range bombers against Chechnya. According to Mumadi Saydayev, chief of the Defence Staff of the ChRI, they especially use these planes to attack the mountain villages of Chechnya, making frequent use of vacuum bombs. Since September the villages of Zamay-Yurt, Meskety, Galayty and others have been attacked with vacuum bombs by Russian long-distance bombers.

The Chechen minister of State Security in president Maskhadov's cabinet, Turpal-Ali Atgeriyev, once again has categorically denied reports of Russian media and special services on the Chechen government's involvement in the so-called exchange of Babitsky. Atgeriyev says the communiquis of a certain Sherip Yusupov, calling himself envoy of the Chechen government in Moscow, are absolutely false. Field commander Aslambek Ismailov, mentioned by Yusupov, fell in Alkhan-Kala on February 1st.
According to Atgeriyev's information Babitsky is being held in Gudermes by Russian special services or by the gang of the Yamadayev brothers and the ex-mufti of Chechnya Kadyrov, which is controlled by these services.


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