Kavkaz News: Civilian Casualties Mount
Transcript from http://www.chechnya.xnet.is/ the official news agency of the Chechen rebels.
February 5th, 2000
Russian aggressors are bombing and shelling the villages
which have been passed by the Mujahideen during their
withdrawal from Dzhokhar. The Russian falsely claim to have
"encircled" Chechen fighters in Alkhan-Yurt, Khambi-Irzi,
Zakan-Yurt and Shaami-Yurt and by that justify their massive
bomb- and rocket-raids on these villages – though they quite
exactly know that there are no fighters left there. The
victims of these still continuing attacks are the civilian
inhabitants of the places, most of them women, children and
elderly. According to local people during the last 24 hours
only in Zakan-Yurt 35 civilians died due to the Russian
bombardment. Convoys of refugees are being stopped and
searched – mail refugees are being arrested as rebels.
Civilians wounded by the Russian bombs are said to be
"wounded fighters" and are being arrested, too.
According to reports from the western districts of Chechnya fiercest bombing of these regions continues.
The Chechen units
which shielded the Chechen main forces' withdrawal from
Dzhokhar now have accomplished their task and are moving
towards the mountains in the South, partially still being
engaged in combat actions. About 900 Mujahideen fight the
Russians in the Urus-Martan and Achkhoy-Martan Districts and
in the hills south of Dzhokhar. The most intensive fights
took place near Urus-Martan.
According to the Chechen command 13 Mujahideen of the rear-guard were killed during the last two days, 17 men were wounded.
The Chechen main forces have arrived at their dislocation areas 48 hours ago.
Meanwhile the Russian troops in Dzhokhar continue to imitate fighting by assaulting a town left by its defenders and to spread lies about hundreds of captured fighters. Russian marauders plunder the ruins, civilians are being shot.
In the Sharoy District the Russian already since one
month are trying to break through the Chechen positions in
order to move towards Itum-Kale.
Last night the Mujahideen carried out a surprise-attack near the alpine village Day. They approached to the Russian lines and fired at the aggressors with mortars, mountain cannons and grenade launchers. The fighting continued until dawn. After this the Mujahideen retired to their former positions on the tactical heights.
According to the Chechen command 3 Russian armoured vehicles and 5 Ural-trucks were knocked out, at least 40 Russians died. No dead on the Chechen side, but 5 Mujahideen were wounded.
Not one single Chechen commanders until now has not confirmed the story presented by the Kremlin about the exchange of Babitsky. According to the Kremlin's spokesman Yastrshembsky the correspondent of Radio Liberty, kidnapped by the Russians, has been exchanged for two Russian POWs of the Chechens. The details of this operation as given by the Russians and especially the authenticity of the video tape that has been presented to confirm the story are doubted by the Chechen leadership.
February 4th, 2000
correspondent, who left Dzhokhar together with the units of
the armed forces of the ChRI, reports that the last
detachments of the Mujahideen have now reached their new
positions. Shamil Basayev once again confirmed that the
redeployment has been carried out successfully.
During the next few days a meeting of the State Committee of Defense of the ChRI under the chairmanship of President Aslan Maskhadov is going to be held.
The Chechen command has published a declaration on the readiness of the Chechen forces to continue their struggle against the aggressors on the entire territory of Chechyna.
One of the commanders, Doka Umarov, says that the Mujahideen are not going to restrict their military activities to the territory within the Chechen frontiers. In an interview with Kavkaz-Tsentr's correspondent he pointed out that the Mujahideen are going to attack the Russian troops and staff beyond these frontiers, too.
Chechen surgeons have examined the wounds of Shamil Basayev. These wounds are considered to be of medium seriousness. The necessary surgical aid has been rendered and a period of convalescence has been prescribed.
Fierce fighting is taking place near
Serzhen-Yurt. After three weeks of stationary fighting the
Russians tried to carry out a surprise-attack.
Several Russian armoured columns moved along the River Khulkhulo and assaulte units attacked the Chechen positions. Serzhen-Yurt and Beni-Khutor were bombed and shelled heavily.
From the first moment of the attack the Mujahideen hindered the Russians' advance. They shot at the armoured vehicles with RPGs from a distance of 100-200 metres. Three BMPs and one T-80 tank were knocked out. After five hours of combat action the Russians retreated to their former positions. According to the Chechen command more than 70 Russians died.
Movladi Udugov says that the abduction of the journalist Babitsky once again shows the criminal and terrorist character of the Kremlin regime. The putinists didn't shrink back from committing a classical capital crime in order to reduce independent journalists to silence. Udugov was not able to confirm the reports that Babitsky was exchanged by the Chechens for two captured Russian soldiers.