Russia: September 19, 1999


Russia has massed over 30,000 troops on the Chechen/Dagestan border.

September 17; Police in Moscow found another cache of explosives, in this case four tons. Another bomb went off in St. Petersburg, but was not connected with the suspected Chechen terrorist bombings. Over 11,000 suspects have been arrested so far, although only about 30 have been held for further questioning.  There was another such bombing in Moscow on August 31st. Several other bombings have occurred, but were not reported widely because gangsters commonly use bombs to deliver a message to reluctant business associates. Several Chechens have been arrested so far, some with traces of explosives on them. This may not connect any of them to the terrorist bombings, as many Chechens are members of criminal gangs that use explosives to terrorize victims.

September 16; Another terrorist bombing took place in the southern Russia town of Volgodonsk (1200 kilometers south of Moscow), killing 17 and injuring nearly 300. This was a truck bomb, detonated outside an apartment house. In Dagestan, the local parliament outlawed the fundamentalist Wahhabi Islamic sect. The Russian defense ministry reported that thousands of Chechen rebels were massing on the border with Dagestan, apparently to make a third attempt to grab and hold villages along the border. Although most Dagestanis oppose the Chechen rebels, without an invasion of Chechnya, the rebels can keep coming as long as they have bases to operate from in Chechnya. Russia seems reluctant to attempt anything as ambitious as a total conquest of Chechnya, which has a larger, and largely hostile, population. 

September 15; Air raids on Chechen targets have left six people dead and several wounded. Russia has been bombing rebel bases in Chechnya since September 5. The bases are being used to support Chechen rebels in Dagestan. The Chechens claim that 166 have been killed and  300 wounded by these raids, mostly civilians. The Russians insist that only military targets are being attacked.

September 14; In Dagestan, Russian ground troops, supported by artillery and aircraft, pushed Chechen rebels off the from the Novolakskoye district. Fighting continues for control of two other villages. Meanwhile, 3.8 tons were found in one building, and smaller amounts in several other buildings. Meanwhile, the U.S. department of Defense (DoD) has accused Russia of sponsoring a team of expert Internet hackers from the Academy of Science. Their mission, to get into American defense related Internet sites and grab technical secrets. DoD Internet security has back tracked the penetration attempts to Russian government Internet addresses. Caught them red handed, as it were. 




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