Russia: June 6, 2002


Advance units of the 58th Joint-Arms Army started their advance to mountain districts of the North Caucasus on 31 May, tasked to cover the administrative borders between the North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkarian, Karachayevo-Cherkessian and Ingush autonomous republics against a rebel breakthrough from Chechnya. The Kremlin also moved troops to prevent Islamic rebels relocating from Georgia to the Karachayevo-Cherkessian autonomous republic and Stavropol territory, as well as from the Georgian Pankisi gorge to Russia's Ingush autonomous republic. 

A 247th Paratroop Regiment task force (7th Airborne Division) arrived in Novorossijsk on 3 June. Over 500 paratroopers led by Lieutenant Colonel Igor Bortan quickly took up covering positions in mountain areas of the Karachayevo-Cherkessian autonomous republic's administrative border. The task force is stationed near the Kardonikskaya village. This operation also involved units of the Federal Border Guard Service, Interior Ministry and other law-enforcement agencies. 

The 503rd Motorized Rifle Regiment (19th Motorized Rifle Division), tasked to block mountain passes on the Ingush strip of the Russian-Georgian border, arrived in the Ingush republic's Sleptsovskaya village on the 5th. After motor-marching 70 kilometers from the city of Vladikavkaz to Sleptsovskaya without losses or equipment breakdowns, the regiment placed it's equipment in a field park, established communications with division headquarters and started executing missions covering the border. - Adam Geibel


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