Russia: August 26, 2002


Following-up on earlier reports that the Chechnya-Ingushetia border may become a new hotspot for Russia, about 20 rebels were recently killed near the Chechen village of Bamut. Late on 22 August, a spetsnaz unit spotted a group of 100 rebels and called in an artillery strike on them. According to early reports, they estimate that about 20 rebels were killed. Search operations are underway in the area. - Adam Geibel

Chechen rebels continue to make attacks, despite heavy losses. Over the past two centuries, Chechen rebels have generally kept fighting Russian troops until most of the rebels were dead. Things would then quiet down for a generation or two, then the fighting to start again. Russia has been willing to tolerate Chechen autonomy, but the Chechens provided sanctuary for many criminal gangs and Islamic militants. The criminals operated in neighboring Russian controlled territory, and the militants invaded Russian territory to establish an Islamic Republic. In effect, Chechnya is out of control and until someone restores some order, the fighting won't stop.

The government admitted that the navy has been underfunded in the last decade, but is working on a new, and realistic, rebuilding plan. No details were released.


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