Russia: August 3, 2003


The commander of the hospital in Mozdok, a lieutenant colonel, was arrested and charged with negligence. The officer had not set up security around the hospital to keep out unauthorized vehicles. The commander of the local garrison (the 421st Motorized Infantry Regiment) was also arrested on the same charge. This is a typical problem in Russia. Orders are issued, in this case to increase anti-terrorist security, are not followed by everyone and there is no mechanism to double check. Unless, of course, there is a terrorist attack because of the failure to follow orders. The death toll in the Mozdok bombing is now 49.

In the last four years, operations in Chechnya have left some 5,000 Russian police and soldiers, and some 15,000 rebels and civilians. The problem, as ever, is the inability of anyone to control the radical or gangster Chechen groups that insist on operating within Russia. No one has been able to come up with a solution to this problem. Several of the Chechen rebel factions are Islamic radicals, and want all of the Caucasus to be an Islamic Republic, and are willing to use terrorism attacks to achieve this.


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