Russia: August 27, 2003


Magomedsalih Gusayev, the information minister of Dagestan (which is next to Chechnya), was killed by a roadside bomb. Gusayev has been threatened with death by Chechen Islamic radicals since 1999. In that year, Chechen Islamic radicals invaded Dagestan in an attempt to establish an Islamic republic. 

For the first time in 15 years, Russia held major military exercises in the far east, off the Kamchatka peninsula. Over ten days, twelve missiles were fired from ships, warplanes and subs at surface targets. Forces involved included about 75 Russian ships (including five nuclear submarines), at least  20 aircraft and some 30,000 troops and civilians. Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, Russia's Pacific fleet has largely been slowly crumbling. There was not enough money to even maintain many ships, which could be seen tied up and growing more derelict each year. But in the last two years, the navy budget has increased and dozens of ships and subs have been assigned full complements of sailors and supplied with replacement parts and other materials to make the vessels capable of operations again. 

In Chechnya, 14 people died from rebel violence. 


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