War of Dagestan

The War of Dagestan[6] began when the Chechnya-based Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade (IIPB), an Islamist group, led by warlords Shamil Basayev and Ibn al-Khattab, invaded the neighboring Russian republic of Dagestan, on 7 August 1999, in support of the Shura of Dagestan separatist rebels. The war ended with a major victory for the Russian Federation and Dagestan Republic, and the retreat of the IIPB. The Invasion of Dagestan was the casus belli for the Second Chechen War.

War of Dagestan
Part of the Chechen–Russian conflict
Spetsnaz gru 1999

Russian Spetsnaz forces in Dagestan.
Date2 August 1999 – 14 September 1999[1][2]
(1 month, 1 week and 5 days)
Location
Result

Dagestani Victory

  • The militants seized 12 mountain villages in the districts of Tsumadi[3] and Botlikh[4]
  • The federal side regained control over all villages and pushed the militants back to Chechen territory
  • Beginning of the Second Chechen War
Belligerents

Islamic Republic of Dagestan

 Russia

Commanders and leaders
Shamil Basayev
Ibn al-Khattab
Vladimir Putin
Boris Yeltsin
Viktor Kazantsev
Gennady Troshev
Alexander Baranov
Flag of Dagestan (1994-2003).svg Adilgerei Magomedtagirov
Flag of Dagestan (1994-2003).svg Magomed Omarov
Flag of Dagestan (1994-2003).svg Magomedali Magomedov
Flag of Dagestan (1994-2003).svg Said Amirov
Strength
up to ~2,500[1][5] militants 17,000 soldiers,
thousands of policemen and volunteers
Casualties and losses
Unknown 275 servicemen killed,
15 missing and 937 wounded (Russian claim)[1]
significant losses to local Dagestani police and militias[1]

Background

During the inter-war period of 1996 to 1999, a war-ravaged Chechnya descended into chaos and economic collapse. Aslan Maskhadov's government was unable to rebuild the region or to prevent a number of warlords from taking effective control. The relationship between the government and radicals deteriorated. In March 1999, Maskhadov closed down the Chechen parliament and introduced aspects of Sharia law. Despite this concession, extremists such as Shamil Basayev and the Saudi-born Islamist Ibn Al-Khattab continued to undermine the Maskhadov government. In April 1998, the group publicly declared that its long-term aim was the creation of a union of Chechnya and Dagestan under Islamic rule and the expulsion of Russians from the entire Caucasian Region.[7]

In late 1997, Bagauddin Magomedov, the ethnic Avar leader of the radical wing of the Dagestani Wahhabis (Salafism), fled with his followers to Chechnya. There he established close ties with Al-Khattab and other leaders of Chechnya's Wahhabi community. In January 1999, Khattab began the formation of an "Islamic Legion" with foreign Muslim volunteers. At the same time, he commanded the "peacemaking unit of the Majlis (Parliament) of Ichkeria and Dagestan".[8] A series of invasions of Dagestan from Chechnya took place during the inter-war period, culminating in the 1997 attack on a federal military garrison of the 136th Motorized Rifle Regiment near the Dagestani town of Buinaksk. Other attacks targeted civilians and Dagestani police on a regular basis.[9]

In April 1999, Magomedov, the "Emir of the Islamic Jamaat of Dagestan," made an appeal to the "Islamic patriots of the Caucasus" to "take part in the jihad" and participate in "liberating Dagestan and the Caucasus from the Russian colonial yoke." According to this "prominent" Wahhabi's vision, proponents of the idea of a free Islamic Dagestan were to enlist in the "Islamic Army of the Caucasus" that he founded, and report to the army's headquarters (in the village of Karamakhi) for military duty. Chechen separatist government official Turpal-Ali Atgeriev claimed that he alerted the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) Director Vladimir Putin, in the summer of 1999, of the imminent invasion of Dagestan.[10]

Invasion and the Russian counter-attack

On August 4, 1999, several Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) servicemen were killed in a border clash with a group of Magomedov's fighters led by Bagaudin Kebedov. On August 7 Basayev and Khattab launched an invasion into Dagestan with a group of roughly 1,500-2,000 armed militants consisting of Islamic radicals from Chechnya and Dagestan, including other international Islamists.[11]

Khattab described himself as the "military commander of the operation" while Basayev was the "overall commander in the battlefield".[11] They seized villages in the districts of Tsumadi[3] (Echeda, Gakko, Kedy, Kvanada, Gadiri and Gigatl) and Botlikh[4] (Godoberi, Miarso, Shodroda, Ansalta, Rakhata and Inkhelo).[1] On August 10, they announced the birth of the "independent Islamic State of Dagestan" and declared war on "the traitorous Dagestani government" and "Russia's occupation units".[8][9][12]

The federal military response to the invasion was slow, and the efforts were initially fumbling and disorganized. Because of this, all of the early resistance, and much of the later resistance as well, was undertaken by Dagestani police, spontaneously organized citizen militias, and individual Dagestani villagers.[9] Basayev and Khattab were not welcomed as "liberators" as they had expected; the Dagestani villagers considered the invading force occupiers as unwelcome religious fanatics. Instead of a mass anti-Russian uprising, the border areas saw mass mobilization of volunteers against Basayev's and Khattab's army.[8][11]

As resistance to the invaders stiffened, Russian artillery and airstrikes came into action. This conflict saw the first use of aerially delivered fuel-air explosives (FAEs) against populated areas, notably on the village of Tando by the federal forces.[13][14] The rebels were stalled by the ferocity of the bombardments: their supply lines were cut and scattered with remotely detonating mines. This gave Moscow time to assemble a counter-attack under Colonel-General Viktor Kazantsev, commander of the North Caucasus Military District. On August 23 the Basaev and Khattab announced they were withdrawing from Botlikhsky District to "redeploy" and begin a "new phase" in their operations.[15] The war also saw the first use of the T-90 tank. In the Kadar zone, a group of 8 to 12 T-90S tanks pushed through stubborn resistance. One of the tanks was hit by 7 RPG rockets, and remained in action.[16]

On the night of September 4, as the federal forces were wiping out the last bastions of resistance in the Kadar region, a car bomb destroyed a military housing building in the Dagestani town of Buynaksk, killing 64 people and starting the first in the wave of the Russian apartment bombings. On the morning of September 5, Chechen rebels launched a second invasion into the lowland Novolakskoye region of Dagestan, this time with a larger force. The rebels came within a mere five kilometers of the major city of Khasavyurt. The second invasion at the height of the hostilities in the Karamakhi zone on September 5 came as an unpleasant surprise to Moscow and Makhachkala. According to Basayev, the purpose of the second invasion was to distract federal forces attacking Karamakhi and Chabanmakhi. Intensive fighting continued until September 12, when federal forces supported by local volunteers finally forced the Islamists back to Chechnya, even though sporadic armed clashes continued for some time.[16][17][18]

By mid-September 1999 the villages were recaptured from the routed militants, and they were pushed back into Chechnya. Meanwhile, the Russian Air Force already began bombing targets inside Chechnya. At least several hundred people were killed in the fighting, including an unknown number of civilians. The federal side announced that they suffered 279 dead and approximately 987 wounded.

Aftermath

Russia followed up with a bombing campaign of southeastern Chechnya; on September 23, Russian fighter jets bombed targets in and around the Chechen capital Grozny. Aslan Maskhadov, the separatist president of Chechnya (ChRI), opposed the invasion of Dagestan, and offered a crackdown on the renegade warlords. This offer was refused by the Kremlin. In October 1999, after a string of four apartment bombings for which Russia blamed the Chechens, Russian ground forces invaded Chechnya, starting the Second Chechen War. After the Russian victory, Dagestan has been a site of an ongoing, low-level insurgency, which became part of the new Chechen War. This conflict between the government and the armed Islamist underground in Dagestan (in particular the Shariat Jamaat group) was aided by the Chechen guerrillas. It claimed the lives of hundreds of people, mostly civilians.

The Invasion of Dagestan resulted in the displacement of 32,000 Dagestani civilians. According to researcher Robert Bruce Ware, Basayev and Khattab's invasions were potentially genocidal, in that they attacked mountain villages and destroyed entire populations of small ethno-linguistic groups. Furthermore, Ware asserts that the invasions are properly described as terrorist attacks because they initially involved attacks against Dagestani civilians and police officers.[9]

Opposing forces

Federal forces

Despite the initial poor showing of the government forces (for example, military helicopters were hit by anti-tank guided missiles during a rebel raid on the Botlikh airfield), Moscow and Makhachkala were able to put together an impressive fighting force. For instance, the light infantry units were partially drawn from the Spetsnaz, paratroopers and naval infantry, crucial to mountain and counter-insurgency warfare.

The government forces consisted of three main elements: light and airmobile infantry units able to operate in the mountains and in small ambush and assault forces; larger mechanized units to seal areas off and maintain area security; and artillery with air support elements that were able to interdict supply lines and box in the rebels. Most of the 'teeth' were drawn from regular army units, with the exception of the MVD's Internal Troops' 102nd Brigade, the Rus commando force and the local Dagestani OMON. Makhachala long expected an incident of this sort, and since its OMON troops proved ineffectual in 1996 when Chechen rebels seized hostages in the Dagestani city of Kizlyar, it placed a part of its scarce resources into turning this force into a small local army. The Dagestani OMON force numbers almost 1,000 men and, bar the absence of armour and artillery, they are equipped as motorised infantry; the force even had a number of BTR-60 and BTR-70 armoured personnel carriers and heavy support weapons.

At the end of 1997 the republic also began raising volunteer territorial militia. During the emergency, its ranks of reservists and volunteers almost reached 5,000. Their training and equipment were minimal, making them little more than a home guard force. However their motivation to defend and recapture their homes as well as intimate knowledge of the terrain made them a reliable garrison force.

Insurgent forces

The insurgents proved to be a collection of Chechen guerrillas, Dagestani rebels, Islamic fundamentalists and mercenaries from across the Arab world and Central Asia. Estimates of the insurgent forces' strength has been estimated of being 1,500-3,000 men. While mostly experienced veterans of the Chechen and other wars, they were lightly equipped. They possessed ample supplies of small arms, support weapons, several 9M111 Fagot ATGMs, mortars and ample ammunition but they appeared to have only two BTR-60s possibly captured from government forces in the first days of the attack, a single T-12 antitank gun and a few truck-mounted ZU-23 anti-aircraft guns to use as fire support.

Their first-among-equals leader was Basayev, Chechen rebel leader, erstwhile prime minister and founder of the CPCD. Basayev's position was in many ways an ambiguous one. He was a staunch Muslim but didn't share the extreme Wahhabism of many of his allies; however, he strongly believed that Dagestan and Chechnya should be one state. Although a seasoned and wily guerrilla commander, this war saw him used as a political figurehead. His CPCD was officially charged with forming new "structures of Islamic self-government" in rebel-held areas. The brevity of the occupation and the opposition of many locals to their "liberation" meant that this was never a serious process.

Ibn al-Khattab's Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade formed the core of the insurgent forces, accounting for perhaps half of the rebel fighters. Having fought against the Russians during the First Chechen War, he went on to wage an open campaign against President Maskhadov, whom he regarded as too close to Moscow. Khattab concluded a marriage of political convenience with Basayev, but in effect retained operational command and a veto on political direction.

The third element in the loose rebel triumvirate were the Dagestani Islamic militants. Besides Bagauddin Magomedov, the two key figures were Nadir Khachilayev and Siradjin Ramazanov. An ethnic Lak and former leader of the Union of Muslims in Russia, Khachilayev had a long pedigree of opposition to the local regime of Magomedali Magomedov. In 1998 he launched an abortive attempt to storm the government buildings in the Dagestani capital, Makhachkala. Khachilayev escaped to Chechnya where he found sanctuary with Islamist guerrilla movements, eventually forging an alliance with Khattab. Despite their Dagestani origins, he and the self-styled prime minister of 'Islamic Dagestan', Ramazanov, proved marginal, reflecting their failure to bring recruits to their side after they launched the operation. The self-proclaimed Shura of Dagestan welcomed the "liberation" and declared an Islamic state, but proved to have relatively little authority.

Alleged agreement between Basayev and Russian authorities to start the war

According to Boris Berezovsky, he had a conversation with the Chechen Islamist ideologist and Basayev's propaganda chief Movladi Udugov six months before the beginning of the rebel invasion of Dagestan.[19] Allegedly, Udugov proposed to start the Dagestan war to provoke the Russian response, topple the Chechen president Maskhadov and establish new Islamic republic made of Chechnya and Ingushetia that would be friendly to Russia. Berezovsky asserted that he refused the offer, but "Udugov and Basayev conspired with Stepashin and Putin to provoke a war to topple Maskhadov..., but the agreement was for the Russian army to stop at the Terek River. Putin double-crossed the Chechens and started an all-out war."[19] A transcript of the conversation was leaked to one of Moscow tabloids on September 10, 1999.[20]

The Invasion of Dagestan leading to the start of the new Russian-Chechen conflict was regarded by the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya as a provocation initiated from Moscow to start war in Chechnya, because Russian forces provided safe passage for Islamic fighters back to Chechnya.[21] It was reported that Alexander Voloshin of the Yeltsin administration paid money to Basayev to stage this military operation.[22][23][24] Basayev allegedly worked for Russian GRU.[25][26][27]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Alexander Pashin (2002). "Russian Army Operations and Weaponry During Second Military Campaign in Chechnya". Moscow Defense Brief (#3). Mdb.cast.ru. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  2. ^ Oleg Lukin (2008). "Новейшая история: Российско-чеченские войны". Vestnik "Mostok" (in Russian). Vestnikmostok.ru. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  3. ^ a b "Tsumadinskiy Rayon". Google Maps. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  4. ^ a b "Botlikhskiy Rayon". Google Maps. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  5. ^ Grigori Krivosheev, ed. (2001). "Chapter VII: Потери вооруженных сил России и СССР в вооруженных конфликтах на Северном Кавказе (1920-2000 годы)". Россия и СССР в войнах ХХ века: Потери Вооружённых Сил (in Russian). Moscow: OLMA-PRESS. pp. 582–584. ISBN 5-224-01515-4. Archived from the original on 2009-04-14.
  6. ^ John Pike (1999-08-17). "War In Dagestan". globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  7. ^ Richard Sakwa, ed. (2005). "Mike Bowker: Western Views of the Chechen Conflict". Chechnya: From Past to Future. Anthem Press. pp. 223–318. ISBN 978-1-84331-164-5.
  8. ^ a b c Emil Souleimanov (December 2005). "Chechnya, Wahhabism and the Invasion of Dagestan". The Middle East Review of International Affairs. 9 (4). Archived from the original on 2012-04-20.
  9. ^ a b c d Richard Sakwa, ed. (2005). "Robert Bruce Ware: Mythology and Political Failure in Chechnya". Chechnya: From Past to Future. Anthem Press. pp. 79–115. ISBN 978-1-84331-164-5.
  10. ^ "RFE/RL Newsline, 02-08-23". Hri.org. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  11. ^ a b c Murphy, Paul (2004). The Wolves of Islam: Russia and the Faces of Chechen Terror. Potomac Books Inc. ISBN 978-1574888300.
  12. ^ "Rebels pick Chechen warlord in Dagestan insurgency; Government focuses on crisis in southern Russia". Archived from the original on January 3, 2008. Retrieved 2006-08-22., CNN, August 11, 1999
  13. ^ "Справочный материал по объемно-детонирующим боеприпасам ("вакуумным бомбам")" (in Russian). Human Rights Watch. February 2001. Archived from the original on 2009-02-16. Retrieved 2015-03-19.
  14. ^ Brian Glyn Williams (2001). "The Russo-Chechen War: A Threat to Stability in the Middle East and Eurasia?". Middle East Policy. Blackwell-synergy.com. 8 (1): 128–148. doi:10.1111/1475-4967.00012. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  15. ^ Steve Harrigan (1999-08-23). "Rebels say they're out of Dagestan; Russia says war continues - August 23, 1999". CNN. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  16. ^ a b "Moscow Defense Brief". Mdb.cast.ru. Retrieved 2013-08-24.
  17. ^ Jonathan Littell (2006). "The Security Organs of the Russian Federation (Part III): Putin returns to the organs". The Security Organs of the Russian Federation. A Brief History 1991-2004. Psan Publishing House. Archived from the original on 2007-03-14.
  18. ^ Sakwa, Richard (2008). Putin, Russia's choice (2nd ed.). Routledge. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-415-40765-6.
  19. ^ a b Alex Goldfarb, with Marina Litvinenko Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB, The Free Press, 2007, ISBN 1-416-55165-4, page 216.
  20. ^ "Death of a Dissident", page 189.
  21. ^ Politkovskaya, Anna (2003). A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya. Translated by Alexander Burry and Tatiana Tulchinsky. Archived from the original on 2005-02-05.
  22. ^ John B. Dunlop (October 17, 2001). "The Second Russo-Chechen War Two Years On". The American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus. Archived from the original on 2007-04-21.
  23. ^ Paul Klebnikov: Godfather of the Kremlin: The Decline of Russia in the Age of Gangster Capitalism, ISBN 0-15-601330-4
  24. ^ Vladimir Pribylovsky and Yuriy Felshtinsky. "Операция "Наследник". Главы из книги" (in Russian). Lib.ru. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  25. ^ Andre Glucksmann (11 March 2005). "Western leaders betray Aslan Maskhadov". Prima-News. Archived from the original on 2007-10-25.
  26. ^ "Chechen Parliamentary Speaker: Basayev was G.R.U. Officer". The Jamestown Foundation. 2006-09-08. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  27. ^ Fuller, Liz. "Analysis: Has Chechnya's Strongman Signed His Own Death Warrant?". Rferl.org. Retrieved 2015-02-23.

External links

108th Guards Kuban Cossack Air Assault Regiment

The 108th Guards Kuban Cossack Air Assault Regiment is a regiment of the Russian Airborne Troops' 7th Guards Airborne Division, based at Novorossiysk. The regiment fought in the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, the War in Abkhazia, the First Chechen War, the War of Dagestan and the Second Chechen War.

2002 Grozny truck bombing

The Grozny truck bombing occurred on December 27, 2002, when three Chechen suicide bombers ran vehicles into the heavily guarded republic's government headquarters in the regional capital Grozny.

2014 Grozny clashes

On 4 December 2014, a group of armed militants of the jihadist organization Caucasus Emirate attacked a traffic police checkpoint outside the city of Grozny, Chechnya, Russia. The militants then entered the city and occupied the "Press House" building in the city center and a nearby school.

According to the BBC, the Islamists had claimed to have launched a suicide attack in response to purported attacks by security forces on Muslim women.

247th Guards Air Assault Regiment

The 247th Guards Air Assault Regiment is a regiment of the Russian Airborne Troops, currently part of the 7th Guards Mountain Air Assault Division. It was first formed in 1973 as the 21st Air Assault Brigade and was transferred to the Soviet Airborne Troops in 1990, becoming the 21st Airborne Brigade. The brigade was renamed the 247th Air Assault Regiment in 1998. In 1998, it also gained the title 'Caucasian Cossack', although it is not all composed of Cossacks. In 2013 it became a Guards regiment. The unit fought in the First Chechen War, the War of Dagestan, the Second Chechen War, the Russo-Georgian War, and the War in Donbass.

Alkhan-Kala operation

The Alkhan-Kala operation was a zachistka (Russian: зачистка) operation by Russian forces in Alkhan-Kala, Chechnya, starting on 25 June 2001, during the Second Chechen War. The week-long sweep of Alkhan-Kala erupted into armed clashes with Chechen separatists, and the initial raid resulted in the death of Arbi Barayev, a high-ranking Chechen insurgent commander and organized crime leader.

Arab Mujahideen in Chechnya

The Arab Mujahideen in Chechnya (Arabic: المجاهدين العرب في الشيشان‎, Al-Mujahidin Al-'Arab fi Al-Shishan; Russian: Арабские моджахеды в Чечне, Arabskiye Muzhakhady v Chechnye) was an international unit of the Islamist Mujahideen that fought in Chechnya and other parts of the North Caucasus.

It was created by Fathi al-Jordani in 1995 during the First Chechen War, where it fought against the Russian Federation in favor of Chechnya's independence as the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. During the Second Chechen War it played an important part in further fighting.

Battle of Dolinskoye

The Battle of Dolinskoye (Dolinskoe, Dolinsky), which took place 25 kilometers northwest of the Chechen capital of Grozny, was the first major ground engagement of the First Chechen War.

Battle of Khankala

The Battle of Khankala was a failed attempt by the Chechen separatists to counterattack at the strategic position at Khankala from Grozny and Argun using armoured vehicles.

Khankala is a former Soviet military base and airstrip at the eastern outskirts of Grozny, also overtaking the main Rostov-Baku highway and cutting direct access into the Chechen capital of Grozny from the town of Argun. It was captured by a column of Russian troops led by elements of the 104th Guards Airborne Division in a surprise south-east dash from the village of Tolstoy-Yurt.

Reportedly, in the aftermath of the battle, the Chechen attackers were repelled by Russian paratroopers, losing six tanks and an armoured personnel carrier.

Chechenpress

State News Agency Chechenpress (SNA Chechenpress) is the news agency of the Chechen separatists who proclaim themselves to be the representatives of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. It used to be the official press agency of Chechnya.

As of 2008, SNA Chechenpress, linked with London-based Akhmed Zakayev, is the Chechen nationalist website rival to the Islamist Kavkaz Center website run by Movladi Udugov. In November 2007 the editors of Chechenpress declared it works since then directly under the ChRI Parliament.

Congress of the Peoples of Ichkeria and Dagestan

The Congress of the Peoples of Ichkeria and Dagestan (Russian: Конгресс народов Ичкерии и Дагестана; abbreviated CPID) was an Islamist terrorist organization under the joint control of Chechen rebel leaders, founded in 1998. One of its subordinates was the Islamic International Brigade, a mujahideen movement that was a major combatant in the War of Dagestan. The objective of the CPID was to establish an Islamic caliphate in the North Caucasus.

Counter-insurgency operations during the Second Chechen War

Counter-insurgency operations during the Second Chechen War have been conducted by the Russian army in Chechnya since 1999. The President of Chechnya, and former rebel, Ramzan Kadyrov declared this phase to end in March 2009. On 27 March 2009, the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev met with Alexander Bortnikov, the Director of the Federal Security Service to discuss the official ending of counter-terrorism operations in Chechnya. Medvedev directed the National Anti-Terrorism Committee, which Bortnikov also heads, to report to the Russian government on this issue, which will then by decided by the Russian parliament.As of early 2009 there were close to 480 active insurgents situated in the mountains under leadership of field commander Doku Umarov, according to official data.Clashes with insurgents also continued in other regions of North Caucasus in 2009.

Guerrilla phase of the Second Chechen War

The following lists detail the incidents of guerrilla warfare and counter insurgency in the republic of Chechnya and the rest of the North Caucasus since the official end of the main Russian offensive in April 2000. The lists are incomplete and the actual casualty count is much higher. Both Russian and separatist reports of casualties are often considered unreliable.

Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade

The Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade (Russian: Исламская международная миротворческая бригада; abbreviated IIPB), also known as the Islamic International Brigade, the Islamic Peacekeeping Army, was the name of an international Islamist terrorist mujahideen organization, founded in 1998.

Khasavyurt Accord

Khasav-Yurt Accord (Russian: Хасавюртовские соглашения) was an agreement that marked the end of the First Chechen War, signed in Khasav-Yurt in Dagestan on 30 August 1996 between Alexander Lebed and Aslan Maskhadov.

Kozin (surname)

Kozin (Russian: Козин, from коза meaning female goat) is a Russian masculine surname. Its Russian feminine counterpart is Kozina, while in other Slavic countries Kozina is also a masculine surname. It may refer to:

Alexey Kozin (1976-1999), Russian military officer killed in War of Dagestan and posthumous Hero of the Russian Federation

Nestor Kozin (1902-1992), Red Army Major general and Hero of the Soviet Union

Vadim Kozin (1903–1994), Russian tenor singer

Valentin Kozin (born 1940), Soviet hockey player

Viktor Kozin (born 1953), a Russian naval engineer

Yury Kozin (born 1948), Russian weightlifter

Russian apartment bombings

The Russian apartment bombings were a series of explosions that hit four apartment blocks in the Russian cities of Buynaksk, Moscow and Volgodonsk between 4 and 16 September 1999, killing 293 people and injuring more than 1,000, spreading a wave of fear across the country. To date, no one has taken credit for the bombings; the Russian government blamed Chechen militants, although they, along with Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov, denied responsibility. The bombings, together with the Dagestan War, led the country into the Second Chechen War. Then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's handling of the crisis boosted his popularity and helped him attain the presidency within a few months.On 22 September, an explosive device similar to those used in the bombings was found and defused in an apartment block in the Russian city of Ryazan. The next day, Putin praised the vigilance of the inhabitants of Ryazan and ordered the air bombing of Grozny, marking the beginning of the Second Chechen War. Thirty-six hours later, local police arrested the perpetrators, who were discovered to in fact be three FSB agents. The Russian government declared that the incident had simply been a training exercise, and the agents were released on Moscow's orders.Parliament member Yuri Shchekochikhin filed two motions for a parliamentary investigation, but the motions were rejected by the Russian Duma in March 2000. An independent public commission to investigate the bombings was chaired by Duma deputy Sergei Kovalev, but the commission was rendered ineffective due to the Russian government's refusal to respond to its inquiries. The official Russian investigation of the bombings was completed in 2002 and concluded that all the bombings were organised and led by Achemez Gochiyayev, who remains at large, and ordered by Islamist warlords Ibn Al-Khattab and Abu Omar al-Saif, who have been killed. Five other suspects have been killed and six have been convicted by Russian courts on terrorism-related charges.

A number of historians and observers have stated that the bombings were a false flag attempt, coordinated by Russian state security services to bring Putin into the presidency. Those who hold this view point to a number of pieces of evidence, including the Ryazan incident, the fact that the Volgodonsk bombing was erroneously announced three days before it happened by Russian Duma speaker Gennadiy Seleznyov, and the fact that supposed prime suspect Achemez Gochiyayev told police that he was being set up by the FSB, and notified police about two still-unexploded bombs, which they were able to find and deactivate in time. Also notable are the untimely deaths of various observers who called the official story into question: Kovalev Commission members Sergei Yushenkov and Yuri Shchekochikhin (both of whom were apparently assassinated in 2003), and former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who blamed the FSB for the bombings in two books, and was poisoned by FSB agents in London in 2006. Additionally, the Commission's lawyer and investigator, Mikhail Trepashkin, was arrested and served four years in prison for revealing state secrets.

Tsotsin-Yurt operation

The Tsotsin-Yurt operation was a zachistka-type (Russian: зачистка) operation by Russian Spetsnaz forces in Tsotsin-Yurt, Chechnya, from December 30, 2001 to January 3, 2002, during the Second Chechen War. The four-day sweep of Tsotsin-Yurt erupted into armed clashes with Chechen separatists, ending in a stalemate with disputed casualty figures. Russian forces were accused of widespread human rights violations, including pillaging, ethnic cleansing and forced disappearances.

Tukhchar massacre

The Tukhchar massacre was an incident during the War of Dagestan, filmed and distributed on tape, in which Russian prisoners of war were executed. Throughout the war, Russian soldiers reported finding taped executions of Russian officers and men. Experts say such films were an attempt to frighten enemy soldiers and advertise their deeds. Some videos were later sold as snuff films and ended up online. One tape created in September 1999 showed six Russian servicemen, one as young as 19, being brutally executed by Chechen fighters. The video, both in part and in whole, has been uploaded to various video streaming sites such as LiveLeak, where it is also known as the Dagestan beheadings. English-language sites often contain misinformation about the event, including the names of the soldiers, the name of the Chechen commander, and the year. As a result, the event has been mistakenly identified as the 1996 filmed execution of four Russian soldiers at the end of the First Chechen War.

Turpal-Ali Atgeriyev

Turpal-Ali Atgeriyev (1969 – August 18, 2002) was a Deputy Prime Minister and National Security Minister of Chechnya. Also spelled Turpal, Atgeriev.

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