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Table of Contents
Country Reports
CHECHNYA, Landmine Monitor Report 2000
LM Report 2000 Full Report   Executive Summary   Key Findings   Key Developments   Translated Country Reports

CHECHNYA

Key developments since March 1999: The renewed conflict since September 1999 has seen extensive use of mines by Russian and Chechen forces. In April 2000, the Russian military revealed plans to deploy mines along the southern Chechen border with Georgia. In December 1999, mine clearance operations by HALO Trust were suspended. Mine awareness activities also ground to a halt, but by late spring 2000 had begun again. Many hundreds of new mine victims have already been identified.

Background

In September 1991, Chechnya proclaimed independence from Russia, and adopted the full name Chechen Republic Ichkeria. On 11 December 1994, the Russian Federation sent troops into the Chechen Republic where mines were used extensively in the fighting by both sides. In August 1996, the Khasav-Yurt peace agreements were signed; and a decision on the Chechen Republic Ichkeria’s status was delayed till 1 January 2001.

Relations remained tense, however, and deteriorated to the point of Russia sending troops into Dagestan in August 1999 and then into Chechnya in September. Russian troops first secured the northern section of the country, occupied the Chechen capital of Grozny, then began pursuit of rebels in mountainous areas in southern Chechnya. The war, replete with massive violations of human rights and laws of war including widespread use of mines, continues as Landmine Monitor 2000 goes to print. (See also Landmine Monitor country report on Russia.)

Mine Ban Policy

Chechnya is not an internationally recognized sovereign state, and therefore cannot sign the Mine Ban Treaty. In 1998 then Chechen Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ilias Akhmadov expressed support for the Mine Ban Treaty and said that the Chechen Republic Ichkeria would be ready to sign immediately.[1] With the resumption of the war in 1999, the Chechen position on a mine ban has reversed.

One Chechen parliamentarian noted that “any questions pertaining to the antipersonnel mine ban, which may be put by a sovereign state in peacetime to the Chechen Republic-Ichkeria, are unacceptable at the present time.”[2] Another government official said, “The question of banning the use of antipersonnel mines, which we put to some field commanders...caused unconcealed indignation. We considered it senseless to make further inquiries pertaining to this theme. The main conclusion made by our representatives is that mines will not be discarded from general military strategy by either the Russian Army or the Chechen detachments.”[3]

Production

It is unclear if, or how much, landmine production capability was located in Chechnya before the disintegration of the Soviet Union. It is believed that there had been no domestic production of mines in Chechnya although some plants have produced military materiel.[4] An engineer of the “Krasny Molot” plant said that Chechnya has never manufactured its own mines and does not produce them at the present time.[5] He considered that making improvised explosive devises was not production, as they could not be made in large numbers.

Transfer

Chechnya has not made an official declaration regarding its position on the export or import of AP mines, but it is not known to have exported mines. The landmines in Chechnya were brought in during Soviet times. During the first war, it appears that Chechens obtained antipersonnel mines from Russian soldiers and officers, and mines also came from the Trans-Caucasus, delivered by groups on horseback across the mountains.

A Chechen military officer has said that all mines are remainders of stockpiles of the Armed Forces of the USSR or mines left by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation after the first war. He said the only method of receiving AP mines is through contacts with representatives of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.[6]

On 13 January 2000, on a trip to the U.S., Chechen Minister of Foreign Affairs, IliaS Akhmadov stated that Chechens were being provided “arms, ammunition, including explosives...by Russia.” Earlier that month, Georgian intelligence services had captured a Russian military vehicle near the Russian military base in Vaziani, Georgia, attempting to transport weapons to Chechen militaries.[7] The SSM (State Security Ministry) of Georgia reported that the evidence of the trafficking would be submitted by Georgia's Procurator's Office to Russia's Procurator's Office. Vladimir Andreev, Commander of the Russian Military forces in Transcaucasus, responded that Georgia’s SSM had forged a film depicting the illegal trafficking of weapons from Vaziani.[8]

One Russian report stated that among other things Chechens used “serial landmines of Western manufacturing.”[9]

Chechen forces are known to have links with Islamist militant movements in the region and may also be obtaining military supplies, including landmines, from these support networks.[10]

Stockpiling

It is not possible to get accurate information on the quantity of mines in Chechen stockpiles, but they consist mostly of Soviet-produced PMN and OZM mines. According to Mr. M. Arsaliev, the chief deminer of the Chechen Republic, the pre-war arsenal stored in the Chechen Republic consisted mainly of PMN, OMZ-72, MON-50, MON-90, and MON-100 antipersonnel mines, and TM-62 antitank mines.[11] During the fighting, stocks of AP mines, along with other weapons, were moved to secret camps and bases in mountain regions, especially in southern Chechnya.[12] A military official noted that the disproportion of fighting forces in Chechnya makes stockpile destruction impossible; mines will only be destroyed in the “natural” way.[13]

Use

Both sides used mines in the 1994-96 Chechen conflict.[14] (See Landmine Monitor Report 1999 for details). While some estimates of mines laid in the first war were over one million, surveys by the British demining organization HALO Trust found fewer mines than in other parts of the Caucasus. However, the perceived threat, based on accidents across the territory, resulted in large tracts of agricultural land not being used.[15]

In the lull between the wars, there were allegations of continued use of landmines. In May 1997, HALO Trust said it had seen new minefields laid by Russian Interior Ministry forces along Chechnya’s borders with Ingushetia and Dagestan.[16] Mines were also used by various armed groups and armed robbers.

With the renewed fighting, first in Dagestan in August 1999 and then moving into Chechnya, where it continues as this edition goes to print, mines have been used in significant numbers by all armed fighters. Chechens have made unverifiable claims that Russia has used between 200,000-300,000 mines since the fighting broke out.[17]

Russian officials admit to the large-scale use of mines throughout the operations. A government official, describing their use in Dagestan wrote, “The use of antipersonnel landmines there was nothing less but a ‘dire necessity.’ In Dagestan we had to do everything possible not only to safeguard the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, but first and foremost to protect the civilian population from international terrorists.... The Russian Federation uses antipersonnel landmines only for the purposes of defense and in the first place to deter terrorists, drug smugglers and other potential illegal trespassers who wish to penetrate into our territory.”[18]

Russian troops have used hand-laid mines, air- and artillery-scattered mines, as well as remotely controlled devices. The main objectives of the initial stages of the operation were the creation of “security zones,” and a “sanitary corridor.” The military has said that at that point, only MVZ mines were used to protect check-points, outposts and temporary positions, and that the mines were removed whenever the units changed position.[19] They also said that the minefields were mapped and the “security zones” were marked.[20] As operations expanded, so did the use of mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Hand-laid mines included OZM-72, and MON-50/90/100 mines.[21]

The Russians also have widely used scatterable mines, mostly dropped from aircraft, to cut off potential withdrawal routes from Dagestan, against guerrillas in the mountainous areas of Chechnya, and to cut off both weapons supply and guerrilla reinforcement along the Russian-Georgian border. In December 1999, a Georgian officer noted that such operations had been going on for two months, and he stated that on one day alone, Russian aircraft scattered mines along a 20 kilometer stretch in the Chechen border area. He noted that it is very difficult to precisely locate air-scattered mines.[22] The most commonly used mine has been the PFM-1S, which is equipped with a self-destruct mechanism.[23] Artillery-delivered mines have also been used, notably in the mining of the estuary of the River Sunzha and in fields running from Grozny to Alkhan-Kalu.[24] Civilians returning to their homes have on occasion been injured by booby-traps left behind by Russian forces.

The Chechens have used mainly PMN, PMN-2, OZM-72, MON-100, MON-200, improvised explosive devices, grenades with trip-wires and to a wide extent booby traps.[25] A Russian military officer said that 90% of the mines were Russian-made, left over from the breakup of the USSR; he also stated that the Chechens used Italian-made mines.[26] While Russian forces have used mostly AP mines, Chechens have used mainly antitank mines. According to one report, “The Chechen rebels use landmines of a wide range types and modifications, including serial landmines of Western manufacturing, as well as a wide spectrum of improvised explosives and even devices which to a great extent complicates mine clearance.” Chechen fighters have used mines to retard the advance of Russian troops, as well as to complicate rebuilding of communication infrastructure, and along railroads, electrical supply lines and other such sites.[27] By the summer of 2000, it was reported that, “Quite well equipped until recently, [the rebels] are now experiencing difficulties...in the supply of standard-issue munitions. Home-made explosive devices are therefore in use.”[28]

In a radio interview, Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov noted that the decision to use mines is taken by junior commanders, in both Chechen and Russian force, and that the use of antipersonnel mines and antitank mines will only increase with the beginning of the partisan war.[29] Another report indicates that for the Russians, in many cases, decisions to use mines were made at individual command and/or small reconnaissance team and patrol level.[30]

Much of the Chechen capital of Grozny has been laid to waste in the fighting.[31] Mines have been used extensively in the city and have taken their toll on combatants and civilians alike. In one of the most notorious incidents in the fighting for Grozny, on 31 January 2000, a column of some 2-3,000 rebels evacuating from Grozny traveled through a large minefield on the outskirts of the capitol suffering heavy casualties.[32] Russians officials claimed they lured the guerrillas into a trap by pretending to accept a bribe in exchange for safe passage out of Grozny. “Frankly, we did not expect bandits, especially the key figures, to swallow the bait,” said Gen. Vladimir Shamanov.[33]

In one account of the incident, a Chechen fighter said, “I saw dreadful things during fighting in Grozny, but that massacre was beyond comparison. We had to walk on our dead comrades” to avoid stepping on unexploded mines.”[34] Several hundred fighters were killed or wounded, including rebel commanders such as the Mayor of Grozny, Lecha Dudayev, who was killed by a mine. [35] One doctor in the nearby village of Alkhan-Kala said that in two days, he amputated limbs on sixty-seven mine victims, including rebel commander Shamil Basayev, who lost his right foot.[36]

Shortly after the incident, the Russian military closed Grozny to returning civilians. On Russia’s NTV television, Col. Gen. Viktor Kazantsev, a top Russian commander, said, “As long as the city isn’t cleared of all mines and shells, and there is a threat of buildings collapsing, civilians are being banned from entering.” He added, “Under civilian disguise, militants are trying to return to pick up their wounded.”[37]

On 24 April 2000, Russian forces announced that the city had been “completely cleared of mines.” They did, however, note that the “city is still unsafe,” charging continued mine use by Chechen fighters.[38] In May 2000, Russian authorities began using mines again to protect factories and power plants in Chechen’s capital, Grozny. The Russian-appointed mayor of the city, Supyan Mokchayev reported that such mining was necessary to stop “a plague of looting by their own [Russian] troops.”[39]

Since evacuating the capitol Grozny in early February, Chechen forces have resorted to guerilla tactics, mounting dozens of ambushes on Russian forces throughout Chechen territory. Usually, the ambushes are initiated by the use of concealed antitank mines that demobilize vehicles in the Russian convoy, followed by brief ground engagement by Chechen fighters. Such attacks have inflicted hundreds of Russian casualties and continue unabated.[40]

In April 2000, it was reported that the “military leadership and border services of Russia and Georgia have adopted the decision to mine several stretches of the border” in order to stop the flow of men and materiel between Georgia and Chechnya. Russian military spokesmen would not “disclose precisely” the type of mines to be used, noting only that over twenty mountain passes and dozens of pathways would be mined along an 80 kilometer-long stretch of the border near the southern Chechen Argun Gorge.[41] There has been speculation that the mining would be similar to that used in Afghanistan, where individual stretches of border were mined by sappers and in inaccessible areas, air-scattered by helicopter. The report also noted that when mines are air-scattered it is difficult to determine the exact location of the minefields, which endangers the movement of one’s own troops.[42] The Georgian Department for the Protection of the State Border, for its part, has stated officially it is “considering the possibility of mining the Chechen stretch of the Russian-Georgian border.”[43]

Landmine Problem

With the renewed fighting, it is impossible to get accurate information about mined areas, but given that very limited mine clearance took place after the 1994-96 war, the current situation can only be worse – and the fighting continues. (For details of the mine problem as a result of the 1994-96 fighting, see Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 844.)

In addition to the mining of Grozny, air-scatterable mines have been used against guerrilla strongholds in the mountains. Forest ranges adjacent to villages and towns have also been mined, as have been the “administrative borders” of Chechnya, along the banks of the Terek River,[44] the estuary of the River Sunzha and in fields running from Grozny to Alkhan-Kalu.[45]

During May 2000, the Chechen NGO, “Refugees Against Landmines,” began interviewing Chechen refugees in the Panki Canyon of Akmeta district in Georgia about their knowledge of the landmine problem in Chechnya and mine victims. Responses about areas mined included the following:[46]

  • male from village on 1 May: fields near Samashky village and the nearby forests and roads;
  • male from Urus-Martan on 6 May: arable land of Sovkhoz “Gorets” of Urus-Martan district by Russian forces;
  • male from Urus-Martan on 6 May: arable land from Urus-Martan to Tangi-Chu; cattle pasture between Urus-Martan to Gekhi, near the highway to Baku – it was all mined in December 1999 and the minefields are not marked;
  • 2 males from Urus-Martan on 6 & 7 May: sowing lands between Urus-Martan and Tangi-Chu are mined by Russian forces;
  • male on 6 May: arable lands and fields in Naur district, and the bridge over the Terek river mined by Russian soldiers;
  • male on 6 May: almost all civil and administrative buildings in Grozny.

Many refugees noted that minefields from the 1994-96 war had not been cleared. As one said, “After the first war, half of Chechnya was mined and still there are places not cleared yet... we shall see after the war.”

In July 2000, a Russian television interview with a Russian sapper noted the following: “In innumerable areas in Chechnya, no man has set foot for several years now. It is dangerous to walk in woods, which have been mined by both our forces and the rebels. Since no minefields have been mapped, not even sappers take the risk. Civilians are blown up and farm animals killed by mines controlled by tripwires. The lofts and cellars of Grozny ruins are no less of a danger.”[47]

A Chechen doctor who operated on numerous mine victims said that no single town or district is without mines, and that even after the war, for ten or twenty years, mines will still be killing people. “There is no need to continue the war,” he said, “even if troops leave now half the population will die.” He believed that mine use in the second war was ten times greater than the first, and he said that neither side bothered with signs, marking or fencing.[48]

Mine Action Funding

Even before the renewed war, international funding for demining had been almost nonexistent. There were no funds in the Chechen Republic budget for humanitarian demining. According to an agreement between Chechnya and the Russian Federation, financing of demining programs was to be carried out by Russia, but because of the financial crisis the program had not been implemented.

Mine Clearance

HALO Trust conducted a mine assessment mission in January 1997 and proposed a demining project in cooperation with the Chechen army.[49] For most of 1998 and 1999, HALO carried out programs in Chechnya. By the time of the 1999 Russian invasion, HALO had trained both manual and mechanical clearance teams. Operations were based in southwestern Chechnya. HALO was preparing to hand over management to Chechen personnel when the fighting began again. Operations were suspended in December 1999.[50]

In February 2000, Russian military called upon the residents of Avtury to turn over arms and ammunition, and on behalf of the command of the Internal Forces of the Russian Federation in Chechnya promised "to clear the infested mined lands by the beginning of the planting season..."[51] In this vicinity about 1,500 hectares of land are infested with landmines and UXOs and have been unable to be farmed since the 1994-96 fighting.

On 3 April 2000, the Russian Military News Agency reported that “160 hectares of land has been cleared of mines and prepared for ploughing in the Pravoberezhny district. Sappers have surveyed 653 hectares of land in the Urus-Martan district.”.[52]

Russian military stated, “During only the first week after gaining control over Grozny, the Russian sappers found in this half-destroyed city more than 3,000 landmines among other explosive devices, UXOs and ammunition – the result of surveying hardly one-third of the city. Due to this, the military command took the decision to suspend until special order entry to the city for civilians and journalists.[53] By late February there were reportedly 500 sappers working in Grozny.[54] On 24 April 2000, Russia declared the city “completely cleared of mines,” stating that “[o]ver 177,000 explosive devices and rounds of ammunition were rendered harmless.”[55]

Mine Awareness

Prior to renewed fighting in 1999, the ICRC and Medical Emergency Relief International (MERLIN - a British NGO) had carried out mine awareness activities.[56] Just as the fighting has made clearance operations impossible, no mine awareness activities could be conducted. One Chechen NGO was formulating plans for mine awareness activities with refugees in Georgia, Ingushetya and Azerbaijan, but due to lack of resources and logistical constraints at that time, the project essentially remained a plan for the future. In early 2000, a very bleak picture of the situation was described:

The entire work carried out by our organization to inform the population of the danger of antipersonnel mines has been reduced since the beginning of the war. At the present time it is impossible to move about on the territory of the Chechen Republic-Ichkeria and even if one reached any populated locality, having paid for this at every check-post, one would find out that it is a ghost town. It will be very difficult to work on problems of antipersonnel mines until the end of the military operations.... Our office in the city of Grozny, which contained video and photo materials, booklets, placards, warning boards and other things and equipment, has been completely destroyed.... Neither Russian nor Chechen military men inform the population about mined territories, moreover this information is kept secret.[57]

Representatives from UNHCR reported that the agency plans to carry out mine awareness activities in Ingushetia/Chechnya and that the Danish Refugee Council also plans a project to target teachers and schools in Ingushetia.[58]

By early summer 2000, mine awareness work in Chechnya is increasing. Movement around the territory is still dangerous and payment at Russian checkpoints still a necessity to reach communities; but it is possible to begin some work. A Chechen youth group, Laman Az (Voice of the Mountains), the Centre for Peacemaking and Community Development, the Chechen Human Rights Investigation Bureau, and the Danish Refugee Council are now actively involved in mine awareness activities. UNICEF now has funds to support such programs.[59]

Landmine Casualties

With the end of the first war in 1996, there were an estimated 600 to 800 civilian landmine casualties in Chechnya, about half of whom are children.[60] Immediately after the war, the number of casualties from mines appeared to increase as people returned to their homes. Laman Az reported that during this time period, there were fifty-seven landmine casualties in the Nozhai-Yurtovsky region, forty-five landmine casualties in the Achoi-Martanovsky region, and thirty landmine casualties in the Urus-Martanovsky region.[61]

By the outbreak of the war in 1999, there were approximately 3,500 people registered by the Ministry of Public Health in the Chechen Republic as needing artificial limbs. Of those, Chechen Health Ministry officials estimate up to 20 percent were mine victims.[62]

One NGO had begun to compile information on mine victims, working through the Chechen Ministry of Health. In the spring and summer of 1999, it had compiled a list of names and addresses of 1,800 people injured by mines and were planning on cross-checking the information. When work had to stop with the outbreak of war, northern regions of Naursky, Shelkovsky, and Nadterochny had not yet been covered.[63]

Officials indicated that the number of injured Chechen refugees in the republic of Ingushetia since the beginning of the conflict in August 1999 is 347, including 88 children, 89 women and 210 men. The number of persons that need prostheses is 300, twenty-five of them critically.[64]

The “Kids of the Chechen War” program of the Children’s Foundation reported on 250 injured children from Chechnya who applied for medical assistance; seventy of them are amputees requiring prosthetic aid.[65] No Ministry of the Russian government or of the official temporary Chechen administration was able to provide any information on civilian victims of the current war.

During May 2000, the Chechen NGO “Refugees Against Landmines” began interviewing Chechen refugees in the Panki Canyon of Akmeta district in Georgia about their knowledge of the landmine problem in Chechnya and mine victims.[66] A female from Urus-Martan on 6 May reported that her brother Ibragin was killed on 14 April 2000 and her nephew, age 13, lost his eyes to a landmine. She also said, “A girl ran from some men and got killed in a nearby village on a landmine. These men laughed when they heard the explosion. She was 20-years-old.” A woman, speaking about the casualties of the Chechen wars, said, “How can we name all of them? There were a lot who lost their legs and got killed due to these mines.”

Landmine Survivor Assistance

Chechnya has historically been one of the poorest of the Soviet republics. The health care system was inadequate before the 1994-96 war and even then ill equipped to handle war victims. Two-thirds of hospitals and clinics were destroyed in that war and those that remained at the new outbreak of fighting were running at around 30% of their original capacity. If the medical system was in a crisis state with the first war, now it is impossible to assess what remains. Currently it is reported that the only place where a person who has been wounded by antipersonnel mines can receive assistance is Ingushetia.

<ABKHAZIA | KOSOVO>

[1] Interview with Ilias Akhmadov, Chechen Minister of Foreign Affairs, 21 December 1998.
[2] Interview with Mr. A. Idigov, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of the Chechen Republic-Ichkeria, Paris, December 1999.
[3] Interviews with Kh. Israpilov, Commander-in Chief, Armed Forces of the Chechen Republic-Ichkeria, Grozny, 2-3 January 2000.
[4] 1999 interviews with former chief technologist of Electropribor plant Mr. A.Z. Satuev, laboratory assistant at Anisimov plant Mr. T. Larsaev, and former engineer at Krasny Molot plant Mr. T. Akhmetkhanov.
[5] Interview with Mr. M. Isaev, engineer at “Krasny Molot” plant, Grozny, December 1999.
[6] Interview with Col. M. Arsaliev, engineering service, Chechen military, May 1999.
[7] Chechenskaya Pravda, (Chechen newspaper), 2 January 2000.
[8] “Prime News,” ORT (television daily news, ORT, RTR, NTV transmit to the entire territory of the former Soviet Union), Tbilisi, 10 February 2000.
[9] “Segodnya” (news program), NTV Russian national television, 11pm, 6 March 2000.
[10] There are clear links between Chechen fighters and Afghan war veterans, as well as
Dagestani Islamists.
[11] 1999 interview with Mr. M. Arsaliev, chief deminer of the Chechen Republic.
[12] M. Khambiev, Minister of Defense, Ichkeria television, October 1999.
[13] Interview with Kh. Khachukaev, field commander, Armed Forces of the Chechen Republic-Ichkeria, Grozny, 24 December 1999.
[14] Mines used by Russians have included OZM-72, MON-50, PMN-2 and PFM-1S, as well as remote-controlled VKPM-1, BKPM-2, remote controlled UMP-3. Interview with General Kuznetsov (ret.), Commander of the Russian Engineer troops from 1986-1999, by General Mehov (ret.), Russian Humanitarian Mine Action Center/RAVUNPM, Moscow, April 2000; IPPNW-Russia, Materials of the First International Conference on AP Mines in Russia-CIS, 27-28 May 1998, Moscow, 1998, p. 30. Chechens mainly used PMN, PMN-2, OZM-72, MON-100, MON-200 and often grenades with hand-made trip-wires. Landmines: Outlook from Russia, IPPNW-Russia interim report, 1999; also various TV news interviews with Russian soldiers who participated in Combat in Chechnya, ORT, NTV, RTR.
[15] Richard Boulter, “Knights in Armored Vehicles – the Halo Trust in the Caucasus,” JMU Journal, #4.1, at website: http://www.hdic.jmu.edu/hdic/journal/4.1/halo.htm. Site visited 6 June 2000.
[16] Carlotta Gall, “Land Mines, Chechnya’s Hidden Killers,” Moscow Times, 21 May 1997.
[17] “Chechens Say Russians Laid 300,000 Mines,” Kavkaz-Tsentr News Agency (Internet), 5 June 2000.
[18] Letter to ICBL from Mr. Alexander V. Zmeevski, Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, New York, 22 October 1999, as a follow up to a meeting at the Russian Mission on 5 October 1999.
[19] Interview with Lieutenant-General Nikolai Serdtsev, December 1999.
[20] Ibid.
[21] ICBL meeting with Col. Vladimir Bobkov, Adviser, Russian Ministry of Defense, Geneva, 16 December 1999.
[22] Lieutenant-General Nickolaishvili Guram Georgevich, “Peaceful Caucasus: Toward a Future Without Landmines,” Regional Landmine Conference, Tbilisi, Georgia, 5-7 December 1999.
[23] Ibid. Also, ICBL meeting with Col. Vladimir Bobkov, Ministry of Defense, 16 December 1999. Col Bobkov said only self-destructing PFMs were used, not older non-self-destructing ones.
[24] Interview with a colonel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, RTR television, March 2000. In the interview, he said that more than 40,000 mines had been laid by artillery.
[25] Landmines: Outlook from Russia, IPPNW-Russia interim report, 1999; also various TV news reports by ORT, NTV, RTR among others, interviews with Russian soldiers and officers participating in combat actions in Chechnya, on the route between Rostov-Baku, 18 March 2000.
[26] ICBL meeting with Col. Vladimir Bobkov, Ministry of Defense, 16 December 1999.
[27] “Railway Connection with Chechnya Will Soon Resume,” Nezavisimoye Voennoye Obozreniye (weekly) 26 November – 3 December 1999; “The Federal Center is Fully Determined,” Nezavisimoye Voennoye Obozreniye, 10-16 December 1999; “What is Grozny like after the Thunder?” Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 11 February 2000.
[28] “Mine Clearance Experts Tell of Dangers in Chechnya,” “Vesti” newscast, RTR Moscow Russian TV, 5 July 2000, in FBIS.
[29] Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov, interview to Radio Svoboda, March 2000.
[30] “Night Patrol of ‘Fittermice,’” Rossiyskaya Gazeta (official daily newspaper of Russian government), 21 January 2000.
[31] Daniel Williams, “Russians Declare Victory, Raise Flag Over Grozny,” Washington Post, 7 February 2000. Regarding the level of destruction in the city, the article reported that “Gen. Gennady Troshev, one of Russia’s top commanders, toured the city today and said he had trouble finding intact buildings to use as command posts. After more than five months of bombing and shelling, ‘the city is ruined,’ he said.”
[32] “Chechen Rebels Lured into Minefield,” Segodnya (newscast), Moscow NTV, 3 February 2000; Daniel Williams, “Grozny Nearly in Russian Forces’ Grasp: Chechen Rebels Head South After Taking Heavy Losses in Escape from Capital,” Washington Post, 4 February 2000, p. A. 26.
[33] Lyoma Turpalov, “Minefield massacre bleeds rebels; Russia says it was a trap,” Associated Press Newswires, (Alkhan-Kala, Russia), 4 February 2000.
[34] Ibid.
[35] Ibid.
[36] Human Rights Watch interview with Dr. Hasan Baiev, Washington, DC, 1 May 2000. He estimated 300 wounded, including 50 civilians who fled Grozny with the fighters, plus many killed. See also, Andrew Kramer, “Doctor becomes enemy of all after treating both Russians and Chechens,” AP, 18 February 2000; Alvi Zakriyev, “Doctor Hassan Baiyev: life-saving Chechen surgeon,” AFP, 19 February 2000; Dave Montgomery, “Brutal attacks reported in Chechnya: Accounts surfacing about executions, other atrocities by Russian troops”, The Dallas Morning News, 27 February 2000.
[37] “Russia Blocks Civilians From Returning Home to Grozny,” (AP, Nazran, Russia), Washington Post, 15 February 2000, p. A.19.
[38] Olga Allenova, “‘Mine Warfare’ Seen Continuing in Grozny,” Moscow Kommersant (daily newspaper), 25 April 2000, p. 1.
[39] Giles Whittel, “Grozny is Mined to Stop Troops Looting,” London Times, 13 May 2000.
[40] See for example, “Russian army column attacked near Grozny: reports,” AFP (Moscow), 29 July 2000.
[41] Aleksandr Igorev and Georgiy Dvali, “Minefields Will Separate Russia from Georgia,” Moscow Kommersant (daily newspaper), 12 April 2000; “Federals to Mine 80Km of Chechnya-Georgia Border, AVN, 11 April 2000.
[42] Aleksandr Igorev and Georgiy Dvali, “Minefields Will Separate Russia from Georgia,” 12 April 2000.
[43] Ibid.
[44] Interviews with employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ingushetia in Chechnya, February 2000.
[45] Interview with a colonel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, RTR television, March 2000. In the interview, he said that more than 40,000 mines had been laid by artillery.
[46] “Refugees Against Landmines” hope to complete interviews of 1,000 refugees. Interviewing was begun on 1 May and by mid-June, approximately 100 refugees had been interviewed. The NGO noted the difficult circumstances in attempting to interview about the ongoing war. Complete information from interviewees is available.
[47] “Mine Clearance Experts Tell of Dangers in Chechnya,” “Vesti” newscast, RTR Moscow Russian TV, 5 July 2000, in FBIS.
[48] Human Rights Watch interview with Dr. Hasan Baiev, Washington, DC, 1 May 2000.
[49] “Landmines in the former Soviet Union,” p. 10.
[50] Richard Boulter, “Knights in Armored Vehicles.”
[51] “Spring in Avtury,” Krashaya Zvezda (Ministry of Defence of RF's national daily), 7 February 2000.
[52] “Ploughland Cleared of Mines, Rebels Detained in Chechnya,” AVN (Russian Military News Agency), 3 April 2000.
[53] Colonel-General Viktor Kazantsev, Commander of the United Groupment of Federal Forces in the North Caucasus, “Zdes I Seychas,” ORT television program, 15 February 2000.
[54] “When the Thunderstorm Passed Grozny,” Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 25 February 2000.
[55] Olga Allenova, “’Mine Warfare’ Seen Continuing in Grozny,” Moscow Kommersant (daily newspaper), 25 April 2000, p.1.
[56] NPA, “Fact Finding Mission Report, Chechnya,” Annexes A-3 and A-15.
[57] Maia Chovkhalova, Centre for Peacemaking & Community Development (NGO based in Moscow that works in Chechnya), draft report for Landmine Monitor 2000.
[58] Email memo to Mary Wareham, Human Rights Watch, from Jon Hoisaeter, Protection Officer, North-Caucasus, UNHCR, 4 April 2000.
[59] Email from Chris Hunter, Centre for Peacemaking & Community Development, 11 July 2000.
[60] Roman Gashaev, Chairman of the “Laman Az,” Voice of the Mountains Public Organization. Presented at New Steps for a Mine-Free Future, Report on the First International Conference on Landmines in Russia and the CIS, IPPNW-ICBL, Moscow, 27-28 May 1998.
[61] Ibid.
[62] 1999 Landmine Monitor interview.
[63] Chris Hunter, Centre for Peacemaking & Community Development, draft report for Landmine Monitor 2000.
[64] Interviews with Minister of Public Health Kambulat Uzhakhov, Deputy-Minster of Labor and Social Security Khalifa Zaurova and Ministry of Education via Suleiman Arselgov, Chair of the Council of Eldest and Chair of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights of the republic of Ingushetia, February 2000. Data received from doctors in hospitals in Ingushetia indicate more than 220 people lost limbs from August 1999 to March 2000.
[65] Lubov Krzhizhanovskaya, Director, Children Foundation Program “Kids of Chechen War.” Research groups of the Foundation unofficially estimate the number of cases approaches 1,000.
[66] “Refugees Against Landmines” hopes to complete interviews of 1,000 refugees. Interviewing was begun on 1 May and by mid-June, approximately 100 refugees had been interviewed. The NGO noted the difficult circumstances in attempting to interview about the ongoing war. Complete information from interviewees is available.