10 November 2008, 14:16

Chechnya ambiguous to disbandment of "Vostok" and "Zapad"

People in Chechnya have differently perceived the news that the special battalions "Vostok" (East) and "Zapad" (West) subordinate to the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian General Staff (GRU) of the Russian Ministry of Defence will be disbanded. Although many residents treated these subdivisions negatively enough, others believe that the battalions were dissolved to please President of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov.

Aslambek Apaev, expert of the Moscow Helsinki Group for Northern Caucasus, says: "Be it 'Vostok' or 'Zapad', or any other military or militia subdivision deployed in the republic, all of them break human rights in some way or other. The 'heroism' of 'Vostok' fighters was officially made public this summer, when mass burials were excavated in the vicinity of the main battalion's base. I think that many human lives are on the heads of 'Zapad' fighters too. Militaries of these battalions quite often were involved in various unattractive matters."

In this context, the expert has recollected a recent case, when three "Zapad" servicemen were detained in Grozny for extorting money from one of local officials.

Mr Apaev has also reminded the story, when Sulim Yamadaev, ex-commander of the "Vostok", rushed, together with his people, into the office of one of St-Petersburg companies and beat up its director.

In his opinion, the decision to disband the battalions was correct.

"Recently, a lot has been spoken about reforming the Russian Armed Forces and the need to scale up the fighting capacity and mobility of our troops. At this background, I can't quite understand the reason for actual liquidation of the two most efficient special subdivisions, which have perfectly approved themselves in the recent war on Georgia. Why then not to disband the 'Sever' (North) and 'Yug' (South) special battalions of Internal Troops, also recruited from Chechens? What is the guilt of 'Zapad' and 'Vostok' fighters before their command and the country, whose honour they had defended by sacrificing their lives, to treat us now in this manner?" asked one of former militaries of the 'Vostok' battalion.

Form of mobile communication
SMS: 8 903-767-6060
Know more? Do not be silent!
Lt feedback banner
All news

May 28, 2016 23:59

May 28, 2016 22:21

  • CoA refuses to reconsider Rasim Aliev's murder case

    The appeals against the verdict of the first-instance court were submitted both by the defendants and the parents of the journalist assassinated in Azerbaijan. The preliminary session of the Court of Appeal (CoA) has rejected the motion on reconsideration of the case; the examination of the merits is scheduled for June 10.

May 28, 2016 20:24

  • Georgia and Abkhazia exchange materials on murder in Khurcha

    The murder of a citizen of Georgia Giga Otkhozoriya in the Zugdidi District was the main topic of the meeting of the authorities of Georgia and Abkhazia, the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent was told at the press service of the Monitoring Mission of the European Union (MMEU) in Georgia.

May 28, 2016 18:24

  • Rights defenders urge to return Karpyuk and Klykh home

    The citizens of Ukraine Stanislav Klykh and Nikolai Karpyuk, convicted in Chechnya, should be delivered from Russia after Nadezhda Savchenko, believe the Russian and Ukrainian rights defenders interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot". However, they fear that Ukraine has not enough well-known Russian prisoners, who could be exchanged for them.

May 28, 2016 17:37

  • Commission members refuse to sign document on houses in Olympic settlement of Sochi

    Members of the commission set up under the administration of the Krasnodar Territory were offered to sign a document stating the good reasons for selling the houses of the Olympic legacy. At least three members of the commission decided not to sign the document, insisting that it should reflect the information about those responsible for the poor state of the houses.

News archive