Find a Security Clearance Job!

Military


North Caucasus Insurgency - 2009-?

The conflict in Chechnya appeared to be coming to a close when Russian President Medvedev ordered the consideration to officially end counter-terrorist operations in Chechnya on 27 March 2009. Although the active phase of the antiterrorism campaign in the North Caucasus officially ended in 2001, periodic bombings and clashes between militants and federal troops continued to disrupt Chechnya and nearby regions, particularly Dagestan and Ingushetia.

The end to the counter-terrorism operation in Chechnya appeared to officially end on 16 April 2009. The end to the operation envisaged the withdrawal of some 20,000 Interior Ministry troops deployed in the republic. It also removed restrictions concerning international flights. However, continued fighting led to the return of Russian military operations in 3 districts in Chechnya by 23 April 2009.

As of July 2010, the asymmetric war in Chechnya and the surrounding republics of Ingushetia and Dagestan continued to rage on. Islamic militants, under the command of Doku Umarov, demanded the creation of an independent Islamic state in the Caucasus region. The combination of unemployment, poverty, and the abuse of civil rights had created a pool of malice in the Caucasus republics which fed the insurgency. The Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin addressed the troubled area in which he said that peace would only be restored until social and economic changes were implemented.

Akhmed Zakayev, the London-based Chechen separatist leader, stated at the end of January 2009 that he was open for dialogue with any party, including Chechnya's government and president. A Kadyrov spokesman said Chechen authorities were also ready for dialogue with Zakayev.

On 30 March 2009 Sulim Yamadayev was assassinated in Dubai. Local media in Dubai reported that either he or his security personnel returned fire against his assailant and that one person had been arrested in connection with the attack. Yamadayev was the commander of the elite Russian Vostok battalion until he was dismissed from military service in August 2008, reportedly because of a conflict with Kadyrov. Sulim Yamadayev was the third brother in the family to be killed, supposedly by Russian forces.

The conflict in Chechnya appeared to be coming to a close when Russian President Medvedev ordered the consideration to officially end counter-terrorist operations in Chechnya on 27 March 2009. The end to the counter-terrorism operation in Chechnya appeared to officially end on 16 April 2009. The end to the operation envisaged the withdrawal of some 20,000 Interior Ministry troops deployed in the republic. It also removed restrictions concerning international flights.

In less than a week after the proclamation of the cessation of counter-terrorism operations in Chechnya, Chechen authorities launched several special operations to locate what they said were hundreds of resistance fighters in the mountainous Vedeno region of the southern Russian republic. Local authorities stated that two hideouts with weapons and ammunition, as well as two vacated rebel camps, had already been discovered.

The Kremlin's military operation, which formally ended in the volatile republic on 16 April 2009, was restarted in the Shatoi, Vedeno and Shali districts at midnight on 23 April 2009 after "activity was observed among illegal armed groups." Earlier that week, gunmen killed 3 Russian soldiers in the Chechen village of Bamut, near the border with Ingushetia. Despite the formal end of the operation, several thousand Russian troops had remained in the province to counter militant activity in mountainous districts.

In May 2009, the president of the volatile Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, said he was canceling amnesty for militants following a suicide attack in the capital that killed 2 police officers on 15 May 2009.

On 22 June 2009, Ingushetia's leader Yunus-bek Yevkurov was critically injured in a suicide car bomb attack on his motorcade. The attack came after joint operations between Ingushetia and Chechnya to combat rebels that were known to reside within the districts along the border of the 2 republics. Following the attack, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered Kadyrov to increase the scale of operations in both regions. Eight days later on 30 June 2009, the Chechen interior ministry reported that Abubakar Musliyev, the "emir" of the Shali gang who had been placed on a federal wanted list, was killed in a special military operation.

Following the 22 June 2009 attack, the North Caucasus republics saw an increase in suicide bombings which targeted pro-Moscow police. On 17 August 2009, a massive blast at the Sayano-Shushenskaya power station in southern Siberia blew out the plant's walls and caused the turbine room to flood, which killed at least 26 people. Dozens more were missing and presumed dead. On the same day, a suicide car bomber attacked a police headquarters in the Ingushetian city of Nazran, killing at least 25. Even though the terrorist organization Riyad-us Salihiin (Gardens of the Righteous) said it was responsible for both catastrophes, Russian investigations concluded that there was no explosive residue among the ruins of the power plant, which discredited Riyad-us Salihiin's claim.

On 28 November 2009, Islamic militants under the command of Doku Umarov exploded a bomb which derailed a train. The attack killed 26 people and injured at least 50 others. Umarov had previously declared himself the emir of the "Caucasus Emirate" and began attacking pro-Moscow forces and installations in the region. The attack was considered one of the worst train bombings in years.

A major blow to the militants in the North Caucasus region came with the death of Alexander Tikhomirov, also known as Said Buryatsky on 6 March 2010. He was among 8 rebels who were killed in a 2-day raid in Ingushetia. Russian intelligence believed that Buryatsky was involved in the train attack that occurred in November 2009. Buryatsky's death was a major victory for the Kremlin in its battle against an Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus, which analysts was mutating from a grassroots separatist movement toward a global jihad.

On 29 March 2010, the Moscow metro system was attacked by 2 female suicide bombers. The bombings took place at the Lubyanka and the Park Kultury stations about 30 minutes apart. Aleksandr Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), said during a televised meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that the assessment of a North Caucasus connection was based on fragments of the suicide bombers' bodies. The blasts killed at least 38 people and injured 60 others.

Violence continued during 2012 in the North Caucasus republics, driven by separatism, interethnic conflict, jihadist movements, vendettas, criminality, and excesses by security forces. Dagestan continued to be the most violent area in the North Caucasus. General levels of violence decreased in the North Caucasus by almost 10 percent in 2012 compared with 2011. Online newspaper Caucasian Knot reported significant drops in casualty rates in Chechnya and Kabardino-Balkaria in the third and fourth quarters of 2012.

Caucasian Knot reported there were at least 690 deaths during 2012, compared with 750 in 2011. One journalist was killed in the North Caucasus region during the year. There continued to be reports that security forces used indiscriminate force resulting in numerous deaths and that the perpetrators were not prosecuted. Police officer Zaur Dzhalilov from the District Interior Division shot 16-year-old Imadibir Makhiyev in the head on April 16 after reportedly attempting to break up a fight by opening fire with his gun. Makhiyev died on 25 April 2012 in Kerata, Akhuath District of Dagestan. Dzhalilov was suspended from work during the investigation of his case.

Government personnel, rebels, and criminal elements continued to engage in abductions in the North Caucasus. Human rights groups alleged that security forces under the command of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov played a significant role in abductions, either on their own initiative or in joint operations with federal forces, including abductions of family members of rebel commanders and fighters.

Human Rights Center Memorial reported that Alakhverdi Radzhabov was abducted from his car on 25 March 2012 in Makhachkala, Dagestan. His kidnappers, wearing masks and camouflage, grabbed him and threatened his female companion with violence. He was placed in one car while three other cars followed. On the same day, family members appealed to the Ministry of Interior Affairs of the Russian Federation in Dagestan, to the FSB in Dagestan, and to the Public Prosecutors Office, but none gave information regarding Radzhabovs whereabouts. According to his uncle, Radzhabov worked as an accountant in a construction company and never had problems with the law.

In the March 2012 Presidential elections, the North Caucasus region cast the most votes for presidential candidate Putin and had the highest voter turnout. In Dagestan, where recorded turnout was 91 percent, Putin won almost 93 percent of the vote. In Ingushetia, recorded voter turnout was 86 percent, and Putin garnered 92 percent of the vote. In Karachay-Cherkessia, Putin won 91 percent of the vote, while in neighboring Kabardino-Balkaria, Putin received 78 percent of the vote. In Chechnya, where recorded turnout was 99.59 percent, Putin won 99.82 percent of the vote.

Violence continued during 2014 in the North Caucasus republics, driven by separatism, interethnic conflict, jihadist movements, vendettas, criminality, excesses by security forces, and the activity of terrorists. According to the online newspaper Caucasian Knot, total number of deaths and injuries due to the conflicts in the North Caucasus decreased compared with 2013 in all republics of the North Caucasus. According to human rights activists in the region, violence in Dagestan and Chechnya continued at a high level. Dagestan continued to be the most violent area in the North Caucasus, with more than 60 percent of all casualties in the region. Local media described the level of violence in Dagestan as the result of Islamic militant insurgency tactics continuing from the Chechen wars as well as the high level of organized crime in the region.

Caucasian Knot reported that during 2014 there were at least 341 deaths and 184 persons injured in the North Caucasus as a result of armed conflicts in the region. There were 208 deaths from armed conflict in Dagestan, making it the most deadly region. Of the deaths in Dagestan, 163 were militants, 24 were civilians, and 21 were law enforcement officers.




NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list


Unconventional Threat podcast - Threats Foreign and Domestic: 'In Episode One of Unconventional Threat, we identify and examine a range of threats, both foreign and domestic, that are endangering the integrity of our democracy'


 
Page last modified: 20-01-2016 18:21:34 ZULU