«Mopping-up operations» in Grozny continue
Ruslan Isayev, North Caucasus – Large scale „mopping-up operations“ have been underway in Grozny for two days already. House searches and document checks are taking place in almost all parts of the Chechen capital. Abdullah Israilov, spokesman for the head of the pro-Moscow Chechen administration, said that an unspecified number of people was detained.
The inhabitants of Grozny say that the „mopping-up operations“ started shortly after the vice-premier of the Chechen Republic Ichkeria, Akhmed Zakayev, said on an NTV news programme that Russian forces do not control the situation in the republic. Israilov claims, however, that the operations in Grozny are regular special operations, aimed at locating and detaining Chechen fighters operating in the city.
The „mopping-up operations“ raised opposition by people from the settlements around Grozny. Today, a meeting against Russian soldiers’ conduct took place in Aldy, south of the capital, where locals protested against the shelling of their settlement and punitive actions affecting civilians.
On November 14, the settlement of Aldy went under heavy-arm attack which made people spend the night in cellars. The shelling claimed the life of Liza Magomadova, 28, a mother of a two-year-old daughter. Said Akhmed Parchayev, father of three children, was killed in a similar attack two weeks ago.
Aldy residents claim the shelling has recently become systematic. They launched the protests because they are worried to stay in their houses overnight.
· Chechen president is said to have greater control than Russian forces - NTV