Tsotsin-Yurt residents protested against killing and ‘mopping-up’ operation
(Note by Prague Watchdog: Due to technical reasons we publish the information about the events in Tsotsin-Yurt only now.)
Ruslan Isayev, North Caucasus – A large rally was held in Tsotsin-Yurt, east of the capital Grozny, in protest against the killing of several local inhabitants and a “mopping-up operation”.
The rally began on February 16 shortly after Russian soldiers ended their seal-off of Tsotsin-Yurt, which began on February 12 when Russian forces blocked all access roads.
On the same day (February 12) at 9 a.m., a Russian armoured personnel carrier exploded in the northwest periphery of Tsotsin-Yurt, reportedly claiming lives of two soldiers. Immediately after that, Russian soldiers opened a heavy-arm fire at all directions, which lasted some 30 minutes. As a result, a local family died: Lyuba Dovletkurayeva, 48, Said Ali Dovletkuryaev, 42, and their children at the age of two and five. In addition, seven houses and farm buildings were destroyed.
Then a “mopping-up” operation was launched in Tsotsin-Yurt with Russian soldiers bursting into houses, beating all the people and demanding money as well as gold valuables from women.
Eventually, the desperate people took to the streets, holding axes, pitchforks and shovels, which resulted in a fight between them and the soldiers. Although the soldiers began to fire in the air, the people refused to break up and gathered in the centre of Tsotsin-Yurt demanding to end the “mopping-up” operation. Next day soldiers ended the seal-off.
In the meantime, the protesters had been joined by people living all around the Kurchaloyevski district. Some of them kept anti-war slogans calling for the termination of atrocities committed by Russian soldiers. Though expecting no action from Russian authorities and local administration, they are not willing to silently tolerate the murders of their innocent fellow citizens.