Large-scale mopping-up operation underway in Grozny
Ruslan Isayev, North Caucasus - Since March 21 Chechen capital Grozny has been sealed off by Russian soldiers with an extensive special operation aimed at tracking down Chechen fighters being conducted. Movement from and to the town has been banned and additional check-points have been built on roads leading to the Chechen capital. Besides, even pedestrians are not allowed to enter or leave the town.
So far, more than 60 people have been detained and transported to a ”filtration” centre in Khankala, the headquarters of the Russian army in Chechnya. People living in Grozny said Russian soldiers take away male population aged between 14 and 70 but also pupils who have not received their passports yet.
The special operation in Grozny started just a day after a family of member of the Ministry of Interior of the Chechen Republic was shot dead. As searches are done in some houses at night, local people are panic-stricken. Ordinary Chechens as well as members of the Chechen special police forces (OMON) link the recent increase in the number of ”mopping-up” operations to forthcoming spring thanks to which Chechen fighters will be able to activate their armed resistance.