A clash between a reconnaissance unit of the Russian Interior Force with a 40-strong gang of Chechen militants has left 12 fighters dead and 17 imprisoned. The combat occurred near Argun on November 9. The day before, Russian rangers left on a routine mission. On their way back, they were ambushed and surrounded by a Chechen gang. The gang included fighters who were living in the nearby and disguised as local residents. The clash lasted several hours leaving two Russian soldiers wounded. Police officers stationed near the scene, rushed to help the reconnaissance unit. The gang was dispersed. The identification of the arrested fighters has shown that all of them were legal residents of Argun and had relevant papers as a proof. According to police officers, this incident once again proves that the forthcoming winter frosts force militants to leave the mountains and look for legal shelter among civilians. In the daylight, they are civilians waiting for the humanitarian aid in the queues, at night, they take weapons of war to attack federal authorities. The town of Argun is currently blocked. The checking of documents and search operations targeted at discovering weapons and ammunition caches are in full swing.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated