Seven terrorists from the gang of Ruslan Gelayev, one of Chechnya's separatist leaders, are facing court in Vladikavkaz, the capital of the federal republic of North Ossetia.
All defendants, some of them citizens of Georgia and Azerbaijan, underwent special training in terrorist camps based in Georgia's Akhmeta district.
Last fall, armed terrorists crossed the Dzheirakh Gorge and the Russian state border and invaded North Ossetia and Ingushetia. Passing by the village of Tarskoye in North Ossetia, they shot down two soldiers and took four hostages. In the village of Galashki, Ingushetia, they brought down a Mi-24 military helicopter using a handheld air defence missile system. Three pilots were killed.
The gang was destroyed in the course of a large-scale military operation. Some of the surviving gangsters were arrested.