The trial on Chechen terrorists starts in the republic of Dagestan

Unique litigation has started in Russia. The Russian Office of the Prosecutor General made an official statement saying that the trial on four Chechen terrorists, the heads of the bandit groups – the figures from the “government of independent Chechnya” would start in Makhachkala (the capital of the republic of Dagestan) on November 15.

Salman Raguyev, one of the most bloody Chechen commanders; former vice-premier of the republic Turpal-Ali Atgeriyev; Aslanbek Alkhazurov; and Hussein Guysumov are on trial. They are charged with the organization and personal participation in the bandit assaults on the peaceful towns in the republic of Dagestan, Kizlyar and Pervomayskoye. As a result of those acts of terrorism carried out by the personal instructions from Jokhar Dudayev, there were over 3 thousand civilians taken hostages, including women and children. Seventy-eight people were killed. The amount of the wounded made up several hundreds.

Vladimir Ustinov, Russia’s Prosecutor General, will act as the principal state prosecutor for the first time over 40 years. The last time when this has happened was back in 1960 on a trial pertaining to the pilot of the American spy plane U-2 that downed above the city of Sverdlovsk (which is now called Yekaterinburg).

Here is some information about the prisoners on trial:

Salman Raduyev was born February 13, 1967 in the city of Gudermes (Chechnya’s second biggest city), where he studied in the secondary school. As he claims, he was a straight-A student. After his studies, he worked in construction and then joined the Soviet Army and also the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. He was then dismissed from the extra-mural department of the Rostov Economic Institute during the second year of his studies. Salman Raduyev’s name first appeared in the Russian mass media in 1992 when the Russian special troops tried to block Chechnya’s border in order to prevent the penetration of bandit groups from the republic of Abkhazia. The Russian defense technology was encircled by about 60 thousand people, including the citizens of Dagestan of the Chechen origin. Salman Raduyev was one of the leaders of these armed groups. After negotiations with him, the Russian military men agreed to take the military hardware and the regiment five kilometers away from the border. The military left the border territory by the morning of the next year.

It was also the time when Salman Raduyev headed an armed group “Presidential Berets,” supporting the Chechen president Jokhar Dudayev. There was the 6th battalion formed from that group, entitled “Borz” (“Wolf”). This special detachment was dissolved in June of 1997. In 1995, Raduyev was involved in diversions on the railway in the area of Gudermes.

In December of 1995, Raduyev rab for the position of the head of the Gudermes administration. On December 14, Gudermes was seized by Raduyev’s gunmen.

Right around the same time, the Russian Special Services carried out the first operation (which was not successful) to destroy the terrorists’ leader. An incident happened afterwards: Raduyev’s house exploded in the city of Gudermes. This attempt has never been presented as the work of the Russian Special Services. Salman Raduyev was not in the house, but his entire family died.

From April of 1996 till June of 1997, Raduyev was the commander of an armed group in General Dudayev’s army. On January 9, 1996, Raduyev’s militants seized the city hospital in the town of Kizlyar (the republic of Dagestan). On January 10, the gunmen left the town having taken some hundred hostages with them. On the border with Chechnya, the column was stopped with the warning fire of the federal forces, and the gunmen settled in the town of Pervomaysky. Between January 15-18, Russian forces stormed the town. A group of the gunmen and Raduyev, who was allegedly wounded, escaped from the encirclement. On March 3, 1996, mass media outlets reported Salman Raduyev’s death.

As it turned out in June of 1996, he was just seriously wounded. The operation of the Russian special services to destroy the terrorist failed because of the unpredictable circumstances. A special services sniper shot Raduyev in the head, but the terrorist was saved. He was sent to be treated to Germany, where he had a titanic plate put in the head to replace the fragmented scull bones. There was also plastic surgery performed on Raduyev to replace what was left of his nose with a plastic one; in January of 1999, he was operated on again.

In 1996-1997, Salman Raduyev repeatedly took the responsibility for the acts of terrorism performed on the territory of Russia and threatened Russia. In April, July, and October of 1997, there were several attempts made on Raduyev's life. In February of 2000, there again was the information claiming that he was dead.

On August 2 of 1997, there the military and patriotic union “Soldiers of Freedom” was set up on Raduyev’s initiative. The Chechen administration had some doubts pertaining to Raduyev, as he took on too much responsibility for the acts of terrorism. He often acted out against Chechnya’s leaders.

In 1999, Raduyev planned a series of diversions in the Russian regions; first and foremost his plans were about nuclear objects. There were mobile groups established for these purposes consisting of up to 15 people. From November of 1999, Raduyev’s groups actively participated in battles against groups of the federal troops.

Raduyev was taken captive in March of 2000. Since that time, he has been kept in a detention center of the Russian Federal Security Service in Lefortovo. He is charged with terrorism, murder, the organization of illegal armed groups, kidnapping, gangsterism, and so on. He is also accused of the organization of an explosion in the railway station of the city of Pyatigorsk in April of 1997 and kidnapping collaborators of a special militia department of Pyatigorsk in December of 1996.

Turpal-Ali Atgeriyev was born in 1969 in the settlement of Alleroy. During the period 1990-1992 he was a businessman; during 1992-1994, he served in the Chechen Internal Affairs Ministry. Since December of 1994, he was a commander of the armed forces of the Chechen republic. Atgeriyev’s armed group was waging war in the eastern areas of Chechnya. He participated in military actions together with Salman Raduyev in Kizlyar and Pervomaysky.

He is charged of gangsterism and terrorism. His name became well known in connection with the events in Kizlyar. When he returned to Chechnya, he became the head of the special unit of the Chechen armed forces. In 1997, he was the head of Aslan Maskhadov’s pre-election headquarters. In January of 1998, Atgeriyev was appointed to the position of the first vice-premier of the Chechen government and was responsible for the military structures of the department. In 1999, he became Chechnya’s Minister for State Security.

On July 16, 1999, Atgeriyev was detained at the Vnukovo airport; there was a loaded gun on him. Sergey Stepashin (who was the chairman of the Russian government at that time) ordered to release the Minister for State Security of Chechnya immediately and on July 18, he was released.

After the beginning of the counter-terrorist operation, the Prosecutor General’s Office repeatedly considered the materials of his criminal file and in March of 2000, it was decided to start a federal search for Atgeriyev.

In 1999-2000, Atgeriyev was the head of a unit of 200 gunmen. In July of 2000, the supervisors of the General Headquarters and Akhmad Kadyrov announced that Atgeriyev allegedly promised to yield and lay down his weapons in return for the security guarantee.

Hussein Guysumov was a participant of the raid on Kizlyar and Pervomaysk. He is accused of terrorism, gangsterism, and the trading of illegal weapons.

Aslanbek Alkhazurov was a participant of the bandit raid led by Salman Raduyev. He is charged of gangsterism, participation in illegal armed groups, kidnapping and so on.

NTV.Ru photo: Salman Raduyev at the interrogation

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