Since 2002, ringleaders of the militants and foreign mercenaries in Chechnya have been seized owing only to the local population tipping off the authorities, the spokesman for the Regional Operative Headquarters (ROH) running the counter terrorist operation in Chechnya told RIA Novosti.
"Since 2002, 100% of ringleaders of the militants and foreign mercenaries have been neutralized by the authorities tipped off by people from various strata of the local populations, including those assisting the law enforcement agencies routinely," the spokesman said, referring to the statistics collated by the Chechen law enforcers.
He also said that more than 60% of the militant gangs had been defeated and rank-and-file militants bagged owing to tip-offs or direct assistance of the public.
"This is a proof of the public's growing trust in the law enforcers and highlights the public's hatred of the ringleaders," a ROH spokesman emphasized.
He stressed that the locals assisting the federal forces often risk their lives as well as those of their families and friends. At times, they deliberately act in guise of militants' collaborators for their assistance to be more effective.
According to the ROH, most people assist the law enforces out of patriotism.
"People have repeatedly refused to accept monetary rewards for their tip-offs resulting in arrest of militants, despite some of the rewards being to the tune of several hundred thousand rubles," the officer said.
At the same time, rather few ran-and-file militants arrested or eliminated indicated a certain degree of understanding on the part of the local population.
The ROH links it with several reasons.
"For instance, virtually all rank-and-file militants are, naturally, relatives of the people who reject terrorism outright and do not accept separatism in any guise. Possibly, certain sympathizing is due to rank-and-file militants having been involved in the gangs by means of lies and threats of bodily harm," the officer said.
He stressed that the current intelligence on ringleaders should be viewed as the people's hope for quick elimination of odious militant leaders, which would cause the gangs to collapse, enabling rank-and-file militants to lay down their arms and return to peaceful life.
More than 3,500 people were detained during unprecedented mass protests that swept across all of Russia in support of Alexey Navalny on January 23