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  • Russian traitors helping the Chechens?

    Posted by Ralf Goergens on September 16th, 2004 (All posts by )

    Russian police are beginning to suspect that former colleagues are aiding the Chechen terrorists:

    MOSCOW Sept. 16, 2004 — Russian police investigating the deadly Beslan school siege are looking inside their own squad house: One of the attack organizers was allegedly a former cop who disappeared six years ago.

    He wouldn’t be the first to turn traitor. Turncoats have appeared in the highest ranks of law enforcement in the Caucasus. Police have been implicated in kidnappings for ransom and accused of allowing Chechen rebels free passage through checkpoints motivated by either money, sympathy for the fighters’ cause or family ties, or a combination of all three.

    Vyacheslav Izmailov, a former army major who has worked to resolve kidnappings in Chechnya, said one example of a high-ranking turncoat is a former interior minister of Ingushetia, a Russian region neighboring Chechnya. Daud Korigov, minister from 1997-98, gave rebels the use of a house he owned in the Chechen capital Grozny and was even seen there among captives, Izmailov said.

    How many turncoats are there among law enforcement?

    “It’s not a few,” Izmailov told The Associated Press.

    This is also interesting:

    The side switching cuts both ways. Kadyrov himself was brazen in his use of former Chechen rebels who emerged from the forests to join his personal guard a force feared by locals and the Russian army alike.

    With brutal methods used on both sides, political analyst Latynina said trying to differentiate between the two is academic.

    “Both police and rebels are just absolutely the same people with the same habits and the same way of life,” she said. “They just kill people. The only difference is they kill different people.”

    Traitors may be motivated by money, threats, sympathy for the Chechen fighters’ cause or family ties. Much of the Caucasus region has historically tense relations with Moscow.

    It doesn’t look as if Russia is going to be able to win this conflict inside its own borders, much less project power and attack terrorist bases abroad.