Support The Moscow Times!

Chechnya Announces New Tactic to 'Clear' Republic of Islamic Militants

Police stand guard near firefighters extinguishing a fire at a market near the Press House building, a local media agency, in the Chechen capital Grozny, Dec. 4, 2014.

Chechen authorities have announced a new method for combatting the region's underground insurgency, a system that will essentially turn commanders in the republic's security services into bounty hunters responsible for tracking down specific militants.

"Each commander will be entrusted personally with tracking down one or another militant who is on a wanted list," said an online statement published by the regional government on Thursday.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov praised the new tactic, saying in the statement that it would "bring good results" and "fully clear Chechnya of militants."

Kadyrov also called on the family members of militants to either dissuade them from joining the insurgency or turn them in to the authorities.

"This will give them a chance to serve out the terms of punishment envisioned by law and to return home alive," Kadyrov said. "I know the insurgency can't sustain itself in hideouts without getting support from families and friends. We've seen this type of connection time and time again in each particular case," he added.

This appeal revealed a relatively soft stance compared with Kadyrov's earlier calls to have relatives deported or their houses destroyed for failing to turn in their loved ones.

Activists say that the Chechen leader's statement to this effect in early December triggered arson attacks on several people's homes in the aftermath of the Dec. 4 attack on Grozny, the capital of the Chechen republic.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more