Friday, August 21, 2009

More violence in the North Caucasus

Today it's Chechnya. From the New York Times:

GROZNY, Russia (AP) -- Suicide bombers on bicycles detonated explosives in Chechnya on Friday, killing at least four police officers and a civilian in coordinated attacks in the capital, officials said.

The suicide bombers approached police officers in two central locations in Grozny and blew themselves up, killing two officers in each attack, said Chechnya's Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov in televised remarks.

Russian emergency services spokesman Alexei Zemskov said three other people were wounded. An Associated Press reporter saw body parts scattered at the sites of both attacks, which come at the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

This just a day after President Medvedev spoke about the deteriorating security situation in the Russian Caucasus and outlined a program to address it.

President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia must pursue “real, not cosmetic” stability in the North Caucasus, an indication of just how much the security situation has deteriorated and how disappointed the Kremlin now is in the claims by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that the situation there has been improving. But Medvedev’s five-point program, which he presented to the leaders of Russia’s security services
Wednesday, does not appear to promise any greater success, let alone justify his Putinesque statement that “one must not stand on ceremony with the terrorists. They must be liquidated without hesitation.”

What Medvedev’s proposals do appear to presage, however, is a further expansion of Russian military actions there, a greater willingness to dismiss local officials possibly with the installation of ethnic Russians in their place and as a result, at least in the short- and medium term, an increase in the already high level of violence in the North Caucasus.

Medvedev’s program includes: a call for better interagency coordination among the siloviki; a “radical reconstruction of work with cadres;” better protection for law enforcement personnel; changes in the law to ensure that terrorists are punished; and a meeting on the North Caucasus about how to improve economic conditions there.

All of which kind of makes me wonder what the hell Russia even wants with Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, and so on. I mean, I guess it gives them contiguous territory for the annexation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, or something.

So who's ready to book tickets for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi?

1 comment:

  1. Robert Pape's book is still on my shelf unread.
    Still, I don't think it's gonna contain any reasoning that'll help me get my head around this.
    I can understand someone blowing themselves up in the name of Jihad or secular insurgency. I just can't understand doing it to kill 2 people.

    Surely whatever you've told yourself goes RightTF out the window at that point. When you see it's only 2 guys. Surely you decide it's just not worth it. Or at least that you could accomplish the same thing with a pistol or a hammer and keep on fighting. Plus your masters get the bike back unharmed for future offensives, so how could they be unhappy.

    Every time I read one of these pissweak suicide attack stories I just don't get how that's gonna play well on YouMartyrTube. How isn't it looking only one step up from Ahmed blowing himself up to take out a post box ? How am I getting inspired to sacrifice myself by this ? How am I not researching hammer prices online in my spare time ?