The Terror Journal

A Journal on Terrorism and Genocide

Russia to end Chechnya anti-terror mission

RussiaPresident Dmitry Medvedev on Friday ordered the Russian authorities to move towards ending the anti-terror operation in Chechnya that has been in place for the last decade.

He ordered the national anti-terror committee to consider the future of the regime, which was put in place as Moscow was starting its second war against separatists in the Muslim Caucasus region in 1990.

“I propose that the national anti-terror committee considers the question about the anti-terror operation and takes the necessary decisions,” Medvedev said in comments broadcast on state television.

He said “the situation in Chechnya has normalised to a large degree and life is getting back to normal, modern buildings are being constructed.”

The decree on the start of a “counter-terrorist operation” was passed in Chechnya under late president Boris Yeltsin in 1999, just months before he resigned and installed Vladimir Putin at the helm.

Russia fought two full-scale wars with separatist forces after the collapse of the Soviet Union in Chechnya but the situation has stabilised in the last years under the strongman pro-Moscow local leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Kadyrov, who has been accused by rights groups of using heavy-handed tactics against his enemies, said earlier this week “we have completely rooted out terrorism.”

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Medvedev’s comments on the stabilisation of Chechnya mean that the national security council is highly likely to take the decision to end the anti-terror operation when it meets on Tuesday.

“I am convinced that the removal of the anti-terror regime in Chechnya will allow the further normalisation of the situation and attract investment,” the head of the federal security service (FSB, ex-KGB) Alexander Bortnikov told Medvedev.

The president emphasized however that the fight against militants “should not stop or slow down.”

“We must create new possibilities for citizens to attract investment and create employment but we need to consistently fight terrorism,” Medvedev added.

Kadyrov met last week with Putin, who is now Russian prime minister but still believed to be the most powerful man in the country.

Of the 50,000 troops currently stationed in Chechnya, 20,000 might withdraw if the authorities end the effective state of war in the republic, the Interfax news agency said Thursday, citing a Russian military source.

The federal budget has also been stretched thin at a time of economic crisis by costs to maintain troops in volatile places in the Northern Caucasus and the injections into Chechnya’s war-ravaged economy, among other tasks.

While a relative state of normalcy has returned to Chechnya, and its capital Grozny been rebuilt from ruins, the scale of violence in neighbouring Ingushetia and Dagestan shows no signs of abating.

Source: APF

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