The Chechen Prosecutor's Office has launched legal proceedings against federal officers and men guilty of offenses during a recent raid on the village of Mesker Yurt. This is according to Movsar Khamidov, Chechen Vice Premier for Cooperation with Law-Enforcement Agencies.
The 22-day-long operation finished last week. The Prosecutor's Office carefully investigated all of the complaints submitted by local inhabitants to come to the conclusion that there had indeed been human rights abuses on the part of federal troops, Khamidov said. In many instances, however, the locals have given an exaggerated presentation of the real facts or have just made up stories, he noted.
The Mesket Yurt operation was a rather effective one, the Chechen Vice Premier pointed out. According to him, terrorism is rife in the village: 44 terror attacks were committed here last year, leaving 46 people dead and 70 others wounded. In an effort to intimidate the local population, guerrillas resort to extortion and threats of reprisals, Khamidov said. Some of the rebels were killed during the raid while others were able to escape.
The federal forces continue mopping-up operations across Chechnya, with their next target being the village of Chechen Aul. Representatives of the local administration are planning to contribute to this forthcoming raid, Khamidov said.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969