The members of the illegal militant units in Chechnya no longer have the two flags they had used for about ten years, first in the region of Abkhazia and then in Chechnya.
One of the flags belonged to the so called “Abkhaz Battalion” headed by international terrorist Shamil Basaev. This militant unit participated in the ambush during the conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia. Another flag belonged to the so called “Central Front of Ichkeria Military Forces.” According to the Regional Staff, the expertise confirmed that both the flags are not forged and they belonged to Basaev. The names of the several hundreds of militants fighting in the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict are written on “Abkhaz Battalion’s” flag.
The source in the Staff said the surrendered militants had conducted illegal actions while being the members of the illegal militant units under the command of Basaev. Currently the investigation is being conducted on them. At the same time, their repentance and reporting important information to the authorities will be taken into account. If they were not involved in the murders of Russian soldiers, the Chechen administration officials and civilians or taking hostages for ransom, they would probably be released. The source in the Staff said that, according to the surrended militants, Shamil Basaev is currently on the run hiding even from his former closest associates.
This is my responsibility
Shamil Basaev accepted responsibility for the explosions at the National Hotel in Moscow on December 9 and in the electric train in Essentuki on December 5. According to Basaev’s statement put on one of the Chechen militants’ websites, “the recent actions in Essentuki and Moscow were conducted by the mortiferous terrorists from Islamic Brigade of Shakhids Riyadus-Salikhiin organization headed by him. According to Basaev, the two recent operation were successful: “They were planned military actions on opposing the Russian aggression, conducted by the soldiers of our brigade and were not attached to some holiday or other important date in Russia”.
Basaev wrote that these actions did not have the purpose of terrifying enemies, but their purpose was “killing the participants of the genocide of the Chechen people in the areas from where are especially cruel military units arrive in Chechnya. For this reason Pyatigorsk town area was chosen for conducting the new attack: according to Basaev, hundreds of Chechens are taken hostages in “White Swan” detention house there, they are tortured and executed there with no legal hearing.
Basaev did not elaborate his statement for the explosion at the National Hotel in Moscow, but wrote that the target of the “sister-shakhid” was the State Duma, not the hotel building. At the end of his statement the terrorist continues threatening: “We bombed, bomb and will bomb Russia in the area which we will consider expedient and at any time!”
Remarkably, the representatives of Russian special services said many times that both Basaev and Maskhadov are blocked in the mountains, have no connection with the other militant commanders and do not control the situation. However, recently Russian President aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky recognized that Basaev still poses a serious threat despite the long-standing search for him.
According to the special services data, after the events of capturing the theater in Moscow in 2002, Shamil Basaev resigned from all the positions he had in the shadow government of Chechnya headed by Aslan Maskhadov and announced the beginning of Boomerang revenge operation. This operation includes diversions in the cities of Russia from where the military and police units arrive in Chechnya to conduct the counter-terrorist operation.