RealNews

Kremlin in Cover-Up After Chechen Ambush Kills Seven

Russia was severely embarrassed yesterday by a rebel attack on the motorcade of the pro-Moscow mayor of Grozny, three weeks before a referendum in Chechnya hailed as an important first step in the Kremlin’s peace plan for the republic. Three Russian soldiers and four bodyguards were reported to have been killed in the attack, which happened when Akhmed Kadyrov’s convoy was passing a crossroads in Argun. One Chechen rebel was also killed. Chechen administration officials blamed the attack on fighters loyal to the extremist rebel Shamil Basayev. Pro-Russian officials swiftly moved to cover up the bold attack, which makes a mockery of the Kremlin claim that life is returning to normal in Chechnya after the suppression of terrorists. The Chechen prosecutor Vladimir Kravchenko said Mr Kadyrov – the most senior pro-Moscow official in Chechnya – was not travelling with the motorcade, and instead his bodyguards had been involved in an “anti-terrorist operation” in Argun, several miles from their usual base in Grozny. But Mr Kadyrov contradicted the prosecutor, saying that he noticed “intensive shooting in the street” while travelling in his motorcade, and ordered his bodyguards to stop and explore the situation. Full Story

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