Chechen rebels prepare for fresh onslaught

Locals fear new military campaign when Kremlin’s man wins election on Sunday. Musim has lost his right thumb to the endless feuding in Chechnya, and he fears that next week he may lose his life.

One of 40 Chechen fighters manning a fortress in the remote village of Alkhan Yurt, he knows Moscow’s man, Akhmad Kadyrov, will win Sunday’s presidential elections. Like many Chechens, the 23-year-old fears Mr Kadyrov’s 4,000-strong private army will then make a move against anyone considered opposition. And Musim believes he will be a target. In the run-up to the election he helped provide security for Malik Saidullayev, Mr Kadyrov’s main opponent. But within weeks of starting his campaign, the prominent businessman was disqualified by a Chechen court, and Musim lost his job. “It will not be smooth here,” he said. “Maybe we will go back to the hills.” Next week it is feared that Mr Kadyrov’s security force may decide to rid itself of Alkhan Yurt, which is regarded as a nuisance village. And then the sandbags, machine guns and grenades surrounding Musim will be no defence. Full Story

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