Skip to comments.Russian death squads ‘pulverise’ Chechens
Posted on 04/26/2009 6:38:53 PM PDT by lynn4303
THE hunt for a nest of female suicide bombers in Chechnya led an elite group of Russian special forces commandos to a small village deep in the countryside. There they surrounded a modest house just before dawn to be sure of catching their quarry unawares. When the order came to storm the single-storey property, dozens of heavily armed men in masks and camouflage uniforms - unmarked to conceal their identity - had no difficulty in overwhelming the three women inside. Their captives were driven to a military base.
(Excerpt) Read more at timesonline.co.uk ...
When the order came to storm the single-storey property, dozens of heavily armed men in masks and camouflage uniforms - unmarked to conceal their identity - had no difficulty in overwhelming the three women inside. Their captives were driven to a military base.
The soldiers were responding to a tip-off that the eldest of the three, who was in her forties, had been indoctrinating women to sacrifice themselves in Chechnyas ferocious war between Islamic militants and the Russians. The others captured with her were her latest recruits. One was barely 15.
At first the older one denied everything, said a senior special forces officer last week. Then we roughed her up and gave her electric shocks. She provided us with good information. Once we were done with her we shot her in the head.
Related Links Russia ends Chechnya war - but killings continue Death squad stalks exiled Chechens We disposed of her body in a field. We placed an artillery shell between her legs and one over her chest, added several 200-gram TNT blocks and blew her to smithereens. The trick is to make sure absolutely nothing is left. No body, no proof, no problem. The technique was known as pulverisation.
The young recruits were taken away by another unit for further interrogation before they, too, were executed.
The account is one of a series given to The Sunday Times by two special forces officers who fought the militants in Chechnya over a period of 10 years. Their testimony, the first of its kind to a foreign journalist, provides startling insights into the operation of secret Russian death squads during one of the most brutal conflicts since the second world war.
The men, decorated veterans of more than 40 tours of duty in Chechnya, said not only suspected rebels but also people close to them were systematically tracked, abducted, tortured and killed. Intelligence was often extracted by breaking their limbs with a hammer, administering electric shocks and forcing men to perform sexual acts on each other. The bodies were either buried in unmarked pits or pulverised.
Far from being the work of a few ruthless mavericks, such methods were widely used among special forces, the men said. They were backed by their superiors on the understanding that operations were to be carried out covertly and that any officers who were caught risked prosecution: the Russian government publicly condemns torture and extrajudicial killings and denies that its army committed war crimes in Chechnya.
In practice, said Andrei and Vladimir, the second officer, the Kremlin turned a blind eye. Anyone in power who took the slightest interest in the war knows this was going on, Andrei said. Our only aim was to wipe out the terrorists.
The two officers expressed pride in their contribution to the special forces success in containing the terrorist threat. But they spoke on condition they would not be named.
Andrei, who was badly wounded in the war, said he took part in the killing of at least 10 alleged female suicide bombers. In a separate incident he had a wounded female sniper tied up and ordered a tank to drive over her.
He also participated in one of the most brutal revenge sprees by Russian forces. Following the 2002 killings of two agents from the FSB security service and two soldiers from Russias equivalent of the SAS, the troops hunted down 200 Chechens said to be linked to the attacks.
In another operation, Andreis unit stumbled across dozens of wounded fighters in a cellar being used as a field hospital. Some were being tended by female relatives. The fighters who were well enough to be interrogated were taken away. We executed the others, together with some of the women, he recalled. Thats the only way to deal with terrorists.
Following an inconclusive war in Chechnya from 1994-6, Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader, launched a second war in 1999 and set the tone by vowing to wipe out militants wherever they are, even in the outhouse. More than 100,000 Chechens are thought to have died by the time the Kremlin declared earlier this month that it was over. Grozny, the capital, was all but flattened. Putins toughness earned him great popularity at home.
Acts of blood-curdling brutality were committed by both sides as the rebels tried to turn Chechnya into an Islamic state, often decapitating Russian prisoners. One Russian victim was filmed being mutilated with a chainsaw.
As the war raged, Chechen terrorists launched suicide attacks against civilians in the Moscow metro and at a rock festival. In 2002 a gang including 18 female suicide bombers seized more than 800 hostages in a Moscow theatre, 129 of whom died when the Russians pumped poisonous gas into the building on day three of the siege.
In their most savage act, the rebels took hundreds of school-children and their relatives hostage in Beslan. The three-day siege in 2004 ended with the deaths of 334 hostages, more than half of them children.
It was in this highly charged climate that the death squads were operating. Andrei recalled that his men had detained a suspect who had several videos of militants torturing Russian hostages. One showed him laughing as his comrades raped a 12-year-old girl and then shot off three of her fingers.
We all went berserk after watching this, said Andrei, who had begun to beat the suspect. He fell to the ground. I ordered him to get up but he couldnt because of his handcuffs. I ordered the cuffs off but something was wrong with the lock. I became angrier and ordered one of my sergeants to get them off no matter what.
So he took an axe and chopped his arms off. The prisoner screamed in agony. Clearly it would have been impossible to interrogate him further so I shot him in the head.
Andrei said he thought of his opponents not as human beings but as cockroaches to be squashed. He was unapologetic about acts of cruelty but said he did not condone excessive boasting among his men.
I had a problem with one of my guys, who liked to collect ears which had been chopped off prisoners. Hed made a necklace and was very serious about taking this home. I did not like that kind of behaviour.
The brutality continued after Moscow began to cede more control to Chechen special forces made up of former rebels who switched sides. Militias commanded by Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnyas pro-Kremlin president, are also accused of abducting, torturing and executing suspects.
Vladimir said he had established a death squad that hunted down, tortured and executed more than 16 alleged militants in 2005. The squads commander would log a bogus mission in a faraway location in his units official register to provide an alibi. Wed break in, take the suspect and vanish. Wed duct-tape and handcuff them. If there was resistance wed gun down the suspect. If, in the firefight, someone else got killed then wed plant a gun on the dead person.
Vladimir and his men referred to their prey as zaichik - a term of endearment used by lovers that means little hare.
Only a very small circle of my men took part in this work. Some of those we abducted were tougher than others but eventually everyone talks when you give them the right treatment.
We used several methods. Wed beat them to a pulp with our bare hands and with sticks. One very effective method is the grand piano - when one by one wed smash the captives fingers with a hammer. Its dirty and difficult work. You would not be human if you enjoyed it but it was the only way to get this filth to talk.
A hammer would also be used to smash a captives kneecaps and militants would be forced to perform sexual acts. The scenes would occasionally be filmed and circulated among enemy combatants in psychological warfare.
You have to be a certain kind of person to do this job - very strong, Vladimir said. Those who carried it out always volunteered. It would not be right to order one of your men to torture someone. It can be morally and psychologically very tough.
Andrei added: What mattered most was to carry out this work professionally, not to leave evidence which could be traced back to us. Our bosses knew about such methods but there was a clear understanding that we should cover our tracks. We knew we'd be hung out to dry if we got caught.
We are not murderers. We are officers engaged in a war against brutal terrorists who will stop at nothing, not even at killing children. They are animals and the only way to deal with them is to destroy them. There is no room for legal niceties in a war like this. Only those who were there can truly understand. I have no regrets. My conscience is clear.
The Russians are doing in Chechnya what we SHOULD be doing in the WOT, err, War on Man Made Catastrophes.
The meanest dog in the fight always wins.
At first the older one denied everything, said a senior special forces officer last week. Then we roughed her up and gave her electric shocks.
She provided us with good information. Once we were done with her we shot her in the head.
At least they know how to deal with the terrorists.
No, we’re supposed to hold hands with Kofi Annan and sing Kumbaya My Lord.
The Russians seem to understand what we have forgotten. Prisoners burn you. Every time.
This is happening where, in Russia? Or Chechnya?
You got that right.........the Russians don’t seem to be concerned about “world opinion” but we sure as hell are and I’m sick of it!
And just how much yammering are our sensitive Eurobuddies doing about THIS? When they had kittens over our “waterboarding”?
Yes, and we want to prosecute our patriots!
Looks like it’s in Chechnya.
Notice the media blackout?
Putin is a very clever man.
There is only one thing that matters in war. Who wins.
Despite the brutality of this war, this is Nancy Boy stuff compared to the battles of the Eastern Front.
Putin has his useful idiots well in line.
The Natural gas supply to the EU is working out very nicely for him. Surprise.
If anyone wants to know the kind of wars our ancestors fought to settle this country read " Life Among the Apaches" by John C. Cremony published in 1868. The American Indians were a brave but savage people and this kind of warfare was par for the course.
But that is not something our schools wish to teach anymore. So I am sure this article will be heartily condemned by all right thinking peoples. Until, that is, our ass is really on the line. Then we will either fight fire with fire or perish as unworthy of our ancestors achievement`. Such is the Iron Law of History.
Gee, I hope that he isn't reading this report, it would really soil his pants.
The only odd thing about this, is the claim of woman suicide bombers. They don’t get the equivalent of the 72 virgins of male Islamic “martyrs.” I thought that female suicide bombers were quite rare, and almost always forced into that role by cowardly men.
Well, at least they don’t waterboard them. That would be just too cruel. /s
But noticed that the Russians don’t engage in the horrific torture of waterboarding. (/sarc)
But notice that the Russians don’t engage in the horrific torture of waterboarding. (/sarc)
The Russians remember how the Chechen Muslims killed Russian children at that school in Beslan.
The Europeans fear the Russians. Reminds me of when Dan Rather interviewed Saddam Hussain. There was no bravado, or leading questions, or accusations. He truly feared (respected) what Saddam could do to him, and he minded his P’s and Q’s. World opinion doesn’t mean anything if your dead, or your defeated. Sometimes might does make right and respect does come from the end of a gun barrel.
If you read accounts of what it took to repel islam in centuries past, it is hard to disagree with that statement.
There’s been no love lost between those two barbarian societies (though the Russkies slightly less barbarian).
Incredible - not one use of the word “Muslim.” And even though “Islamic” is used, they were “indoctrinated.”
Then again, this is the Londanistan Times.
I can understand that. Had it been one of my children in that school....
In centuries past it was slightly more humane — basically mass slaughter of the enemy. The Crusaders did not usually bother with torture.
But again, the female agents. That is not typical voluntary Islam.
Chechens are the worst Islamists there are. I bet the Russians are laughing at us for worrying about water boarding.
Why would Chechens be worse than your typical Joe Taliban?
They are simply at mutual war with the Russians. Chechen captured Russians would receive an equally warm “welcome.”
Oh I know. It is horrible how brutual humans can be towards each other. Sick and terribly sad.
the Russians dont seem to be concerned about world opinion
Satan’s partying down all right, there and all over the world.
Somalis are right upo there. They know how to get civil rights lawyers, endless govt benefits etc etc.
Good point. When will the UN and the EU start screaming about prosecuting Putin?
Liberals look at our society and think it is invulnerable. They believe they can impose any kind of foolishness on it to suit their conscience and it will survive. So far it has proven true. But the problem is that we will not recognize the straw that broke the camel’s back for decades—until it is much too late.
When will the UN and the EU start screaming about prosecuting Putin?
or whoever their high muckety muck is now (funny how he is less well known than Putin)
The only chance at invulnerability it has is its ability to shrug off such foolishness. Americans are simply not used to knuckling under on the scale of the serfs of the Soviet Union.
Why were the 9/11 attackers all men?
We have a naive society here in the U.S. — naive beyond belief — we (as a nation) argue over water boarding... while the fantical Jihadist world laughs at us.
Our fellow citizens think the world is a snowy Christmas and a snuggly Easter Bunny - all sweet and nice... and that is all there is... we just continue to go to Starbucks and tolerate our liberal neighbors in their quest for diversity ...
No one wants to resort to what the Russians did - but we do not want to be annihilated by radical Islahmist either... nor do we wish to be absorbed by migratory invasions ...
God Help Us.
Hate to say this, but most Americans are stupid plain and simple. They believe in fairy dust and unicorns. We have lost our sense of purpose and history and will likely get our head handed to us as a result.
Possibly, our all-wise elders would conclude that the Chechen-Russian barbarities are ONLY mutually inspired (after all, Chechens aren’t plotting against US targets) and that if we Kumbaya to the Islamic world it will be mollified. I think the Islamic world would be happy to infiltrate the USA on the sneak, if it believed that would get them to a world conquest faster than prematurely angering the locals.
I think the problem is more that so many of the non-fairy-dust-and-unicorn Americans, who are still in the majority, won’t get off their duffs to even vote. 40% of potential American voters did NOT vote this past November. I’d sooner have seen a McLame government than our Obama one.
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