The views expressed in FMSO publications and reports are those of the authors and
do not necessarily represent the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.
RUSSIA'S INTERNAL FORCES: HOT SPOT STABILIZER WITHIN RUSSIA
Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS.
Low Intensity Conflict and Law Enforcement,
Vol 3, Winter 1994, No 3, pp 509-525.
For some years now several nations have lent unprecedented military support to the United Nations (U.N.) to control ethnic unrest and maintain stability. U.N. Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali, in his recent pamphlet Agenda for Peace, further clarified the traditional concept of U.N. peacekeeping and the conduct of its "peace operation forces". Russia has contributed forces to this effort, in particular a reinforced battalion-size airborne element to rump Yugoslavia.1
Yet these are not the only "peace operation forces" Russia possesses and deploys. Inside Russia the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) has begun to play an important role in a variety of "peace operations" in addition to its many other missions.2 The MVD's peace operation role is a complex one that concerns those areas of society where civilian law enforcement and military issues have become intermixed. It simultaneously calls for both the maintenance of public order and a concern for the observance of ethnic and human rights. Under the difficult circumstances of today's Russia, the MVD is the key actor for the professional implementation of President Yeltsin's decrees in the fight against crime and public disorder.
One of the main structural directorates of the MVD, the Internal Forces (VVMVD), maintains primary responsibility for controlling ethnic unrest as well as public order. This article will discuss only the "peace operation" or stability role of the VVMVD inside Russia, focusing on the VVMVD forces in the Caucasus area in the south of Russia. Here, where dozens of ethnic groups and their interests intermingle, the VVMVD is attempting to maintain calm in an area of ethnic unrest between the Russian republics of North Ossetia and Ingushetia, which lie between the Caspian and Black Seas (see map one). The methods and procedures used by the VVMVD should be closely studied by the U.N. and other international organizations for their successes and failures in handling ethnic unrest in order to improve their own chances of success in containing such conflicts.
THE COMMANDER AND MISSIONS OF THE VVMVD
Until a few years ago, the MVD and VVMVD were a part of the armed forces. Now it is separate and commanded by Colonel General Anatoly S. Kulikov. Born in 1946, this serious, highly professional yet personable commander is working diligently at putting a new face on the VVMVD. In the past many westerners associated the VVMVD force with an organization that harassed dissidents and operated the Russian prison system. These same westerners would be hard pressed to continue this association today in light of the changes that have taken place within the VVMVD, which reportedly has even given up its role as prison warden.
The focus of the VVMVD today is on maintaining stability in areas of ethnic unrest within the country and maintaining public order.3 For this type of mission, the VVMVD needs specially trained soldiers and units with special law enforcement skills, since nearly 80% of the missions of the VVMVD are police functions or activities.4 These skills include, among others, crowd control, hostage rescue capability, convoy security, evacuation drills, and control of road blocks and strong points, among others. Since many of these skills require close combat and the ability to save, not kill, people special weapons training is also required.
The primary mission of Colonel General Kulikov's VVMVD force when employed in stability or "peace" operations is to create conditions for diplomats and politicians to conduct negotiations. The VVMVD has three other responsibilities as well. First, it is responsible for maintaining order and security in the country, which includes the peace operation mission. Second, it is responsible for guarding key government buildings and strategic objectives. Finally it is responsible for territorial defense in wartime. In the past year this force has been involved in 10 operations, mostly in the Caucuses.
Colonel General Kulikov has noted in an MVD journal interview that the internal troops (which others may consider less prestigious than the regular armed forces) are performing a vital task. While regular armed forces are training, under simulated conditions, to fight a probable enemy which may or may not ever actually attack Russia, the internal troops are fighting the real enemy, which is ethnic unrest and crime, and the conditions are anything but simulated. In the same interview, Colonel General Kulikov noted that the two main problems he faces are building up personnel strength and finding adequate housing for his officers, since over 13,000 officers and warrant officers do not have a roof over their heads.
VVMVD ORGANIZATION, OPERATIONAL TECHNIQUES, AND TRAINING
The MVD divides Russia into seven "MVD" districts which are able to respond to local trouble in as quick a fashion as possible. Early indications are that it is performing successfully and demonstrating an even-handed approach.
In November 1993 the VVMVD had nearly 234,000 men. In the opinion of the MVD leadership, there existed a need for another 90,000-100,000 men. About 30% of the force is under professional contract, implying that a substantial part of the force still consists of conscripts. The VVMVD has "special operations (forces)" subunits, the most well-known being Vitaz and Vympel, some of which are located at the Dzerzhinsky Division to the Northeast of Moscow and which are fully capable of carrying out missions similar to U.S. Swat or hostage rescue teams.
The VVMVD are organized into motorized battalions and divisions. Their training is similar to that of the armed forces ground troops although they specialize in restoring civil order. They wear the initials "BB" on their shoulder boards (the Russian abbreviation for 'Internal Forces') and have the same rank structure as the army. Many outside observers often confuse the VVMVD forces with regular army forces since they possess similar equipment and often can be identified only by the patch they wear on their sleeve that says "internal forces" instead of "Russian armed forces." The force is well-trained and reportedly can perform a 700 km road march in 24 hours. They continue to publish a secret journal on tactics.
The VVMVD has four command schools and one school for logistics. There is an aviation section (transport planes and some helicopters) and a marine section (which defends bridges and communications, etc.). The regular forces themselves are divided into the following subcategories: 20-25% deal with operations, 30% guard key sites, and the rest are involved with the administrative duties of some kind (maintenance, logistics, headquarters duties, etc.. Some were involved with the prison system. Recent press reports indicate that nearly 52,000 additional troops will now be transferred to operational functions, with most of this number coming from those forces associated with the former prison mission).5 During the Soviet-Afghan war, some 5,000 MVD troops served in Afghanistan.
Operational techniques include dispatching 5-8 man patrols to problem localities and using maneuver groups to help maintain stability by disarming groups and restoring order in emergency areas. Purportedly the VVMVD uses no heavy armaments but only defensive weapons. The declared goal of the VVMVD is not to useforce but to help motivate conflicting sides toward a political agreement. The VVMVD's Rules of Engagement (ROE) are to return fire when fired upon. ROEs are used for states of emergency, to combat illegal formations, and to maintain law and order. Operationally, VVMVD forces employ communications, psychological operations (loudspeaker), and crowd control (water cannons from trucks) vehicles in addition to its normal hand held and crew served weapons.
President Yeltsin's recent state of emergency edict regarding the territories of North Ossetia and Ingushetia provides an example of VVMVD responsibilities and operations in an ethnic conflict zone. VVMVD forces must: establish exit and entry rules; check documents; seek information about citizens possessing weapons; protect public order, and facilities providing vital needs to the population; prohibit the holding of meetings, rallies, marches and demonstrations; ban strikes and the sale of weapons; confiscate weapons, ammunition, toxic substances and explosives; and impose a curfew, among other duties.6
Since VVMVD troops must be able to handle a variety of functions throughout Russia, its officers and soldiers receive special training at the academies of the Ministry of Defense and the MVD academy, where they receive a higher education. Officers receive a law and middle military education at military schools of the VVMVD. The education in law allows officers to understand concepts such as a temporary administration or a state of emergency, the legal use of force, the types of force and operations that are and aren't allowed, and the use of force in a security zone or other ROE situation. Officers at the academy of the VVMVD receive training in such diverse topics as the history of the various republics of Russia, the basis for national cooperation, and Islamic fundamentalism. Of course these courses are constantly being modified as new lessons emerge from actual field conditions.7
At VVMVD training locations, soldiers conduct simulated raids to free hostages from buses, airplanes, apartments, and boats. Training also includes running through assault courses against a simulated opponent while explosions, smoke, and blank machine gun fire are directed against their assault. The VVMVD conducts simulated peace operations exercises as well. One such exercise begins with troops in armored personnel carriers defending a convoy of buses carrying refugees. The bus comes under sniper or other types of hostile fire and the VVMVD convoy must respond with the appropriate action to stop the assault. Interestingly enough, a dog played a key role in one exercise to find explosives and to subdue a sniper during a response and consolidation phase of a simulated refugee convoy operation. The VVMVD also conducts live-fire exercises which include fire by rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), recoilless rifles, antiaircraft guns, grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns. The firing concludes with a mad minute of all systems. The VVMVD also trains its troops on a small caliber pistol range, where troops must fire pistols from a variety of unstable positions and after crashing through windows or doors.
It is 5-6 months before a private can be deployed from the time he starts training. Hand to hand combat is taught to recruits only six months in service and follows the model of SAMBO (Soviet style "self-defense without weapons", as taught in public schools). With only 18 total months in service for conscripts, the VVMVD probably has some relatively green cadre among forces doing crowd control with batons and shields. A soldier normally gets a revered "beret" after one year. Recruits perform ranger type training at the end of their schooling, finishing their training with a live boxing activity in front of other VVMVD personnel. Officers are ready to be deployed immediately out of school.
In an emergency situation zone, one day of service counts as three for recruits and they receive double pay as well. In June of 1994, a soldier normally received 6,000 rubles per month, a senior lieutenant 280,00 rubles, a brigade commander 360,000 rubles, and a general about 400,000 rubles per month (the exchange rate was about 2100 rubles to the dollar).
The training and operational experience of the VVMVD in peace restoration or stability operations is unique since these operations are conducted within the country by its own forces and out of the glare, for the most part, of the international media. One such experience, the current operations of the VVMVD in North Ossetia, is illustrated below.
THE REPUBLIC OF NORTH OSSETIA-INGUSH REPUBLIC CONFLICT
In June 1994 the first privately owned joint venture coop restaurant opened in Vladikavkaz, the capital of North Ossetia, on whose outskirts much of the fighting with members of the Ingush Republic occurred in October 1992. It was named the Beirut Restaurant, an irony which has not been lost on the residents of the capital who have had more than their share of urban warfare over the past two years. The role of the VVMVD in maintaining a cease-fire in and around Vladikavkaz since early this year has been crucial to preventing another Beirut, this time in the Caucasus.
The source of the North Ossetian-Ingush problem can be traced to 1936 when Joseph Stalin combined the Ingush people with the neighboring Chechen people into one republic. Then in 1944 Stalin deported both Chechens and Ingush to Central Asia based on unfounded charges of "Nazi collaboration". They returned under orders from Nikita Khrushchev in 1957.
The main part of the territory where the Ingush people lived until 1944 was returned except for the Prigorodnyy district8 to the east of Vladikavkaz, which remained with North Ossetia and its people, who are the only Christians among the North Caucasian people. The Ingush people, predominantly Muslim, have slowly been returning to this region over the past several years and, in October 1992, it became the scene of bloody ethnic fighting when extremists on both the Ingush and North Ossetian sides ignited a short war. According to Interfax, during that struggle, about 407 Ingush and 105 North Ossetians were killed. Only 915 of the 2,389 homes surveyed after the conflict remained intact and 33 of 63 social and consumer facilities were destroyed or damaged. 9 Estimates range from 32,000 to 50,000 Ingush refugees that may have fled the fighting and are now living in refugee camps in Ingushetia. Moscow sent both paratroopers and VVMVD forces to the area to separate the sides and stop the fighting.
According to President Galazov of North Ossetia, Ingush territorial claims and the attempt of Ingush elements to seize part of the Prigorodnyy region by force were the initial cause of the Ossetian-Ingush tragedy.10 He also noted that all mutual territorial claims by the Ingush against North Ossetian territory be excluded from the negotiation process, especially since Russian authorities created the Ingush Republic without a determination of its borders.11 President Aushev of the Ingush Republic feels otherwise. He believes it is necessary to distinguish between territorial claims that were legally and illegally taken away, indicating that he is for returning the Prigorodnyy territory to Ingushetia. However, he has said that the matter must be decided by the Constitutional Court of Russia. The matter will not die easily, though. As Aushev underscored, the Ingush acquired their name in the 19th century from the locality of Angusht, which is now in Prigorodnyy Rayon and is called Tarskoye.12 Thus there is much at stake in the Prigorodnyy Rayon for the Ingush.
When the Russian Supreme Soviet voted not only to rehabilitate repressed people but also to include territorial rehabilitation as part of the process, Ingush hopes raised over the potential return of the Prigorodnyy district to them. Russian authorities did not implement this vote and both sides are now locked in a standoff, with the Ingush claiming that the Russian Supreme Soviet was bound to fulfill the law, and with the Ossetians claiming that they would never give up the land after living there for 50 years, especially, in the Ossetian opinion, after the ruthless Ingush attack of two years ago. Clearly this conflict will not clear up in the near term.13
A few months ago Ingushetian leaders believed that North Ossetia was blocking the return of Ingush refugees to the homes they abandoned in October 1992. This feeling changed starting in early June when Russian Federation officials arrived in the area to organize preparations for the return of refugees. These officials organized meetings resulting in the planned resettlement of six Ingush families to four populated areas in the Prigorodnyy Rayon, in line with Yeltsin's 30 May edict.14 The plan envisaged that families whose homes are safe would begin returning between 1-5 July. Refugees living in temporary dwellings will return 5-10 July and the rest after that.15 Since revenge remains a motivating force in this corner of the world (some people say that a single shot is enough of a reason for a war to last 100 years) it will require the continued presence of the Russian Temporary Administration, police and VVMVD force.
OPERATIONAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE VVMVD IN THIS CONFLICT
Within the state of emergency area established by President Yeltsin16, the Russian government has set up a temporary (also termed an interim or provisional) administration in Vladikavkaz to coordinate a joint Russian-North Ossetian-Ingush effort to control the fighting (see Figure One for an approximation of how this administration looks and interacts). The head of the administration is V.D. Lozovoi, Vice Premier of the Government of the Russian Federation and Chief of Staff of the temporary administration. He coordinates directly with President Aushev of the Ingush Republic and with President Galasov of the Republic of North Ossetia to conduct negotiations or to handle problems.
Lozovoi has at least five sections and perhaps more that answer to him personally concerning public order in the republics. The five known sections include the section of the commander of the unified armed forces, who serves as the commandant for the area; the VVMVD section known as the operational investigation group (OIG)17; the VVMVD section known as the combat operational group (VOG), headed by General Major M.I. Labunets (both of these VVMVD sections must seek coordination or agreement for their actions from the commandant of the area); a section for civilian administration, responsible for construction, research and special problems; and a staff that coordinates with these sections.18 Other known personalities in the area are: Alexey Mityukhin, Commander of the North Caucasian Military District; Vladimir Kulakov, Chief of the Vladikavkaz Garrison; and Georgiy Kantemirov, North Ossetian Interior Minister.19 Lieutenant-General Yuriy Kosolapov was listed as the Commander-in-Chief of Russia's north Caucasian troops.20
The VVMVD moved into this area around 23 April during the rotation of forces in the area (forces rotate every three months), according to Radio Rossii, which reported that
"In accordance with a decision of the interim administration in the state of emergency area in North Ossetia and Ingushetia, Russian Internal Affairs Ministry internal troops conducted an operation on Saturday to move into the 8-kilometer security corridor. The interior troops task is to occupy the entire corridor. All North Ossetian and Ingush law enforcement units were pulled out of the corridor in advance. The RIA agency reports that the operation aimed at occupying the security corridor has proceeded without any major complications. Only near the village of Ali-Yurt in Ingushetia did a group of local residents try to prevent the interior troops from carrying out their operational task. The incident was settled promptly and without bloodshed."21
One high ranking North Ossetian official noted that this arrangement is complicated but effective, providing sufficiently close contact with officials from the Ingush and Russian government sides who can respond quickly and efficiently to problems as they arise. The official added that with so many nationalities in North Ossetia alone (there are four dominant nationalities in the area, but literally scores of very small numbers of various nationalities), it is little wonder that such contact is required to hold in place any type of cease-fire. The official stated that nearly 60% of the North Ossetian population has no problem living with the Ingush again, but the other 40% make a big noise and for this reason the arrangement must be kept in place for a time yet. The official noted that the other main problem for North Ossetia is the economic threat posed by lack of investment in electronics and the agro-industrial complex, and the consequences of the Ingush conflict (destroyed businesses and housing, supporting refugees, etc.).
A Moscow based Ingush spokesperson noted that the Ingush side is extremely disappointed with the unfulfilled promises of the Yeltsin administration. In particular, they are upset that Yeltsin's decree on the Rehabilitation of Repressed People has not been carried out, a decree that would allow the Ingush peopleto be resettled on the land they occupied during Stalin's time. The Yeltsin regime has been unable to change this situation. Interfax reported on 22 July that the decree still had no hope of being fulfilled, and the head of the Temporary Administration in the area, Vladimir Lozovoy, said part of the blame rests with the Russian Defense and Interior Ministries, which had failed to either establish security zones or disarm illegal armed groups; and part of the blame belonged to the Russian government which had failed to furnish financial support for the decree.22
The Yeltsin administration established a security zone within the area declared to be under the state of emergency. Order Number 76 from the Head of the Temporary Administration, issued on 17 July 1993, created the security zone on the contested territory of the Republic of Northern Ossetia and the Republic of Ingushetia. The width of the security zone extends from two to eight kilometers, depending on the terrain. The Temporary Administration permits operations in the security zone only by units attached to it, and also by local police detachments along the border where there are populated areas. The Administration categorically prohibits all other armed formations of the Republics of North Ossetia and Ingushetia, to include units of the Special Purpose Militia Detachments (OMON) and the YOONX located in the security zone.23
The Temporary Administration placed control and pass points, barriers, and commandant posts along the border of the security zone, while maneuver groups attached to the Temporary Administration force conduct patrols. Officials detain and question all those not on official business in the security zone. In cases of disobedience or armed confrontation forces attached to the Temporary Administration may use their weapons in conjunction with existing rules. A VVMVD spokesperson emphasized that all decreed measures are being implemented so that citizens of North Ossetia and Ingushetia may live and work peacefully, in order to avoid provocations and mutual incrimination.24
The state of emergency decree envisaged disarming illegal armed formations in the area. Yet in North Ossetia a national army continues forming, having nearly 7,000 persons and 100 units of armored equipment. In Ingushetia various military formations number in excess of 2,500 people.25 The North Ossetian force was formed in accordance with the republic's law adopted by the North Ossetian parliament, which in Moscow's opinion is illegal. This is further proof that Moscow can localize ethnic conflicts through the use of the armed forces and the VVMVD but it cannot find a "mechanism of settling and averting them" quite yet.26 At the present time, North Ossetian formations are dissolving, weapons are being confiscated by VVMVD units, but many weapons still remain in the hands of the local population, which keeps constant pressure on the population and VVMVD.
There are approximately 5500 VVMVD troops within the security zone. These soldiers man eight "strong points" throughout the security zone and several control points located at key intersections or facilities. The Russian Army's area of responsibility is located at the southern end of the security zone and is separate from the VVMVD area (see maps two & three).
Each VVMVD strong point resembles a platoon, consisting of approximately 40 soldiers with four armored personnel carriers (BTR-80s). The strong points have an extensive trench system, recoilless rifle and air defense weapons, trip flares and spotlights, and a central living area of semi-permanent buildings, all of which are wallpapered, for eating, sleeping, relaxation, medical assistance, and communications with one another and higher headquarters. Selected observation points and roving patrols on foot beyond the perimeter were utilized to cover dead space around the perimeter (no ground radars were apparent) and barbed wire surrounded the area.
Control points at intersections were similar in size. Here the VVMVD worked in conjunction with the Russian Governmental Automobile Inspection (GAI) service. The blue-uniformed GAI personnel stopped and inspected the documents of individuals wishing to pass through the checkpoint (individuals other than the driver were required to get out of the vehicles undergoing inspection and walk to the other side of the intersection). They checked the buses and autos for weapons and contraband. The vehicles then drove through a labyrinth of concrete barriers to insure they would be proceeding slowly as they passed to the other side of the checkpoint under the watchful eye of both the GAI and the VVMVD. The latter unit was located in the center of the intersection, surrounded by a concrete block circular wall with tires piled at some points in place of blocks to allow for quick departure in the event that other avenues of exiting the control point were blocked. The VVMVD force was prepared to respond with a rapid reaction force at a moment's notice.
The MVD is one, if not the primary, key to President Yeltsin's bid to regain control of the crime and instability that has almost overtaken society, and he seems dedicated to supporting all MVD and VVMVD operations with this goal. The success of this force may even be directly tied to the success of President Yeltsin in the near future.
The role of the VVMVD has changed significantly over the past two years. While playing the major role in controlling ethnic unrest in the country, the VVMVD also has responsibility for public order and has abandoned its former prison role to free up more forces for this effort.
The VVMVD by all indications is a highly professional force fully prepared to stabilize and control pockets of ethnic unrest or public disorder if they erupt within Russia proper. The main goal of the force is to contain conflict and create the circumstances under which diplomats can establish the peacemaking process.
VVMVD peace operations differ significantly from traditional peace operations of the international community because they are being conducted within the country. Since the operations concern Russian internal stability, the Russian government decides when to send forces to the area. Consent, impartiality, and other traditional peace operation principles cannot be followed with the same degree of alacrity. It is also nearly impossible to set a deadline for the removal of the force.
Each move by the VVMVD must be carefully considered because it could have unforeseen repercussions for other areas of the country. For example, if one republic notes that the VVMVD considered local opinion and negotiated a reasonable comprise among combatants to a conflict, then the VVMVD's chances to influence other regions may increase. On the other hand, impressions of heavy handedness or partiality may influence republics to act in their nationalistic interests and against the interests of the VVMVD.
Potential trouble spots for the Russian government over the use of the VVMVD and armed forces may also lie in the sheer multiplicity of forces in a region. Located near the North Ossetia-South Ossetia border, for example, are Russian border troops, VVMVD forces, regular Russian army forces, and forces of the North Ossetian National Guard or South Ossetian regular forces. All have different chains of command and operating principles. Firm command and control is required to prevent even simple misunderstandings of intentions.
Finally, with each passing day the VVMVD finds itself more and more involved in situations such as states of emergency, temporary administrations, and the establishment of security zones. The U.N. and other organizations will be wise to study and implement some of the lessons that the VVMVD has learned in these and other areas. These measures may be forerunners to the future of the control of ethnic unrest not only in Russia but in other areas of the world as well.
1. Russia has also sent its armed forces without U.N. or Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) mandates to former republics of the Soviet Union as "peace operation forces", which more closely resemble forces engaged in stability operations. This includes forces sent to Tajikistan, South Ossetia, and most recently to the Abkhazian-Georgian border.
As used in this article, the term "peace operation" is not intended to mean traditional U.N. peacekeeping or peace enforcement operations but rather special or stability operations designed to keep the peace within Russia. These operations do, however, hold important lessons for the international peace operations community to learn even though they are not, in the true meaning of the term, "peace" operations. BACK
2. The MVD is a force that combines some of the functions of the U.S. Government's Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Defense Department's National Guard, and other agencies to varying degrees, and performs some functions that have no counterpart in our military or civilian system. BACK
3. For more information on the VVMVD, see the Fall 1994 issue of Low Intensity Conflict and Law Enforcement for an excellent article by Colonel General Kulikov, head of the Russian Internal Forces, explaining their structure and missions. BACK
6. "On Introducing a State of Emergency on part of the Territories of the Republic of North Ossetia and the Ingush Republic," Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 27 July 1994 pp 1,2, as reported in FBIS-SOV-94-145, 28 July 1994, pp 28-30. BACK
7. This information and information concerning the operations of the VVMVD in North Ossetia and Ingushetia were obtained by the author during a trip to Vladikavkaz with two VVMVD officers in June 1994. BACK
8. According to one western source, the broad outline of the situation and sequence of events over the Prigorodnyy district can be listed by phase: phase one- declaration of Chechen independence creates unrest in the Chechen-Ingush Republic and unsettles the Ingush; phase two- Ingush step up the campaign for restoration of their own historic territories and "invade" the Prigorodnyy district; phase three- North Ossetia begins counter actions, with main fighting centered around Chremen, Kartsa, Kambileevskoye, and Tarskoye; phase four- declaration of a state of emergency and the insertion of Russian troops into North Ossetia; phase five- confrontation between the Chechen and the Russian government; phase six- establishment of the Temporary Administration of North Ossetia and Ingushetia by Russia. See C.W. Blandy, "A Compendium of Conflict in the Caucasus", Brief Number Two (Drivers of Instability in the Caucasus), March 1993, Soviet Studies Research Center, RMA Sandhurst, England. BACK
13. Proof of this can be found by reviewing the sequence of events since March of '94. First, there have continued votes of no-confidence in the Temporary Administration and even attempts by President Aushev of Ingushetia to get direct Presidential rule over the area from Moscow. Second, there have been killings, kidnappings, shellings, and other provocations reported by ITAR-TASS ranging from 24 March to 23 or 26 May '94. Since June the situation has quieted somewhat, with most talk centered on how to return refugees to their former homes. BACK
16. For information on the state of emergency by the Russian President, see "On the Introduction of a State of Emergency in Part of the Territories of the Republic of North Ossetia and the Ingush Republic," Rossiyskaya Gazeta, 1 June 1994, first edition p 2, as reported in FBIS-SOV-94-107, 3 June 1994, p 30. The first Presidential edict on the area was the edict of the Russian Federation President No. 2131 of 13 December 1993. BACK
17. This group is taking measures to "search out criminals, people who have disappeared without trace during the conflict, to establish the identify of unidentified corpses, free hostages, and establish the possible sites where dead citizens have been buried." See "State of Emergency Zone: Law-Enforcement Agencies and Russian Federation Ministry of Internal Affairs Servicemen Have Their Work Cut Out," Krasnaya zvezda (Red Star), 12 January 1994 p 3 as translated in FBIS-SOV-94-009, 13 January 1994, p 53. BACK
18. A recent radio report indicates that this organization continues to function. Moscow Mayak Radio reported on 20 July that an armored personnel carrier of the North Ossetian Ministry of Internal Affairs was ambushed. Subunits of the Russian Army and the North Ossetian Ministry of Internal Affairs arrived at the scene of the incident. The investigation is being carried out by the operational investigation group of the MVD, probably the same one described above. See Moscow Mayak Radio Network, 20 July 1994, as reported in FBIS-SOV-94-140, 21 July 1994 pp 41, 42. BACK
23. Information taken from a poster which the VVMVD allowed the author to photograph, which was signed by the Temporary Administration and attached to a wall in one of the semi-permanent buildings of a strong point visited by the author. BACK