There was No Battle! (Photonews +18)
On February 11-12, 2010 a special operation was held at the border of the Chechenya and Ingushetia in the outskirts of the village of Arshty and Dattykh in a woodland. As a result Russian occupying forces reported on destruction of the large Chechen mujahedeen unit, denying any victims among civilians. Meanwhile as early as in the morning February 12, there appeared information on large civilian casualties during the special operation.
On February 13, the activists from Human Rights Center Memorial came to the village of Arshty. On February 14, members of Memorial and Human Rights Watch examined the witnesses in the Achkhoi-Martan district of Chechnya. It is evident that there had been many civilians in the area where the special operation took place. At least four of them are dead. Human rights activists managed to find out the circumstances of their death.
Alexander Cherkasov, the board member of Memorial, said: “There was no battle at all there when civilians could have been used as human shields and no bombings from helicopters. An armed Russian group attacked peasants from ambush and shot dead and finished off the wounded. There are knife wounds on the bodies which means that the peasants were probably tortured before death”.
“They wore civilian cloths militants don’t use, their bags were filled with garlic”, he added.
According to Memorial, corpses of Shamil Kataev (born in 1991, resident of Yandi-Kotar), Movsar Tataev (born in 1988, resident of Achkoi-Martan), Ramzan Susaev (born in 1969) and Movsar Dakhaev (born in 1992, resident of Achkoi-Martan) were identified. And another villager, Mayr-Ali Vakhaev (born in 1965), still didn’t return from the woodland. His fate is unknown.
Arbi Mutaev (born in 1990, resident of Achkoi-Martan) and his brother Adlan Mutaev (born in 1993) are survivers of the raid with injures. According to Adlan Mutaev, on February 11 around 3 pm, his older brother Arbi, Shamil Kataev and Movsar Tataev moved to the exit of woodland with full wild garlic in their bags. Suddenly Russian soldiers began firing with automatic weapons from behind a hill. Shamil and Movsar were wounded. Mutaev brothers tried to escape. Adlan was wounded from his leg but managed to hide in a hole. During two days, Adlan stayed alone in this hole despite his gunshot wound and frosbite. Local residents found him near the edge. Arbi Mutaev also tried to hide but he was captured by Russian military forces. Occupying forces ordered Arbi to drag his still-living comrades. Shamil Kataev asked Russian soldiers not to kill him. Arbi couldn’t raise his friends, he pulled his cap over his eyes and just heard the shots. Russian soldiers left lying corpses in the snow and took Arbi with themselves. Arbi was released on the second day.
Shamil Kataev went to collect wild garlic for earning money to conduct electricity to their house where he lives in poverty with his father and four siblings. The body of Shamil Kataev were multiple gunshot wounds in his forehead. His passport, mobile phone and permission document for collecting honk (wild garlic) were disappeard from packet of Shamil’s jacket. Movsar Tataev’s body had three gunshot and multiple stab wounds. Both were buried in Achkoi-Martan village by the relatives of Movsar Tataev. Because Shamil’s family couldn’t afford the funeral.
According to relatives of Ramzan Susaev, he was shot from his chest. Also his back was torn, his left hand was broken and he had a gunshot wound on his right side. Movsar Dakhaev was killed with three bullets from his back. Movsar Dakhaev had gone to the forest to collect wild garlic at first time. On February 10, when he arrived to woodland, he took his photograph and send it to his mother via his mobile phone.
Human rights activists interviewed with several dozen of residents including relatives of victims in Achkoi-Martan village. They said nobody warned them about the special operation there and the collectors easily passed through all the check points until the forests. Moreover, an eyewitness said they didn’t hear any sounds of battle; suddenly Russian soldiers opened fire on them.
Memorial belives that the list of victims is incomplete. But they continue to investigate what happened on February 11-12.
Initially, the FSB categorically denied killing of civilians, saying that these reports were false and provocative. However, after a Moscow’s puppet Ingush leader, Yunusbek Yevkurov, expressed condolence to the relatives of the four children brutally murdered by the Russians, the Russians invented a new story and say now that “civilians were caught in a crossfire in a course of a military operation”.
Moreover, local residents testify that there were no fighters in the forest in their vicinity at all and that all those who were brutally murdered by the Russian special troops of the KGB after brutal tortures in a day-long improvised concentration camp were peaceful peasants, most of them school children. Among the peasants murdered by the Russians there are least 7 people from the Chechen Achkhoi-Martan village in the neighboring Chechnya, the rest are the peasants from other villages.
Suspicions about the bloody Russian massacre of children intensified after it became known that a KGB agent Khasu from the village of Gekhi working for the puppet regime as a small district clerk in the local Religious Affairs Office, came to the Achkhoi-Martan village and asked peasant not to tell anything to journalists about the Russian massacre. He promised money and all sorts of benefits if they followed suite.
Photos of the victims: