Archivi tag: Military History

THE GENERAL OF NAUR: MEMORIES OF APTI BATALOV (Part III)

Defending Grozny

When the federal forces reached Grozny, my men and I were in Gudermes, where we had quartered to form an organized unit made up entirely of men from the Naur District . On January 4th , a runner sent by Maskhadov was placed in our command post. He gave me the order to converge on our capital with all the men at my disposal. Once in the city, I met a young volunteer, who made himself available to organize our group and put it in coordination with the other fighting units. It is called Turpal Ali Atgeriev. In conversation with him, I learned that he had taken part in the war in Abkhazia and that he had some fighting experience. There was not a single war veteran among us, starting with me: I was in desperate need of someone with combat experience. For this I asked Atgiriev to become my deputy, and he accepted my proposal. Since he didn’t have a weapon, I handed him an RPK-74 machine gun. Someone criticized my decision, accusing me of having appointed a stranger as my deputy. I was not interested in this gossip and intrigue, I was worried about only one thing itself: saving lives and at the same time beating the enemy.

We were deployed in defense of the Pedagogical Institute. A regiment of Russian marines had targeted the building: if this had been taken, it would have been possible to easily reach Maskhadov’s headquarters, which was literally fifty meters from our position, under the Presidential Palace. The Russians tried to break through our defenses almost every day, until January 19 , 1994, but without success. In these attacks they lost many soldiers, whose corpses remained in the middle of the road, in no man’s land, prey to stray dogs. We tried to remove them, to save their bodies, but without a respite we could not have prevented them from being eaten. Several times, during the fighting, our command and the Russian one reached an agreement for a 48-hour truce, precisely to clean the streets of the corpses of Russian soldiers. During these truces we talked to the Russian patrols stationed on the side streets. I remember one of these conversations with a Russian captain, to whom I had thrown a pack of cigarettes: Guys he said, quit, you will not win, because you are not fighting the police, but the army. His voice was not arrogant, he was a simple Russian peasant. That battle was also difficult because to supply our armories we had to capture weapons and ammunition from the Russians. In every disabled armored transport vehicle we found a heap of weapons, cartridges and grenades, which we looted. Later the Russians became more careful, and we didn’t find much in their means. On the other hand, their vehicles were stuffed with all sorts of carpets, dishes and other goods looted from the population.

January 19 , when it became clear that the defense of the Pedagogical Institute would no longer slow down the fall of the Presidential Palace, we withdrew. I was ordered to organize the defense of the Trampark area , and we occupied positions on Novya Street Buachidze . Trampark changed hands several times, and there were fierce battles until February 7th . Right in via Novya Buachidze suffered a shock from a tank bullet which, entering the window of the room where I was with some of my men, hit two of them in full, killing them. This shock still undermines my health. Finally, on the evening of February 7 , a messenger from Maskhadov handed me a note in which I was ordered to leave the position, join Basayev in Chernorechie and leave the city. I should have assumed the defense in the parking area in Via 8 Marzo, where the departments were concentrating to prepare for the exit from the city. Once there we counted all those present: also considering the staff of the Headquarters, we were 320 men. Obviously some departments were not present: detached units fought in other areas of the city, and besides them there were the so-called “Indians”, armed gangs who did not obey anyone, they fought when it was favorable gold and along the way they plundered everything that they could find. When Maskhadov lined up us in the square, he told us that our descendants would be proud of us, that the victory would be ours, that we were leaving Grozny only to return one day. The night between 7 and 8 Fenbbraio we left the capital.

The Naursk Battalion

It was after the retreat from Grozny that my unit, still an amalgam of more or less organized groups, began to become a real tactical unit. This same process was also taking place in the other units that had formed spontaneously at the beginning of the war. Moreover, in the Chechen resistance there were no military units and formations in the classical sense of the term: “battalions”, “regiments” and “fronts” were symbolic terms that did not correspond to a battle order in the classical sense. For example, what was called the “Argun Regiment” was an association of several groups, often poorly armed, made up of a variable number of people, each of which replied to its own commander. The members of these units, all volunteers, could leave at any time, there was no precise chain of command.

Our team spirit had already been forged in the battles we had fought together, and which unfortunately had forced us to count the first fallen. The first of our men to die for the defense of Chechnya was Beshir Turluev , who fell at the Ishcherskaya Checkpoint in December 1994. Since then, other young Chechens had sacrificed their lives for their homeland. Among those who remained alive, and who fought more assiduously with me, a group of “veterans” began to form, who by character or competence acquired the role of “informal officers”. Thus, for example, a 4th year student of a medical institute, whose name was Ruslan, became the head of the medical unit, while Sheikh Khavazhi , from the village of Naurskaya , became the head of logistics. The latter was in charge of keeping in touch with the Naur region , from which the supplies for our unit came. The inhabitants collected the food intended for our livelihood and delivered it to us via a KAMAZ truck, driven by Umar, from the village of Savelieva, and his companion Alkhazur . Sometimes money was also collected, usually a small amount, which was scrupulously recorded and distributed among the men. For the needs of the battalion, for the entire period of the 1994-1996 war, I, from the central command, did not receive more than 3 thousand dollars.

Defending Argun

After we had withdrawn from Grozny, Maskhadov ordered us to fall back on Argun, to help defend the city. We quartered ourselves in the city hospital, now empty and unused. The commander of the stronghold was Khunkarpasha Israpilov, and the commander of the largest unit, the so-called “Combined Regiment”, was Aslambek Ismailov. We were deployed in the sector of the so-called “Indian village”, a front of about 350 meters along the Argun River. On our left were the so-called “Black Wolves”, characterized by wearing very dark jeans. On the other side were Alaudi ‘s men Khamzatov , guard posts on the main bridge over the Argun. In front of us was a Russian paratrooper unit. We learned that we were facing special forces from a Russian soldier whom we captured when, with his squad, he attempted a reconnaissance close to our lines. At that juncture, as soon as the other side learned that their group had been identified and attacked, the Moscow artillery launched a massive bombing on our positions, during which two of our militiamen fell: Daud, coming from the village of Kalinovsky and Rizvan , from Naurskaya . To scare us, the Russians played Vladimir Vysotsky ‘s “Hunting for Wolves” at very high volume . We responded with “Freedom or Death”. The supply of the militias in the city of Argun, as well as in Grozny, was very scarce, there was a severe shortage of ammunition, there was a catastrophic lack of machine gun cartridges, RPG-7 grenade launcher shells and only dressing bandages they were more or less in abundance among the drugs.

On the morning of March 20, the Russians began testing our defenses along the entire line of contact, simulating a force attack from our side. In reality, the main attack took place, surprisingly, at the Moskovsky state farm . We did not expect the enemy to break in from that side, and after a fierce battle during which we lost many men (including the commander of the Melkhu – Khe militia , whose name was Isa and a brave, young Lithuanian named Nicholas) we had to leave the city, to retreat to the wooded region of Nozhai – Yurt. In the defense of Argun, Abuezid , from the village of Naurskaya , Umar, Mekenskaya , Muslim, Nikolaevskaya also fell , while another ten of us were wounded. We left Argun in the night between 21st and 22nd March 1995.

THE GENERAL OF NAUR – MEMORIES OF APTI BATALOV (PART I)

Introduction

Apti Batalov was born in Ilic, in the Kamensky District of Kazakhistan, on October 19, 1956. Police officer, in September 1994 he was appointed military commander of the districts of Naur and Nadterechny, and in this role he organized the armed militias destined to become one of the most well-known military units of the Chechen army, the Naursk Battalion. The unit would have distinguished itself in many battles, and Batalov himself would have become, at the end of the conflict, one of the main officials of the Chechen army, coming to lead the General Staff of the Armed Forces with the rank of Brigadier General and the National Security Service.

Batalov agreed to share his war memories with me.

Winds of war

On June 20, 1994, I was appointed head of the Ishcherskaya Village Police Department in the Naursk District. The village is located on the left bank of the Terek, the north-eastern part of the village borders the Stavropol Territory while to the south, on the other side of the river, about a kilometer and a half, is the village of Znamenskoye, which at the time was the headquarters of the opposition. The city is crossed by a railway that leads from Russia to Dagestan. The western part of the village hosted a terminal for the loading of oil and a pumping station, through which the crude was shipped to Russia. The road that entered Chechnya from the Stavropol Territory forked in two: one route continued eastwards, reaching Chervlennaya and from there continuing to Dagestan, in the north, and another one run up to Grozny, in the south. The other crossed the Terek by a bridge, crossed the Nadterechny District and then penetrated deep into the country. Being a border settlement and a crossroads of roads to and from Russia, Ishcherskaya was one of the busiest places for criminals in all of Chechnya – a sort of criminal transit point.

At the end of June 1994 the chief of the district police, Zaindi Pashaev, called me and introduced me to the district military commander sent from Grozny. I was told to make myself available to the Commander and to assist him in organizing checkpoints around Ishcherskaya. He did not present any documents confirming his position, neither then nor subsequently. He was a man of about 25, 28 years, about five feet tall, very dynamic, fast in his movements and physically strong. A young man, who I later learned was President Dudaev’s son-in-law, having married the daughter of a brother of the President. His name was Duta Muzaev. He actively went to work, and I followed his directions, helping in all that needed to be done. We set up two checkpoints, one on the Russian-Chechen border, in front of the village of Galyugaevskaya, the other on the left access of the bridge over the Terek, in front of Znamenskoye.

In those days, while we were building the checkpoints, mass anti-Chechen pogroms began in the territories adjacent to Chechnya, a boy named Pashaev was killed, self-styled “Cossacks of Kursk” (actually agents of the GRU and FSK) began to damaging the houses where the Chechens lived, they burned the farms where cows and sheep were kept. It was not difficult to understand that behind these pogroms and murders there were forces interested in creating chaos and inter-ethnic massacres between the Cossack and Chechen populations. Refugees began pouring into Chechnya. Meanwhile , Russian armed units began to carry out all kinds of provocations. Armed units entered their armored vehicles in the Naur District and, under armed threat, carried out “passport control” operations declaring: “You are in our territory, and you are Russian citizens”.

In the first days of August Muzaev told me that he had had a physical problem with the muscles of his spine, and that he would have to return to Grozny for treatment. He left, and never came back. Shortly after Muzaev’s departure, I was summoned to Grozny by Colonel Merzhuyev. On 16 September I joined him in the capital and he informed me that due to the worsening of the situation on the borders of Ichkeria, since the Naursk District is located at the northern limit of the Republic, I had been recommended to the President to take the place of Military Commander in that district, and in the neighboring district of Nadterechny. To be honest this news surprised me, and shocked me, because it was clear that a war was about to break out between Russia and Chechnya. The Naur region was the most vulnerable, being on the border. After listening to Merzhuyev, I asked him: Don’t you really have a person more experienced than me for this position? I told him that I was absolutely not trained in military affairs, and that I had no idea how to play the role of military commander in these regions, especially in the Nadterechny District, which is almost entirely under the control of the opposition. Merzhuyev replied: Tell the President all this.

We went to meet the President, who received us after a short anteroom. It was my first meeting with Dudaev. He was dressed in civilian clothes, and he looked intelligent and serious. He asked me some not very important questions, after which he asked me: You have been recommended to me for the position of District Commander. Well, are you able to hold it? I was hoping that Merzhuyev would join the conversation, but looking at him I realized that he would remain silent. I’ll do whatever it takes, I replied. Dudaev did not detain us any longer, and dismissed us. Before leaving, Merzhuyev wrote an appointment order by hand, said he would send it to the Naur District Prefect, Aindi Akhaev, so that he would learn of the appointment and order his officials to carry out my orders. I had just become the first regional military commander in the history of Ichkeria. From that day on, my path was the struggle for Chechnya’s independence, which eventually led me to England.

Aindi Akhaev

Military Commander

Back in Naur, I started mobilizing volunteers for checkpoint service. People answered my call: they were ordinary Chechen boys, simple agricultural workers, yet they were people of great dignity, and with a deep sense of honor. Most of them were unarmed, some carrying shotguns, knives or daggers with them. My frequent appeals to Headquarters were eventually crowned with success, and they promised me from Grozny that they would send 10 AK-74 firearms. I thought I would get the guns from the State Security Department, but Geliskhanov, who at the time he led the department, found a different reason each time not to send the guns, and went on for about a month. When the weapons were finally delivered, I saw that they were old, worn, firearms, some even missing some parts. I had to sort it out differently, so I requisitioned the armory of the Naur Police Department. We managed to collect more than twenty AK 5.45 assault rifles, an RPK 5.45 machine gun, two PK – 7.62, two RPG grenade launchers, an automatic grenade launcher and a sniper rifle. I distributed all these weapons among the militia men on duty at the Checkpoints, and so we put on a well-armed force, able to counter the armed opposition deployed in Znamenskoye and the bandits who tried to penetrate taking advantage of the chaos. In addition to this, I formed local teams recruited from the residents of each village. We began holding gatherings in all the settlements in the region, leaving the residents to appoint their own commanders. These makeshift officers were the directors of state agricultural farms and other local businesses. In particular, they provided us with radio stations with which they were used to communicating with the district authorities. A person who specialized in these things helped us to establish communications, so that all units were coordinated with each other.

The summer and autumn of 1994 in Chechnya saw many social and political events. The Opposition has become more active in the districts of Urus – Martan, Gudermes and Grozny. In the village of Znamenskoye the armed groups of Labazanov and Gantemirov gathered, while the Cossacks of the Naur and Shelkov districts took action, sending delegations to Stavropol asking to annex the entire left bank of the Terek to Russia. Realizing that any public demonstration in support of this proposal would give courage and determination to the local opponents and the Cossacks, to prevent this from happening, I began to seek contacts to organize secret meetings with the leaders of the Chechen and Cossack opposition. I used to go to their house and there, over a cup of tea or vodka, I would say to them: If you want to gather, go to Znamenskoye, I promise you that none of your family will be punished for this. But if you start moving from that area, no one will be safe, not even you. They replied that they would not give in to my threats, but in the end no one in the Naur District spoke out against Dudaev in a public demonstration. A big help came from the district prefect, Aindi Akhaev, who was a very brave man and a devoted supporter of President Dudaev. The fortunate coexistence of these factors, in the end, determined the fact that the District of Naur remained loyal to Ichkeria until the end!

Umar Avturkhanov, leader dell’opposizione antidudaevita

Adding fuel to the fire

In the fall of 1994, enemy special services intensified their subversive activities throughout Ichkeria. In Grozny, terrorist attacks and all kinds of provocations began to occur frequently: the Russians actively sought to create an atmosphere of fear, panic and chaos throughout the Republic, while in several areas the so-called “opposition” declared with increasing certainty that they would not recognize the central government. Of course, the Naur District was also under attack from the special services. Several high-profile murders took place in the area, such as two Naurskaya residents, both of Cossack ethnicity, killed on the Tersky state farm. I, together with the district police chief, went to the scene of the crime: the murder had been committed with demonstrative cruelty, the victims’ stomachs had been slashed, and the bowels had been made out of the corpses. At the crime scene a trace was perfectly visible, as if it had been left on purpose, leading to a boy’s home: clothes smeared with blood, rubber boots with blood on the soles and other evidence clearly framing the young man.

However, something was not clear: the alleged perpetrator was a physically very weak, mentally unstable 17-18 year old boy. Furthermore, if the traces leading from the place where the bodies were found to his home were evident, there was no trace that led to the place where these people had been killed. It was obvious that this boy had been brought onto the scene by someone else, in order to be used as a scapegoat. When I asked the chief of the district police a few days later how the investigation was proceeding, he replied that because the district attorney had refused to arrest the suspect, the detainee had been released from custody. I was sure that the Russian special services were behind this crime, who were interested in creating a rift between Cossacks and Chechens, using the pretext of “genocide” to incite the former against the latter and provoke the secession of the northern districts from Chechnya.

Later, these suspicions of ours were proved by facts. The news of the brutal murder spread throughout the region with incredible speed, the Cossacks gathered in Naurskaya and demanded that the guilty be found, tried and sentenced. Aindi Akhaev met many of them, explained to them who the instigators of these murders were, and the Cossacks realized that the Russian government didn’t care about them at all, but was interested in using them as tools to provoke an inter-ethnic massacre. I too, present at this meeting, spoke in support of the Prefect’s version. Finally, thanks to him, the Naur region was spared from violence.

автоматический перевод на русский

ГЕНЕРАЛ НАУРА – ВОСПОМИНАНИЯ АПТИ БАТАЛОВА (ЧАСТЬ I)

Введение

Апти Баталов родился 19 октября 1956 года в селе Илыч Каменского района Казахстана. Офицер полиции, в сентябре 1994 года назначен военным комендантом Наурского и Надтеречного районов, и в этой роли организовывал вооруженные формирования, предназначенные для стать одной из самых известных воинских частей чеченской армии, Наурским батальоном. Подразделение отличилось бы во многих боях, а сам Баталов стал бы по окончании конфликта одним из главных чинов чеченской армии, придя возглавить Генеральный штаб Вооруженных Сил в звании бригадного генерала. и Служба национальной безопасности.

Баталов согласился поделиться со мной своими военными воспоминаниями.

Ветры войны

20 июня 1994 года я был назначен начальником Ищерского РОВД Наурского района. Село расположено на левом берегу Терека, северо-восточная часть села граничит со Ставропольским краем, а южнее, по другую сторону реки, примерно в полутора километрах, находится село Знаменское, который в то время был штабом оппозиции. Город пересекает железная дорога, ведущая из России в Дагестан. В западной части поселка находился терминал по отгрузке нефти и насосная станция, через которую нефть отгружалась в Россию. Дорога, въезжавшая в Чечню со стороны Ставропольского края, разветвлялась на две части: одна шла на восток до Червленной и оттуда в Дагестан на севере, а другая доходила до Грозного на юге. Другая по мосту пересекла Терек, пересекла Надтеречный район и затем проникла в глубь страны. Будучи пограничным поселком и перекрестком дорог в Россию и из России, Ищерская была одним из самых оживленных мест криминала во всей Чечне — этаким криминальным перевалочным пунктом.

В конце июня 1994 г. мне позвонил начальник районной милиции Заинди Пашаев и представил присланному из Грозного окружному военачальнику. Мне сказали явиться к командиру и помочь ему в организации блокпостов вокруг Ищерской. Никаких документов, подтверждающих его позицию, он не предъявлял ни тогда, ни впоследствии. Это был мужчина лет 25-28, ростом около пяти футов, очень динамичный, быстрый в движениях и крепкий физически. Молодой человек, как я потом узнал, был зятем президента Дудаева, женившимся на дочери брата президента. Звали его Дута Музаев. Он активно брался за работу, а я следовала его указаниям, помогая во всем, что нужно было делать. Поставили два блокпоста, один на российско-чеченской границе, перед станицей Галюгаевской, другой на левом подъезде к мосту через Терек, перед Знаменским.

В те дни, пока мы строили блокпосты, на прилегающих к Чечне территориях начались массовые античеченские погромы, был убит мальчик по имени Пашаев, самозваные «казаки Курска» (на самом деле агенты ГРУ и ФСК) начали повредив дома, в которых жили чеченцы, они сожгли фермы, где содержались коровы и овцы. Нетрудно было понять, что за этими погромами и убийствами стояли силы, заинтересованные в создании хаоса и межнациональных погромов между казачьим и чеченским населением. Беженцы начали прибывать в Чечню. Тем временем российские вооруженные формирования начали проводить всевозможные провокации. Вооруженные формирования въехали на своей бронетехнике в Наурский район и под угрозой оружия провели операцию «паспортный контроль», заявив: «Вы находитесь на нашей территории, и вы – граждане России».

В первых числах августа Музаев сказал мне, что у него физически возникли проблемы с мышцами позвоночника, и что ему придется вернуться в Грозный для лечения. Он ушел и больше не вернулся. Вскоре после отъезда Музаева меня вызвал в Грозный полковник Мержуев. 16 сентября я присоединился к нему в столице, и он сообщил мне, что в связи с ухудшением обстановки на границах Ичкерии, поскольку Наурский район находится на северной окраине республики, я рекомендован Президенту принять место Военкомата в этом районе и в соседнем Надтеречном районе. Честно говоря, эта новость меня удивила и шокировала, потому что было ясно, что вот-вот разразится война между Россией и Чечней. Наурский район был самым уязвимым, находясь на границе. Выслушав Мержуева, я спросил его: неужели у вас нет на эту должность человека более опытного, чем я? Я сказал ему, что я совершенно не обучен военному делу и понятия не имею, как играть роль военного коменданта в этих районах, особенно в Надтеречном районе, который почти полностью находится под контролем оппозиции. Мержуев ответил: Расскажите обо всем этом Президенту.

Мы пошли встречать президента, который принял нас после короткой приемной. Это была моя первая встреча с Дудаевым. Он был одет в штатское, выглядел интеллигентным и серьезным. Он задал мне несколько не очень важных вопросов, после чего спросил: Вы мне рекомендованы на должность командующего округом. Ну, ты в состоянии держать его? Я надеялся, что Мержуев присоединится к разговору, но, глядя на него, понял, что он будет молчать. Я сделаю все, что потребуется, — ответил я. Дудаев больше нас не задерживал и отпустил. Перед отъездом Мержуев написал от руки приказ о назначении, сказал, что направит его префекту Наурского района Айнди Ахаеву, чтобы тот узнал о назначении и приказал своим чиновникам выполнить мои распоряжения. Я только что стал первым в истории Ичкерии областным военачальником. С этого дня моим путем стала борьба за независимость Чечни, которая в конце концов привела меня в Англию.

Военный командующий

Вернувшись в Наур, я начал мобилизовывать добровольцев для обслуживания блокпостов. На мой зов откликнулись люди: это были обычные чеченские мальчишки, простые сельскохозяйственные рабочие, но люди большого достоинства, с глубоким чувством чести. Большинство из них были безоружны, некоторые несли с собой дробовики, ножи или кинжалы. Мои частые обращения в Ставку в итоге увенчались успехом, и из Грозного мне пообещали прислать 10 автоматов АК-74. Я думал, что получу оружие из ОГБ, но Гелисханов, который в то время руководил управлением, каждый раз находил разные причины не присылать ружья, и ездил около месяца. Когда оружие, наконец, доставили, я увидел, что оно старое, изношенное, огнестрельное, у некоторых даже не хватает некоторых частей. Пришлось разбираться по-другому, поэтому я реквизировал арсенал Наурского полицейского управления. Нам удалось собрать более двадцати автоматов АК 5,45, пулемет РПК 5,45, два ПК-7,62, два гранатомета РПГ, автоматический гранатомет и снайперскую винтовку. Все это оружие я раздал милиционерам, дежурившим на блокпостах, и таким образом мы сформировали хорошо вооруженный отряд, способный противостоять вооруженной оппозиции, дислоцированной в Знаменском, и бандитам, пытавшимся проникнуть, воспользовавшись хаосом. Кроме того, я сформировал местные команды, набранные из жителей каждой деревни. Мы начали проводить сходы во всех населенных пунктах района, предоставив жителям самим назначать себе командиров. Эти импровизированные офицеры были директорами совхозов и других местных предприятий. В частности, они предоставили нам радиостанции, с помощью которых они привыкли общаться с районными властями. Человек, который специализировался на этих вещах, помог нам наладить связь, чтобы все подразделения были согласованы друг с другом.

Летом и осенью 1994 года в Чечне произошло много общественно-политических событий. Оппозиция активизировалась в районах Уруса – Мартановском, Гудермесском и Грозненском. В селе Знаменском собрались вооруженные отряды Лабазанова и Гантемирова, а казаки Наурского и Шелковского уездов выступили, направив в Ставрополь делегации с просьбой присоединить к России весь левый берег Терека. Понимая, что любая публичная демонстрация в поддержку этого предложения придаст мужества и решимости местным противникам и казакам, чтобы этого не произошло, я стал искать контакты для организации тайных встреч с лидерами чеченской и казачьей оппозиции. Бывало, я прихожу к ним домой и там за чашкой чая или водки говорю им: если хотите собраться, езжайте в Знаменское, обещаю вам, что никто из вашей семьи не будет за это наказан. Но если вы начнете двигаться из этой области, никто не будет в безопасности, даже вы. Они ответили, что не поддадутся на мои угрозы, но в итоге никто в Наурском районе не выступил против Дудаева на публичной демонстрации. Большую помощь оказал префект района Айнди Ахаев, очень храбрый человек и преданный сторонник президента Дудаева. Удачное сосуществование этих факторов, в конечном итоге, определило тот факт, что Наурский округ до конца остался верен Ичкерии!

Добавление масла в огонь

Осенью 1994 года спецслужбы противника активизировали диверсионную деятельность по всей Ичкерии. В Грозном участились теракты и разного рода провокации: русские активно стремились создать атмосферу страха, паники и хаоса по всей республике, а в ряде районов так называемая «оппозиция» со все большей уверенностью заявляла, что они не признавал центральную власть. Конечно, Наурский район также подвергся обстрелу со стороны спецслужб. В этом районе произошло несколько громких убийств, например, двое жителей Наурской, оба казачьей национальности, убиты в совхозе «Терский». Я вместе с участковым полицмейстером выехал на место преступления: убийство совершено с демонстративной жестокостью, животы жертв вскрыты, из трупов сделаны кишки. На месте преступления был прекрасно виден след, как будто специально оставленный, ведущий к дому мальчика: одежда, перепачканная кровью, резиновые сапоги с кровью на подошвах и другие улики, явно подставлявшие молодого человека .

Однако что-то было непонятно: предполагаемый преступник был физически очень слабым, психически неуравновешенным парнем 17-18 лет. Кроме того, если следы, ведущие от места, где были обнаружены тела, к его дому, были очевидны, то не было никаких следов, ведущих к месту, где были убиты эти люди. Было очевидно, что этого мальчика привел на сцену кто-то другой, чтобы использовать его в качестве козла отпущения. Когда через несколько дней я спросил начальника районной полиции, как продвигается следствие, он ответил, что из-за отказа окружного прокурора задержать подозреваемого задержанный был освобожден из-под стражи. Я был уверен, что за этим преступлением стоят российские спецслужбы, заинтересованные в том, чтобы создать раскол между казаками и чеченцами, под предлогом «геноцида» настроить первых против вторых и спровоцировать отделение северных районов от Чечни.

Позднее эти наши подозрения подтвердились фактами. Весть о зверском убийстве с невероятной скоростью разнеслась по округе, казаки собрались в Наурской и потребовали найти виновного, судить и осудить. Айни Ахаев познакомился со многими лотосами, объяснил им, кто был зачинщиком этих убийств, и казаки поняли, что российское правительство вообще не заботится о них, а заинтересовано в том, чтобы использовать их как инструменты для провоцирования межнациональной бойни. Я тоже, присутствовавший на этом собрании, высказался в поддержку версии префекта. Наконец, благодаря ему Наурский край был избавлен от насилия.

TRADUZIONE IN ITALIANO

IL GENERALE DI NAUR – MEMORIE DI APTI BATALOV (PARTE I)

Introduzione

Apti Batalov è nato ad Ilic, nel Distretto di Kamensky, il 19 Ottobre 1956. Funzionario di polizia, nel Settembre del 1994 fu nominato comandante militare dei distretti di Naur e di Nadterechny, ed in questa veste organizzò le milizie armate destinate a diventare una delle più note unità militari dell’esercito ceceno, il Battaglione Naursk. L’unità si sarebbe distinta in molte battaglie, dalla difesa di Grozny, nel 1995, alla sua riconquista, l’anno successivo, lo stesso Batalov sarebbe diventato, alla fine del conflitto, uno dei principali funzionari dell’esercito ceceno, giungendo a guidare lo Stato Maggiore delle Forze Armate col grado di Generale di Brigata.

Ho contattato Batalov di mia iniziativa, per raccogliere i suoi ricordi di guerra, e lui ha accettato di condividerle con me.

Venti di guerra

Il 20 Giugno 1994 fui nominato capo del dipartimento di polizia del villaggio di Ishcherskaya, nel Distretto di Naursk. Il villaggio è situato sulla riva sinistra del Terek, la parte nordorientale del villaggio confina con il Territorio di Stavropol mentre a Sud, dall’altra parte del fiume, a circa un chilometro e mezzo, è situato il villaggio di Znamenskoye, che all’epoca era il quartier generale dell’opposizione. Una volta Ishcherskaya era un grande insediamento cosacco, ma a quel tempo non c’erano più di dieci famiglie di cosacchi del Terek. Ishcherskaya è attraversata da una ferrovia che porta dalla Russia al Daghestan. Infine, la parte occidentale del villaggio ospitava un terminal per il carico  del petrolio ed una stazione di pompaggio, tramite la quale il greggio veniva spedito in Russia. All’altezza della cittadina, la strada che dal Territorio di Stavropol entrava in Cecenia si biforcava in due: una rotta proseguiva verso est, raggiungendo Chervlennaya e da qui proseguendo fino in Daghestan, a nord, e fino a Grozny, a sud. L’altra attraversava il Terek tramite un ponte, attraversava il Distretto di Nadterechny per poi penetrare in profondità nel Paese. Trattandosi di un insediamento di frontiera e di un crocevia di strade da e per la Russia, Ishcherskaya era uno dei posti più affollati da criminali in tutta la Cecenia: una sorta di punto di transito criminale.

Alla fine di Giugno del 1994 il capo della polizia distrettuale, Zaindi Pashaev, mi chiamò e mi presentò al comandante militare del distretto inviato da Grozny. Mi fu detto di mettermi a disposizione del Comandante e di affiancarlo nell’organizzazione di posti di blocco nei dintorni di Ishcherskaya. Egli non presentò nessun documento che confermasse la sua posizione, né allora né successivamente. Era un uomo di circa 25, 28 anni, alto circa un metro e settanta, molto dinamico, veloce nei movimenti e fisicamente forte. Un uomo giovane, che più tardi capii essere il genero del Presidente Dudaev, avendo sposato la figlia di un fratello del Presidente. Si chiamava Duta Muzaev. Egli si mise attivamente al lavoro, ed io eseguii le sue indicazioni, aiutando in tutto ciò che doveva essere fatto. Mettemmo su due posti di blocco, uno sul confine russo – ceceno, di fronte al villaggio di Galyugaevskaya, l’altro sull’accesso sinistro del ponte sul Terek, di fronte a Znamenskoye.

In quei giorni, mentre stavamo realizzando i checkpoint, nei territori limitrofi alla Cecenia iniziarono pogrom anti – ceceni di massa, un  ragazzo di nome Pashaev fu ucciso, sedicenti “Cosacchi di Kursk” (in realtà agenti del GRU e dell’FSK) iniziarono a danneggiare le case dove vivevano i ceceni, bruciarono le fattorie dove venivano tenute mucche e pecore. Non era difficile capire che dietro a questi pogrom e omicidi c’erano forze interessate a creare caos e massacri interetnici tra la popolazione cosacca e quella cecena. I rifugiati iniziarono ad affluire in Cecenia. Nel frattempo reparti armati russi iniziarono a compiere ogni tipo di provocazione. Unità armate penetrarono sui loro veicoli blindati nel Distretto di Naur e, sotto minaccia armata, portarono avanti operazioni di “controllo passaporti” dichiarando: “Siete nel nostro territorio, e siete cittadini russi”.

Nei primi giorni di Agosto Muzaev mi disse che aveva avuto un problema fisico ai muscoli della spina dorsale, e che avrebbe dovuto tornare a Grozny per curarsi. Se ne andò, e non tornò più. Poco dopo la partenza di Muzaev, venni convocato a Grozny dal Colonnello Merzhuyev. Il 16 Settembre lo raggiunsi nella capitale e questi mi informò che a causa dell’aggravarsi della situazione ai confini di Ichkeria, essendo il Distretto di Naursk posto al limite settentrionale della Repubblica, ero stato raccomandato al Presidente per prendere il posto di Comandante Militare in quel distretto, e nel vicino distretto di Nadterechny. Ad essere onesti questa notizia mi sorprese, e mi sconvolse, perché era chiaro che tra Russia e Cecenia stesse per scoppiare una guerra. La regione di Naur era il più vulnerabile, essendo al confine. Dopo aver ascoltato Merzhuyev, gli chiesi: Davvero non avete una persone più esperta di me per questa posizione? Gli dissi che non ero assolutamente preparato negli affari militari, e che non avevo idea di come svolgere il ruolo di comandante militare in queste regioni, specialmente nel Distretto di Nadterechny, quasi totalmente sotto il controllo dell’opposizione. Merzhuyev mi rispose: Di’ tutto questo al Presidente. Andammo a colloquio dal Presidente, il quale ci ricevette dopo una breve anticamera. Fu il mio primo incontro con Dudaev. Era vestito in abiti civili, e si mostrò intelligente e serio. Mi fece alcune domande non molto importanti, dopo di che mi chiese: Mi sei stato raccomandato per la posizione di Comandante di Distretto. Bene, sei in grado di tenerla? Speravo che Merzhuyev si unisse alla conversazione, ma guardandolo realizzai che sarebbe rimasto in silenzio. Farò tutto ciò che serve, risposi. Dudaev non ci trattenne oltre, e ci congedò. Prima di uscire, Merzhuyev scrisse a mano un ordine di nomina, disse che lo avrebbe inviato al Prefetto del Distretto di Naur, Zayndi Akhaev, in modo tale che questi venisse a conoscenza della nomina e ordinasse ai suoi funzionari di eseguire i miei ordini. Ero appena diventato il primo comandante militare regionale della Storia di Ichkeria. Da quel giorno la mia strada fu la lotta per l’indipendenza della Cecenia, la quale, alla fine, mi ha portato in Inghilterra.

Comandante Militare

Tornato a Naur, inziai a mobilitare volontari per il servizio ai checkpoint. Le persone risposero alla mia chiamata: si trattava di ragazzi ceceni ordinari, semplici lavoratori agricoli, eppure erano persone di grande dignità, e con un profondo senso dell’onore. Erano quasi tutti disarmati, qualcuno portò con sé fucili da caccia, coltellacci o pugnali. I miei frequenti appelli al Quartier Generale furono infine coronati dal successo, e da Grozny mi promisero che avrebbero inviato 10 armi da fuoco AK – 74. Pensavo che avrei avuto le armi dal Dipartimento per la Sicurezza dello Stato, ma Geliskhanov, che a quel tempo guidava il dipartimento, trovava ogni volta una ragione diversa per non inviare la armi, e tirò avanti la cosa per circa un mese. Quando poi le armi, finalmente, furono consegnate, vidi che erano vecchie, logore, armi da fuoco, alcune mancanti addirittura di alcune parti. Dovetti risolvere la cosa in altro modo, così requisii l’armeria del Dipartimento di Polizia di Naur. Riuscimmo a raccogliere così più di venti fucili d’assalto AK 5.45, una mitragliatrice RPK 5.45, due PK – 7.62, due lanciagranate RPG un lanciagranate automatico ed un fucile da cecchino. Distibuii  tutte queste armi tra gli uomini della milizia in servizio ai Checkpoint, e così mettemmo su una forza ben armata, in grado di contrastare l’opposizione armata schierata a Znamenskoye ed i banditi che tentavano di penetrare approfittandosi del caos. Oltre a questo, costituii squadre locali reclutate dai residenti di ogni villaggio. Iniziammo a tenere raduni in tutti gli insediamenti della regione, lasciando ai residenti il compito di nominare i propri comandanti. Questi ufficiali improvvisati erano i direttori delle fattorie agricole di stato e di altre imprese locali. Ci fornirono in particolare le stazioni radio con le quali erano abituati a comunicare con le autorità del distretto. Una persona specializzata in queste cose ci aiutò a stabilite le comunicazioni, in modo tale che tutte le unità fossero coordinate tra loro.

L’estate e l’autunno del 1994 in Cecenia hanno visto molti eventi sociali e politici. L’Opposizione è diventata più attiva nei distretti di Urus – Martan, Gudermes e Grozny. Nel villaggio di Znamenskoye i gruppi armati di Labazanov e di Gantemirov si radunavano, mentre i cosacchi dei distretti di Naur e di Shelkov si attivarono, inviando delegazioni a Stavropol le quali chiedevano di annettere alla Russia tutta la riva sinistra del Terek. Comprendendo che qualsiasi manifestazione pubblica a supporto di questa proposta avrebbe dato coraggio e determinazione agli oppositori locali ed ai cosacchi, per evitare che ciò avvenisse ho iniziato a cercare contatti per organizzare incontri segreti con i capi dell’opposizione cecena e cosacca. Solitamente mi recavo a casa loro e là, davanti ad una tazza di te o a una vodka, dicevo loro: Se volete radunarvi, andate a Znamenskoye, ti prometto che nessuno della tua famiglia sarà punito per questo. Ma se iniziate a muovervi da quella zona, nessuno sarà in salvo, nemmeno tu. Loro rispondevano che non avrebbero ceduto alle mie minacce, ma alla fine nessuno, nel Distretto di Naur, si pronunciò contro Dudaev in una manifestazione pubblica. Un grosso aiuto mi arrivò dal Prefetto del distretto, Aindi Akhaev, che era un uomo davvero coraggioso ed un sostenitore devoto del Presidente Dudaev. La fortunata compresenza di questi fattori, alla fine, determinò il fatto che il Distretto di Naur rimase fedele ad Ichkeria fino alla fine!