Russia Update: Interior Ministry Soldier Killed in Battle with Suspected Terrorists in Dagestan

June 23, 2015
Photo of a suspect shot dead by police in Dagestan after refusing to stop at a checkpoint. Photo by National Anti-Terrorist Center

A Russian Interior Ministry Internal Troops contract soldier has been killed in a night-time battle with militants in Dagestan, and police have killed two suspected terrorists. Yesterday two more suspects were shot dead when they refused to stop at a checkpoint.

Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies.

The previous issue is here.


Russia This Week:

Is ‘Novorossiya’ Really Dead?
From Medal of Valor to Ubiquitous Propaganda Symbol: the History of the St. George Ribbon
What Happened to the Slow-Moving Coup?
Can We Be Satisfied with the Theory That Kadyrov Killed Nemtsov?
All the Strange Things Going On in Moscow

Special features:

‘There Was No Buk in Our Field’
With Cash and Conspiracy Theories, Russian Orthodox Philanthropist Malofeyev is Useful to the Kremlin
Alexey Navalny On the Murder of Boris Nemtsov
Theories about Possible Perpetrators of the Murder of Boris Nemtsov

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Doctor Refutes LifeNews Report on Condition of Opposition Journalist Kara-Murza, Jr.

A source in the medical community in Moscow has refuted a report that appeared in LifeNews today on the health condition of opposition journalist Kara-Murza, Jr., The Insider reported.

Earlier LifeNews ran a report claiming that doctors had announced
that Kara-Murza, Jr. was suffering from brain swelling and was
“disoriented.” and other Russian news media picked up the story and it was tweeted.

Translation: Doctors refuted the “plant” by Lifenews about Vladimir Kara-Murza’s brain swelling. Speculation about health is the norm for LifeNews.

Interfax said that a “source in medical circles in the capital” said the information was not confirmed, The Insider reported.

“Kara-Murza remains in the intensive care unit as before in serious condition,” the source said, noting that the patient has a heightened body temperature. At the same time the source refuted the information disseminated by some media that Kara-Murza had developed swelling of the brain.

“There is no swelling of the brain, the chief diagnosis is kidney failure,” he said.

This is the second time LifeNews has planted disinformation about Kara-Murza, Jr. in the media. Previously the TV channel and website, which works closely with Russian intelligence and law-enforcement, claimed drugs were found in Kara-Murza, Jr.’s system, yet in fact the hospital said that a toxicology report came back negative for known drugs.

Yesterday, June 22, Open Russia the civic movement founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, reported on the latest status of Kara-Murza, who was serving as the organization’s federal coordinator before he was rushed to the hospital May 26 with suspected poisoning (translation by The Interpreter):

Dr. Aleksei Svet, chief physician of the Pirogova City Clinical Hospital No. 1:

“Vladimir is in the therapy department as before. He no longer has the temperatures that concerned us last week, he is eating on his own, and talking. We are waiting for a number of parameters to stabilize, and then he will be ready to be discharged. I hope that we are approaching the final stage of his stay at City No. 1.

A previous update on June 17 said that he would be moved into the therapy department as soon as possible and that “with seven-league steps” he would be discharged.

On June 16, his wife said that he had improved but was being kept in the ICU due to periodic high temperatures. She commented on the family’s efforts to get an independent blood test:

“As for the results of the toxicology analysis which could clarify the reason for what happened, the data isn’t ready yet.”

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

Russian Interior Ministry Soldier Killed in Battle with Suspected Terrorists in Dagestan

A Russian Interior Ministry Internal Troops contract soldier has been killed in a night-time battle with militants in Dagestan, reported, citing Interfax.

During the course of a clash that broke out in the town of Gumri, two armed bandits were “liquidated” who had opened fire on federal forces, a source told Interfax.

No names have yet been made available.

A counter-terrorism operation (CTO) has been declared in Buinaks and Untsukulsk while law-enforcers hunt for the remaining members of an “unlawful armed formation.”

Yesterday, June 22, police stopped a car in
Bammatyurt in Khasavyurt Region, the National Anti-Terrorist Center (NAC) reported on its web site. Persons inside the car refused to stop and then opened fire on law-officers. Two suspects were then “neutralized,” said the NAC. Six grenades, two machine guns and six magazines with ammunition were found in the car.



 Photos by NAC

The NAC is now investigating whether the persons killed were involved in terrorist crimes in the region.

In the last three months, at least 12 such members of the terrorist group Caucasus Emirates have been killed. Ali Kebekov (Ali Abu Muhamad), who took over from Doku Umarov, the previous Emirates leader, was killed by federal forces along with Khasmagomed Charanov, who had reportedly sworn allegiance to ISIS.

All the Caucasus Emirates members in the North Caucasus have reportedly sworn their allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Caucasian Knot reported, citing an audio tape that the terrorist group uploaded on June 21.

The message says terrorists in Dagestan, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachai have pledged their loyalty to ISIS. Previously, only individual militants had made this pledge.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick