- Grozny OMON fratricide incident
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict= Grozny OMON fratricide incident
March 2 2000
result=More than 20
OMONpersonnel killedCampaignbox Second Chechen War
March 2 2000a unit of OMON( Russian special-purpose police) from Podolskand a militaryunit from the Sverdlovsk Oblastopened fire on an OMON unit from Sergiyev Posad( Moscow Oblast), who had arrived in Chechnyato replace them. More than 20 policemen were killed and more than 30 injured in the result of friendly firebetween the Russian forces. [ [http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?action=html&documentId=815097&portal=hbkm&source=externalbydocnumber&table=F69A27FD8FB86142BF01C1166DEA398649 CASE OF BAYSAYEVA v. RUSSIA] ] At first, the Chechen rebels were blamed for the attack.
The Sergiyev Posad "Omonovtsy" (
OMONpolice officers) were travelling in nine-truck convoyto a guard post in Staropromyslovsky city district of the Chechen capital Groznyas the Podolsk men waiting in a nearby courtyards in ambushfor the reported group of unidentified armed people was arriving in the city (which they believed were Chechen guerrillas disguised as pro-Moscow Chechen militia). After the column did not stop at a roadblock, they opened fire and a four-hour firefight ensued. The battle and its aftermath were videotaped by the Podolsk unit.
Out of the 98 troops in the convoy, at least 22 men were reported killed (including the unit's commander,
ColonelDimitry Markelov) and 31 were wounded; at least two members of the Podolsk unit were also killed. [ [http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=6294 Chechen Friendly-Fire Trial Begins] ] Initially, Moscow officials insisted that only 12 men were killed. [ [http://www.rferl.org/features/2000/03/F.RU.000307182439.asp Chechnya: Russia Provides Conflicting Reports On Casualties] ] A day later the chief of staff for the Russian military in the North Caucasus said the death tollhad risen to 37. [http://archives.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/europe/03/03/russia.chechnya.01/ Rebel ambush leaves 37 Russians dead in Chechnya] ]
Official whitewash and reprisals in Chechnya
Immediately after the incident, the
Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs(MVD) officials reported that the convoy was ambushed by Chechen rebels and the other Russian forces were reinforcements. [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C05E7DF1738F937A35750C0A9669C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all Chechens Ambush Russian Convoy Near Grozny, Killing 20] ] Baultdin Bakuyev, a Chechen field commander also took responsibility, saying the attack was revenge for the OMON's atrocities in Chechnya.
On the next day after the massacre, dozens of the local men including
Shakhid Baysayevwere detained and some of them were were killed or forcibly disappeared by the Russian OMON troops in the hunt on the alleged Chechen attackers of the convoy; Baysayev's detention was also videotaped. His bodies were never found, but seven years later, in 2007, Baysayev was legally declared dead by the European Court of Human Rightsand presumed to be killed by the Russian forces while in custody.
At the time, then-
Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailoattended the funeralof the slain troops and vowed that the rebels responsible for their deaths will be first identified, and then "retribution will be dealt out accordingly." [ [http://archives.cnn.com/2000/WORLD/europe/03/06/russia.chechnya/ Russia insists it's winning Chechnya war despite losses] ] He added that any Interior Ministry superiors responsible would also be punished. Soon, three suspected rebels allegedly involved in the attack had been announced to be charged with murder, and foreign journalists received supposed video footageof the attack on the convoy. However, the detained "rebels" were later discharged, and the video was saidt to be footage of a different ambush. [ [http://www.tol.cz/look/TOL/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=10&NrIssue=226&NrSection=1&NrArticle=3052 Senior Russian Officers Stand Trial for Negligence in Chechnya] ]
The 2002 criminal negligence trial
Independent journalists, however, managed to uncover the real story about the incident, eventually forcing the authorities to admit the truth.
In 2002, in a closed trial, a court acquitted two senior Interior Ministry officers (the former deputy head of the
Moscow OblastInterior Ministry department and the head of the Moscow traffic police Major-General Boris Fadeyevand the former head of the command group of the Interior Ministry's force in Chechnya, Colonel Mikhail Levchenko) of criminal negligenceand instead laid blame on Colonel Markelov. [ [http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2002/03/25/012.html Court Acquits OMON Officers] ] MajorIgor Tikhonov, the ex-commander of Podolsk OMON, was excused from the proceedings on health grounds.
Ingush-Chechen fratricide incident
* [http://www.gazeta.ru/2002/01/16/OMON.shtml Friendly Fire Trial of OMON Officers Opens]
* [http://www.jamestown.org/publications_details.php?volume_id=25&issue_id=2178&article_id=19077 OFFICERS IMPLICATED IN CHECHNYA FRIENDLY-FIRE INCIDENT GO ON TRIAL]
The Jamestown Foundation, January 18, 2002
* [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20020115/ai_n9668572 Russia invented ambush by Chechens to hide friendly-fire massacre] "
The Independent", Jan 15, 2002
* [http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/03/22/russia.grozny/index.html Russian friendly-fire police cleared]
CNN, March 22, 2002
*ru icon [http://russianremote.com/3103.html "Чечня. Кровь на погонах"] (TV documentary)
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