Russia: May 25, 2002


A high-ranking unified federal headquarters official told Interfax-Military News Agency on 24 May that the rebels had twice fired "IGLA" MANPAD (Man-Portable Air Defense) systems at SU-24 Fencer bombers "recently". The missiles did not hit the aircraft in both cases, thanks to the pilots' anti-missile maneuvers. The official suspected that the rebels had moved "a substantial number of SAM systems" into Chechnya. 

The Russians' regional headquarters in Chechnya reported that they had captured six "IGLA" MANPADs on 21 May. Found during special operations raids in Chechnya's Kurchaloi district, Russian law enforcement officers suspected they had seen recent use and were investigating where the weapons were bought, as well as how they were shipped to Chechnya. The weapons were linked to rebel field commander Gelaev's group.

Special operations continue to target rebel weapons caches. The highest guerrilla activity was registered in Chechnya's Kurchaloi, Vedeno and Nozhai-Yurt districts on the 18th, as well as in Grozny's Oktyabrsky and Zavodskoi districts. 

The guerillas last claimed to have used an IGLA against an Su-25, downing it on the morning of 29 April. - Adam Geibel


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