Russia: October 14, 2002


The Russian 58th Army's command told the press on 9 October that their operation against the Chechen rebel group near Galashki (Ingushtia) was over. By their count, 70 rebels were killed, 50 wounded and eight captured (along with a substantial amount of arms). The Russians forces suffered 21 killed and 25 wounded, along with some trucks and APCs. 

But while Russian commanders have been swearing that the operation is coming to an end, heavy fighting still goes on. Over 3,000 troops remain involved in sweeps between Galashki and Bamut, artillery still fires at suspected rebel locations around the clock, Interior Ministry troops conduct searches but the rebels managed to break through the encirclement and reach the nearby villages in Chechnya's Achkhoy-Martan District. Rebel leader Ruslan Gelayev was rumored to have been wounded, but not captured. 

Realiya seismic sensors were set up along the Georgian border, while mountain paths to Georgia were mined near the Assy gorge and border guard posts were reinforced by military special purpose units. Army artillery units fired 65 missions from 13 to 14 October, targeting several groups of 8 to 12 rebels that were making a break for freedom.

The rebels might also be attempting to turn the Russian's other flanks as well, since 
law-enforcement agencies in Dagestan are searching for two rebel groups (of up to 12 fighters) that penetrated the region's mountainous areas. Security was reinforced at hydroelectric power plants, the Makhachkala trading port and several other businesses, as well as along the border and at the Kaspiysk and Buinaksk military garrisons. The Russians are more concerned that these small groups might be followed by 100-150 rebels still hiding in Georgia.

South Ossetia announced a partial mobilization, with up to 3,000 citizens drafted (This will bring the South Ossetian force up to 8,000 troops). Their mission will be to prevent Chechen rebels penetrating from the region of Georgia where the Georgian Armed Forces Poti marine brigade has been carrying out search operations. Seeing the handwriting on the wall, the South Ossetian President announced on the 14th that they would form a professional army of 6,000 contract soldiers. - Adam Geibel

Georgia says it will take several months to hunt down all the Chechen rebels loose in it's territory. 


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