Russia: November 7, 2002

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On 6 November, Russian forces in the Caucasus went to a higher alert level in order to thwart Islamic rebels from carrying out terrorist acts during the 7 November holidays (the anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, which was renamed the 'Day of Accord and Reconciliation' in 1996 by then-President Boris Yeltsin). Attitudes inside of Russia have changed and in polls taken prior to the 7 November 2001 holiday, the Polit.ru website found a growth of "conservative-restorationist" sentiment with Russian society. Of those questioned, 63 percent of the respondents said that, for them, 7 November represented the Day of the October Socialist Revolution and only 22 percent said it represented the Day of Accord and Reconciliation. Just as there were veiled threats to America for the 4 July 2002 holiday, many of the Russians' preparations echo what the United States does for Homeland Defense.

Defense Ministry units stationed across the North Caucasus will be on alert from 7 to 10 November. The garrison guard forces for vital installations, compounds and supply dumps (holding ammo, arms, fuel and lubricants) will be reinforced with maneuver groups from the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division, which is permanently stationed in Chechnya. These units will provide armored vehicles (APCs and IFVs) for round-the-clock duties.

Special attention will be paid to housing areas for the servicemen's families, as well as airports, railway and bus terminals. Military patrols will operate in conjunction with law-enforcement agencies. The Russians are apparently concerned about the North Ossetian autonomous republic, Stavropol territory, Adygeyan autonomous region and all garrisons inside of Chechnya. 

Additional security measures taken in Grozny included reinforced guard mounts at government buildings, district police departments, schools and other administrative installations reinforced. Law-enforcement agencies had intelligence indicating that the rebels were planning to use car bombs. 

An anonymous source in the 20th Motorized Rifle Division headquarters told Interfax-AVN that special anti-terror units had been set up to operate with Volgograd region law-enforcement agencies, in the event that logistical bases are attacked. The Marinovka military airfield (and the neighboring compound, where aviators' families live) will also be reinforced. Only aircraft on combat duty will be allowed to fly. - Adam Geibel

 

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