Shamil Basaev. Photo: Natalia Medvedeva

15 June 2020, 11:27

Anniversary of attack on Budyonnovsk actualizes dispute over operation outcomes

The armed attack by militants of Shamil Basaev on Budyonnovsk committed 25 years ago should have ended with the liquidation of the field commander, even at the cost of lives of most hostages, the law enforcers who took part in the operation believe. In his turn, Alexander Cherkasov, a rights defender, remarks that the release of most of the hostages as a result of negotiations is the only successful peacemaking effort since the start of the first Chechen campaign.

On June 14, 1995, militants from Chechnya led by Basaev captured 1500 people in the hospital of the city of Budyonnovsk, Stavropol Territory; 129 people perished. The militants released the hostages after negotiations, while Russian authorities agreed to end warfare in Chechnya.

Sergey Polyakov, the commander of the "Alpha" group, and Alexei Filatov, a group officer, told about the operation in Budyonnovsk. They pointed out the blunders made by those who commanded the operation and criticized the Russian leadership for the permit to Basaev and his detachment to return to Chechnya.

According to Filatov, should Basaev and his militants had been killed in Budyonnovsk, in the following years there would have been no "second Chechen campaign", and it would have been possible to "save the lives of tens of thousands people."

Alexei Filatov also admits that almost all the hostages and "about 70 percent of those storming" were supposed to die in the hospital's liberation operation.

The attack on Budyonnovsk is "the only terror act, when Russian began negotiating in order to release citizens," said Alexander Cherkasov, the chairman of the board of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial".

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on June 14, 2020 at 10:49 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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