В stories The new Russia has many tragic pages that still leave room for broad discussion and new assessments of government policy. One of these tragic milestones in the formation of a new Russian state is the Chechen war - the First Chechen war. Until now, no agency can say about the exact number of losses of the federal troops and civilians in the course of the bloody drama that broke out on the territory of the Chechen Republic.
At the same time, we must not forget that the Chechen campaign was not limited to the territory of Chechnya itself. Sometimes, peculiar resonant aftershocks of the Chechen tragedy were manifested in other Russian regions, attracting increased attention and forcing the Russian people to think about the sanity of the actions of the federal authorities and those people who in a number of foreign countries persistently called the motley mass of terrorists fighters for the freedom of the Chechen people.
One of the most horrific attacks of militants outside Chechnya during the first campaign can be called the tragedy that unfolded in the summer of 1995, in Budennovsk. More than 17 years have passed since then, but the feeling of shame for the actions of the then political leaders has not left to this day. That humiliation, which, in fact, all Russian people endured in June 1995, is difficult to forget, as well as difficult to give a sober assessment of this phenomenon.
Summer 1995 of the year. The war in the Chechen Republic against terrorism and extremism for the integrity of the Russian Federation entered a phase when Russian units managed to seize almost all key settlements of the Chechen territory, and the resistance of the militants at the same time began to resemble not active hostilities, but classical guerrilla warfare with attacks single groups. It seemed that the end of a bloody and highly controversial war was about to come, the militants would have to surrender weaponbut ...
This “but” was the actual failure of the Russian special services, as a result of which a terrorist group of up to two hundred militants (according to official data - 195) led by Shamil Basaev was deep in the rear of the Russian troops. Subsequently, Basayev himself said that a sortie to one of the Russian regions was discussed during his contacts with Aslan Maskhadov. Obviously, both Maskhadov and Basayev, and the then leader of Chechnya, Dzhokhar Dudayev, understood that it was pointless to continue an open war with the federal forces, and new ways of fighting should be sought. In particular, Dudayev, in one of his interviews with a sample of 1995, said that the war was shifting to another plane, and the Russian authorities and troops would still have to bitterly remember the decision to enter 1994 in December in Chechnya. Then these words of the odious leader of the Chechen separatists Moscow did not attach much importance, but, as it turned out after a few days, in vain ...
On the night of 14 June 1995, a convoy of trucks with militants disguised as Russian soldiers allegedly accompanying the bodies of the dead (“Cargo-200”) moved through the territory of the Republic of Dagestan to Stavropol. Unfortunately, there is no unequivocal information about why the convoy of vehicles in which armed extremists were completely teeth, for several hours unimpededly moved through the territory of the Russian regions, not encountering any barriers and without causing suspicion among servicemen at roadblocks .
On this point, one has to express either judgments or use words that Basayev himself uttered in his time. So, according to one of the judgments, the convoy was accompanied by a police car, in which there were several militants disguised as Russian law enforcement officers. Perhaps it was this fact that caused the convoy not to cause suspicion at the traffic police posts, especially since the militants had all the necessary documents in their hands about being in the Cargo-200 trucks. Where did these documents come from? - this is another question ...
According to Basayev, the convoy of vehicles moved to Budennovsk without hindrance, since in all posts they were banal Russian law enforcement officers. According to him, it was in Budennovsk that it happened that the money intended for bribes to servicemen and traffic police officers ran out. The leader of the militants said that in fact the target of the attack was not at all the Stavropol Cossack town of Budyonnovsk, but, no less than that, the capital of Russia. Basayev’s statements, which he managed to do to journalists during his raid, boiled down to the fact that the convoy with armed militants was moving in the direction of Mineralnye Vody airport, where the group was going to hijack a passenger plane and head to Moscow to strike at the center of Russia. In Budyonnovsk, they had to stop, allegedly for the reason that the local traffic cops demanded more money than the accomplices of Basayev could offer them.
However, indirectly Basayev's “version” of events by Basayev himself in one of his interviews at the time of being in the captured hospital of the city of Budennovsk is refuted. One of the journalists, referring to Basayev, is trying to find out from the leader of the terrorists how much ammunition remains at the disposal of the gangster group. Basayev replies that he has enough ammunition, and if they run out, he will buy them from Russian soldiers. If so, then it is unclear how the words “that there was not enough money to bribe the traffic police” with the words “if necessary, we will buy from the Russian military personnel. At least one of these statements is blatant bravado and lies.
According to the official data, the traffic police in Budennovsk stopped a suspicious convoy. When the very fighters who were in the accompanying convoy of KamAZ police Zhiguli came to the conversation and stated that the Gruza-200 was being transported, the policeman decided to check the information. At that moment, Basayev decided to act, and gave the order to destroy the policemen. After that, the convoy moved towards the building of the ROVD, where the battle began with the use of automatic weapons and grenade launchers. During the attack on the building of the police department of the city of Budennovsk, the terrorists killed people, as they say, indiscriminately: in addition to 13, civilians killed dead police officers in fatal injuries in the police building.
On the second floor, the police took up defensive positions, but the militants did not participate in the battle, which could lead to numerous casualties among members of gangs. As a result, the building was doused with gasoline and set on fire.
It is noteworthy that Basayev himself did not call the carnage in Budennovsk a terrorist act. According to him, it was one of the stages of the war with Russia for the independence of Chechnya. They say that federal troops allow themselves to be killed in the Chechen Republic, so why should he (Basayev) not strike back at Russia. Surprisingly, in 1995, such words of Basayev found numerous supporters far beyond the Chechen Republic. More and more apologists of the theory and practice of the struggle for independence were among European and American politicians who spoke out for the fact that the people of Ichkeria are fighting against an “aggressive and merciless enemy”. That is why the seizure of Budyonnovsk by many media outlets seemed to be "fair retribution" against Russia and the Russians.
After the shootings and arson in the ROVD building, the militants continued the total massacre on the streets of the city. The terrorists burst into buildings and killed people who came across their eyes in gunfire, while others, distraught with horror, were driven to one of the city squares - the square in front of the Budennovsk administration. The area was blocked by KamAZ trucks and a fuel truck that was threatened to be blown up in the event of an attack from the security forces.
While one group of militants intruding into the city was operating on the streets, in the administrative building, in banks, the House of Children's Art, another group seized the building of the Budyonnovskaya hospital. Hospital militants have chosen to take there their wounded. At that time, there were about 1100 people in the hospital, of whom about 650 were patients. In the hospital complex, the militants on foot drove away those who were taken hostage in the central square of the city. People who tried to resist the gang of Basayev were killed on the way to the city hospital. According to official figures, killed during the march, there were up to 100 people, but eyewitnesses say that there were a lot more killed.
A few hours later, the Basayev gang, taking hostage a total of about 1800 (according to other sources, twice as many) of the inhabitants of Budyonnovsk, took up defensive positions in the same ill-fated building of the city hospital. A few people, the leader of the terrorists, used as those who should have brought to the attention of the official authorities his demands. Basayev’s demands were as follows: an immediate cessation of hostilities on the territory of Chechnya, the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Chechen Republic, and a meeting of Russia's top leaders with Dzhokhar Dudayev at the UN mediating mission to endow Chechnya with the status of an independent state Russia. Later, Basayev added here the fourth demand for the payment of a huge contribution from Russia for the damage that the Russian army inflicted on Chechnya during the military campaign. At the same time, Basayev, who perfectly understood that his action without press coverage, could go unnoticed by the so-called world community, urgently requested that he be given the opportunity to hold a press conference. If journalists are not provided, Basayev promised to start a mass shooting of hostages.
While the Russian authorities were thinking about what to say to Basayev and his accomplices, the terrorists shot a few hostages in front of hundreds of people in a gesture of intimidation. Among them were Russian soldiers who were treated at the Budyonnovskaya hospital after participating in the Chechen campaign. Subsequently, the hospital staff stated that the nurses and doctors had to forge the personal data of patients in the cards so that the militants would not know about other employees of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Internal Affairs who were in the wards of the hospital complex.
Basayev was given the opportunity to meet with journalists, and, taking advantage of a unique opportunity, the fighter voiced his demands to the whole world. It was after this that many representatives of foreign political elites began to say that Basayev was not a terrorist, but a freedom fighter, a rebel and a real Chechen hero. The information campaign machine against Russia started spinning at inconceivable speed, giving rise to the opinion that Basaev was right. The correctness of the act - is the capture of pregnant women and children? The correctness of the act - is killing civilians? The correctness of the act - it is the burning of houses with people who are there? Or, perhaps, the correctness of the act is the use of several dozen accomplished drug addicts for murders, attacks and arsons, the existence of which Basayev himself and eyewitnesses to the tragedy spoke of in the detachment? Monstrous hypocrisy! The top of information propaganda, which literally trampled the prestige of the Russian Federation, which was already undermined by the war in Chechnya.
It should be noted that at the time of the tragic events in Budennovsk, Russian President Boris Yeltsin was in the Canadian Halifax at the meeting of the Big Seven (then Seven) and tried to convince foreign colleagues of the need to provide Russia with another loan in the amount of $ 10,2 billion. Personnel of how Yeltsin mentions what is happening in the Stavropol region, scattered around the world. Yeltsin is trying to show on himself those black armbands that were on the gangsters who captured Budyonnovsk, and at the same time, the barely hidden smile on the face of US President Bill Clinton is clearly visible. This attempt by Yeltsin, parodied by Basayev, would later be mocked by the militants themselves ...
At the same time, in Budennovsk, after a series of failed negotiations with the militants, an operation was launched to storm the building of the city hospital, to participate in which attract, including the fighters of the famous group A (Alpha), who by that time had the experience of taking well-fortified buildings captured by the enemy. However, there has never been a situation with such a large number of hostages ...
At this time, the residents of Budennovsk hold a spontaneous rally, in which the federal authorities are accused of utter helplessness and the inability to protect their people, who have been in the grip of insane militants for many hours.
The order to start the assault is given by the then leadership of the security agencies with the direct participation of Prime Minister Chernomyrdin, despite the fact that the commanders of special units warned of the inevitable loss of a large number of hostages in the event of an operation. In particular, in Moscow, information was discussed that as a result of the assault half of all hostages in the hospital complex could die, moreover, there would be great casualties among the special forces themselves. However, these figures decided to close their eyes, and the order was given.
But even the beginning of the assault was not a surprise for the militants. Employees of the Alpha and Vega groups report that information leaks could occur. The fact is that already on the approaches to the hospital building, the special forces met fire from the positions of the militants. The gunfire from automatic weapons, which did not subside for about 10 minutes, was struck up by the groups of “Vega” and “Alpha” that were not part of the plans. During the shootout, the militants who installed machine guns in the window openings directly on the hostages' shoulders managed to damage two Mi-20 helicopters. In the windows of the clinic militants put up women who were waving white sheets. Basayev later said that women took this step themselves ...
The assault was continued. During the 4 hours of assault actions, the Special Forces fighters managed to gain a foothold in the main building and capture several buildings of the hospital complex at once. At the same time, according to some information, about 30 hostages and three soldiers of a special-purpose squad died. Then something happened that is difficult to explain in human language: Special Forces soldiers received an order to retreat. The reasons for such an order were a large number of victims among the hostages, as well as a remark from Basayev about the readiness for negotiations ... Special forces soldiers were perplexed ... Amazing! But didn’t the special division commanders warned about a large number of victims during the discussion of the storming of the hospital, and didn’t Basayev’s talk about negotiations - this is not another attempt to impose his will on the authorities? ..
During the second visit of journalists to the hospital building, Basayev allowed the correspondents to "walk" around the clinic, gripped by the horror of people and littered with the corpses of hostages, demonstrating the "inhumanity of the Russian army." During conversations with journalists, the hostages, apparently under pressure from the militants, stated that they were being treated very well, but the federal troops were killing their own, and the war must be terminated without fail by fulfilling all the demands of Basayev.
Basayev, through journalists, demands to get in touch with the top leadership of Russia, and declares that he is ready for negotiations. Moscow is perhaps making the most controversial decision in all this tragic history - to make a real connection with the militants.
Frames with the phrase "Hello! Shamil Basayev? Hello! This is Chernomyrdin! ”Went around the entire planet and showed the world a contradictory picture.
Someone called Chernomyrdin a real hero who saves people (forgetting, by the way, who promoted the beginning of the bloody assault and its incompetent completion). Others called Prime Minister Chernomyrdin a man who puts Russia in a bad light, starting a conversation with terrorists. From this point on, others began to consider Viktor Chernomyrdin to be the most genuine state Judah, who sold dozens of ruined lives for giving the militants the opportunity to freely return to Chechnya.
After the negotiations of Basayev and Chernomyrdin, the first one received guarantees that a corridor to the Vedeno district of the Chechen Republic would be open for him. In the eyes of bewildered people, several Ikarus and a refrigerator for the bodies of the killed militants drove to the Budennovsk hospital. Basayev himself was stationed in Ikarus, his accomplices and dozens of hostages whom the terrorists promised to release in Chechnya. The convoy, accompanied by traffic police cars, departed towards the administrative border with the war-torn republic. Ichkeria’s flags were waving from the windows, the joyful faces of the militants, who were depicting the Victoria sign with their fingers, were visible outside the windows ...
No assault on the column was undertaken ... The militants quietly returned to where they had invaded Stavropol a few days ago in order to become true heroes in the very Ichkeria, whose recognition of independence was mentioned in their “Budyonnovsk” demands. This outing of Basayev, together with his virtually triumphant return home, cost Russia too much. In the course of a multi-day terrorist attack, the losses of only those killed amounted to 130 people - according to one data, and over two hundred - according to others. This is many times more than the losses of militants ... However, human losses were far from the only ones in the course of this terrorist action. The initiative was lost in the entire Chechen campaign. After the Basayev sally, the war in Chechnya again turned into a sharp confrontation with federal troops, and Basayev himself, reveling in his victory, declared that he was now ready to reach Moscow, even Vladivostok. And, as everyone knows, unfortunately, the terrorist plans in relation to Moscow came true: the bombings of houses on Kashirskoye Highway, Guryanov Street, the seizure of the theatrical center on Dubrovka, terrorist attacks in the subway. And there were also Kizlyar and Volgodonsk, Beslan and Nazran, Vladikavkaz and Botlikh.
As a result, it can be said that the price of contacts between the federal authorities and the militants is simply overwhelming. These are thousands of lives that cannot be returned by any publications and rethinking of the tragedy in Budyonnovsk. The missed opportunity to prevent an attack on Budyonnovsk and to break the backbone of terrorism has become a necessity for Russia to make new and new victims ...
PS 2002 year. At the trial on the case of the seizure of Budennovsk, one of the defendants (Isa Dukayev), who was in 1995 in the Basayev gang, said that television had not broadcast that part of Chernomyrdin’s conversation with the ringleader of terrorists, in which the Russian Prime Minister proposed Basayev money in order to leave Budyonnovsk. According to Dukayev, Basayev refused and declared his readiness to withdraw “for free” if he was given guarantees. Warranties have been provided ...
Neither confirm nor deny the words Dukayev failed. But if everything he said is true, then it is difficult to imagine greater baseness on the part of a government official ...
I want to believe that the fateful lessons of Budennovsk have been learned in full, and the black page of Russian history is finally turned over.
Interview with Shamil Basayev, 1995 year
Fateful lessons of Budennovsk
- Alexei Volodin