В stories the death of one of the most odious field commanders of the “Chechen resistance” Ruslan (Khamzat) Gelayev is undisclosed pages. A version of his death is brought to the reader’s judgment, based on some very interesting circumstances.
The Islamic name Khamzat Ruslan Gelayev began to call himself from the beginning of the 1990s. After the federal forces defeated the main forces of his detachment near the village of Komsomolskoye in late March 2000, he sat for two years in the Pankisi Gorge of Georgia and only in the spring of 2003 appeared in the Chechen Republic. The transition from Pan-Kissia to Chechnya for Gelayev’s detachment was not easy. The militants were badly battered by Russian border guards, special forces and the army aviation MO. In one of the clashes with the federal forces, a British citizen with the documents of a journalist who was in one of the squad groups died.
Accidentally or not, it was precisely in this group that Igla man-portable air defense systems provided by Gelayev Tbilisi patrons were available. It is possible that the British or the Americans paid for Georgia with expensive MANPADS. In this case, the presence in the detachment of a British citizen can be explained by the role of the controller responsible for using missiles against Russian airplanes and helicopters, thereby excluding their subsequent resale to Arab terrorists and the use of Western patrons of freedom fighters for the freedom of the Chechen people somewhere near Basra against aviation, Baghdad or Kabul.
By July, 2003, the town of Gelayev, with a detachment of about thirty people, arrived at the camp for training militants in the area of the villages of Chemulga and Galkash in the territory of the Republic of Ingushetia. Here "fresh blood" joined the ranks of the detachment. These were the two-month training of the Mujahideen, mainly young people from Chechnya, Ingushetia and other republics of the North Caucasus region.
From August to December, 2003, a detachment of Gelayev, avoiding armed clashes with federal forces, made the transition from Ingushetia to the Sharoy region of the Chechen Republic for the subsequent departure to Georgia for the winter.
Unlike most of the field commanders, Gelayev was a supporter of an honest armed struggle against the "occupying forces", and not with the Russian inhabitants, and he condemned the mine war. This position of the most popular field commander in Chechnya, who did not stain himself with the blood of the civilian population and openly condemned terrorism, was the last straw that forced the top leadership of Chechen gangs to separate it from the "dollar pie". For this and other reasons, the detachment of Gelayev also left part of the militants who had joined the gangs of D. Umarov. Last summer 2003 g, was appointed commander in chief of the Western sector (this post was formally listed as Gelayev).
In this difficult for ambitious Gelayev situation at the end of autumn 2003, the late President of the Chechen Republic A. Kadyrov was asked to lay down weapon in exchange for certain guarantees of personal safety. But, apparently, the federal center did not dare to amnesty Ruslan Gelayev, on the conscience of the militants which hundreds of lives of soldiers and officers of the Federal Assembly. The deal did not take place, and Gelayev made the belated decision to start moving to Georgia. Like Napoleon in 1812, Hitler in 1941, and Gelayev in 2003 was summed up by General Moroz. His detachment from 37, who left in the direction of the Russian-Georgian border (Dagestan section) 30 in November from the village of Kiri of the Sharoy region of the Czech Republic, was not enough for one or two weeks before closing the Batsy-Butsa pass for the winter. To him a detachment came 8 December, led by a conductor from the Dagestan village Gakko. Up to the top of the three-thousand-mountain pass, no more than 300 m remained, when the conductor, indicating only the direction of further movement and taking the fee of 1000 dollars, left the group. The militants were not able to overcome these last 300 and m - deep snow and severe frost did not leave them a chance for good luck. Gelaev himself, having donated Eko's winter boots to one of his subordinates, and having gone to the mountains in summer canvas shoes “jungle boots”, had seriously froze his legs by that time. And the rest of the militants of the detachment, who more responsibly reacted to their outfit (winter mountain boots “Ekko” and “Makhorn”, black winter syndepon trousers and jackets, downy sleeping bags, etc.), during the week of wandering through the mountains in thirty-degree frost, too, pretty undermined their strength. Having descended without a conductor from the 3700-meter pass back to the gorge, the detachment organized a day in the mountain forest a couple of kilometers from Gakko. The morale of the militants staggered, and during the prayer, Khamzat addressed the subordinates with the words “Allah tests us with cold and hunger ...” and urged them to gain courage. This episode was captured on Gelayev’s latest videotape. Abu Rauf, a Chechen from Dagestan, is sent to search for a conductor. But he was able to bring only the brother of the conductor, who led the detachment to the abandoned frontier post. Abu-Rauf received a new task - to get food, but by the time specified by Gelayev, the camp did not appear. Three days later, guided by the map, Gelayev turns south.
December 13 Khamzat’s detachment goes to the village of Metrad and “hires a taxi”, then settling back with the owners of two Niv and Volga for several shuttle flights in dollars. Upon reaching the village of Mikali, the militants bought food (a box of condensed milk, chocolates, instant noodles, and several packages of yoghurt), paying the seller with the same dollars - “a hundred, bez surrender”.
There were quite a few patriots among the residents of Dagestan, and now an alarming group of 5 frontier guards headed by its head leaves the gang from the village of Mokkok. In the vaunted "Gelayev Special Forces" (this is how the singer of the "movement of the Chechen resistance, Timur Mutsurayev sings about them), they get nerves, and they open fire in the vicinity of the village of Shauri following a passing car with border guards.
The border guards fired back, but were killed in the course of a short-range battle with a superior enemy. Two soldiers, the head of the outpost and the contract driver, the militants captured the wounded. Having arranged the interrogation of the wounded and not having received an answer, who passed them, Gelaev from a machine gun shot the chief of the outpost, and a little later the Algerian Abu Yasin (German citizen, German wife, in Gelayev’s detachment with 2000) killed the driver with a knife.
The battle with the border guards was the beginning of the end of Khamzat and his militants. With inconsistent logic of stupidity, the militants did not use the serviceable GAZ-66 border guards, using which they could be in Georgia in less than an hour. Moreover, having captured the radio station of the border guards, they listened to the broadcast and knew that nothing was known about the death of the border guard - the usual radio exchange sounded on the air (the border guards themselves did not have time to use the radio station). Gelaev acts like in a bad movie, loading the bodies of those killed in the back of a car and pushing it from a ten-meter cliff into a mountain river. With this he fakes accidents without thinking that the sounds of the battle could be heard and the inhabitants of Sauri heard. Further, the militants enter a semi-abandoned mountain village and take several weak old people hostage. By morning, the border guards establish their whereabouts, but due to a number of subjective reasons, they could not block the gang, allowing the militants to disappear for two days from the sight of the federal forces.
December 17 on the "path of war" out reconnaissance groups of troops of the mountainous part of the Chechen Republic (GV GCH CHR). They were the first to discover militants in the vicinity of the Kus Pass during air patrols from a helicopter. On December 18, the withdrawal paths of Gelayev's detachment were blocked by reconnaissance and assault assault companies of the Main Troops of the Czech Republic on the slopes of the Kus ridge. The mortar and helicopter fire of the detachment suffered damage - two militants were wounded. 19-20 December, using unfavorable weather for helicopters (snowstorm), the militants climb the ridge. Local residents asserted that it was impossible to climb it, which did a disservice to the command of the operation. In 2.00 20 of December, a bomb strike is inflicted on the areas of Gelaev’s supposed finding of the Gelayev detachment by the front bombers Su-24. The bombers reached the target area and the bombing was carried out using an onboard computer, the accuracy is amazing. Under the avalanche caused by the bombardment, eight militants found their last refuge, including two Arabs: Amir Jamaat (commander of the group) Abu Yasin with a topo map and GPS device and Algerian Abu Muskhab.
After spending two days in the snow burrows at an altitude of 3500 m (at night the frost reached 30 °), the militants in the morning of December 21 descend into the gorge, neglecting the elementary camouflage, but in vain ... From this day all the MO and PV helicopters rise into the sky . Stormtroopers bombed the glaciers, causing avalanches and clearing the path for special forces. Helicopters and 82-mm mortar are working in the area of the militants' alleged location. The use of attack aircraft is risky due to the complexity of piloting and the implementation of aimed bombing, since the settlements of Tazeli and Metrad are located nearby. Hiding from helicopter strikes, the fighter Isa is falling into the abyss and dying. And his twin brother Musa will live another seven days.
The actions of aviation and special-purpose reconnaissance groups drove the militants into a narrow gorge with steep slopes, where they descended through the glacier. The ring of the special forces and military intelligence units blocking the Gelayev detachment is being compressed. The fire from the Mi-8MT helicopter gun was wounded in the leg by Gelayev’s deputy Kishi Khadzhiev. Among the militants, the controversy intensified for the first time after the clash with the border guards of December 14.
At night, from 24 to 25 in December, ten of the most combat-ready militants, picking up the remnants of food, climb the Kus ridge again and take a course on Georgia - for help. The rest of the injured, severe frostbite of the legs, hands and face, severe exhaustion. In the morning, when patrolling the area with helicopters with special forces on board the departed, a chain of traces is issued. In the direction of their departure, on the instructions of the commander of the operation, an ambush from the border troops is organized. Militants will get into it on December 28, and before that the eleventh member of the group will stick to them - Magomed Umashev. Three will die, having resisted, four militants, among whom are wounded and frostbite, will prefer to surrender to border guards, demanding a lawyer and treating themselves as prisoners of war. The fate of four more is unknown.
Gelayev, who had difficulty moving on his frostbitten legs, and his right hand Kishi, who had a through bullet wound to the soft tissues of the upper third of his right thigh, decided to break out of the ring of fire and go to the next gorge with a group of 16 people on the night from 24 to 25. Two militants from this group, preferring the warmth of prison cells to death from cold and starvation, leave their commanders. One arrived, Ali Magomedov, and the second, Arab Abu-Hak, broke from the slope and crashed. On the slopes of the same ridge on these days four servicemen of the Special Forces of the MoD broke. Magomed Umashev could not descend into the gorge and climbed the glacier. On December 28, he caught up with a group of ten people, but the next day was detained by border guards in an ambush.
Initially, militants led by Gelayev descended into the gorge above 1,5 km from the confluence of the nameless stream into the Andyiskoye Koysu River. The path down the gorge to the river they blocked two waterfalls. An advance group of militants walked around them on the right slope, descending to the discovered cave using automatic belts, and blocked the "feds" from entering the gorge. Gelaev himself and his personal bodyguard Maomad remained above the waterfall, hiding in one of the crevices. Gelayev had difficulty walking. Moving along the bottom of the gorge, which was completely filled with the creek, the militants in some places walked to the waist in icy water. Similarly, for the destruction of the militants found in the cave, an assault group of Defense Ministry scouts was walking along the water.
On December 27, federal intelligence agents established the exact location of the militant group from the Gelayev detachment - a cave in 1,5 km south of the Tazeli glacier. Conducting covert surveillance during the day, they found about a dozen militants in a cave at the bottom of the canyon, the general management of which was carried out by a long-bearded fighter at the age of 45-50. It was Kishi - Amir Jamaat and First Deputy Gelayev.
December 28 during a fierce battle most of the group was destroyed. The scouts "got" the militants with jet anti-tank and hand fragmentation grenades. During the battle, the commander of the assault group broadcast that there was a woman among the militants, as he heard a female screech and saw a cosmetic set thrown out of the cave with a blast wave. But it was the wounded mojaheds who screamed, and they used cosmetic bags to take care of their beards and facets. However, none of them wanted to lay down their arms. Over the battlefield, replacing each other, the helicopters of the Border Troops and the MoD circled, but they could not help the assault group with fire. In this battle, one of the scouts of the assault group was heroically killed; a seriously wounded scout was evacuated by a Mi-8MT helicopter with an HSV on board. The crew of the squadron commander Sergey P., evacuating the wounded man, will land his helicopter on a tiny patch, where in two days even the Ka-27 helicopter will hardly land.
From the talks of the commander of the helicopter and the commander of the air search and attack group:
- Look, look - there are two people (600-700 m higher up the gorge from the cave, in which the militants were desperately defending). Is it yours? (question to the commander of the VPShG)
- No, perfume! Come on combat, I will work with a course machine gun.
- Come on ... Wait, I will work on them NURSami.
The targets disappeared in the smoke of the gaps of the nurs and the cloud of snow dust. In several places in the gorge came down small snow avalanches. When re-entering the goal was not observed.
When examining Gelaev’s body at the end of February, multiple fragmental wounds and tearing of the hand were recorded on it. Perhaps the brush was bitten off by foxes, jackals or marten predators who discovered a corpse that had lain for two months under the snow.
Scouts could not inspect the place of the helicopter strike on two fighters on December 30 and 31, 2003, since the path along the gorge up blocked the waterfall and congestion on the stream caused by avalanches. Unfortunately, the entire scanty supply of mountain rope and equipment that the scouts, begging the command, requested by the end of the operation, was left only to get to the cave not along the stream, but along the slope. Could not sit there and the Ka-27 search and rescue service of the Black Sea fleetreceived on December 27 at the disposal of the operation commander by order of the Chief of the General Staff. By the way, for the first time in the national history of special forces on December 30, 2003, the reconnaissance group was deployed with a KA-27 helicopter in a landing method. The static ceiling of the Kashka is almost three times higher than that of the Milevskaya GXNUMX, and in the highlands it is not replaceable. But God forbid to fall into it under enemy fire!
On December 29, the scouts finished off the militants who remained in the cave, but one of them, Maomad, who buried Gelayev and brought all his personal belongings into the cave, managed to escape. But not for long, he was killed on January 2 by the MoD special forces reconnaissance group. In the cave, Gelayev's cousin, Alikhan Utsiyev, was killed, and he had been closely following him all these past months.
Putting an end to the operation to destroy the entire bandit Gelayev prevented the celebrations, arranged in early January for a group of servicemen participating in the operation. The operation was hastily crumpled, although an analysis of the available operational data led to the conclusion that the rest of the militants (up to seven people) are still in the Tsumadinsky district of Dagestan. In the village of Nizhny Khvarshen on the eve of the New Year, three militants stocked up with food and medicine. The identified personalities of the militants who were killed in the cave from Gelayev’s inner circle indicated that Khamzat himself was somewhere nearby, and was hardly alive, because his personal belongings with which he did not part were found in the cave.
The fact of the destruction of Ruslan Gelayev will be made public on the eve of the presidential elections in Russia. A version of his death with a chocolate in the mouth, self-brushing, the simultaneous death of all participants in the battle, the two-month wandering of the field commander in Dagestan and his appearance in sports pants in the last days of December 2003 for several tens of kilometers south of his death area, from which to the Georgian border there was no more than 8 km - all this nonsense, even among non-professionals, would cause Homeric laughter. During this time, Gelayev didn’t even grow a beard, it remained the same length as it was seen several days earlier by five militants detained from 25 to 29 in December (Ali Magomadov, Magomed Umashev, Lechi Magomadov, Hasan Khadzhiev, Magomed Umarov).
Opinion of the author, participant in the operation: If we, the professional military, were not hampered by politicians, and the same favorable conditions were created for the destruction of every militant group that appeared in Chechnya as in December 2003 in Dagestan, the Chechen campaign would only remind of itself the graves of Russian soldiers and Chechen militants who fought the same way bravely in the dirty war of the end of the 20th - beginning of the 21st centuries.