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Russia Deployed Chechen Units Into Georgia

Earlier this week, I popped on from vacation long enough to note that Russia may have employed the communist PKK just before the fighting to bomb the Turkish leg of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline that leads through Georgia. Today, I pop on again, and just long enough to note another rather curious (though wholly expected) bit of Russian play: The use of units comprised of ethnic Chechens to do much of the very dirty work in Georgia.

The nickname [‘Shrek’] given by his comrades to the bald, pug-eared soldier was the only moment of light relief during a day of tense drama in which The Times witnessed Russia breaching the ceasefire agreement over South Ossetia at will.

At a checkpoint set up by the Russian Army on the approach to the city of Gori from the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, an armoured personnel carrier blocked the road and riflemen had fanned out in the surrounding bushes, their weapons trained on anyone who approached.

All were ethnic Chechens, whose reputation for pitiless brutality in war made them feared throughout the Caucasus.

The last sentence is an understatement. Russia once again choosing separatists of choice, either because of political compatibility or sheer ruthless effectiveness.

So much more to this as it continues to develop, but noting the Chechen units of the Russian Army on the ground was warranted here.