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Russia: A Timeline Of Terrorism Since 1995

Shamil Basayev with hostages during the June 1995 hostage taking in Budyonnovsk (AFP) PRAGUE, August 30, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Since the beginning of the first war in Chechnya in 1994, Russia has witnessed many horrific terrorist incidents from subway and aircraft explosions to mass hostage takings. Below RFE/RL presents an annotated timeline of major terrorist attacks in Russia.

July 10, 2006: Radical Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev -- mastermind of some of the world's most horrific terrorist attacks -- is reported killed in an accidental explosion in Ingushetia.

February 9-11, 2006: A small number of armed militants battle security forces in Stavropol Krai, near the border with Chechnya and Daghestan. According to officials, seven police and 12 militants are killed in the fighting.

October 13-15, 2005: Dozens of armed militants attack government buildings in Nalchik, the capital of the Russian Caucasus Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. At least 85 people, including more than 50 militants are killed in the fighting. Radical Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev later says he helped prepare local fighters for the raid.

An archive of RFE/RL's extensive coverage of terrorism in Russia.

September 1-3, 2004: Armed insurgents seize a school in Beslan, in the southern Russian Republic of North Ossetia, taking some 1,000 adults and children hostage. Russian security forces storm the school two days later. More than 330 people -- half of them children -- die in the resulting violence. Radical Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev takes responsibility for the raid.

A video presentation on ways the victims have coped with the Beslan trauma: Real Player, Windows Media

August 31, 2004: A female suicide bomber kills nine people outside a Moscow subway station. A 10th person later dies of injuries. Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov speaks to reporters the night of the blast: "This was a terrorist act. It was carried out by a woman suicide bomber. There was a large amount of explosives involved. [The bomb was] filled with various bolts and metal objects."

August 24, 2004: Two Russian passenger planes crash almost simultaneously, killing all 90 people on board. Female Chechen suicide bombers are later blamed for the crashes.

August 21, 2004: Gunmen attack a police station and voting centers in Chechnya ahead of presidential elections, killing at least 11 people.

June 21-22, 2004: Hundreds of insurgents in stolen local police uniforms seize control of much of Nazran in the southern Russian Republic of Ingushetia, which borders Chechnya. Nearly 100 Ingushetian Interior Ministry troops, Russian border guards, and insurgents die in the fighting. "This was another terrorist raid which, of course, caused us grave consequences, but it could not and did not change the situation," Russian President Vladimir Putin said afterward. "In fact, there is no force in the whole country and in the North Caucasus, in particular, that could change the situation now."

A slideshow about the October 2005 terrorist attack in the Kabardino-Balkaria capital of Nalchik.

May 9, 2004: A bomb blast at a stadium in Grozny kills Moscow-backed Chechen President Akhmed-hadji Kadyrov and five others. "Improper methods of security organization and training were among the reasons that made this terrorist act possible," Russian Deputy Prosecutor-General Sergei Fridinskii told journalists.

February 6, 2004: A suicide bombing kills at least 40 people on a subway train in Moscow. A Chechen rebel group claims responsibility. "There was an explosion in the second [metro] car," a woman who survived the blast said. "For a long time, we couldn't open the doors. Then, finally, the driver opened them, and we started walking. We walked for about 2 kilometers. There was panic and a lot of screaming."

December 9, 2003: A suicide bomber kills five people near the Kremlin in Moscow. At least 13 people are wounded.

December 5, 2003: Forty people are killed and more than 100 injured when a bomb explodes on a passenger train traveling between Kislovodsk and Mineralnye Vody in southern Russia.

August 1, 2003: A suicide bomber driving an explosives-packed truck blows up a military hospital in Mozdok, North Ossetia, bordering Chechnya. The blast kills 50 people.

July 5, 2003: Two female Chechen suicide bombers kill 15 other people when they blow themselves up at an open-air rock festival at Moscow's Tushino airfield.

May 12, 2003: Two suicide bombers drive a truck full of explosives into a government complex in Znamenskoe, in northern Chechnya, killing 59 people.

Red Cross workers enter the building during the October 2002 Moscow theater hostage taking (TASS)

December 27, 2002: Chechen suicide bombers ram vehicles into the local government headquarters in Grozny, killing a reported 80 people.

October 23-26, 2002: Armed Chechen militants take 700 people hostage in Moscow's Dubrovka theater. Some 129 hostages and 41 guerrillas are killed when Russian special forces storm the building. Most of the deaths are caused by a gas used by the forces to incapacitate the hostage takers. "We managed to do the near-impossible: Save the lives of hundreds, hundreds of people," Russian President Putin said. "We proved it is impossible to bring Russia to its knees." A female survivor of the siege told RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service: "Everybody saw the gas and everybody realized what was happening. [The hostage takers] had enough time to blow up everything, but they purposely didn't do it. It is very strange. I do not know why [they didn't do it]."

July 2-3, 2000: Chechen guerrillas launch five suicide-bomb attacks on bases of Russian security forces within 24 hours. In the deadliest, at least 54 people are killed at a police-commando dormitory in Argun, near Chechen capital of Grozny.

September 1999: Bombs destroy apartment blocks in Moscow, Buinaksk, and Volgodonsk. More than 200 people are killed. Moscow blames Chechen fighters, who in turn blame Russian secret services.

January 9-24, 1996: Chechen gunmen take 2,000 people hostage in Kizlyar, in the Russian Caucasus Republic of Daghestan. Most are freed quickly, but more than 100 are then taken on to Pervomayskoye, on the Daghestan-Chechnya border. Between 50 and 100 hostages are killed when Russian forces launch an air assault on the town. Some civilians are also reported killed.

June 14-19, 1995: In the southern Russian town of Budyonnovsk, Chechen gunmen led by Shamil Basayev take 1,500 people hostage in a hospital. A total of 166 hostages are killed when Russian troops storm the building. Basayev and most of his fighters escape after releasing their hostages.

Shamil Basayev

Shamil Basayev

Shamil Basayev in September 1999 (epa)

MASTERMIND OF BUDYONNOVSK, BESLAN: Radical Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev waged a 15-year campaign against Russian control of Chechnya, including masterminding some of the most audacious terrorist acts the world has ever seen. Below are links to some of RFE/RL's reporting about Basayev in recent years.


The Rise Of Russia's 'Terrorist No. 1'

Is Basayev Planning To Torpedo The Russian-Chechen Power-Sharing Treaty?

Basayev Rejoins Chechen Rebel Government

Basayev Pledges More Attacks

Basayev Says He Helped Plan Nalchik Raid

Basayev Says Beslan Raid Prompted By FSB Sting

Moscow Says It Will Punish U.S. TV Network Over Basayev Interview

Budyonnovsk Marks 10th Anniversary Of Terrorist Raid

Look Back In Anger -- Ten Years Of War In Chechnya


An annotated timeline of the conflict.


RFE/RL's complete coverage of Russia's war-torn Republic of Chechnya.

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