A press statement issued by Russia’s Counter-Terrorism Operations Center in the North Caucasus alleged that Chechen rebels are supplied with arms from “some countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).”
“There is information that armament, produced back in Soviet times, is being delivered [to the Chechen rebels] from the territories of some CIS member countries…these arms include anti-aircraft missile systems – Igla and Strela,” RIA Novosti news agency quotes the press statement.
The press statement clearly hints at Georgia, as the statement outwardly refers to recent media reports over the disappearance of weapons from Georgian military units.
In September, law enforcers arrested two officials of the Georgian Defense Ministry who had alleged links to the disappearance of eight Strela-2 man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems. However, the disappearance is suspected to have occured in 1996-99.
In late August one Defense Ministry and two Interior Ministry officials were arrested, both of whom were accused of appropriation of arms and ammunition from the Osiauri military unit in central Georgia.