Russia

Over 1,000 servicemen to be pulled out of Chechnya in March

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The Russian Defense Ministry will pull over 1,000 of its servicemen and about 200 pieces of combat equipment out of Chechnya in March, Defense Ministry spokesman Colonel Nikolai Deryabin told Interfax- Military News Agency on Monday.

"Permanently staying in the republic will be the 42nd Motorized Rifle Division, military commandant offices, and independent military units, which will be responsible for hunting down and eliminating the remnants of bandit formations in the mountainous parts of Chechnya," Deryabin said.

"Simultaneously, the work of the Defense Ministry engineering units and those engaged in building and repairing roads, bridges, and other facilities in the republic, especially in its mountainous part, will be intensified," he said.

The reduction of troops in Chechnya will proceed according to a plan drafted by the General Staff together with federal executive authorities, Deryabin said.

"Bearing in mind the steady trend towards normalizing the situation in a major part of the Chechen plains, and transferring authority to the interior departments, the plan first of all envisions the withdrawal of units that were earlier tasked with blockading communities and areas of concentration of terrorist groups and providing fire support to the troops," Deryabin said. (Interfax-AVN)

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