Assault on Grozny on 31 December 1994: what went wrong

History 06/01/20 Assault on Grozny on 31 December 1994: what went wrong

For many Russians, 31 December – the day when you need to buy and pack the gifts, time to chop the salads and be sure to discuss why it’s not a holiday, though, and falls on weekdays. With all the Christmas bustle is almost always forgotten that December 31 is one of the most tragic dates in the history of Russia. On this day in 1994, began assault of Grozny, is an easy walk for the army turned into a bloodbath that killed hundreds of soldiers and thousands of civilians.

do Not say “GOP” until you jump

By 1994, Russia is literally tormented by the actions of militants in Chechnya and bordering regions of the Republic. The terrorists attacked trains travelling on the North-Caucasian railway, while not curasi killings; resold overseas oil that we haven’t paid the Federal government; produced a fake memo and, of course, hunted kidnappings. The damage caused to the state during the four years of de facto independence of Chechnya, in the trillions of rubles. And, what is worse – hundreds of human lives.

the Continuing bloodshed, according to the President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin to the ultimatum, forced Moscow to take extreme measures. On 30 November the head of state instructed to develop a plan for the liquidation of armed formations on the territory of Chechnya, and in early December he was mostly ready. Already 11 numbers began moving troops to the border of the Republic.

the Plan was simple: four troops of the – “North”, “northeast”, “West” and “East” – had to go to Grozny every one according to his direction, to capture important objects and block their designated areas of the city. It was assumed that the major part of the militants under the leadership of Dzhokhar Dudayev due to unexpected strike will be surrounded in the center, and the Federal armed forces will suffer minimafurther losses and eliminates the risk of destruction in the residential quarters.

Confidence in his own calculations from the Russian military leadership, apparently, was enormous: according to some accounts, before the release of the soldiers even gave the instruction not to break the benches and shoot only as a last resort. However, the easy walk did not. “Christmas storm” of Grozny lasted more than two months and became to the army a real nightmare: at first glance, the loosely organized fighters don’t just caught her off guard, but inflicted significant losses. From Russia died 1426 soldier, 4630 were injured. Total losses amounted to about 35 thousand victims, including 27 thousand civilians.

coming and going

the Assault went wrong from the very beginning. Date – December 31, – commanders was unexpected. And not because I didn’t want to ruin the holiday, just not all parts were fully equipped and many of them failed to exercise combat coordination. The military asked for at least another two weeks to bring troops in full combat readiness, but the decision to strike was made at the top – according to one version, the Russian defense Minister Pavel Grachev wanted Grozny was taken by the 1st of January – his birthday. The rush and the General underestimation of the enemy was eventually played dirty trick with troops.

Groups “East” and “West” are unable to perform their tasks. The first troops ended up ambushed because of the bad coordination between the joints and problems with communication are unable to oppose the enemy. Fire fighters led to panic and the main forces of the group, and without having to move a long column without sufficient military backup, are dispersed. Aggravated the situation and the fact that the rescue of the parts did not come as expected plan, units of the internal troops of the interior Ministry. In the end, “East” there is nothing left but to retreat however, and it failed.

“From Grozny, we left again column. Was the snake. I ne know where, what was the command. No one set goals. We just circled around Grozny. We went the 1st of January. There was some chaotic gathering of desperate people,” recalled a military reporter Vitaly Noskov.

Not things were better in “the West.” On the way to the Presidential Palace in the city centre, the column was attacked by fighters, because of what the group had to go on the defensive. The offensive plan was thwarted, although this may not have happened if not slow the extension of the parts intended to strengthen the group.

the Most dramatic event of the “Christmas storm” linked to the group “North”. The troops entered Grozny in the morning and took up positions on the outskirts, as was foreseen in the plan. Unit was begun to equip defense area, as they were ordered to go to the station, which originally was to take “West”.

Where the order came – it is not clear. Apparently, the command stationed in Mozdok, hurried the group, wanting to move the troops into the city as quickly as possible. However, the former chief of staff of the joint armed forces General Leontiy Shevtsov later denied this fact. And according to the testimony of General Gennady Troshev, the “northerners” in General was at the railway station by chance – we just missed a turn, lost in the city.

whatever it was, the group settled on the station, with some memories, without bothering about the defense and dispersal of units. It is also alleged that on the route “North” have been put up roadblocks, and the technique groups were not covered. All this has allowed militants to secretly get close to the troops and by nightfall, suddenly attack.

as a result of fierce fighting, the 131st Maikop brigade and the 81st motorized rifle regiment, which was part of the North, the night was completely destroyed, equipment was burnt down. And attempts command to unlock the remaining forces turned out to be only new losses.

the Only gruperothe PCD, which managed to gain a foothold in Grozny, were a group of “northeast” under the command of Lieutenant-General Lev Rokhlin. His troops occupied the hospital complex on the area of Ordzhonikidze and cannery continue to move did not, despite the dissatisfaction of the Minister of defence. That is careful and precise actions of the commander, who did not forget about the checkpoints and take competent actions allowed to avoid losses. Not surprisingly, just a group of General Rokhlin in the end, after two months of fighting took the city.

Prepare the card in advance

Why are they attacking like a professional army bogged down under the rebuff armed thugs? A key factor has probably been the rush with which was started the assault. Whether troops have the extra time to interact and get the necessary equipment, the loss might have been significantly less. However, it is in the arrangement of the army was not there. As a consequence, the soldiers, especially recruits, much panic. In addition, the connection between the groups has left much to be desired – and it’s not just disturbed coordination, confusion, and whose command to execute, but even led to “friendly fire.”

Haste has also resulted in flaws in planning. The operation was prepared in haste and, apparently, without a realistic assessment of the strength and disposition of the enemy. What can I say, if the warlords was the only card in the terrible small-scale 70-80 years of production. They are simply out of date, particularly after a wave of renaming, which was accompanied by a period of formal independence of Chechnya, and, moreover, did not take into account entire neighborhoods, appeared for decades in the city. As a result, many names of streets, the military was forced to record “on the go” and often wander into unknown parts of the city.

Rolls over and the percentage of faulty equipment. General Rokhlin was told that officially reject rate was 20 percent, but the allotment could go up to 36 and even 60 percent, depending on the type of weapon and its source. Finally, pumped up and training of personnel: for example, out of 56 platoon commanders defeated the 81st motorized rifle regiment 49 were graduates of civilian universities, called up for two years. And ordinary composition is more than half consisted of “young” soldiers who came directly from “uchebok”.

Such an army obviously could not, and perhaps did not intend to cause a massive and immediate blow to militants – motivated, focused and hardened partisan battle.

Ivan Resepi

© Russian Seven

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