first published on March 3, 2018 by Sean
Close contact in Dagestan as Russian Security Forces trap militants in a house and aggressively lay siege. While snow falls in the frigid North Caucuses, they exchange gunfire and grenades at just a few meters.
The video captures Russian security forces as they maintain a tight cordon around some militants barricaded in a residential building. With a high cinder block wall for protection, a few Russian soldiers cover an exit until gunfire off camera begins. They fire a few rounds into the windows and across a doorway, before quickly being met by frenzied automatic fire and a grenade. Gunfire from what is presumably the other side of the cordon can also be heard throughout. The soldiers and beleaguered militants have several more very close exchanges as the Dagestani’s grow desperate. Hand grenades are apparently tossed by the militants several times but they can’t seem to get them over the wall.
Towards the end of the video and without warning, a machine gun position located near the camera decides to open fire. While the machine gun has a good angle, there’s no obvious warning and the Russian soldiers now just feet from the friendly rounds, look stunned before quickly scurrying off. The machine gun keeps up the fire through the videos conclusion, nearly setting the building on fire with tracer rounds.
When most people think of the Caucuses and Islamic extremists, they automatically think “Chechnya”. However, the geographically larger and more populated Dagestan, has in recent years played a greater role in the anti-Russian Islamist movement throughout the Caucuses. The region has also seen infighting as factions have declared allegiance to both the Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic Caucasus Emirate (ICE) and head of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.
With such a complex and notoriously vicious Islamic insurgency established in the Caucuses, Russian Security Forces will undoubtedly have their hands full along their southern border for generations to come.