Investigative Committee establishes involvement of one more suspect in attack on Botlikhsky District of the Republic of Dagestan in 1999

The Main Investigative Department over North Caucasian Federal District of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation continues investigation of a probe into invasion of illegal armed formations led by Shamil Basaev and Emir Khattab in Botlikhsky District of the Republic of Dagestan in 1999 and encroachment on lives of law enforcement officers and servicemen of the Russian Federation committed during this invasion. The investigation acquired evidence of involvement of Krasnodar Territory resident Alexander Ponomarenko in committing of the said offenses.

According to the investigation, in the middle of July, 1999, Ponomarenko had voluntarily joined the gang led by Shamil Basaev and Emir Khattab and taken active part in committing of grave and especially grave offences. From August 7 to August 24, 1999, the operatives, acting as a stable group of Basaev and Khattab consisting of more than 1,000 people armed with automatic weapons, grenades and explosive devices, took active part in armed riot encroaching on lives of military officers of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation that had been securing public safety and establishing constitutional order in Botlikhsky District of the Republic of Dagestan. The perpetrators aimed for overthrow of the constitutional order and violation of territorial integrity of the Russian Federation. As a result of the massive targeted shelling performed by the gang members 33 persons had been killed and 34 citizens had received injuries of varying severity.

Ponomarenko was detained with assistance of the Federal Security Service and Interior Ministry of Russia. At present he is subject to urgent investigative and other procedural activities aimed to establish his role and activities committed as part of the stable armed group.

The criminal investigation is ongoing; investigation is taking active measures to identify other gang participants involved in the attack.