The story of a father whose sons were killed during the “sweeping operations” in the village of Gekhi-Chu
Place of interview: Sputnik Campground, Ingushetia
Interview date: March 28, 2000
The interview was a resident of the village of Gekhi-Chu. He spoke of events associated with the exit of Chechen formations from Grozny, as well as the shelling and “sweeping operations” in the settlements to which the formations had retreated.
On February 6, 2000, the Chechen formations exited Grozny and had climbed the mountains after passing thought Gekhi-Chu, they were thus no longer in the village when Russian troops began firing the next day. The interviewee’s house, in which he was hiding with his family, was destroyed. The family subsequently moved to the basement of a neighboring house, where a cluster of civilians were already seeking refuge, however, Russian tanks and artillery also opened fire on that house. Individuals began to run out of the basement, and many were injured.
The interviewee’s family members were also injured during this attack. They sought refuge in a third basement but an hour and a half later the approaching Russian military forced them to leave. The interviewee’s two sons were taken to a side and stripped down to the waist. They were then taken into a barn and shot dead.
On February 8, other Russian units entered the village. They took the corpses of the interviewee’s two sons with them and demanded a ransom for their return.