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Russia’s first Chechen war mastermind Grachev dies

Russia’s first Chechen war mastermind Grachev dies
Russia’s brutal 1994-1996 Chechen campaign mastermind and former defense minister Pavel Grachev died on Sunday at a military hospital in Moscow at the age of 64.

The Afghan war veteran became a hated figure by human rights groups for convincing the late Boris Yeltsin to unleash what he had promised would be a ‘victorious Blitzkrieg in Chechnya’ meant to stamp out a growing separatist insurgency.

Grachev’s tanks ended up going in flames in the first offensive on the capital Grozny – a humiliation that prompted him to order carpet bombings that subsequently claimed the lives of tens of thousands and displaced many more.

‘We just received a call from the Vishnevsky hospital confirming that Pavel Sergeyevich (Grachev) is dead,” his colleague Nikolai Deryabin told the Interfax-AVN military news agency.

Grachev had been resting at the military hospital’s emergency ward since September 12 with an unspecified medical condition.


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