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Chechnya to erect cross for fallen Russian paratroopers

8 February 2017
Pskov Paratroopers Street in Grozny

A memorial cross will soon be erected near the Chechen village of Urus-Kert, at the site where a group of Russian soldiers from the city of Pskov died during the Second Chechen War. The cross will be unveiled during a ceremony on 2 March, on the 17th anniversary of their deaths.

A delegation from Pskov Oblast will attend the ceremony, including governor Andrey Turchak and the relatives of the soldiers.

The memorial cross will be approximately three metres high with the word ‘Victory’ written on it. It will be erected on ‘Height 776’, in the village of Ulus-Kert, in Chechnya’s Shatoy District. The hill was the site of a clash between Russian paratroopers and Chechen militants in February 2000. During the one-day battle, 84 Russian soldiers died, including 13 officers. According to the Russian Military Command, between 400–500 militants died during the battle, although militants who witnessed the battle claim that they lost only 20 men.

Nine years ago, Zhigulevskaya Street in Grozny was renamed after the 84 Pskov paratroopers on the initiative of the local authorities. Plaques with the street name were repeatedly vandalised by unknown perpetrators. After a conversation between representatives of the authorities and local residents, the vandalism stopped.

The memorial cross will be under round-the-clock security by Chechen police.