“The statements that Chechen mercenaries fought for the Karabakh Armenians are absolutely untrue. Unlike Azerbaijan, no mercenaries of any nationality have ever fought on the NKR side,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic said in comments to news.am.
In his blog livejournal, President of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, answering the question of the eMedia.am, stated earlier that Chechen mercenaries had fought in Nagorno Karabakh for both sides.
“On the contrary, just the Azerbaijani authorities, who unleashed a full-scale war against Artsakh, extensively used mercenaries, trying to break the morale of the Karabakh Armenians. Numerous facts testify that in 1992-1993, about 3.000 Afghan mojahedins, as well as Chechen detachments headed by Shamil Basayev fought against the Karabakh Army. In early July 1992, the Chechen mercenaries in Nagorno Karabakh amounted to about 300,” the Ministry said.
In July 1993, Chechen-Press Agency reported about Chechens՛ participation in the military activities in Nagorno Karabakh, which was confirmed by the first losses among them. After suffering heavy losses, the Chechen troops left the Karabakh war.
In 2000, Basayev gave an interview to ANS Azerbaijani TV Company, admitting his involvement in the Karabakh war: “We came to fight in Karabakh not for trophies, but for the idea of jihad“. However, Basayev told, “when we arrived at the scene and saw the situation, we realized that there was no sign of jihad”.
The Financial Times wrote in 2002 that according to its data, field commander Khattab also fought in Nagorno Karabakh.