Popular blogger Vitaly Drobyshev in his publication recalled about a terrible event a quarter century ago: on January 9, 1996, a group of 350 Chechen militants led by Salman Raduyev and Khunkar Israpilov attacked an airfield and a military town of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation on the territory of Dagestan, and the next day - on January 10, having seized a hundred hostages in the city hospital of Kizlyar, they sat down in the border village of Pervomaysk, hoping to leave for Chechnya from there. The siege of the village, which lasted more than a week, was unsuccessful.
The operation was commanded by Khunkar Israpilov, and the negotiator with the Russian side was the then little-known Salman Raduyev, who in Soviet times was even a member of the CPSU.
The militants wanted to destroy the helicopter base of the Russian troops in Kizlyar, and then retreat back to Chechnya, hiding behind hostages. Judging by the operational data, this attack was known in advance, so that the Chechens living in Kizlyar were able to leave the city before the attack, but despite this, the Russian military turned out to be unprepared for this, so that the Chechens did not experience any difficulties in passing the Russian checkpoints.
True, they failed to fulfill their plan, the militants were able to destroy only two helicopters and were knocked out of the base. Retreating, on January 10, they seized the hospital, taking over a hundred people hostage - the medical staff of the clinic and the patients who were there, after which they drove into the building over 3,000 more people from nearby residential buildings. Having placed the hostages on the upper floors, the terrorists mined the second floor, while they themselves barricaded themselves on the first, preparing to hold the line. The militants also demanded that the authorities provide them and the hostages with buses, on which they were able to leave the encirclement on the same day.
Near the village of Pervomayskoye, bordering Chechnya, federal troops attempted to detain the militants in order to prevent them from taking the hostages away, but failed. Moreover, the Chechens also captured the soldiers of the Novosibirsk OMON detachment on duty at the checkpoint. The militants dug in for several days in Pervomayskoye, and repulsing the assault on Russian troops, more than half of them broke through to Chechnya along with some of the hostages.
Just a few days later, the State Duma amnestied the participants in the raid on Kizlyar with a special act in order to exchange the militants who were in Russian captivity as a result of the assault on Pervomaiskiy for the remaining hostages. The then Prosecutor General of Russia Skuratov confirmed that the OMON group was indeed taken prisoner, and "the rulers decided to exchange the Chechen bandits arrested in Pervomaisk," but since such actions were formally illegal, "a solution was found: the State Duma decided on amnesty"...
According to various sources, from 70 to 80 Russian soldiers and 13 hostages were killed in the battle near Pervomayskoye. More than a hundred were injured. There is no exact data on the losses of militants.
After this event, Salman Raduyev received all-Russian fame, and within two years several assassination attempts were made on him with serious consequences, so that he was forced to make several plastic surgeries. In 2000, he was detained in Chechnya and sentenced to life imprisonment. But a year later, he unexpectedly died of vasculitis. Israpilov, the commander of the militants, died in February 2000 during the Second Chechen War.