Continuing with the serial, images of the First Chechen War extracted with comments and thanks again to the web site EnglishRussia in all cases.
The Chechen separatists greatly influenced by the Wahhabi form of Islam as espoused by the Saudi, highly motivated and determined fighters, willing able to stand their ground in the face of overwhelming force, engage in no-holds-barred no-quarter type of combat!!
Entire battalions of Russian troops disappearing into Grozny and never seen again, the tactics of the Chechen four-man basic fighting unit most suited for city fighting. "The moral is to the physical as three is to one!!" - - Napoleon.
This Chechen in the center is carrying what sort of machine gun? I had originally thought a version of the PK [it might be a RP-46?] but no PK-style muzzle flash suppressor and no front sight? That appears to be a captured BTR-80 Russian armored car on the left, more Chechens wearing standard winter white uniform and web gear. That black stocking cap as worn seems to be ubiquitous? Intentional or otherwise can be considered to be a type of uniform entitling the Chechen to Geneva Conventions protection as soldiers?
That Chechen in the center definitely carrying a PKM machine gun. The basic Chechen four man combat team consisting of a machine gunner, sniper, and two riflemen/ammo bearers! Chechen fighters either able to break into armories and steal weaponry or capture on the battlefield!
The motley crew but well armed in the ancient and venerable tradition of the Chechen insurgent/guerrilla/partisan fighter. Keep in mind that the preponderance of Chechen men had at least some sort of military training, a conscript in the Soviet army prior to 1994. Dudayev the separatist leader himself a career military man, a Major General in the Soviet Air Force.
This particular photo is most interesting. Those Chechens [beards] are wearing standard web gear and helmets obviously looted. That man dressed in winter white camo is carrying a Soviet era PTRD .58 caliber [14.5 mm] anti-tank rifle that was obsolete even during the early days of World War Two! That PTRD firing an armor piercing round that perhaps could penetrate certain points of the BMP IFV?
The face of battle. This Chechen appears to be wielding an AK-74. Fires that lightweight bullet once thought be inferior to the conventional AK brand. That AK 7.62 X 39 round all the experts pronounced as superior better over longer range with more stopping power. The Soviets finally realizing and agreeing that a troop able to carry twice the amount of ammo for the same weight is an advantage on the modern battlefield? Whoever took this photo had some sort of artistic flair? Wanted to show depth and perspective and has done so. That building in the far rear appears in many images of the fighting as it raged in Grozny a structure the function and significance of which I am not sure.
Once more the basic Chechen fighting unit minus one man. Those two men on the right are wearing some sort of soft body armor as taken from dead Russians? I am not sure. That man on the right wearing the vest is equipped with spare RPG rounds it would seem.
The Chechen quite willing and able to die for his cause holding his own no matter what the odds and also having the wherewithal to take a lot of Russians with him. The Chechen NOT only possessing a religious inspiration but an intense personal animus toward the Russian one and all that goes back a long way.
To be continued!