Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - januari 2006

11 januari 2006

- Court starts Klebnikov murder hearings: The Moscow City Court yesterday opened jury hearings into the murder of Paul Klebnikov, the editor-in-chief of Russia’s Forbes who was killed in Moscow in 2004. According to investigators, the murder was committed by a criminal group of ethnic Chechens on the order of Khozh-Akhmed Nukhayev, one of the leaders of the separatist Ichkerian/Chechen government who wanted revenge for a critical book written by Klebnikov, Conversation with a Barbarian. (Interfax, RIAN, Kommersant, RG, NG, Vremya novostei, MT)

13 januari 2006

- Federal troops in Chechnya not to be reduced: Dailies report about the statements made yesterday by Commander of the interior troops Nikolai Rogozhkin, who stressed that the federal military contingent in Chechnya would be reinforced by two battalions staffed with local residents. (Gazeta, NG)

16 januari 2006

- Ramzan Kadyrov calls for polygamy in Chechnya: Several dailies cite that Chechnya’s acting PM Ramzan Kadyrov has spoken in favour of official authorization of polygamy in the republic. He stressed that due to a war there are “more women than men” in Chechnya. (Gazeta, Kommersant, Novye Izvestia, RG, Vremya novostei, Vedomosti)

17 januari 2006

- Merkel, Putin meet in Moscow: Yesterday’s working visit of Chancellor Merkel to Moscow and her meeting with President Putin are the focus of media reports. Observers point to assertions that there will be a shift in Russian-German relations as well as Putin’s close friendship with Merkel’s predecessor and French President Chirac may now change. Meeting the German Chancellor, Putin stressed, however, that the change of German leaders has not altered bilateral relations. Dailies note that Merkel raised such sensitive for Russia subjects as Chechnya, which have not been asked by Schroeder. At a post-talks conference, Merkel spoke in favour of the construction of a North European Pipeline which she called “an investment in EU energy security”. Addressing the issue of the recent gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine, Putin stated that gas transit to Europe is not linked to gas supplies to Ukraine. (All media)

18 januari 2006

- Journalist being tried over Chechen separatists’ statements: The media report about a trial of the head of the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society in Nizhny Novogorod and chief editor of the Pravo-zaschita newspaper, Stanislav Dmitriyevsky, who is accused of inciting ethnic hatred in connection with the publication by his newspaper of statements by Chechen separatist leaders Aslan Maskhadov and Akhmed Zakayev. (Gazeta, MT)

19 januari 2006

- No more than 250 militants active in Chechnya – acting PM: Chechnya’s acting PM Ramzan Kadyrov said there are currently between 150 and 250 militants active in the republic. In his view, Chechnya is the “quietest” region in the North Caucasus. (Novye Izvestia, RIAN)

- In an article entitled “EU Criticizes Russia” (AP report), The Moscow Times reports briefly about a statement by Austrian state secretary for European affairs, Hans Winkler, who expressed the EU’s concern over the situation in Chechnya. The daily also reports about a plan voiced by Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner to open an office in the Northern Caucasus.

20 januari 2006

- European Parliament discusses Chechnya: Nezavismaya gazeta reports about the discussion in the European Parliament on Wednesday of the situation in Chechnya and provides the statements by Austrian State Secretary Hans Winkler and Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner. The daily also cites Polish member of the EP Michal Kaminski, who insisted on the occupation of Chechnya. (NG)

- Wahhabi leader killed in Chechnya: The Chechen Interior Ministry yesterday reported the killing in a special operation of a militant alleged to be one of the ideologists of Wahhabism. (Kommersant, Vremya novostei)

23 januari 2006

- PACE Chechnya RT to be held in Grozny – Duma member: (i) At a press conference on Friday in Moscow, Chairman of the State Duma’s International Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachyov, said a second roundtable on Chechnya under the aegis of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will be held in the Chechen capital Grozny. No date for the roundtable has been set yet. (ii) Kosachyov also announced that Russia was planning to reduce the dues it pays to the Council of Europe. (iii) Vremya novostei publishes an interview with Andreas Gross, the Council of Europe’s rapporteur on Chechnya. (Interfax, Vremya novostei, MT)

- Rossiyskaya gazeta (Saturday’s issue) carries an article by Fyodor Lukianov, which reports about the recent discussion in the European Parliament of the situation in Chechnya and the Union’s budget for 2007-2013.

25 januari 2006

- Chechen parliament sets up commission for missing people: The Chechen Parliament has set up a working commission to oversee searches for people listed as missing in the republic. According to Chechen People’s Assembly speaker Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov, who will head the commission, about 3,000 people went missing in Chechnya during the two Chechen conflicts. Gazeta notes that the decision about the commission was taken a day before a planned discussion in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe of the situation in Chechnya. (Gazeta, Novye Izvestia)

26 januari 2006

- PACE says Russian NGO law in conflict with European standards: The media report that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has officially recognized that the law on NGOs recently passed in Russia doesn't meet European standards. This amendment was made in the resolution on Chechnya which calls for the resumption of human rights monitoring in Chechnya by the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers. Head of Russian delegation to PACE Konstantin Kosachyov was shocked by the decision, which he said "discredits the assembly". The Parliamentary Assembly also adopted a resolution condemning the crimes of communist totalitarian regimes. (RIAN, Interfax, MT, Izvestia, Kommersant, Vremya Novostei, NG, Gazeta)

31 januari 2006

- Chechnya to change leadership?: In a front-page article, Kommersant asserts that Chechen PM Sergei Abramov will not return to Chechnya after treatment in Moscow over a car accident in November and that he will likely be replaced by acting Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov. According to the daily, in autumn Kadyrov might take over the post of Chechen president. (Kommersant)

- Militants killed in Dagestan: According to media reports, five militants have been killed in two special operations in the Dagestani town of Khasavyurt. Police claim that one of the militants, named Eskiyev, was behind a number of terrorist attacks in Chechnya. (Interfax, NG)

- Unemployment down: The Federal State Statistics Service (Rosstat) yesterday announced that the unemployment rate in Russia fell from 7.8% of the economically active population in November 2005 to 7.7% in December. Out of 1.83 million officially registered jobless people, 332,700 are registered in Chechnya. (Novye Izvestia, RIAN)

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