Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - juli 2016
1 juli 2016

Caucasian trace behind Istanbul airport attack?: Native of Chechnya Akhmed Chatayev and at least one more native of the North Caucasus may have been involved in the attack at Istanbul's Ataturk airport that killed at least 43 people. According to the Russian special services, Chatayev fought on the side of militants during the Chechen wars. He fled Russia and received refugee status in Austria. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, MK, RG; Rossiya 1)

4 juli 2016

South Ossetia leader's interview: In an interview with Izvestia, South Ossetia's de facto president Leonid Tibilov addresses his recent visit to Moscow, during which he met with the head of the Federal security Service (FSB) Bortnikov, Deputy PM Khloponin and Minister for North Caucasus Affairs Kuznetsov. Tibilov confirms that South Ossetia has postponed until 2017 a referendum on whether the region should apply for accession to the Russian Federation. (Izvestia)

8 juli 2016

Nine militants killed in Dagestan: According to law enforcement agencies, nine militants, including a 'Makhachkala gang' leader, have been in an operation in Dagestan. One FSB officer was killed and three others were wounded. (Gazeta.ru, RG)

12 juli 2016

Militant killed in Dagestan operation: The National Antiterrorist Committee said on Monday that a militant had been killed in an operation in Dagestan. In an interview with RBK daily, Dagestan head Ramazan Abdulatipov addresses the situation in Dagestan and the fight against terrorism. (Kommersant, RBK)

14 juli 2016

Two militants killed in Dagestan: The National Antiterrorist Committee said on Thursday that two militants had been killed in an operation in Dagestan. (Gazeta.ru)

15 juli 2016

Number of Russian asylum seekers in Germany grows: Kommersant reports, with reference to data of the German Interior Ministry and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), that the number of Russian citizens seeking asylum in Germany has grown. 83.5% of them are Chechens. Chechnya's human rights ombudsman Nukhazhiev, cited by Kommersant, argues that there are no political motives behind Chechens' decision to leave Russia. (Kommersant)

25 juli 2016

Elections: The first deputy head of the Presidential Administration Volodin has outlined five key principles of the Duma election campaign, among them decriminalization of elections and unacceptability of 'political corruption' and equal conditions for political competition. (ii) Vedomosti reports that the Moscow city elections commission has received complaints from Moscow residents in connection with alleged violations by the Communist Party of the electoral legislation and the law on personal data. (iii) Gazeta.ru reports that gubernatorial elections will be held in September in seven Russian regions: the Tver, Ulyanovsk and Tula regions, the Republic of Komi, Republic of Tyva, Chechnya and the Zabaikalsky territory. Some experts do not rule out a serious competition between acting governor of the Tver region Igor Rudenya and Duma deputy from the Communist Party Vadim Solovyov in the gubernatorial elections in the Tver region. Local lawmaker from the Communist Party Alexei Kurinny may become the main rival to acting governor of the Ulyanovsk region Sergey Morozov in the governor elections in the Ulyanovsk region. (Gazeta.ru, Izvestia, RG, Vedomosti)

26 juli 2016

Court starts preliminary hearing of Nemtsov murder case: The Moscow District Military Court on Monday started preliminary hearings of a case against five defendants accused of involvement in the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was killed in February 2015 in central Moscow. RBK daily reports that the defendants denied their guilt and submitted a petition asking for a jury trial. According to investigators, Ruslan Mukhutdinov, a driver for the deputy commander of Chechnya's 'Sever' battalion Ruslan Geremeyev, had ordered Nemtsov's killing. Mukhutdinov remains at large. (MK, RBK, RG; Rossiya 1)

28 juli 2016

Russia beefs up combat capabilities in Southern Military District: Speaking at a meeting of the Russian Defense Ministry collegium on Wednesday, Defense Minister Shoigu said that "the military-political situation on the southwestern flank has aggravated mainly due to NATO's military buildup in Eastern Europe, the situation in Ukraine and the activity of international terrorist groups, including in the North Caucasus." Shoigu announced that since 2013, four divisions, nine brigades and 22 regiments had been formed in Russia's Southern Military District. He pointed to an increased efficiency of the air-defense system in the southwestern strategic direction. Shoigu also said that "a self-sufficient group of troops has been deployed in Crimea." Press cites US State Department spokesman Kirby, who has expressed concern over Russia's military buildup in Crimea and stressed that "Crimea will always remain part of Ukraine." (ii) According to Russia's report to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), Russia's military spending in 2015 totalled 2.9 trillion roubles, which is 48% more than in 2014. RBK daily speaks of an increase in expenditures on the Russian Aerospace Forces. (Gazeta.ru, RBK, Vedomosti)

29 juli 2016

Large-scale reshuffle of officials in Russia: Press reports widely on a massive reshuffle of Russian regional officials, as well as the dismissal of the Federal Customs Service head and the Russian Ambassador to Ukraine. President Putin has replaced the governors of the Kaliningrad region and Sevastopol and fired the governors of the Yaroslavl and Kirov regions. The reshuffles also affected the Siberian, Northwestern, North Caucasus and Crimean Federal Districts. In line with Putin's decree, the Crimean Federal District has been incorporated into Russia's Sothern Federal District. The media highlights that most of the appointees, including three of the four new heads of regions, had a background in law enforcement and security agencies. E.g. the head of the FSB's Kaliningrad region department Zinichev has been appointed acting Kaliningrad governor, Russia's Deputy Interior Minister Mironov acting Yaroslavl governor and head of Rosreestr (Federal Service for State Registration) and former KGB officer Vasilyev acting Kirov governor. The former Presidential envoy to the Northwestern Federal District Bulavin, who has been appointed new head of the Federal Customs Service, is a former KGB-FSB official. The appointment of a former official at the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry Ovsyannikov as acting Sevastopol governor could be considered an exception. The reshuffle in Sevastopol was triggered by a conflict between former governor Menyailo and former speaker of the Sevastopol legislature Chaly. While Putin's spokesman Peskov called the reshuffles part of "a routine rotation," commentators link the reshuffles to the upcoming elections. Some experts view the move as the first stage of an overhaul of the country's system of government by 2018 (RBK daily). Vedomosti reports, citing an unnamed governmental official, that in conditions in a standoff between elites, Putin confirmed that he trusts the FSB. The newspaper does not rule out that a new wave of reshuffles may take place in autumn. (All media; see also editorial lines)

 

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