Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - juni 2008

2 juni 2008


- Vladimir Putin’s interview with Le Monde: PM Vladimir Putin’s interview with Le Monde is high in the news. In the interview, Putin addressed a wide range of issues – from the situation around TNK-BP to NATO enlargement, the situation in Chechnya and the Iranian nuclear programme. Media highlight Putin’s statement that the President would remain the main political figure in Russia. At the same time, he stressed the role of Parliament in the country’s political life would gradually increase. Kommersant interprets the statement in a way that Putin made it clear that “the leader of the ruling party will be the Russian leader”. Putin also said that Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s possible pardon is within the competence of the Russian President. (Interfax, Kommersant, NG, Novye Izvestia, RG, Vedomosti, VN)


- Chechnya President says case opened against ex-Vostok commander : (i) Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov announced on Saturday that criminal cases had been launched against former commander of the Defence Ministry’s Vostok (‘East’) battalion, Sulim Yamadayev, and his brother Badrudin on abduction and murder charges. (ii) Press reports on criticism voiced by the Memorial human rights organisation over a plan of Grozny’s administration to move a monument to victims of the 1944 deportation of the Chechen population during the Stalin era from the city centre. (Gazeta Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant)



4 juni 2008


- ICG report on N. Caucasus: Gazeta reports on a visit to Moscow of Vice-President of the International Crisis Group (ICG), Alain Deletroz, and cites an ICG report on the situation in the Northern Caucasus. The report focuses on the situation in Dagestan and points to the strengthening positions of Islamic extremist movements in the region. ICG experts suggest that an efficient anti-corruption policy and re-integration of youth into the economic systemcould help improve the situation. (Gazeta)


10 juni 2008


- Brawl between ethnic Russians and natives of the Caucasus: The media report on a brawl between ethnic Russians and natives of the Caucasus late on Sunday in Moscow. Three people were reportedly hospitalized. Police were unable to say whether the fight was racially motivated. According to Novye Izvestia, this was a third ethnically-motivated brawl in Moscow in the past week. (MT, Novye Izvestia)


11 juni 2008


- Vostok, Zapad battalions to remain in Chechnya – military: The head of the Armed Forces department for combat training, Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, said on Tuesday that the Defence Ministry had no plans to disband the Vostok (‘East’) and Zapad (‘West’) battalions currently deployed in Chechnya. He pointed out that the battalions are performing “important peacekeeping missions in Abkhazia and South Ossetia” and that both battalions would be kept. (Interfax, Kommersant, VN)


- Terror attacks prevented in Moscow metro, N. Caucasus – FSB chief: At a meeting of the National Antiterrorist Committee yesterday, the director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Alexander Bortnikov, said that terrorist acts planned in the Moscow metro and in the Northern Caucasus (the Caucasian mineral water resorts) had been averted by law enforcement agencies “during the inauguration of the Russian President and the May holiday celebrations”. (Interfax, Kommersant.com)

16 juni 2008


- Militant attack on Chechen village; operation in Dagestan: Media report on a number of attacks and incidents in the Northern Caucasus during holidays in connection with Russia Day on 12 June. Last Friday, a group of militants attacked the village of Benoi-Vedeno in Chechnya, killing at least three people and setting on fire several houses. Two militants were reportedly killed in a counter-terrorist operation was conducted in Dagestan’s Khasavyurt district also on Friday. (Interfax, Kommersant, NG, RG, VN)


17 juni 2008


- Attacks in Ingushetia, Chechnya: (i) Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports on two attacks against law enforcement officers in Ingushetia late on Sunday. One civilian was killed and a police officer wounded in an attack in the Ingush town of Malgobek. In another attack, a policeman was wounded. (ii) According to media reports, three border guards were killed and another five wounded in a militant attack yesterday in Chechnya. (NG, Interfax, RIAN, VN)


19 juni 2008


- Investigators announce the completion of probe into Politkovskaya murder case: Spokesman for the Investigation Committee within the Prosecutor General’s Office, Vladimir Markin, announced on Wednesday that the investigation into the 2006 killing of Novaya Gazeta reporter Anna Politkovskaya had been completed. He said murder charges had been brought against three suspects – Sergey Khadzhikurbanov, and brothers Dzhabrail and Ibragim Makhmudov. The charges against Pavel Ryaguzov related to other crimes. The Investigation Committee did not cite a motive for the killing, while the suspected shooter, Chechnya-born Rustam Makhmudov, remains at large. The press reports that investigators have dropped charges against several other suspects, including the former head of Chechnya’s Achkhoi-Martan district, Shamil Burayev (an interview with him is published in Novye Izvestia). A lawyer for one of the suspects said the defendants were planning to ask for a jury trial. Novaya Gazeta editor, Dmitry Muratov, however, called it too early to consider the murder solved. (Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, RG, Vedomosti, VN)


23 juni 2008


- Mass grave found in Grozny: Chechen Human Rights Ombudsman Nurdi Nukhazhiyev has suggested that a mass grave which was found last week in Grozny is the burial of the victims of the first war campaign in Chechnya. According to Nukhazhiyev, more than 800 people are buried in the grave. Kommersant reports that investigators have started checking the Chechen Ombudsman’s statement. (Kommersant)


24 juni 2008


- Government to invest $4.7 billion to rebuild Chechnya: (i) At a session of the Government’s Presidium yesterday, PM Vladimir Putin backed a RUR 120.6 billion ($4.7 billion) programme to rebuild Chechnya over the next four years. The programme of the socio-economic development of Chechnya in 2008-2011 aims to create jobs in the region and double its industrial output. Putin said the programme aims to finance the construction of roads, colleges and institutes, hospitals and broadcasting facilities. (ii) A policeman was killed and an FSB officer was wounded in a militant attack on Sunday in Chechnya. (MT, NG, RG, RIAN, VN, Interfax, ITAR-TASS)


25 juni 2008

- Defence Ministry plans to cut personnel of Vostok, Zapad battalions: According to media reports, the Defence Ministry plans to cut by 30% the personnel of the Vostok (‘East’) and Zapad (‘West’) battalions stationed in Chechnya. (Kommersant)



27 juni 2008


- Kremlin officials visit Chechnya: Dailies report on an unannounced visit yesterday to Chechnya by the head of the Presidential Administration Sergey Naryshkin and his first deputy, Vladislav Surkov, to discuss local governance and Chechnya’s socio-economic development. Naryshkin emphasized that Chechnya was making progress but there remained much to do. He also stressed that the federal Government had earmarked RUR 120 billion for Chechnya’s development, money that should be “used efficiently”. (Kommersant, MT, RG, VN)



- Strasbourg Courtrules against Russia in disappearances case: The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Russian Government should pay more than 100,000 euro in compensation to the families of two Chechens who disappeared in Chechnya in 2001. The Court said inter alia that the Russian authorities “had failed to conduct an effective investigation into the circumstances in which the applicants’ relatives had disappeared”. (Gazeta, RIAN, VN)



30 juni 2008


- Early elections to Chechen Parliament to be held in October: Early elections to a new unicameral Chechen Parliament will be held in October 2008. The announcement in this regard was made following the dissolution of the bicameral Chechen Parliament. (Kommersant, Trud)

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