Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië – juni 2009

1 juni 2009


Security officer, militant killed in Dagestan operation: (i) A militant was killed in an operation on Sunday in Makhachkala. The media reports that one security officer died of wounds he sustained in the operation. (ii) A serviceman from the Russian Interior Troops was killed in a land mine blast on Saturday in Chechnya. (iii) Three people were killed in a suspected car bomb blast yesterday in Ingushetia. (Interfax, ITAR-TASS, MT, VN, Ekho Moskvy)


5 juni 2009


Situation in Chechnya under control – FSB: Meeting President Medvedev yesterday, the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov said the situation in Chechnya is “under control” after the recent end of counterterrorist operations in Chechnya. At the same time, Bortnikov pointed to an increase in terrorist activities in Dagestan. Kommersant reports on an announcement made on Thursday by the Chechen authorities on the completion of the first stage of an operation against militants, which has been conducted jointly with Ingush police since 16 May. According to law enforcement officers, 22 militants have been killed, and leader of Chechen separatists Doku Umarov has been wounded in the operation. (ii) Gazeta refers to the head of the Russian bureau of Interpol, Timur Lakhonin, who said that the Russian side had not received information from the United Arab Emirates on persons suspected of an attempt of the life of the former commander of the Defence Ministry’s Vostok battalion Sulim Yamadayev in March in Dubai. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant)


8 juni 2009


Dagestan’s Interior Minister assassinated in Makhachkala: (i) Dagestani Interior Minister Lt. Gen. Adilgerei Magomedtagirov was assassinated by a sniper at a wedding party on Friday in Makhachkala. Magomedtagirov has been Interior Minister of Dagestan since 1998. President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered Prosecutor General Yury Chaika and Russia’s Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev to control the investigation. The media cites police firearms experts who said that Magomedtagirov had been shot with a rifle used by Russian special forces, including the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Defence Ministry and the Interior Ministry. Some analysts express the view that Magomedtagirov’s killing might be linked to the struggle for power in Dagestan and the upcoming Presidential election in Dagestan in 2010. (ii) The media reports on the killing on Saturday in Argun of Musost Khutiyev, an aide to Chechnya’s First Deputy PM Khalid Vaikhanov. (iii) The MoscowTimes cites a publication in Austria’s Kurier which did not exclude that Chechen refugee Umar Israilov may have been killed in a dispute over $450,000. Israilov was gunned down in Vienna in January. (All media)


9 juni 2009


Chechen separatist leader Doku Umarov might have been killed in operation; more violence in Dagestan: (i) According to unnamed sources in law enforcement agencies, Chechen separatist leader Doku Umarov has been killed in an operation on the Ingush-Chechen administrative border. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said there is evidence that Doku Umarov was severely wounded, but added that it was too early to say whether he was dead. Kommersant cites “premier of Ichkeria/Chechnya” Akhmed Zakayev, who is residing in the UK, as suggesting that Supyan Abdullayev might succeed Umarov. In Zakayev’s view, the killing of Doku Umarov is unlikely to change the situation in the Caucasus. (ii) Two policemen were killed and another one was wounded in an attack by militants on Monday in Makhachkala, despite the tightening of security measures in Dagestan after the assassination of Dagestani Interior Minister Adilgerei Magomedtagirov. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, MT, RG)


10 juni 2009


Medvedev visits Dagestan; more attacks on officials in Ingushetia: President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday visited Dagestan, which has seen a rise in violence recently. Medvedev told a Russian Security Council meeting in Makhachkala that 308 terrorism-related crimes have been committed in the Northern Caucasus since the beginning of 2009, and stressed that the killing of Dagestani Interior Minister Adilgerei Magomedtagirov on 5 June is a “gauntlet thrown down to authority, to the state”. He pointed to corruption, unemployment and poverty as the problems in the Northern Caucasus, and blamed “foreign freaks” for violence in the region. On the same day when Medvedev visited Makhachkala, a group of militants attempted to attack the local police department in Dagestan’s Karabudakhkent district. The attack was rebuffed, no casualties among police are reported. Also yesterday, a riot police force (OMON) officer and a traffic police officer were killed in separate incidents in Dagestan. (ii) Ingush Supreme Court Deputy Chairperson Aza Gazgereyeva died of wounds she sustained in an attack on a car carrying her and three other people on Wednesday morning in Nazran. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, RG, VN)


Ex-colonel Budanov questioned in new case: (i) Former army colonel Yury Budanov, who had been convicted in the murder of a Chechen girl, has been questioned in connection with the kidnapping of 18 Chechen residents and the subsequent killing of three of them. 18 Chechen residents were illegally detained in 2000. (ii) In an interview with Novye Izvestia, Federation Council senator Aslambek Aslakhanov called Chechens “the most vulnerable” group of Russian citizens. (Gazeta, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, VN)


11 juni 2009


Northern Caucasus: senior Ingush judge killed in Nazran: (i) Ingush Supreme Court Deputy Chairwoman Aza Gazgireyeva was shot and killed yesterday in Nazran. Investigators view the judge’s professional responsibilities as the main theory behind the murder. Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov did not exclude that Gazgireyeva’s killing might be linked to the investigation into the 2004 militant attack on Ingush police forces. The press recalls that Gazgireyeva was appointed to her position after her predecessor, Ingush Supreme Court Deputy Chairman Khasan Yandiyev, was killed last year. (ii) Interfax quotes Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov as having expressed confidence that the “centre of managing” the conflicts and tensions in the Northern Caucasusis in the US. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, RG, VN)


Ex-colonel Budanov cleared of charges: Investigators said there is no evidence to confirm that former army colonel Yury Budanov, who had been convicted in the murder of a Chechen girl, was involved in the disappearance of 18 Chechen residents in 2000. Budanov was questioned twice as a suspect in the disappearance case. (Gazeta, RIAN, VN)


15 juni 2009


Former Ingush Deputy PM killed in Nazran; more attacks on police in Dagestan, Chechnya: (i) Former Ingush Deputy PM Bashir Aushev was killed on Saturday in Nazran. The media recalls that in the past, Bashir Aushev served as Ingushetia’s Interior Minister and as the head of Ingushetia’s Security Council. Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov did not exclude that the militants’ revenge could be one of the theories behind the crime. Bashir Aushev’s murder is the third high-profile killing in the Northern Caucasus this month: on 5 June, Dagestan’s Interior Minister Adilgerei Magomedtagirov was assassinated in Makhachkala, and Ingush Supreme Court Deputy Chairwoman Aza Gazgireyeva was killed on 10 June in Nazran. (ii) Dagestani police said that one of the militants killed in an operation on Thursday in Makhachkala was identified as so-called ‘Amir of Makhachkala Jamaat’, Omar Ramazanov, who had been involved in attacks on law enforcement officers in Dagestan, including last week’s killing of a riot police (OMON) officer. (iii) Two policemen were killed and four others were injured in separate clashes with militants on Saturday in Chechnya. Last Thursday, four police officers from Kemerovo were wounded in a shootout with militants on the Chechen-Ingush administrative border. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, RG)


Russia to hold ‘Caucasus-2009’ military exercise: In a front-page article, RBK daily reports on upcoming military exercises, called the Caucasus-2009, which will be held between 29 June and 6 July in the Northern Caucasus. The exercises will involve units of the North Caucasus Military District and the contingents of Russia’s military bases in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The daily refers to Russia’s military officials who said that Georgiawas boosting its military presence near the administrative border with South Ossetia. (RBK daily)


17 juni 2009


Northern Caucasus: (i) One serviceman of the Interior Troops was killed and another wounded in a clash with militants on Monday evening in Ingushetia. Two militants were also killed. (ii) FSB chief Bortnikov told a session of the National Antiterrorist Committee (NAK) yesterday in Moscow that militants in the Northern Caucasus still possess “quite a significant amount of weapons”. He pointed to “an outbreak of terrorist manifestations”, including attacks on law enforcement officers, in Dagestan, Ingushetia and Chechnya in recent months. (iii) Kommersant reports on a protest action staged on 12 June by residents of the Elbrus district of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. Participants of the action protested over the regional authorities’ “discriminatory policy towards representatives of the Balkarpeople”. (Interfax, Kommersant)


19 juni 2009


Russian students face deportation from Egypt: The press reports that one of the Russian students at Egypt’s Al-AzkharUniversity, who were detained in May by Egyptian authorities in document checks and face expulsion to Russia, is Maskhud Abdullayev, the son of Chechen separatist leader Supyan Abdullayev. Amnesty International expressed concern that Maskhud Abdullayev would be tortured if sent back to Russia. (Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia)


22 juni 2009


Chechen separatist leader’s son disappears?: According to media reports, Maskhud Abdullayev, the son of a Chechen separatist leader who was deported by Egypt has disappeared after arriving in Moscow. Human rights groups voiced concern over the disappearance. (Gazeta, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia)


23 juni 2009


Ingush President seriously injured in assassination attempt: Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov was seriously injured in an assassination attempt on Monday in Nazran. Prosecutor General Yury Chaika said the attack was most likely connected to illegal armed groups, but also pointed to Yevkurov’s efforts in the fight against corruption. Commentators express confidence that the attempt on the Ingush President’s life aimed to destabilize the situation in Ingushetia. President Dmitry Medvedev qualified the attempt as a terrorist attack which is linked to Yevkurov’s efforts to bring order and build peace in Ingushetia. Meeting Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, Medvedev ordered him to step up security in the region and assured that the response to the assassination attempt on the Ingush President would be “direct and tough”. Ramzan Kadyrov said afterward that he had promised the Kremlin that he would track down all terrorists in the Northern Caucasus. A counter-terrorist operation was launched in Ingushetia’s Nazran district in response to the Ingush leader’s assassination attempt. Vedomosti does not exclude that counterterrorist operations might be launched in all districts of Ingushetia, while Kommersant writes in a comment that the Chechen President has actually been ordered to fight against militants in neighbouring Ingushetia. (All media)


24 juni 2009


No detainees over Ingush leader assassination attempt: The Investigations Committee within the Prosecutor General’s Office yesterday dismissed reports alleging that several people have been detained on suspicion of involvement in the 22 June assassination attempt on Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov. Earlier on Tuesday, the press reported that four people have been detained in Ingushetia on suspicion of involvement in the attack, and that investigators have information about a female suicide bomber. President Medvedev visited Yevkurov late on Monday at a Moscow hospital and expressed hope for a full recovery, although doctors said Yevkurov remained in grave condition. In an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, given two days before the assassination attempt, Yevkurov called mistrust in the authorities and corruption as the main reasons behind the tense situation in Ingushetia. Some analysts view the attempt on the Ingush leader’s life as evidence of lack of federal control in the Northern Caucasus. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, RG, VN)


25 juni 2009


Chechen President Kadyrov and Ingushetia:(I) Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov vowed revenge Wednesday for the assassination attempt against President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, who was badly injured in a car bombing this week. Kadyrov made a surprise trip to Ingushetia's capital, Magas, where he met Ingushetia's acting leader Prime Minister Rashid Gaisanov. President Dmitry Medvedev empowered Kadyrov this week to hunt for insurgents on Ingush territory. (II) According to a statement made by FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) knew that an attempt on the life of the Ingush president was possible. (III) Former Ingush President Ruslan Aushev, meanwhile, offered to return to office to replace Yevkurov. Aushev said that he is ready to return and head the republic while Yevkurov is being treated and until he gets well. (IV) Unification of Chechnya and Ingushetia is not likely. The leaderships of Chechnya and Ingushetia have not proposed unifying these two republics into a single entity within the Russian Federation, said Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. According to Kadyrov nobody in Chechnya and Ingushetia has brought up and is not planning to bring up the issue of unification of the two republics. (Intefax)

26 juni 2009


Ingushetia: The press reports on controversy over plans by the Ingush opposition to hold a congress of the Ingush people to call for the return to power of Ingushetia’s former President Ruslan Aushev. Observers also comment on a statement by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov who said in the Ingush capital Magas on 24 June that he will head the investigation into the attempted assassination of Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov “in line with the law of the mountains” [local traditions]. On a visit to Namibia yesterday, President Medvedev again described the attempt on the Ingush President’s as “the continuation of terror operations carried out by surviving criminal armed groups, partially sponsored from abroad”. In the meantime, police said a suspect in the assassination attempt against Yevkurov has been killed in a shootout in Nazran. The suspect, Abdul-Malik Aliyev, had been linked to the recent killing of Ingush Supreme Court Deputy Chairperson Aza Gazgireyeva. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, MT, NG)


Russia to begin ‘Caucasus-2009’ military exercises: (i) On 29 June, the ‘Caucasus-2009’ military exercises start in south Russia, as well as Armenia, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Some experts, cited by Nezavisimaya Gazeta, express the view that the exercises could become a “prologue of a new war with Georgia”. (ii) Kommersant comments on a possibility to draft a new constitution of South Ossetia after the completion of the formation of South Ossetia’s new parliament. (iii) The MoscowTimes reports that Russia’s chief sanitary inspector, Gennady Onishchenko, yesterday defended his decision to accept citizenship of South Ossetia, although he admitted that it was against Russian law for Government officials to have double citizenship. (Kommersant, MT, NG)


29 juni 2009


Military exercises to begin in south Russia: Large-scale military exercises, called the ‘Caucasus-2009’, will be held on 29 June – 6 July in south Russia. A high-ranking representative of Russia’s General Staff told Interfax that the exercises aim to promote stability in south Russia and prevent Georgia’s possible “military adventures” against Abkhazia and South Ossetia. (Interfax, VN)


Terrorist group claims responsibility for Ingush leader attack: (i) A terrorist group, called the ‘Riyadus Salikhin Martyrs’ Brigade’, has reportedly claimed responsibility for the 22 June attempted assassination of Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov because of his support for Kremlin policies and because of his role in the second war in Chechnya. Investigators declined to comment on the reports. Meanwhile, meeting members of the Russian Security Council on Saturday, President Medvedev called on law enforcement and security agencies to crack down on those behind the assassination attempt against Yevkurov. (ii) The media reports on tensions between the Ingush authorities and the Ingush opposition. The Ingush prosecutor’s office has warned one of the leaders of the Ingush opposition, Magomed Khazbiyev, over his plans to hold a congress of the Ingush people. (iv) Kommersant reports on a clash with militants late on Saturday in Dagestan. Four militants and a contract soldier were killed in the clash. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, MT, NG, Novye Izvestia, RIAN, VN)


30 juni 2009


Russia begins large-scale military drills: On Monday, Russia began its largest since the beginning of this year military exercises, called the ‘Caucasus-2009’. Up to 8,500 servicemen, along with nearly 200 tanks, 450 armoured vehicles, 250 pieces of artillery and units from the Air Force, the Black Sea Fleet, the Interior Troops, the Federal Security Service, as well as Russian troops stationed in Abkhazia and South Ossetia will take part in the exercises, led by the Chief of Russian General Staff Nikolai Makarov. The exercises are due to end on 6 July when President Barack Obama arrives in Moscow. Commentators view the exercises as Moscow’s response to NATO-led military exercises in Georgiain May. Izvestia mentions that in September, up to 13,000 Russian and Belarusian servicemen are expected to take part in Russian-Belarus military drills, called the ‘West-2009’. (Gazeta, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, RG, Trud, Vedomosti)

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