Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - juni 2010

1 juni 2010

PACE draft resolution critical of rights situation in Northern Caucasus:(i) Gazeta.ru cites a draft resolution adopted by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), which harshly criticised the situation with the human rights protection in the Northern Caucasus, particularly Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan. The draft says that in Chechnya, disappearances of opposition activists and human rights defenders "go unpunished." The document expresses concern over "an alarming upsurge of violence since 2009" in Ingushetia and "the outbreak of terrorist acts in Dagestan" that leads to "cruel police responses." (ii) One police officer was killed and two others were injured in separate explosions on Monday in Ingushetia. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov yesterday announced that a militant planning to carry out a terrorist attack in Grozny has been killed in Chechnya. (iii) The death toll from the 26 May blast in Stavropol has grown to 8. (iv) President Medvedev has appointed Zhaudet Akhmetkhanov as Interior Minister of the Republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia. (Gazeta.ru, Interfax, RG, RIAN, VN)

4 juni 2010

Karachayevo-Cherkessia gets new PM: The legislature of the Republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia has confirmed Muradin Kemov as new PM. Kommersant recalls that Presidential envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District Alexander Khloponin demanded in April that an ethnic Cherkess be appointed as new PM of Karachayevo-Cherkessia. (Kommersant)

Sentences handed down in two high-profile cases: (i) A Moscow district court on Thursday sentenced to 8 1/2 years imprisonment Chechen native Khavazhi Yusupov for attempting to murder businessman Isa Yamadayev, the brother of former commander of the Defence Ministry's Vostok battalion Sulim Yamadayev. Isa Yamadayev again voiced his claim that his brother Sulim is alive and is "in hospital in serious condition." (ii) Dagestan's Supreme Court has sentenced Rasil Mamedrizayev to 15 years imprisonment for murdering the leader of the Dagestani branch of the Yabloko liberal party Farid Babayev in November 2007 in Makhachkala. Babayev was running in the December 2007 Duma elections. Earlier, a jury acquitted the second defendant in the case, Seferali Sefimirzoyev. (Kommersant, MT, VN)

7 juni 2010

Five killed in attacks in Northern Caucasus:(i) Two policemen were killed in a blast in a shop on Friday in Ingushetia's Malgobek district. The blast occurred when police arrived to investigate the murder of the shop-assistant. On Friday in Malgobek, a gunman attacked policemen and explosives experts after explosives were found next to a WWII monument. In Dagestan, at least one person was killed after unidentified assailants opened fire on worshippers outside a mosque on Friday in the outskirts of Makhachkala. In an attack also on Friday, the head of Dagestan's Magaramkent administration, Asadi Shikhbabayev, was shot dead. (ii) A large terrorist act was prevented by police at a gas distributing station in Nalchik on Sunday. (Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, RIAN, VN)

Circassians seek to form their own region within Russia: A congress of ethnic Circassians on Saturday adopted a resolution calling to create the Cherkess autonomous region within the Russian Federation. Up to 700 delegates from various North Caucasus regions attended the congress in Cherkess (the capital of the Republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia). Recalling that ethnic Circassians are split and reside in several Russian regions, including Adygeya, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachaeyvo-Cherkessia, Vremya novostei speaks of the so-called Circassian issue in the context of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. (Kommersant, MT, NG, VN)

10 juni 2010

FSB detains notorious militant leader in the Northern Caucasus:The Federal Security Service (FSB) has detained in the Northern Caucasus notorious militant leader Ali Taziyev, nicknamed 'Magas', who has been involved in high-profile terrorist attacks in the region, including a 2009 explosion near the Nazran police department and a 2009 assassination attempt on Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov. According to media reports, Taziyev was arrested in a village in Ingushetia and transferred to Moscow. FSB chief Bortnikov told President Medvedev on Wednesday that Taziyev, "together with Basayev, organised an attack on Nazran in 2004" and was responsible for hundreds of deaths. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov called Taziyev "more brutal" than Chechen terrorist leader Doku Umarov. Both Kadyrov and the Ingush leader praised Taziyev's arrest. Observers view the arrest as a serious achievement of the FSB as 'Magas' possesses important information. An expert, cited by Vedomosti, speaks of Moscow's new approach towards the problem of North Caucasus militants. (Gazeta.ru, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, RG, Vedomosti, Ekho Moskvy)

11 juni 2010

Eight militants killed in Chechnya: (i) At least eight militants have been killed in an operation, called 'Retribution', in Chechnya. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov yesterday said that Arab mercenary Yasir Amarat had been in the area of the operation, but added that his body was not found among the killed militants. (ii) The press continues to comment on the detention by the FSB of one of the militant leaders Ali Taziyev, known as Magas, focusing on his possible cooperation with authorities. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, MT, VN)

Strasbourg Courtrules against Russia over Chechen disappearances: The European Court of Human Rights has ordered Russia to pay €430,000 to two Chechen families whose relatives had disappeared in Chechnya. The Court ruled that Russian authorities violated the right to life, prohibition of inhumane treatment and illegal detention. (Gazeta.ru, Interfax)

15 juni 2010

Medvedev visits Chechnya: During his visit to Chechnya on Monday, President Medvedev laid flowers at the grave of former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, who was killed in a bomb blast on 9 May 2004, and held talks with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Medvedev praised "good results" of the fight against militants in Chechnya, and highlighted the need to focus on the socio-economic development of Chechnya. He recalled that a targeted programme for Chechnya's socio-economic development for 2008-2011 provides for financing of RUR120 billion and did not exclude that certain preferences could be offered to develop enterprises of the real sector of the economy in the republic. Ramzan Kadyrov announced that Jordanian-born mercenary Yasir Amarat has been killed in an operation in Chechnya. (Izvestia, Kommersant)

16 juni 2010

FSB chief says large-scale terrorist attacks foiled in Russia: (i) Federal Security Service (FSB) head Alexander Bortnikov said on Tuesday that law enforcement agencies have foiled a number of large-scale terrorist attacks in Russia in the past two months. He also announced that 240 militants, including 11 militant leaders, have been killed in the Northern Caucasus since the beginning of the year. Bortnikov added that "most" of the organisers of the 29 March Moscow metro bombings and a blast at the Derbent railway station have been established and eliminated. (ii) In an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Chechen Human Rights Commissioner Nurdi Nukhazhiyev said that the database contains the names of up to 5,000 Chechen residents who have been abducted or went missing in Chechnya. (MT, RG, RIAN)

21 juni 2010

PACE report on Northern Caucasus: (i) Novaya Gazeta addresses a report prepared by PACE rapporteur Dick Marty on the human rights situation in the Northern Caucasus. The PACE is expected to discuss the report during its summer session (21-25 June). (ii) Senior official at the FSB's military counterintelligence department, Sergey Belyayev, was killed and at least two other officers were wounded in a shootout on Friday in Kaspiisk (Dagestan). (iii) The Moscow Times (Reuters) reports on complaints by Chechen women who said police had targeted them with paintball pellets for not wearing headscarves. (iv) Grozny's airport on Sunday initiated international flights with the first flight to Istanbul. (Kommersant, MT, NG, Novaya Gazeta)

Tourist cluster at North Caucasus to get substantial tax benefits: At the Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, the Ministry of Economic Development and the leaders of the North Caucasus Republics of Dagestan, Karachayevo-Cherkessia, Adygeia and Kabardino-Balkaria signed a protocol on creating a tourist cluster in the region. Deutsche Bank and Credit Swiss submitted letters to Presidential envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District Alexander Khloponin, expressing their interest in participating in the project. MED is preparing a draft bill granting major tax benefits for companies which would participate in the project. As a Government source told Vedomosti, these tax reliefs would be of the same magnitude as the tax benefits for the Skolkovo innovation centre. (Vedomosti)

22 juni 2010

PACE to debate report on human rights situation in Northern Caucasus: (i) The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is due to debate on Tuesday a report on the human rights situation in the Northern Caucasus. Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov is expected to participate in the debate. Observers note that for the first time, the Russian delegation intends not to vote against a resolution on the human rights situation in the Northern Caucasus. (ii) The press reports on the visit of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov to the United Arab Emirates, 15 months after former commander of the Russian Defence Ministry's Vostok battalion and Kadyrov's rival, Sulim Yamadayev, was presumably killed in Dubai. (Kommersant, MT, VN)

FSB to reward citizens for assisting fighting against terrorism: In line with a draft order by the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Bortnikov, the FSB will reward persons rendering assistance in the fight against terrorism. The document is posted on the FSB's web site. The order does not provide for any exact sums that informers could get for their assistance. Kommersant writes that such measures were applied in 2005 in the search for former Chechen/Ichkerian leader Aslan Maskhadov. According to some sources, informers have been paid up to $10 million. (Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, RG)

23 juni 2010

Russian delegation to PACE protests over Chechen separatist emissary's presence: (i) The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) yesterday adopted a resolution on the Northern Caucasus on the basis of a report prepared by PACE rapporteur Dick Marty. The Russian delegation to the PACE for the first time in 14 years backed the resolution. The resolution called the Northern Caucasus the region with "the most serious and most delicate" human rights situation in the whole of Europe and adjacent territories. Russian Parliamentarians and Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, who addressed the session, called Marty's report "balanced". Meanwhile, members of the Russian delegation to the PACE slammed the presence at the PACE session of Chechen separatist emissary Akhmed Zakayev. (ii) Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports on the problem of mine clearance in Chechnya. (Kommersant, MT, NG, Vedomosti, VN)

24 juni 2010

US designates Chechen militant leader Umarov as terrorist: The US State Department said in a statement that "the Secretary of State has designated Caucasus Emirates leader Doku Umarov under Presidential Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. This action will help stem the flow of financial and other assistance to Umarov."(Interfax, RIAN)

Moscowprotests over Chechen separatist emissary's presence at PACE session:Russia's permanent representation in Strasbourg has sent a protest to the Council of Europe's Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland over the presence at the PACE session of Chechen separatist emissary Akhmed Zakayev. On Tuesday, the head of the Russian delegation to the PACE, Konstantin Kosachyov, expressed his displeasure over Zakayev's presence in a conversation with PACE President Mevlut Cavusoglu. (Interfax, MT)

PACE did not decide on 'Russian-Georgian dossier': The PACE's Monitoring Committee on Wednesday did not reach agreement on Russian-Georgian dossier, which was opened in October 2008 following the conflict in South Ossetia. Earlier, members of the Russian delegation to the PACE did not exclude that the Russian-Georgian dossier would be "frozen". However, "one vote was missing to have this idea approved," deputy head of the Russian delegation Leonid Slutsky said. As Kommersant notes, yesterday's discussion "has disappointed the Russian delegation." (Izvestia, Kommersant, Vedomosti, VN)

Ruslan Yamadayev murder trial: Preliminary hearings were held in the Moscow City Court on Wednesday in the trial of two Chechens charged in the September 2008 killing of Ruslan Yamadayev, a former Duma member and rival of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. (Kommersant, MT, RG, VN)

25 juni 2010

Moscowwelcomes US decision to designate Chechen militant leader Umarov as terrorist: (i) The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday welcomed the US State Department's decision to list Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov as a terrorist. The media note that the decision was taken on the eve of talks in Washington between Presidents Medvedev and Obama. (ii) Novaya Gazeta reports on Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov's participation in a PACE discussion of a report on the human rights situation in the Northern Caucasus, prepared by Dick Marty. In an interview with the newspaper, Yevkurov denied the existence of methods of police torture in Ingushetia and described as "excellent" his relations with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. (Kommersant, MT, Novaya Gazeta, RG, RIAN, VN)

28 juni 2010

Chechen President launches blog at livejournal.com: Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has launched his blog at livejournal.com. Kadyrov plans inter alia to express his views on the development of the North Caucasus region. (NG, VN)

30 juni 2010

United Russiato hold party conference in Northern Caucasus: According to Nezavisimaya Gazeta, United Russia plans to hold a party conference on 5-6 July in Nalchik (the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria). The socio-economic development of the Northern Caucasus in the coming years will be high on the agenda. (NG)

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