Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - maart 2009

2 maart 2009


Former Chechen militant shot dead in Istanbul: The media reports on the killing in Istanbul of former Chechen militant Musa Asayev. According to Kommersant (Saturday’s issue), Asayev was envoy to leader of Chechen separatists Doku Umarov and was involved in collecting money to support separatists in the Northern Caucasus. (Kommersant, RIAN)


Chechnya President defends honour killings?: The Moscow Times (AP) cites Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov as saying that the women, whose bodies were found dumped by the roadside, had “loose morals” and were rightfully shot by male relatives in honour killings. The daily writes that Kadyrov “is carrying out a campaign to impose Islamic values and strengthen the traditional customs of predominantly Muslim Chechnya in an effort to blunt the appeal of hardline Islamic separatists”. (MT)


Action to commemorate Russian soldiers killed in Chechnya: Kommersant reports on a rally staged on Sunday in Moscow by some nationalist organisations, including the Movement Against Illegal Immigration (DPNI), to commemorate Pskov paratroopers killed in Chechnya in March 2000. Around 300 activists took part in the action. (Kommersant)


4 maart 2009


ChechnyaPresident says Grozny Airport may receive international status: (i) Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov announced on Tuesday that Grozny Airport would likely receive international status in the spring. (ii) The media reports that Ramzan Kadyrov has promised a cash payout of RUR 50,000 to the families of all boys born in Chechnya on 8 March. (MT)


12 maart 2009


Freedom House report: RBK daily cites a Freedom House report, titled “Worst of the Worst 2009”, which surveys the state of freedom in countries across the world. The Russian region of Chechnya was included in the list of worst abusers. (RBK daily)



13 maart 2009


Attacks on police in Northern Caucasus; Ingush President proposes amnesty: (i) The press reports on separate attacks on policemen in the past several days in the Northern Caucasus. On Wednesday, a traffic police officer and three civilians were injured in separate incidents in Chechnya and Ingushetia. Senior police official Amirkhan Tatiyev was killed late on Thursday in Ingushetia’s Sunzha district. (ii) Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov yesterday announced plans to amnesty militants who were not involved in serious and especially serious crimes. (Interfax, ITAR-TASS, VN)


Strasbourg Courtrules against Russia in Chechen disappearances cases: The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in three lawsuits filed by the relatives of Chechen residents who went missing in Chechnya between 2001 and 2003. The Court ruled that Russia pay a total of more than 293,000 euro to the plaintiffs. (Interfax, RIAN)


18 maart 2009


Moscowasks Belgium to deny entry to Zakayev: Russian Ambassador to Belgium Vadim Lukov has sent a note to the Belgian Foreign Ministry with a request to deny entry into the country to Chechen separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev. Zakayev has been invited to attend a European Parliament debate on the situation in Chechnya. Kommersant writes that Zakayev has declined to come to Brussels. (Kommersant, Lenta.ru)


19 maart 2009


Kommersantpublishes an article by Musa Muradov which reports on a European Parliament hearing on the situation in Chechnya, organised by Members of the Group of the European People’s Party and European Democrats.


20 maart 2009


Chechen speaker slams European Parliament members’ move on Chechnya as provocation: Chechen Parliament speaker Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov condemned as “a provocation” a decision by some members of the European Parliament to form a special faction to discuss the so-called issue of “independent Chechnya”. He described Chechnya as “one of the most stable regions in Russia” which is “rapidly reviving”, and pointed to “violations of Chechens’ rights” in Poland and Lithuania. (Interfax, NG, RIAN)


More clashes with militants in the Northern Caucasus: One law enforcement officer was killed and four others were wounded in a clash with a group of up to 15 militants on Thursday in Dagestan. Two militants were killed in an operation also yesterday in Kabardino-Balkaria. One special unit officer was wounded. Police said the killed militants had been involved in attacks against law enforcement officers in the region. (Interfax, ITAR-TASS, Kommersant, VN)


23 maart 2009


16 militants, five servicemen killed in Dagestan: (i) Sixteen militants and five Interior Troops servicemen were killed in operations in Dagestan last week: twelve militants were killed in an operation in Dagestan’s Karabudakhkent district, and four militants were killed in Makhachkala. Dagestani Interior Minister Adilgerei Magomedtagirov said three of the 12 militants killed in the operation in the Karabudakhkent district are believed to have been foreigners. The Federal Security Service (FSB) said the leader of a militant group, Abdugapur Zakaryayev, was among the killed militants. Vremya novostei does not exclude that a special operation in Dagestan could resume in the coming days. (ii)Dailies report on meetings on Friday in Moscow held by PM Vladimir Putin with the head of Dagestan Mukhu Aliyev and Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Nezavisimaya Gazeta points out that the situation in the Northern Caucasus remains tense. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, MT, NG, RG, VN)


26 maart 2009


Counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya to end this month?: Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov announced on Wednesday that the counterterrorist operation in Chechnya would be officially completed in late March. He argued that according to “reliable information”, an official document “lifting all curbs on Chechnya” could be issued “on 30 or 31 March”. Kadyrov stressed that Chechen society is “consolidated in countering terrorism”, adding that there still could be up to 70 people in the illegal armed units in the Northern Caucasus. Kommersant reports that “experts and the military say that it would be extremely difficult to keep a large grouping of federal troops in Chechnya in crisis conditions”. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, RBK daily, RIAN)


27 maart 2009


Chechnya counter terrorist operation could be discussed in late March: (i) The press refers to an unnamed source in the Russian Interior Ministry who said that the National Antiterrorism Committee could discuss the completion of counterterrorist operations in Chechnya, which lasted for nine years, at a meeting on 31 March. Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov yesterday said the Chechen leadership has reasons to seek the end of the counterterrorist operation. Earlier, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov claimed that the counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya would officially end in late March. (ii) Two militants were killed in an operation yesterday in Ingushetia’s Sunzha district. (Izvestia, Kommersant, RIAN, VN)


Ex-colonel Budanov to be questioned over crimes committed in Chechnya: The head of the military investigations department of the Investigations Committee within the Prosecutor General’s Office Alexander Sorochkin announced on Thursday that former army colonel Yury Budanov could be questioned in the framework of a number of cases over killings in abductions of people in Chechnya in 2000. The press recalls that Budanov was sentenced to ten years imprisonment for the murder of a Chechen girl and has recently been released on parole. (Gazeta, VN)



30 maart 2009


Ex-commander of Vostok battalion may have been shot in Dubai: According to media reports, a Chechen man, identified as Suleiman Madov, was killed in Dubai on Saturday. The press reported that the murdered Chechen man could be Sulim Yamadayev, 35, the former commander of the Vostok (‘East’) battalion and Hero of Russia. It is to be noted that reports on the attempt on the life of Sulim Yamadayev are contradictory. Some media outlets report that Yamadayev was killed, citing blood vengeance as the most likely motive for the crime. Sulim Yamadayev’s relatives, however, say that he is in serious condition in Dubai’s hospital. The Russian Consulate General in Dubai did not comment on the reports. Vedomosti suggests that the reported attempt on the life of Sulim Yamadayev may be discussed during the visit of Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates SheikhMohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is due to arrive in Moscow today. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, Novye Izvestia, Vedomosti, VN)


Medvedev proposes to consider ending of counterterrorist operation in Chechnya: (i) Meeting the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov on Friday, President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the National Antiterrorist Committee [Bortnikov is also the head of the National Antiterrorist Committee] to consider ending the counterterrorist operation in Chechnya. (ii) Two militants were reportedly killed in an operation on Saturday in Chechnya. (Interfax, MT, VN)


31 maart 2009


No clear information about fate of ex-Vostok battalion commander Sulim Yamadayev: There are still conflicting reports about the former commander of the Defence Ministry’s Vostok (‘East’) battalion and an opponent to Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, Sulim Yamadayev, who was shot in Dubai on 28 March. Russian Consul in Dubai Sergey Krasnogor said with reference to the Dubai police that Sulim Yamadayev died in hospital. Channel One, however, reported on Monday that an administrator of a Dubai hospital said that Yamadayev is alive, but in critical condition. The administrator said Yamadayev is in the hospital under the name of Suleiman Madov. Kommersant cites Sulim Yamadayev’s younger brother, Isa, as saying that his brother is alive. A Russian national has reportedly been detained in Dubai over the attack. The media points out that the attempt on the life of Sulim Yamadayev took place ahead of the visit to Russia of UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the planned discussion by the National Antiterrorist Committee of the completion of the counterterrorist operation in Chechnya. Chechen President’s spokesman Alvi Karimov expressed hope that the killing of Sulim Yamadayev would be solved quickly. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, RG, Vedomosti, VN, Channel One)


NAK to consider ending counterterrorist operation in Chechnya: At its session today, the National Antiterrorist Committee (NAK) considers ending the counterterrorist operation in Chechnya. Gazeta cites spokesman for the Russian Interior Troops, Vasily Panchenkov, who said that currently, up to 20,000 Interior Troops servicemen are deployed in Chechnya. Experts, contacted by RBK daily, emphasized that the situation in the entire Northern Caucasus remains tense. (Gazeta, Novye Izvestia, RBK daily)


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