Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - Mei 2005

3 mei 2005

- Special operation in Nalchik “prevents series of terrorist attacks”: Four militants of Wahhabi Jamaat “Yarmuk” headed by its new leader Rustam Bekanov were killed in a special police operation in Nalchik (North Caucasus) on Friday night, reports Kommersant (Sat, front page). The paper goes on to say that two other militants were detained, and, in accordance with evidence provided by them, the militants had planned a series of terrorist attacks, ordered by Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev (Kommersant, Rossiyskaya gazeta, Interfax).

12 mei 2005

- Putin urges cabinet to speed up preparation of new draft legislation: All media report about meeting between President Putin and Prime Minister Fradkov, during which Putin asked the government to speed up the drafting of new legislation in areas recently outlined in the presidential address to the Russian Parliament. The list of priorities contained fifteen issues. (i) Putin asked the government to abolish the inheritance tax and submit the draft law to the Duma for approval by 1 September. (ii) The President also called upon his cabinet to speed up work to simplify the formalization of ownership of real estate used by individuals such as land plots and garages; and (iii) to draft legislation giving individuals an amnesty for previously undeclared revenue on the condition that this money is subject to the flat 13 percent income tax and is deposited in Russian banks. (iv) Putin also called for the identification by 1 November of sectors in the economy (i.e. natural resources and defence) that should be closed to foreign ownership due to national security considerations. (v) The President also called upon the government to increase efforts to promote economic growth in the Northern Caucasus, the Far East and Kaliningrad and (vi) to assist in the organization of the forthcoming parliamentary elections in the Chechen Republic later this year. (Kommersant, Gazeta, Interfax, Ria-Novosti, Vremya Novostey, Moscow Times)

- Floods in southern Russia: Spring floods have caused problems in the Chechen Republic and in North Ossetia. Several Chechen regions were affected, including Grozny. Some 2,000 inhabitants of the republic reportedly have been evacuated and 160 houses flooded in Grozny. Conditions might worsen closer to the week-end. (Interfax, Ria-Novosti)

13 mei 2005

- Floods in southern Russia: Floods continue to cause destruction in Chechnya and Dagestan. In total, 4.000 people have been evacuated from their homes in the Republics. In Dagestan thirteen thousand hectares have been flooded by the river Terek in the districts of Babayurt and Khasavyurt. More rainfalls expected coming two days. (Kommersant, Interfax, Nezavisimaya Gazeta)

16 mei 2005

- Former Ichkerian vice-president reported killed: (i) According to media reports, former Ichkerian/Chechen vice-president Vakha Arsanov was allegedly killed in a sweep operation in Chechnya yesterday. At the same time, the Chechen prosecutor’s office has not confirmed Arsanov’s death, pointing to the need for forensic examinations in order to identify the body. (ii) The media report broadly about a special operation carried out by the Federal Security Service (FSB) special force in Cherkessk (Republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia), during which 6 militants were killed. No civilians or law enforcement officers are reported injured. (All media)

17 mei 2005

- Former governor to search soldiers missing in Chechnya: President Putin yesterday appointed former Ulyanovsk governor Vladimir Shamanov head of a new commission in charge of prisoners of war, internees and those missing. Novye Izvestia quotes head of the Union of Soldiers’ Mothers committees Valentina Melnikova as saying that the fate of 2,000 Russian soldiers who went missing during the two wars in North Caucasus is not known.` (RG, Novye Izvestia, Kommersant)

20 mei 2005

- Chechen parliamentary elections likely in November – Alkhanov: At a press conference yesterday in Moscow, Chechen President Alu Alkhanov suggested that parliamentary elections in Chechnya could be held this November. He also announced that an agreement between the federal government and the Chechen republic on the division of powers might be signed in the second half of June. Alkhanov expressed confidence that the number of federal structures in Chechnya should be cut and functions of maintaining public order should be transferred to local security agencies. (Interfax, Vremya novostei, NG)

- Jury clears Ulman brigade of killing civilians in Chechnya: All media report that a jury in Rostov-on-Don (South Russia) yesterday found a group of special troops commanded by Captain Ulman not guilty of murdering six civilians in Chechnya in 2002. According to the jury, the group had acted in accordance with their service duties and as was required by the situation. Chechen State Council head Taus Dzabrailov is quoted as having expressed confidence that the acquittal will be appealed. (All media)

25 mei 2005

- Chechen authorities protest Ulman acquittal: The media report that the Chechen State Council yesterday expressed protest in connection with the 19 May acquittal by a jury of members of a special task force led by Captain Eduard Ulman who were accused of killing six civilians in Chechnya in 2002. According to Chief military prosecutor Savenkov, the Military Prosecutor’s Office intends to appeal the jury’s verdict. The sentence on the Ulman case is due to be announced at the North Caucasus military district court today. (Interfax, RG, Izvestia, Vremya novostei, Novye Izvestia)

26 mei 2005

- Court acquits Ulman special task force: The North Caucasus military district court yesterday acquitted members of a special task force led by Captain Eduard Ulman, who were charged with killing six civilians in Chechnya. The court ruling followed Ulman’s acquittal by a jury in Rostov-on-Don last week. The media recall that the jury considered that it had been proved that Ulman and his fellow servicemen acted in line with their service duties and according to the circumstances. (All media)

27 mei 2005

- CoE Commissioner for HR visiting Moscow: The media continue to report about the visit of Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Alvaro Gil-Robles to Moscow. According to Mr Gil-Robles, during his visit, he will present a report on human rights and discuss the situation in Chechnya. He noted that he did not intend to discuss the Yukos issue with the Russian leadership. Today, Mr Gil-Robles is scheduled to meet President Putin. (Interfax, RIAN, NG)

- Chechen arrested in Dutch film maker’s murder: The media report that a Russian citizen of the Chechen origin named Bislan Ismailov was arrested in France last week on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh in November 2004.(Kommersant, Izvestia, NG, Vremya novostei)

30 mei 2005

- Rebel claims responsibility for Moscow blackouts: According to media reports, Shamil Basayev, the leader of Chechnya’s militants and terrorists, assumed on Saturday responsibility for the recent power outages in Moscow and four surrounding regions. He also claimed that a group of his Islamic saboteurs had set fire to one of Moscow’s opera and ballet theatres, adding that “the possibility of more such operations was growing each day”. Chechen State Council Chairman Taus Dzhabrailov is reported as having dismissed the Basayev’s claim as unfounded. (RG, Izvestia, Gazeta, NG, MT)

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