Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - mei 2007

2 mei 2007

- 18 killed in helicopter crash in Chechnya; two soldiers killed in blast in Ingushetia: (i) 18 servicemen aboard were killed in a helicopter crash on 27 April in Chechnya’s Shatoi district. Initial reports with a reference to the headquarters of the combined group of forces in the Northern Caucasus indicated that the helicopter might have been hit from the ground. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, however, denied that the helicopter had been attacked, saying that the crash was likely due to “a mechanical fault”. (ii) Two soldiers were reportedly killed when an explosive device went off yesterday in Ingushetia. (Interfax, Lenta.ru, MT, RIAN)

8 mei 2007

- Three policemen killed in clash with militants in Chechnya: According to media reports, three policemen were killed and another four wounded in a clash with militants on Sunday in Chechnya. Three militants were also killed. (RIAn, VN)

- British intelligentsia sends letter to Putin over Chechnya: Media cite a publication in The Independent of a letter sent by over 100 representatives of Britain’s political and cultural elite to President Putin urging him to restore “peace and justice” to Chechnya. The letter describes Ramzan Kadyrov’s Presidency as "little more than a regime of fear and oppression". Interfax provides the reaction to the letter by Chechen human rights ombudsman, Nurdi Nukhadzhiyev, and Chechen envoy to Moscow, Ziad Sabsabi, who disagreed with the position expressed in the letter. (Interfax, Kommersant, RIAN, VN)

11 mei 2007

- Russia loses case in Strasbourg Court: The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ruled that Russia was responsible for the death of Shamil Akhmadov, who was arrested in a sweep operation by federal troops in Chechnya in 2001 and found dead a year later. The Court ordered that the Russian Government pay to his family 55,000 euros in damages. (MT, Kommersant, RIAN)

17 mei 2007

- Russia loses appeal in Strasbourg Court: The European Court of Human Rights on Wednesday said that it had thrown out Russia’s appeal against a ruling condemning military forces for the disappearance and presumed death of a young man in Chechnya seven years ago, The Moscow Times reports. (MT)

18 mei 2007

- Chechen speaker backs longer term for Chechnya President: Vremya novostei cites speaker of Chechnya’s People’s Assembly, Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov, who has backed a proposal by Chechen ombudsman, Nurdi Nukhadzhiyev, to prolong the term of office of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov from 4 years to 6-7 years. (VN)

22 mei 2007

- Chechen community warns of anti-Chechen sentiments: (i) Chechen activists yesterday warned against attempts by law enforcement officials to stir anti-Chechen sentiments in Russian society following the arrest of two students linked to a car bomb plot in Moscow during VE-Day celebrations, and called for an objective investigation. (ii) Media report on the appointment of Alikhan Tsakayev the new commander of Chechnya’s riot police forces (OMON). Gazeta notes that five years ago Tsakayev fought against federal troops. (Gazeta, MT, Novye Izvestia)

23 mei 2007

- Chechen public chamber criticises Chechnya prosecutor’s office: In a front-page article, Nezavisimaya gazeta reports on criticism towards the Chechen prosecutor’s office voiced by Chechnya’s public chamber over the absence of progress in investigations into abductions and disappearances of people in Chechnya. The daily recalls an earlier statement by Chechen human rights ombudsman Nurdi Nukhazhiyev who sharply criticised the Chechen prosecutor’s office and Chechen prosecutor Valery Kuznetsov. (NG)

25 mei 2007

- Court resumes hearings into ‘Ulman case’ in absentia: Dailies report on the resumption yesterday by the North Caucasus District Military Court of hearings into four special task force servicemen led by Cap. Eduard Ulman accused of killing six civilians in Chechnya in 2002. In the absence in the courtroom of three defendants, including Ulman, Kommersant writes, the Court demanded to step up efforts to find them. (Gazeta, Kommersant, Novye Izvestia)

28 mei 2007

- One killed in Stavropol brawl: police downplays racial motives: A Chechen man was killed and several other people were injured in a brawl involving people from the Caucasus and local residents in Stavropol (South Russia) last Thursday. Police downplayed any racial motives in the brawl. The chief federal inspector for the Stavropol territory, Alexander Korabeinikov, cited by Kommersant, also denied racial motives, saying that people of different ethnicity were involved in the brawl: Chechens, people from Dagestan, Greeks and ethnic Russians. (Gazeta, Kommersant, MT, NG)

31 mei 2007

- Russian officials to discuss Chechen refugees in Georgia’s Pankisi: Kommersant reports that a Russian delegation headed by the representative of the Federal Migration Service to south Russia, Alexander Rostovtsev, has started its work in Georgia to discuss the possible return to Russia of Chechen refugees living in the Pankisi Gorge. (Kommersant)

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