Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - mei 2008

5 mei

- Five policemen killed in Chechnya blast : Five police officers, including a policeman from the Republic of Karelia, were killed and two others were wounded in an explosion of a radio-controlled bomb yesterday in Grozny. (Interfax)

6 mei

- Case against Vostok battalion serviceman : Gazeta reports on a criminal case against a serviceman of the Defence Ministry’s Vostok battalion who is charged with violence against a public servant. The serviceman was reportedly involved in last month’s incident with the Chechen President’s motorcade. (Gazetat)

8 mei

- Convict in high-profile case denied parole : The Ulyanovsk regional court on Wednesday denied former colonel Yury Budanov’s appeal against the lower court’s ruling which rejected his request for parole. Budanov had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing a Chechen girl. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant)

13 mei

- Sulim Yamadayev suspended as Vostok battalion commander – press : Media cite Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov as saying that Sulim Yamadayev has been suspended as commander of the Defence Ministry’s Vostok (‘East’) battalion. The Defence Ministry has neither confirmed nor refuted this information, Kommersant writes. (Kommersant, VN)

14 mei

- Suspension of Vostok battalion commander : Dailies continue to report on the suspension of Vostok battalion commander Sulim Yamadayev. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has called on prosecutors to investigate whether Vostok servicemen, including Yamadayev, were involved in murders and kidnappings in Chechnya. Kommersant reports that Vostok troops will undergo re-attestation. (Gazeta, Kommersant, MT, Trud)

19 mei

- Different Russian, Georgian approaches toward conflict resolution – Moscow : (i) In a statement following a meeting of Russian diplomats with Georgian Minister for Reintegration, Temur Iakobashvili, to discuss the settlement of the Georgian-Abkhaz and the Georgian-South Ossetian conflicts last Friday in Moscow, the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed to different approaches of Russia and Georgia toward the situation in the conflict zones but noted that agreement was reached “to continue bilateral consultations”. (ii) Commenting on Georgia’s proposal to hold an international conference on the conflict settlement involving the US and the EU, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Tbilisi of “making attempts to internationalize the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia”. (iii) Media report on an alleged incident in which Georgian authorities briefly detained a group of Russian peacekeepers along the administrative border with Abkhazia. An official at the Collective Peacekeeping Force described the incident as a “provocation”. (iv) The Federal Security Service (FSB) announced last Friday that it had detained a suspected Georgian special service agent in the Southern Federal District (mainly Northern Caucasus). An unnamed source in the FSB is quoted as saying that the suspected spy was an ethnic Chechen who holds Russian citizenship, He said that “this confirms the participation of Georgian special forces in subversive terrorist activities in the Northern Caucasus”. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG, RG)

21 mei

- General accuses Chechen population of supporting bandit groups : The commander of the Russian Joint Group of Forces in the Northern Caucasus, Gen. Nikolai Sivak, reportedly accused the population of Chechnya of failing to cooperate with the Russian authorities in fighting armed separatists in Chechnya and “either supporting bandit groups or taking a neutral attitude toward them”. Chechen Human Rights Ombudsman, Nurdi Nukhazhiyev, has slammed the commander’s accusations. (NG, Interfax, Ekho Moskvy)

23 mei

- Attacks in Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan : (i) Interior Troops reconnaissance unit commander Konstantin Dementyev was wounded in an attack in Chechnya. Kommersant reports that law enforcement officers do not rule out that the attack might have been militants’ revenge as Dementyev’s unit participated in the killing of Aslan Maskhadov and other Chechen separatist leaders. (ii) Electronic media today report on the shooting at the Border Office of the Federal Security Service Department for Ingushetia in Nazran on Friday morning. No casualties are reported. (iii) School principal Budun Sharaputdinov was killed in Dagestan’s town of Khasavyurt on Thursday. (Interfax, Kommersant, VN)

26 mei

- Two senior police officers killed in separate attacks in N. Caucasus : (i) Senior police officer, Col. Akhmedudin Absaludinov, was killed on Sunday in Makhachkala. Investigators say the killing is linked to his professional activity. (ii) A policeman was killed in another attack on Saturday in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, RG)



29 mei

- Chechnya President becomes member of State Council presidium : President Medvedev has appointed new members of the Russian State Council’s presidium, including Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Kommersant cites Ramzan Kadyrov as saying that he views his appointment as proof of the Russian leadership’s attention to Chechnya. [The State Council of Russia is an advisory body to the President, which discusses issues of importance to the state, e.g. economic and social reforms.] (Kommersant, VN)

- Amnesty International critical of Russia : In its human rights report for 2007, issued yesterday, Amnesty International accused Russia of employing torture, crushing free speech and ignoring its obligations under international treaties. The report cited the authorities’ intolerance towards the opposition and ongoing violations of human rights in the Northern Caucasus. In a letter on Wednesday, Amnesty International called on President Dmitry Medvedev to focus on limits of freedom of assembly and speech, restrictions on NGOs, a rise in the number of racist attacks and torture in police custody. The letter also calls on Russia to introduce a legal ban on the death penalty. (Gazeta, Kommersant, MT, NG, Novye Izvestia, RIAN, VN)

30 mei

- Attacks on police, servicemen in N. Caucasus : (i) Two policemen, including the head of a district criminal police department, were wounded in an attack on Wednesday in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. (ii) In a separate attack, two servicemen were killed and another two were wounded yesterday in Ingushetia. (Interfax, VN)

- Strasbourg Court rules in abduction cases : (i) The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ordered that Russia should pay a total of more than 400,000 euro to the plaintiffs in the cases of the disappearance of several people in Chechnya in 2002-2003. (ii) UN rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Leandro Despouy, expressed concern on Thursday over a large number of appeals lodged by Russians with the Strasbourg Court and voiced criticism over recent proposals to amend the Russian federal law on defence lawyers. (Gazeta, Kommersant, Interfax, NG)

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