Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - mei 2011

3 mei 2011

Russia welcomes bin Laden's death: The Russian President's Press Service on Monday welcomed the killing in a US special operation in Pakistan of the world's most wanted terrorist, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, as "serious success" by the US in the fight against terrorism. The Kremlin expressed readiness to expand cooperation with Washington in the fight against international terrorism. The Russian Foreign Ministry in a statement appreciated the fact that "the Russian authorities were informed before the official statement by President Barack Obama" and likened bin Laden to slain Chechen terrorist leader Shamil Basayev and the US anti-terrorism operations to Russian special services' efforts in the Northern Caucasus. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov described the killing of bin Laden as a "good result." At the same time, Kadyrov called not to divide terrorists into "bad and not very bad." Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov expressed the view that the killing of bin Laden would have a positive impact on the entire Muslim world. Some experts suggest, meanwhile, that bin Laden's death will have little effect on the militant activities in the Northern Caucasus. The media stress that the killing of bin Laden does not mean victory over terrorism. The head of the Duma's International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachyov warned that bin Laden's death might spur a series of reprisal attacks by international terrorists. Interpol warned of a "heightened terror risk" and called for increased security measures. (All media)

Kabardino-Balkaria militant leaders killed in operation; police official shot dead in Dagestan:(i) According to law enforcement agencies, Kabardino-Balkaria militant leaders Asker Dzhappuyev and Kazbek Tashuyev were among ten militants killed in an operation on the administrative border of the Stavropol territory and Kabardino-Balkaria last Friday. The militants killed were suspected of involvement in the killing of Moscow tourists in Kabardino-Balkaria in February, a July 2010 attack on the Baksan hydropower plant and other attacks. The press views the operation as the serious success by Russia's law enforcement agencies. (ii) Police chief of Dagestan's Sergokala district Nasrula Magomedov was killed on Sunday in Dagestan. Law enforcement officials do not rule out that the killing might be a retaliation attack by militants for the killing in an operation on 20 April in Dagestan of a militant leader Sabitbai Amanov. (iii) One serviceman of the Interior Troops was killed and two others were injured in a clash with militants on Monday in Chechnya. Two militants were reportedly killed in the clash. (iv) The National Antiterrorism Committee said on Monday that 136 militants, including al-Qaeda's top representative to the Northern Caucasus Moganned, have been killed in Russia in the first four months of 2011. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, Lenta.ru, RIAN)

Heads of regions submit income declarations: Income declarations for 2010 of some heads of Russian regions have been made public. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov reported an income of RUR4.19 million last year. Krasnoyarsk governor Lev Kuznetsov declared an income of RUR91 million. Perm governor Oleg Chirkunov had an income of RUR83 million. Meanwhile, Primorye governor Sergey Darkin's wife, Larisa Belobrova, had an income of RUR1 billion in 2010. Darkin reported an income of RUR3.5 million. (Kommersant)

4 mei 2011

Czech police arrest three Russian citizens on suspicion of terrorism: (i) Czech police have detained six men, including three Russian nationals (natives of Dagestan and Chechnya), on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activity.Police suspect the detainees of being connected to the Jamaat Shariat group operating in Dagestan. (ii) One police officer was killed and another one was wounded in an attack on a police car today in Dagestan's Sergokala district. (iii) Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov announced on Tuesday that up to 50 militants are currently operating in Ingushetia. (iv) The National Antiterrorism Committee said on Tuesday that law enforcement agencies are searching for suspected militant Ibragim Torshkhoyev, who could be used to perpetrate a terrorist attack on orders from North Caucasus militant leader Doku Umarov. (v) President Medvedev has signed into law a bill establishing three levels of terrorism threats in Russia. (Gazeta.ru, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, RG)

5 mei 2011

Government commission discusses investment projects for North Caucasus; al-Qaeda emissary killed in Chechnya: (i) Yesterday in Yessentuki, the Government commission on the socioeconomic development of the North Caucasus Federal District discussed at its meeting, chaired by PM Vladimir Putin, investment projects for the Northern Caucasus. The Government has selected 30 investment projects worth RUR145 billion (more than $5 billion) in areas such as agriculture, tourism and information technology as part of a state programme to develop the region through 2025. (ii) Al-Qaeda emissary to the Northern Caucasus, identified as Turkish national Doger Sevdet, also known as Abdulla the Kurd, has been killed in a recent operation in Chechnya. (iii) Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov is quoted as expressing the view that the killing of bin Laden "will significantly reduce international terrorist activities in Russia, in particular, the Northern Caucasus." (Izvestia, Kommersant, KP, MT, RG, RIAN)

10 mei 2011

Thirteen killed in Dagestan over weekend; four militants killed in Kabardino-Balkaria: (i) In several incidents on Sunday and Monday in Dagestan, eight militants, four law enforcement officers and a journalist were killed. The killed journalist was an employee of the 'As-Salam' Islamic newspaper Yakhya Magomedov. (ii) Police said on Tuesday that four militants have been killed in an operation in Nalchik (capital of Kabardino-Balkaria). The suspected killer of Kabardino-Balkaria's mufti might be among the militants killed. (iii) Kommersant reports that Stavropol police are searching for three people suspected of plotting terror attacks. (Gazeta.ru, Interfax, Kommersant)

Lawyers appeal against sentences in lawyer Markelov murder case Defence lawyers for nationalist Nikita Tikhonov and Yevgenia Khasis, who were convicted of the double murder of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and Novaya Gazeta reporter Anastasia Baburova, have appealed against the sentences. Last Friday, the Moscow City Court sentenced Tikhonov to life imprisonment and Khasis to 18 years in jail. (Kommersant)

16 mei 2011

Amnesty International report: In its annual report, Amnesty International said that "human rights defenders and independent journalists in Russia continued to face threats, harassment and attacks, and investigations yielded few concrete results." The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized the report. Russian Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin is expected to present on 1 June to President Medvedev an annual report on the human rights situation in Russia in 2010. (Izvestia, MT, RBK daily)

19 mei 2011

Militants carrying Russian passports killed in Pakistan: (i) Pakistan's security forces said that five militants were killed in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Tuesday. Izvestia writes that at least one or two of the militants, who had been killed, were carrying Russian passports. A Russian diplomat in Pakistan said the Russian Embassy was checking whether there were Russian nationals among the killed militants. (ii) North Caucasus militant leader Doku Umarov in a statement posted on Tuesday on a separatist web site said that despite bin Laden's death attacks would not stop. (Gazeta.ru, Izvestia)

25 mei 2011

FSB says North Caucasus militant leader Umarov's hideout located: (i) At a meeting of CIS security service chiefs yesterday in Dnepropetrovsk (Ukraine), head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov said that the FSB knows the whereabouts of North Caucasus militant leader Doku Umarov. (ii) Vakha Mochukiyev, a leader of Ingush militants, was killed on Tuesday in Nazran. Police said Mochukiyev had been involved in a series of attacks in Ingushetia. (iii) Pakistan's Ambassador to Russia was invited to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday over an investigation of the killing in an operation in the Pakistani town of Quetta last week of five people, who were reportedly carrying Russian IDs. (Kommersant, Lenta.ru)

26 mei 2011

G8 Summit opens in Deauville; Russian, French leaders to hold bilateral meeting: The G8 Summit opens today in Deauville. The media mention among the main issues on the agenda the situation in North Africa and the Middle East, the top IMF post after a scandal around former head of the IMF Strauss-Kahn and some others. Gazeta.ru cites a publication in The Guardian which said, citing the Russian Finance Ministry's report, that in 2010 Russia spent about $470 million on foreign aid, the lowest of all the G8 countries. On the sidelines of the G8 Summit on Thursday, President Dmitry Medvedev will meet with French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy. According to Vedomosti, the Russian and French leaders are expected to sign a memorandum on the joint development of the Northern Caucasus. French companies could invest in the development of tourism in the region under Russia's state guarantees on repayment of investments in case of the deterioration of the security situation (terrorist attacks, hostilities) in the Northern Caucasus. Kommersant and Vedomosti write that the Russian state-run company 'Resorts of the North Caucasus' are discussing setting up a joint venture with French bank Caisse des Depots et Consignations for construction of ski slopes in Adygeya, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachayevo-Cherkessia, North Ossetia and Dagestan. (Gazeta.ru, Izvestia, Kommersant, MN, Vedomosti)

Exodus of ethnic Russians from North Caucasus: Moskovskie Novosti comments on the exodus of ethnic Russians from the North Caucasus region. (MN)

27 mei 2011

Medvedev-Obama talks: Missile defence, counterterrorism cooperation, Libya, visa facilitation, Russia's WTO bid and other issues were on the agenda of talks between Presidents Dmitry Medvedev and Barack Obamaon the sidelines of the G8 Summit yesterday in Deauville. This was their first meeting in 2011.Observers speak of lack of tangible results on the missile defence issue. Medvedev is quoted as saying that "this issue will be solved in the future, maybe in 2020." The US State Department announced on Thursday a reward of $5 million for information leading to North Caucasus militant leader Doku Umarov and recognized the 'Imarat Kavkaz' ('Caucasus Emirate') as a terrorist organization. The statement was made after the meeting between Medvedev and Obama. RBK daily calls the move "unexpected" for the Russian side. A veteranof Russian special forces, Sergey Goncharov, views the US decision as "political", adding that the Russian special services are most likely aware of the whereabouts of Umarov. A separatist website described the reward offer as "payment" for Russia's consent to make concessions on the deployment of US missile defence elements in Europe. Kommersant reports in a front-page article that the West has asked Moscow to help solve the Libya conflict. (Gazeta.ru, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG, RBK daily, RG)

Russia, France to sign Mistral deal in June: At their meeting yesterday in Deauville, Presidents Medvedev and Sarkozy agreed to include the creation of a North Caucasus tourist cluster among the priorities of the bilateral strategic partnership. Medvedev and Sarkozy also announced that a contract on the purchase of Mistral-class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy would be signed in the next 15 days. A military expert, contacted by RBK daily, expressed the view that the contract would be "profitable" for Russia. Vedomosti adds that the signing of the Mistral deal would make France Russia's main partner in military technical cooperation among EU Member States. According to Vedomosti, France backed Medvedev's proposals on international nuclear safety. The media also mention the signing by Presidents Medvedev, Obama and Sarkozy of a joint statement on the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. (Izvestia, Kommersant, KP, MT, NG, RBK daily, RG, Vedomosti)

31 mei 2011

Series of terror attacks prevented in Dagestan: (i) The National Antiterrorism Committee (NAK) said on Monday that seven improvised bombs have been discovered during an operation over the weekend in Dagestan. The NAK said that law enforcement bodies have thus prevented a series of terrorist attacks in Dagestan. (ii) A court in Copenhagen has found native of Chechnya Lors Dukayev guilty of attempted terrorism. According to the investigation, Dukayev attempted to perpetrate an act of terrorism against a Danish newspaper which published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005. (Gazeta.ru, Interfax, Kommersant; Ekho Moskvy)

North Caucasus natives blamed for fatal brawl: Investigators have completed the investigation into the murder of Spartak Moscow football fan Yegor Sviridov, who was killed in a brawl with North Caucasus natives in December 2010. Sviridov's death triggered ethnically motivated riots near the Kremlin. According to investigators, the brawl was instigated by the North Caucasus natives. (Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, RG)

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