Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - november 2010

2 november 2010

Northern Caucasus: churches set on fire in Karachayevo-Cherkessia : (i) Two Orthodox cbbhurches and one Baptist church were set on fire in Karachayevo-Cherkessia early on Monday. Commentators say the arsons are intended to incite religious enmity in the region. (ii) The imam of a mosque was killed in the Dagestani town of Khasavyurt. A militant was killed and a policeman was wounded in an operation in Kaspiisk. The killed militant reportedly had a suicide bomber's belt. (iii) Ten police officers were injured in an explosion in Grozny. A militant was killed in a clash with policemen. (iv) A police officer was killed in Kabardino-Balkaria's Baksan district on Monday. (v) Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov claimed in his statement posted on a militant website that businessman George Soros funds activity of Chechen separatist emissary Akhmed Zakayev. According to Umarov, Soros has transferred $10 million to Zakayev for organising the World Chechen Congress in Poland in September. (Interfax, Kommersant, Lenta.ru, Ekho Moskvy)

9 november 2010

Medvedev dissatisfied over North Caucasus economic development: (i) Meeting his envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District Alexander Khloponin on Monday, President Medvedev voiced dissatisfaction over the economic development of the Northern Caucasus and warned that he would sack those leaders of North Caucasus republics who cannot ensure order in the law enforcement area. (ii) Two militants were killed in an operation last Friday in the town of Tyrnyauz in Kabardino-Balkaria. The operation was conducted against a group of militants hiding in a mine of a non-operating wolfram and molybdenum plant. Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports on a series of attacks on officials and local lawmakers over the weekend in Dagestan. (Kommersant, RG)

17 november 2010

Kremlin surprised over Investigative Committee head's offer of a post: A Presidential Administration source expressed surprise over reports that acting head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin has offered to Duma member Alexander Khinshtein the post of his deputy for the North Caucasus Federal District. The source reminded that the President has the prerogative to appoint deputy heads of the Investigative Committee. Commentators recall that in the past, Khinshtein accused Bastrykin of corruption. (Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG)

Chechen refugee murder trial begins in Austria: The media report on the opening on Tuesday in Vienna of a trial of three defendants accused of involvement in the murder of Chechen refugee Umar Israilov, who was killed in Vienna in January 2009. Austrian investigators do not rule out that the killing may be linked to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, but said that they lacked evidence to connect him to the crime. Kadyrov's spokesman Alvi Karimov described any suggestion as an ongoing "information terror" against Chechnya and its leadership. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, MT)

19 november 2010

Militant activity intensified in Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria: (i) Yesterday in Pyatigorsk, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev stressed that the highest level of the terrorist threat is fixed in Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria, adding that the crime situation in several regions of the North Caucasus Federal District remains "complicated." (ii) Four police officers were wounded in two separate attacks on Thursday in Dagestan. One of the wounded policemen later died of wounds in hospital. Three militants were killed in an operation on Thursday in Ingushetia. (iii) Vremya novostei writes that the North Caucasus socioeconomic development strategy until 2025, proposed by Presidential envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District Alexander Khloponin, was sharply criticised by experts. Some analysts say that the Northern Caucasus is "on the brink of revolution" and warn that the pessimistic scenario of the region's separation from Russia could become a reality. (Interfax, RIAN, VN)

22 november 2010

Security situation in Northern Caucasus has barely improved – Medvedev: (i) At a security meeting on Friday in Yessentuki, the Stavropol territory, President Medvedev stated that the situation in the Northern Caucasus "has barely improved" and described the situation in the North Caucasus Federal District as "quite complicated." At the same time, Medvedev added that more than 60 terrorism-related crimes have been foiled, saying that as a result "lives were saved." The media cite criticism voiced by Medvedev over the official crime statistics released by police. According to FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov, more than 300 militants have been killed in the Northern Caucasus since the beginning of the year. (ii) An FSB official was killed late on Friday in Baksan, Kabardino-Balkaria. Two handmade bombs were destroyed by experts on Friday in the Dagestani town of Kaspiisk. (ITAR-TASS, Kommersant, NG, RG, RIAN, VN)

Operation in Belgium to catch Politkovskaya suspect: Dailies report that Russian investigators and Belgian law enforcement agencies conduct an operation in Liege to detain the suspected killer of Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was killed in Moscow in October 2006. Although no names were revealed, Kommersant believes that the reported operation was launched to pursue Rustam Makhmudov, considered by Russian investigators as the main suspect. (Kommersant, Novaya Gazeta)

23 november 2010

Ingush newspaper editor attacked in Nazran; Orthodox church comes under fire in Ingushetia: (i) Chief editor of Ingushetia's newspaper 'Serdalo' ('Light') Khusein Shadiyev was wounded in an attack by unidentified gunmen on Monday in Nazran. Shadiyev's colleagues say the attack was linked to his publications. (ii) An Orthodox church came under fire early on Monday in Ingushetia. Moscow Patriarchate spokesman Vladimir Vigilyansky said the attack aimed to spark inter-religious feud. (iii) FSB Lt. Col. Magomedsaid Gadzhiyev died of wounds he sustained in an explosion on Monday in Dagestan. A police officer was killed in an attack late on Sunday in Kabardino-Balkaria. (iv) Head of the Federal Drug Control Service Viktor Ivanov said on Monday that militants in the Northern Caucasus are "largely funded from revenues gained from Afghan drug trafficking." (v) Kommersant reports that businessman Ruslan Baisarov has promised to invest RUR12 billion (around $400 million) for construction of a mountain ski resort in the Chechen village of Veduchi. (Interfax, Kommersant)

24 november 2010

Stavropol blast suspect detained, two others killed: (i) The Investigative Committee announced on Tuesday that a native of Dagestan had been detained on suspicion of involvement in the May 2010 terror attack in Stavropol in which eight people were killed. Two other natives of Dagestan, who had been involved in the attack, were killed in operations. (ii) Ten people have been detained in a joint operation in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, on suspicion of involvement in terrorist activity. The detainees are citizens of Belgium, the Netherlands, Morocco and Russia. Some of them are suspected of involvement in recruiting militants for the 'Imarat Kavkaz' (the Caucasus Emirate). ( Kommersant, MT, VN)

25 november 2010

Details revealed on anti-terror operation in Europe: (i) The press reports broadly on the detention of 26 suspects during an anti-terror operation in Belgium the Netherlands and Germany. Some of the detainees are suspected of recruiting militants for the militant group called the Caucasus Emirate. (ii) Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports on an attempt on the life of deputy prosecutor of the Dagestani town of Khasavyurt Dzhalaluddin Akayev late on Tuesday. Akayev was not hurt in an explosion outside his house. (iii) Kommersant writes that the Committee to Protect Journalists has awarded with its 2010 International Press Freedom Award chief editor of Dagestan's weekly newspaper 'Chernovik' Nadira Isayeva, who is accused in Russia of inciting hatred. ( Kommersant, NG, Novye Izvestia, RG)

26 november 2010

Moscow blasts European Parliament committee's Magnitsky decision : Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said on Thursday that Moscow views as "interference in Russia's internal affairs" and "an attempt to pressure justice" the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee's backing for a proposal to impose visa and economic sanctions on 60 Russian officials allegedly linked to the death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergey Magnitsky in pretrial detention last year. The European Parliament is expected to consider sanctions at its plenary session on 15 December. Some politicians (e.g. Federation Council speaker Sergey Mironov) and experts speak of a possibility of so-called 'mirror measures' by Russia. (Gazeta.ru, Interfax, Novye Izvestia, VN)

29 november 2010

Clashes between ethnic Chechens and Cossacks in Stavropol: At least eight people were wounded in an armed clash between ethnic Chechens and Cossacks early on Saturday in the town of Zelenokumsk, the Stavropol territory. The clash broke out after local residents tried to defend a girl. The authorities qualified the clash as an "act of hooliganism." (Izvestia, Kommersant, NG, RG)

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