Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - oktober 2009

1 oktober 2009

Probe launched into violence threats to Chechnya President: (i) The Investigative Committee’s branch for Chechnya has opened a criminal case into threats of violence against Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Investigators said the threats were posted on the Chechnyatoday.com official web site in June after the site was hacked. (ii) Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov yesterday announced that 84 militants have been killed in Chechnya since the beginning of this year. (iii) Investigator Gamzat Musayev, who was involved in investigating a series of killings and attacks in Dagestan’ s Khasavyurt district, was shot dead by traffic policemen yesterday near Makhachkala after he allegedly did not obey their order to stop. (Gazeta, Kommersant, NG, VN)

PACE criticises Russia for inability to ensure security in Northern Caucasus: Dailies report on a discussion yesterday by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) of the situation in the Northern Caucasus. Kommersant cites criticism voiced by PACE Parliamentarians over the Russian authorities’ inability to ensure security in the region. Today, the PACE is expected to debate a Georgian proposal to deprive the Russian delegation to PACE of its voting right. The Russian delegation will not attend the debates. In an interview with Nezavisimaya Gazeta, new Secretary-General of the Council of Europe Thorbjoern Jagland expressed hope that Russia is interested in maintaining its membership of the Council of Europe, and stressed that he cannot imagine the Council of Europe without Russia. In an interview with Kommersant, he spoke of his plan to visit Moscow as soon as possible. (Gazeta,Izvestia, Kommersant, NG)

5 oktober 2009

Eight militants killed in Chechnya; policeman, three militants killed in KBR: Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov announced on Friday that eight militants have been killed in an operation led directly by him in Chechnya. There were no casualties among police, he said. A policeman and three militants were killed in an operation in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria (KBR) on Friday. Also on Friday, police killed two suspected militants in Dagestan. Authorities said a major terror attack was prevented in Dagestan’s town of Derbent on Sunday after police dismantled an explosive device found in a car. Another explosion was prevented in Dagestan on Saturday. (Interfax, ITAR-TASS, Kommersant, MT, RG)

7 oktober 2009

Court partially grants Chechen President’s libel suit vs. Memorial: A Moscow district court yesterday ordered that the head of the Memorial human rights group, Oleg Orlov, retracts his statement that Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov was responsible for the murder of Chechen rights activist Natalia Estemirova. In his defamation lawsuit, Kadyrov sought RUR10 million in libel damages, but the court ruled that Memorial and Orlov should pay a total of RUR70,000. In the meantime, the media reports that the Chechen President has filed a libel lawsuit against Novaya Gazeta over a publication that linked Ramzan Kadyrov to the killing of his former bodyguard Umar Israilov in Vienna in January 2009. (Gazeta, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, RIAN)

New Politkovskaya suspects surfaced - Novaya Gazeta: (i) At a press conference on Tuesday in Moscow, deputy editor of Novaya Gazeta Sergey Sokolov said that investigators have identified new suspects in the 7 October 2006 killing of Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya. He also said that the suspected killer of Politkovskaya is hiding in Europe and is “moving from one country to another”. (ii) The media reports that the Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders (RWB) Jean-Francois Julliard and a staffer have been denied Russian visas to attend events dedicated to the third anniversary of Politkovskaya’s death. The Russian Foreign Ministry explained the visa denial by “technical reasons”. Interfax reports that rights activists and some opposition politicians plan to hold a rally today in Moscow to commemorate Politkovskaya. (Interfax, Izvestia, MT, Novye Izvestia, VN)

Helicopter comes under fire in Chechnya: (i) Two contract servicemen were injured in a blast late on Monday in Chechnya’s Urus-Martan district. A Russian Defence Ministry combat helicopter carrying one of the injured servicemen came under fire. No casualties are reported. Nezavisimaya Gazeta comments on an increased number of prevented terror attacks in Dagestan with the use of cars. (ii) Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports on an award to the Chechen capital Grozny from the UN Human Settlements Programme for its post-conflict reconstruction. (Interfax, NG, RG, RIAN)

8 oktober 2009

FSB to be in charge of fight against terrorism in Chechnya: In an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Deputy Interior Minister Arcady Yedelev said that the Federal Security Service (FSB) will assume the functions of heading the fight against terrorism in Chechnya. Yedelev also said that the number of active militants and their accomplices in the Northern Caucasus amounts to more than 800. (RG)

Chechen senator resigns before his term: The Federation Council on Wednesday accepted an early resignation of senator from Chechnya, Umar Dzhabrailov, at his “personal request”. Some commentators explain Dzhabrailov’s resignation by a deterioration of his relations with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. Observers do not rule out that businessman Ruslan Baisarov could become new senator from Chechnya. Baisarov has recently hit the headlines in connection with a custody dispute with pop star Kristina Orbakaite over their 11-year-old son, Deni Baisarov. (Gazeta, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, RBK daily, Vedomosti, VN)

9 oktober 2009

Blasts in Dagestan, Ingushetia: (i) According to media reports, one person was killed in an explosion early on Friday in a park in the Dagestani town of Derbent, where mayoral elections are scheduled to be held on Sunday. Police do not rule out that the man who was killed had attempted to plant the explosive device. One person was reportedly killed in a car explosion in Ingushetia. In an operation yesterday in Dagestan’s Kizilyurt district, a militant and his wife were killed. Police identified the killed militant as the so-called ‘amir of the Makhachkala Jamaat’ Gadjimurad Kamalutdinov. (ii) The press comments on an announcement by Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev that the Chechen department of the Federal Security Service (FSB) has assumed control of the operative headquarters in Chechnya. (Gazeta, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, Kommersant, RIAN)

12 oktober 2009

United Russia declares victory in regional polls: only two parties to get seats in Moscow City Duma: United Russia claimed victory in all regional and local elections held on 11 October in 75 Russian regions. With almost 90% of ballots counted, only two parties – United Russia and the Communists – will get seats in the Moscow City Duma. According to preliminary results, United Russia gained some 66% of the vote, and the Communist Party 13.28%. Turnout in the Moscow City Duma elections was 34.72%. United Russia candidates are also leading in all the 17 single-mandate districts in Moscow. Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), Fair Russia and Yabloko have failed to overcome the 7-% threshold in the Moscow City Duma elections. Chechnya and Ingushetia held municipal elections for the first time. Voter turnouts were high both in Chechnya (86%) and Ingushetia (about 70%). Kommersant and Vremya novostei report that mayoral elections in the Dagestani town of Derbent were on the brink of disruption and mention the visit to Derbent of Presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District Vladimir Ustinov. Meanwhile, Russia’s Central Elections Commission said that no serious incidents have been registered on the Voting Day on Sunday. (Interfax, Kommersant, Lenta.ru, RBK daily, RG, RIAN, Vedomosti, VN, Ekho Moskvy)

13 oktober 2009

Seven militants killed in Ingushetia clash: Eight militants and three security officers were killed in a clash between law enforcement officers and a group of up to 30 militants on Monday in Ingushetia’s Sunzha district. Police said that two of the killed militants were bomb experts. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said that Chechen police took part in the operation jointly with Ingush colleagues. The press reports on the launch of counterterrorist operations yesterday in several locations in Ingushetia. (Gazeta, Interfax, Trud, VN)

15 oktober 2009

Memorial appeals against court ruling in Chechen President’s libel lawsuit: The Memorial human rights centre has appealed against a court ruling ordering Memorial to payRUR70,000 in libel damages to Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. (RIAN)

22 oktober 2009

Five wounded in Grozny suicide bombing: (i) Four police officers and a passer-by were reportedly wounded in a suicide bombing yesterday in the evening in Grozny. (ii) The Chechen Interior Ministry said on Wednesday that a policeman and two militants were killed in an operation in Chechnya’s Urus-Martan district. Also on Wednesday, Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov said a militant, who was involved in an attack on police in July, was killed in an operation in Grozny on Tuesday. (Interfax, RIAN)

23 oktober 2009

Militants who planned suicide bombings killed in Chechnya: (i) Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov announced on Thursday that police had killed in Grozny four militants, who planned to perpetrate a series of suicide bombings. A policeman was killed in the operation. Also on Thursday, Chechen law enforcement officers said a so-called ‘emir of Gudermes’ who had been involved in plotting a terror attack against Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov was killed in an operation in Grozny. (ii) The head of the Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin is quoted as saying that the number of terrorist attacks in the Northern Caucasus has grown by 57% since the beginning of 2009. (Interfax, Lenta.ru, NG, RG)

New Chechen senator nominated: Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has nominated Suleiman Geremeyev as his representative to the Federation Council to replace Umar Dzhabrailov. Dailies report that Geremeyev is the cousin of Duma member Adam Delimkhanov, who is wanted in connection with the attempt on the life of former commander of the Russian Defence Ministry’s Vostok battalion Sulim Yamadayev in Dubai. (Kommersant, MT, VN)

Memorial awarded Sakharov Prize: The press reports on the awarding of the Memorial human rights centre and its three activists, Oleg Orlov, Lyudmila Alekseyeva and Sergey Kovalyov, with the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought by the European Parliament. Orlov dedicated the award to the memory of Chechen human rights activist Natalia Estemirova who was abducted and killed in July. (Kommersant, MT, RIAN, VN)

26 oktober 2009

Former Ingush opposition activist killed in Kabardino-Balkaria: Former Ingush opposition activist Maksharip Aushev was killed on Sunday in Kabardino-Balkaria. Aushev took over Ingushetia.org opposition web site after Ingush opposition journalist and owner of the web site Magomed Yevloyev died while in police custody in August 2008. However, Aushev resigned after Ingush President Murat Zyazikov was dismissed. Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov said in a statement that the killing of Aushev aimed to destabilize the situation in Ingushetia. Prosecutor General Yury Chaika has assumed personal control over the investigation. Some human rights activists expressed the view that the crime was connected to Aushev’s rights activities. Representative of Human Rights Watch Tatyana Lokshina is quoted as saying that the killing “shows an atmosphere of impunity in the Northern Caucasus”. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, RG, VN)

Assassination attempt on Chechnya President averted – Chechen authorities: (i) Chechen Deputy Interior Minister Roman Edilov said on Friday that an assassination attempt on Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and Duma member Adam Delimkhanov was prevented by Chechen law enforcement agencies on Friday in Grozny. A sniper killed the driver of a car that was speeding toward a construction site where Kadyrov was expected to arrive. Chechen police said a container with wires was found in the car. The alleged attacker was identified as so-called ‘emir of Urus-Martan’ Bislan Bashtayev. (ii) Kommersant-Vlast publishes an interview with Chechen separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev, who comments on the current situation in Chechnya. (Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, Kommersant-Vlast, MT, RBK daily, RIAN, VN)

27 oktober 2009

Two police officers killed in attack in Chechnya: Two police officers have been killed in Chechnya when a police patrol stopped a bus for an ID check near the village of Nikolayevskaya on the Kizlyar-Mozdok highway in Naura district on Monday evening. As the check began two men opened gunfire on police officers, killing two of them. (Interfax, Ria-Novosti)

28 oktober 2009

Brother says lawyer Markelov’s killing not connected to Northern Caucasus: Brother of human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov who was shot dead in Moscow in January, Mikhail Markelov, said in a statement that his brother’s killing is not connected to the Northern Caucasus, including the case of former army colonel Yury Budanov. Markelov argued that the murder was organized by people close to “informal Russian and foreign organizations” and is related to his brother’s professional activities. (Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia)

29 oktober 2009

Chechnya President disappointed in separatist leader Zakayev: The media reports on Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s “disappointment” in Chechen separatist leader Akhmed Zakayev, who is residing in Britain. Kadyrov called Zakayev a “chameleon” and “chatterbox” following Zakayev’s interview with Kommersant-Vlast weekly magazine in which the Chechen separatist leader criticised the Chechen authorities. Observers recall that Ramzan Kadyrov earlier invited Zakayev to return to Chechnya. (Izvestia, Kommersant, VN)

30 oktober 2009

Supreme Court asks to rule on death penalty issue: The Russian Supreme Court Plenum on Thursday asked the country’s Constitutional Court to rule on whether courts would be allowed to hand down death sentences starting from 1 January 2010. Russia’s Constitutional Court imposed a moratorium on capital punishment in 1999, ruling that death sentences could not be passed until jury trials were established in all Russian regions. Chechnya will be the last Russian region to introduce jury trials as of 1 January 2010. Human rights advocates have spoken strongly against the death penalty, while Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin expressed confidence that Russia would not come back to the death penalty on 1 January 2010. (Gazeta, Kommersant, RG, Vedomosti, VN)

Chechnya President to sue Novaya Gazeta for defamation: A lawyer for Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov told journalists that the Chechen President intends to file a lawsuit against Novaya Gazeta over a publication which alleged that Kadyrov had been involved in the killing of his former bodyguard Umar Israilov in Vienna in January. (Novye Izvestia)



Prosecutor killed in Dagestan: suicide bomber blows self up in Chechnya: Deputy prosecutor of Makhachkala’s Kirovsky district, Nazim Murtazaliyev, was shot dead on Thursday in Dagestan. Murtazaliyev’s professional activities are seen as the main theory behind the murder. A militant who planned to commit a suicide bombing in Chechnya blew himself up as police tried to detain him in Grozny. (Interfax, RIAN)

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