Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - oktober 2013

3 oktober 2013

Prosecutors ask court to sentence militant leader to 25 years in jail: Prosecutors have asked the North Caucasus District Military Court to sentence former leader of Ingush militants Ali Taziyev (aka 'Magas') to 25 years imprisonment, and not to life sentence. Taziyev, a close ally to North Caucasus militant leader Doku Umarov, has been accused of terrorism related crimes. Kommersant notes that Taziyev cooperated with the investigation, adding that law enforcement officers carried out a number of successful operations in the North Caucasus on the basis of information provided by him. (Kommersant) Security measures during Sochi Olympics: Rossiyskaya Gazeta comments on security measures which will be imposed in Sochi and in the area around Sochi for the period of 7 January 2014 through 21 March 2014 in connection with the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The measures provide inter alia for restrictions on movement and protest actions. Meanwhile, media report on the ongoing violence in Dagestan. Three policemen, three civilians and four suspected militants were killed in a shootout in Dagestan on Tuesday. (MT, RG)

4 oktober 2013

No direct governor elections for North Ossetia?: Kommersant reports on a proposal by representatives of United Russia to cancel direct gubernatorial elections in North Ossetia, adding that North Ossetia could become the third Russian region (after Dagestan and Ingushetia) where direct elections of the head of the region are cancelled. ( Kommersant )

7 oktober 2013

Destruction of Syria's chemical weapons begins: (i) An official from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced that international experts on Sunday began destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles. On the sidelines of the APEC summit today in Bali, Foreign Minister Lavrov meets with US Secretary of State Kerry to discuss, among other issues, the Syria crisis. (ii) Rossiyskaya Gazeta cites head of the Federal Drug Control Service Viktor Ivanov, who has warned that foreign mercenaries in Syria might infiltrate the Caucasus and gain control over the transit of Afghan drugs. ( Interfax, RG )

14 oktober 2013

Moscow's district hit by unrest over murder blamed on migrants: Media, including many dailies in front-page articles, report on mass unrest in Moscow's district Biryulovo West on Sunday over the murder of 25-year-old Muscovite Yegor Shcherbakov. Local residents blamed a migrant for the fatal stabbing of Shcherbakov late on Thursday. Up to 380 people have been detained during the riots, and more than 20 people have been hurt in clashes with police. Some protesters chanted racist slogans and attacked a shopping centre. Local residents and nationalists accused the authorities of covering the illegal immigration. According to Izvestia, the suspected killer is allegedly a citizen of Azerbaijan. Commentators draw parallels between the rioting in Biryulovo and the events in the town of Pugachyov (Saratov region) where local residents held protest actions following the murder of a local resident by a native of Chechnya several months ago and the December 2010 clashes between nationalists and police after the murder of a football fan by natives of the North Caucasus. Vedomosti notes that the problem of immigrants and ethnic crime was among key issues during the Moscow mayoral election campaign. Opposition activist Alexei Navalny, who came second in the Moscow mayoral elections, demanded in his blog on Sunday that the Moscow city police chief be dismissed and called for police reforms and introduction of a visa regime with Central Asian countries. ( Gazeta.ru, Izvestia, Kommersant, MK, MT, RBK daily, RG, Vedomosti; Ekho Moskvy )

Gang member killed in Dagestan operation: The National Antiterrorism Committee announced that member of the Khasavyurt gang Aznaur Khizriyev was killed in an operation on Saturday in Dagestan. According to police, Khizriyev has been involved in attacks on law enforcement officers and local businessmen. ( Kommersant )

15 oktober 2013

Biryulovo unrest in the spotlight: Media continue to comment on Sunday's anti-migrant riots in Moscow's West Biryulovo district over the murder of local resident Yegor Shcherbakov allegedly by a native of the Caucasus. The riots erupted at a public gathering at which local residents demanded that the murder be investigated and that migration rules be tightened. The murder has not been solved yet. RBK daily suggests that the authorities' reaction to the events in Biryulovo is likely to be the same as it was the case after the December 2010 ethnically motivated riots on Moscow's Manezhnaya Square or after an attack on a police officer at Moscow's market earlier this year. The daily lists, among measures, anti-migrant raids, prosecutor's checks and opening of criminal cases, adding that the only new element is an unofficial instruction to the police to detain people from the Caucasus who carry knives or guns. Police on Monday detained up to 1,200 migrants at a vegetable warehouse in Biryulovo targeted during the riots. Rospotrebnadzor (Russia's consumer rights protection watchdog) proposed to close the vegetable warehouse. The Ekho Moskvy radio station reports that local residents were indignant over a statement by Moscow deputy mayor Gorbenko who blamed nationalists for the riots. According to RBK daily, participation of members of nationalist organizations in the protest was not significant. A criminal case was opened on charges of hooliganism in connection with the riots. Kommersant does not rule out that some protesters may be accused of organizing mass riots (Article 212 of the Criminal Code) and attempt on the life of a law enforcement officer (Article 317). The daily writes that some nationalist websites announced plans to hold actions in Moscow on Tuesday during celebrations of a Muslim holiday. Moscow mayor Sobyanin informed President Putin about the unrest in Biryulovo. Duma speaker Naryshkin did not rule out that a Parliamentary investigation might be conducted into the rioting. The Duma plans to consider a second and third reading of a draft bill which would increase responsibility of regional and local authorities in the field of interethnic relations. Media cite Russian Human Rights Commissioner Lukin's proposal that visa rules be introduced with CIS countries. Vedomosti recalls that Putin earlier spoke against imposing visas for citizens of CIS countries. In an editorial, Vedomosti criticizes Russia's migration policy and highlights corruption within the migration service and in the police force. ( Gazeta.ru, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG, RBK daily, RG, Vedomosti; Ekho Moskvy )

16 oktober 2013

Terrorist attack prevented in Kirov region: (i) A terrorist attack has been prevented at a chemical weapons facility in the Kirov region. Two natives of the North Caucasus have been detained on suspicion of preparing to perpetrate the attack. (ii) Kommersant reports that a prosecutor has asked the Moscow regional court to sentence the three suspects in the case over the January 2011 bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport to prison terms, ranging from ten years to life. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, MT )

North Caucasus militant leader sentenced to life imprisonment: The North Caucasus Military District Court has sentenced North Caucasus militant leader Ali Taziyev (aka 'Magas') to life imprisonment for terrorism. Taziyev, considered a close associate to North Caucasus militant leader Doku Umarov, had been found guilty of involvement in a series of terrorist attacks, including a 2009 attempt on the life of Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov. ( Kommersant, RG )

17 oktober 2013

FDI inflow's specificity: According to the National Rating Agency, around 40% of the foreign direct investment inflow to Russia represents investment from the tax havens. The investment from Cyprus accounted for 77% of the FDI inflow in 2012 (there are 19 other destinations, such as the Virgin Islands, Panama, Seychelles and Bahamas). In some Russian regions foreign direct investment exclusively comes from the tax havens. These are Dagestan, Kalmykia, Khakassia and Chukotka. According to Rosstat, foreign FDI inflow to Russia in 2012 amounted to $18.6 billion or 1.4% more than in 2011. ( RG )

21 oktober 2013

Federal Migration Service may get more powers: Vedomosti cites proposals to provide the Federal Migration Service (FMS) with new powers in the fight against illegal migration. Media also highlight legislative initiatives to tighten migration rules. In an interview with Kommersant, FMS head Konstantin Romodanovsky comments on recent riots in the West Biryulovo district and measures to control migration flows. Rossiyskaya Gazeta cites Russian Foreign Ministry's commissioner for human rights Konstantin Dolgov as saying that Russian law enforcement officers' actions to stop the disturbances in Biryulovo were "resolute and professional" and did not violate Russia's international obligations. The statement was made in response to a German Foreign Ministry statement which expressed concern over the riots in Biryulovo and tough measures by Russian law enforcement agencies in relation to migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia. ( Kommersant, MT, RG, Vedomosti )

22 oktober 2013

At least six killed in Volgograd bus bombing: At least six people were killed and up to 40 were injured in an explosion on a bus on Monday in Volgograd. Law enforcement officials said that the attack had been carried out by a female suicide bomber identified as Dagestan-born Naida Asiyalova. She is believed to be a common-law wife of 'Russian Wahhabi' Dmitry Sokolov. The latter is suspected of involvement in terrorist attacks in Dagestan and has been declared wanted. The blast was the first major terror attack in Russia outside the North Caucasus since the bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport in January 2011. Izvestia does not rule out that the attack in Volgograd might be revenge by militants for recent successful counterterrorist operations in the North Caucasus or reaction to the recent sentencing to life imprisonment of so-called 'military emir' of the 'Caucasus Emirate' Ali Taziyev (aka 'Magas'). Some commentators said that the attack could be linked to preparations for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. The EU and the US have condemned the attack. (ii) Kommersant reports that the Duma may adopt a Presidential draft bill toughening punishment for terrorist activity by the end of this week. ( Gazeta.ru, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG, RBK daily, RG; Ekho Moskvy, Rossiya 1 )

23 oktober 2013

Probe of Volgograd bus bombing: (i) Press provides details of an investigation of the 21 October explosion on a bus in Volgograd which claimed the lives of at least six people. According to investigators, the suspected suicide bomber Naida Asiyalova has arrived in Volgograd on a bus going from Makhachkala to Moscow. Asiyalova's husband, 'Russian Wahhabi' Dmitry Sokolov, is suspected of involvement in the attack. Novaya Gazeta reports on a controversy with Asiyalova's passport. (ii) The National Antiterrorism Committee said Tuesday that a terrorist attack was prevented in Dagestan after a bomb was uncovered near a shopping centre in the town of Khasavyurt. (iii) Kommersant reports on a militant attack on FSB officers in Kabardino-Balkaria early on Tuesday. One FSB officer was killed and another one was wounded in the attack. ( Gazeta.ru, Izvestia, Kommersant, Novaya Gazeta, RG )

24 oktober 2013

Attacks on officials in North Caucasus: The deputy head of the Khasavyurt city administration was killed in an attack yesterday in Dagestan. In a separate attack, a prosecutor was killed in Vladikavkaz (North Ossetia). ( RG )

28 oktober 2013

LDPR's Chechnya branch decides to disband itself over Zhirinovsky comments: Reportedly, the regional branch of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) has decided to disband itself over LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky's remarks about the North Caucasus during a televised program. Zhirinovsky notably proposed to limit the birth rate in the North Caucasus and restrict movement of people from the North Caucasus. Expert Alexei Malashenko, contacted by Kommersant, expressed the view that Zhirinovsky's popularity would grow, in particular in the context of recent events in Moscow's West Biryulovo district. ( Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, RIAN )

30 oktober 2013

Lawmaker calls to check Zhirinovsky comments for extremism: United Russia Duma deputy Gadzhimet Safaraliyev has sent a request to Prosecutor General Chaika to check for extremism statements made in a televised program by LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky who called for imposing restrictions on the birth rate in the North Caucasus and restricting the movement of people from the North Caucasus across the country as an anti-terrorism measure. ( Gazeta.ru )

31 oktober 2013

Two killed in Dagestan blasts : (i) Two people were killed and 15 others were wounded in two explosions on Wednesday in Makhachkala. Reportedly, a liquor shop may have been the target of the attack. This is not the first time as liquor shops become the target for militant attacks in Dagestan. (ii) Speaking in the Federation Council on Wednesday, Interior Minister Kolokoltsev said that the number of terrorist attacks in Russia had decreased by 50% since 2011. ( Kommersant, RIAN; Rossiya 1 )

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