Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - september 2009

1 september 2009


Suicide bomb attack in Makhachkala: (i) A Dagestani customs officer was killed and at least five policemen and four civilians were injured in a car explosion early on Tuesday near a police station in Makhachkala. Dagestani police did not exclude that the attack could have been perpetrated by a suicide bomber. In a motorcade explosion on Monday in Chechnya, three Interior Troops servicemen were wounded. (ii) Severn militants have been detained in a police operation in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. (Interfax, Lenta.ru, MT, RIAN, Ekho Moskvy)


4 september 2009


Northern Caucasus: (i) The press reports on a mourning ceremony yesterday in Beslan, North Ossetia, to commemorate the victims of the 2004 Beslan school hostage taking. At least 335 hostages, including more than 180 children, were killed. (ii) Four young men have been arrested in Chechnya on suspicion of planning to commit suicide bomb attacks. (iii) Kommersant reports on the appointment by Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov of Nikolai Glushchenko as his advisor on law enforcement agencies. Some experts do not exclude that Ingush PM Rashid Gaisanov could soon be dismissed. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, Lenta.ru, RIAN)


7 september 2009


Suspected mastermind of Ingush leader assassination attempt killed in Ingushetia: (i) Law enforcement officials said that one of the three militants killed in an operation on Friday in Ingushetia, Rustam Dzortov, had organised the suicide bombing of Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov’s motorcade in June. (ii) Gazeta reports on the planned visit to Ingushetia on Tuesday of the Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg for talks with Ingush President Yevkurov and human rights activists. During his visit to Grozny today, Hammarberg plans to meet Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and other Chechen officials, as well as representatives of NGOs and Chechen ombudsman Nurdi Nukhazhiyev. (iii) The Chechen Interior Ministry said a militant who planned to carry out a terror attack in Moscow was killed in Chechnya’s Gudermes district on Friday night. (iv) A police officer was killed in an attack on Sunday in Grozny. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, RG, VN)


8 september 2009


Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner visits Chechnya: (i) Addressing the visit on Monday to Chechnya of the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg and Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin, Gazeta reports on their meetings with representatives of Chechen law enforcement agencies, Chechen human rights ombudsman Nurdi Nukhazhiyev and rights activists. The daily notes that a meeting with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov did not take place. Meeting Chechen human rights activists, Hammarberg raised the problem of abductions and disappearances in Chechnya. (ii) In an interview with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov comments on recent terror attacks in the Northern Caucasus. He also said that Ingush law enforcement agencies “lack professionalism”. (Gazeta, RG)


9 september 2009


Two militants killed in Ingushetia operation; suicide bomb attacks foiled in Moscow –press: (i) Two militants were killed and two civilians were injured in an operation yesterday in Nazran. No casualties among security officers were reported. In the meantime, the press reports on statements by law enforcement officials on the investigation into the 22 June assassination attempt on Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov. Vremya novostei cites Ingush prosecutor Yury Turygin who said at a meeting with Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg on Tuesday that the organiser and perpetrator of the attack have been killed. Russia’s Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev made a similar statement. Nurgaliyev also did not exclude further reshuffles in the Ingush Interior Ministry. Addressing Hammarberg’s meeting with Ingush President Yevkurov, Gazeta reports that Hammarberg raised inter alia the issue of the fight against corruption in Ingushetia. (ii) In a front-page article, Kommersant reveals some details of the prevention of two suicide bomb attacks in Moscow. The first attack was planned to be committed during Moscow’s City Day celebrations over last weekend, while the second bombing was planned for Monday, 7 September. The daily writes that the plan was uncovered in the wake of the detention last Thursday in Chechnya of four militants, who planned to commit suicide bomb attacks. (iii) The press reports on the apartment building bombings in Buinaksk (Dagestan), Moscow and Volgodonsk ten years ago. The Moscow Times remarks that although prosecutors blamed a group of Islamic militants from the Republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia for the attacks, “the attacks continue to offer fuel for conspiracy theories”. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, VN)


10 september 2009


Chechnyaplans to open cultural centres abroad?: (i) The Chechen authorities reportedly announced plans to open Chechen representative offices in a number of European countries (Germany, Austria, Belgium, Poland, France and Denmark). The Chechen Information Ministry has clarified that Chechnya planned to open cultural centres abroad, not political representative offices. (ii) Meeting Council of Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner yesterday in Grozny, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov spoke of the Chechen authorities’ measures to establish the whereabouts of people who had gone missing in Chechnya. (Interfax, MT, RIAN)


UNGA supports Georgia’s refugee resolution: (i) The UN GA supported on Wednesday a draft resolution, proposed by Georgia, on refugees from Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry criticised the draft as “counterproductive”. Meanwhile, the press reports that Georgia is seeking a boycott of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. The Georgian Olympic Committee and the Foreign Ministry have warned allies of the risks in holding the Games close to Abkhazia, and the republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia. The Moscow Times (Reuters) notes, however, that “there is no sign that the US…or Europe will risk ties with Russia by boycotting the Games”. (ii) Gazeta reports on the ongoing visit to Latin American countries of an Abkhaz delegation, led by Abkhaz de facto Deputy Foreign Minister Maxim Gvindzhia. The delegation has already visited Venezuela and Cuba. After visiting Nicaragua, the delegation plans to visit Bolivia. (ii) Kommersant reports that a Georgian court has ruled to release a Turkish tanker captain, who was sentenced to 24 years in prison for violating Georgia’s embargo on Abkhazia. The court gave the captain a three-year suspended sentence and imposed an $18,000 fine. Kommersant also mentions talks on Tuesday between the head of the FSB’s Border Service Vladimir Pronichev and Abkhaz President Sergey Bagapsh to discuss the protection of “Abkhazia’s sea borders”. (Gazeta, Kommersant, MT, RIAN, VN


11 september 2009


Court hearings of Kadyrov’s suit vs. Memorial head: A Moscow district court yesterday started hearings of a lawsuit filed by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov against the head of the Memorial human rights centre Oleg Orlov. Kadyrov accused Orlov of insulting his honour and dignity and demanded RUR10 million (around $310,000) in compensation. The press recalls that Orlov has accused Kadyrov of involvement in the murder of human rights activist Natalia Estemirova who worked for Memorial. (Kommersant, Novye Izvestia)


Akhmad Kadyrov monument dismantled in Grozny: A monument to Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, created by well-known Russian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, has been dismantled in Grozny on orders from his son, incumbent Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov. In a statement, Ramzan Kadyrov said that his Islamic faith demanded that the monument be dismantled to make way for a memorial to those who were killed in fighting against separatists. (Gazeta, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, VN))


14 september 2009


Suicide bombings, other attacks hit volatile Caucasus: (i) Two suicide bombings and a series of other attacks hit Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan on Friday and Saturday, killing at least 10 people. In a suicide bombing near a school in Grozny on Saturday, three police offices were wounded. Also on Saturday, two Chechen policemen were killed in Argun. In a suicide bomb blast near a traffic police post on Friday in Ingushetia, one civilian was killed and five law enforcement officers were wounded. On Saturday in Ingushetia, a police investigator was shot and killed by gunmen in Nazran. In Dagestan, deputy prosecutor of Makhachkala Maksud Maksudov was killed on Friday. On Friday night, police detained a woman on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack in Makhachkala. On Saturday, four suspected militants were killed in an operation in Dagestan. Police said that the killed militants were involved in the murder of Makhachkala’s deputy prosecutor. (ii) The Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Chechnya may set up representative offices abroad, but pointed out that such offices should be called information centres and would work with the regional governments of their host countries. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, MT, NG, Trud, VN)


16 september 2009


Groznycourt rules for father in custody dispute; Russian mother to go on abduction trial in Finland: (i) A Grozny court yesterday ruled in favour of Chechen businessman Ruslan Baisarov in a custody dispute between him and pop star Kristina Orbakaite. The court ruled that their 11-year-old son will be with his father. (ii) Russian national Rimma Salonen has been charged with kidnapping her 5-year-old son in Finland. (Gazeta, Izvestia, Kommersant, RG)


17 september 2009


Six injured in suicide bombing in Grozny: Two police officers and at least four civilians were injured in a suicide bombing on Wednesday in Grozny. Police said a female suicide bomber is responsible for the attack. Meanwhile, in an interview published in Komsomolskaya Pravda on the same day that a suicide bomber blew herself up in Grozny, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said that the security situation in Chechnya is improving as the authorities “have intensified the battle with the bandits”. He also suggested that Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov should “step up the fight” against militants. Kadyrov announced that after resigning he plans to give lectures in Russia on the danger of Wahhabism. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, MT, RG, VN)


22 september 2009


Moscow’s former military commissar convicted of fraud: The Moscow Garrison Military Court yesterday sentenced Moscow’s former military commissar Andrey Glushchenko to six years in prison on fraud charges. Investigators established that Glushchenko had fabricated documents on his alleged participation in counter-terrorist operations in the Northern Caucasus in 2001. (Gazeta, Kommersant, Novye Izvestia, RG)


Chechnya’s Kadyrov calls for fighting against Wahhabism: Vremya novosteicites a statement by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov who has called for the resolute fight against Wahhabism. The statement was made following the killing on Sunday in Karachayevo-Circassia of Muslim cleric Ismail Bostanov. (VN)


24 september 2009


ChechnyaPresident blames US for backing militants: Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said in a statement on Wednesday that militants in Chechnya are backed by the US and British special services. Earlier, a similar statement was made by Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov. (AP, MT)


Ruslan Yamadayev murder solved?: (i) Investigators have charged Chechen native, Aslanbek Dadayev, with involvement in the killing of former Duma member, Hero of Russia Ruslan Yamadayev in September 2008. Charges of complicity in the murder were brought against Elimpasha Khatsuyev. Kommersant reports that Khatsuyev has been put by Dubai police on an international wanted list in connection with the attempt on the life of former commander of the Vostok battalion, Sulim Yamadayev, in March 2009. (ii) The Moscow Times reports that Austria has extradited to Russia an Ingush native wanted on charges of banditry and illegal possession and trade of arms. (Gazeta, Kommersant, MT, RBK daily, VN)


28 september 2009


Two Dagestani officials killed in Moscow, Dagestan: The deputy chief of Dagestan's Interior Ministry Criminal Investigation Unit, Alim-Sultan Atuyev, and his nephew were shot dead on Sunday evening in Dagestan’s Kizil-Yurt district. Also on Sunday, the head of the district administration of Dagestan’s Khasavyurt district, Alimsultan Alkhamatov, was killed in Moscow. Investigators said the driver of the attackers on Alkhamatov has been detained. On Saturday, the head of administration of the Chechen village of Stary Achkhoi, Ali Artamov, and his son were shot dead in Chechnya. (Interfax, Kommersant, RIAN, VN)


Memorial head claims Chechen President politically responsible for Estemirova murder: At a hearing at a Moscow district court on Friday, the head of the Memorial human rights centre Oleg Orlov stressed that Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov was “politically responsible” for the murder of Chechen human rights activist Natalia Estemirova. He noted that he said that “not from the point of view of the criminal law, but in the social and political sense”. Orlov’s lawyers also refused to sign a compromise agreement in the defamation lawsuit filed by Ramzan Kadyrov. Kadyrov’s representative suggested that compromise could be reached if Orlov retracts his words. (Interfax, Kommersant, Novye Izvestia)

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