Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - juli 2006

5 juli 2006

- Six federal troops killed in Chechnya attack: Six federal servicemen were killed and more than 10 wounded in an attack on a military convoy yesterday in Chechnya’s Shali district. Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov has ordered the Chechen Interior Ministry “to find, detain or kill” those responsible for the deaths of the servicemen. Kommersant cites a Chechen separatist web site which called the attack a response for the recent killing of Ichkerian/Chechen separatist leader Abdul-Khalim Saidullayev. (Interfax, Kommersant, MT, RG, VN)

7 juli 2006

- Putin Internet conference high in the news: The media, including most dailies in front-page articles, report about an interactive Internet conference in which President Putin answered almost 40 questions from Russian and foreign Internet users on issues from North Korea to living standards in Russia. During more than two hours, Putin: (...)

(ii) spoke against applying ‘double standards’ in approaches to the settlement of conflicts. Referring to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Putin proposed that Georgia hold referendums on independence in these regions similar to the one in Chechnya; (...) (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, RG, Vedomosti, VN)

11 juli 2006

- Basayev killed by special services in Ingushetia: All media report about the killing of Shamil Basayev, Russia’s most wanted terrorist for a number of attacks which claimed hundreds of lives. Meeting President Vladimir Putin yesterday in the Kremlin, director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Nikolai Patrushev said Basayev was among other militants who had been killed in a special operation on Monday morning in Ingushetia and who plotted a terror attack to coincide with the G8 summit in St. Petersburg. President Putin described the killing of Basayev as “a deserved retribution” for the Beslan school siege and other terrorist attacks. Channel One suggested that Basayev might have been killed by a targeted missile strike, like Dzhokhar Dudayev. Politicians and military experts welcomed the operation and called the killing a Russian special services’ success and a blow to terrorist resistance. Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov did not exclude that ‘president’ of Ichkeria/Chechnya Doku Umarov might face a similar fate. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, MT, NG, Novye Izvestia, RG, Vedomosti, VN)

12 juli 2006

- “Russian bin Laden” Basayev dead – Defence Minister: Visiting Chechnya yesterday, Deputy PM and Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov emphasized that there is no doubt that Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev had been killed, but did not disclose any details of the killing. Meanwhile, Chechen separatists claimed that Basayev had been killed in an accident. Vremya novostei provides the commentary by Russian and foreign politicians, including President Bush, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office de Gucht and spokespersons for high-ranking EU officials, on the killing of Basayev. Gazeta and Rossiyskaya gazeta cite Bush’s comment. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG, Novye Izvestia, RG, VN)

- Defence Minister’s visit to N. Caucasus: The media report about an unexpected visit yesterday to Grozny by Deputy PM and Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov to discuss the reconstruction of Grozny at meetings with Chechen President Alu Alkhanov and Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov. On a visit to Dagestan, he announced that two mountain brigades would be formed in Russia to replace the country’s military bases in Georgia, which will be withdrawn by the end of 2008. (Interfax, Izvestia, NG, RG, RIAN, VN)

13 juli 2006

- US, Turkey helped kill Basayev?: In a front-page article, Izvestia reports about its journalistic investigation into the circumstances of the killing in Ingushetia of Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev. The daily suggests that US and Turkish special services might have helped Russian special services carry out the operation. Izvestia mentions Putin’s remark after his recent meeting in Moscow with Turkish counterpart Sezer that “special attention has been paid to joint efforts in the fight against terrorism”. (Izvestia)

14 juli 2006

- 13 Militants Killed in Chechen Battle: Security forces battled armed militants on the eastern border of Chechnya early Thursday, killing at least 13 of them as authorities went on a heightened state of alert across the North Caucasus after the death of warlord Shamil Basayev. A group of 20 to 30 militants were trying to cross into Dagestan when they were confronted by Chechen security forces at around 4:30 a.m. near Nozhai-Yurt, a village about 60 kilometers southeast of Grozny. (Interfax, Moscow Times, Vremya)

17 juli 2006

- FSB chief calls on Chechen militants to surrender: On Saturday, Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Nikolai Patrushev on behalf of the Anti-Terrorist Committee called on Chechen militants to surrender and “start talks with representatives of the legitimate authorities of Chechnya and the federal Government by 1 August”. He also promised militants a fair trial. (Gazeta, Kommersant, MT, NG, RG, VN)

18 juli 2006

- Basayev’s relative detained in Dagestan: Dailies, including Kommersant in a front-page article, report about the detention in Dagestan of an alleged leader of a militant group. According to law enforcement officers, the detainee is a relative of Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev who has been recently killed in a special operation in Ingushetia. Kommersant expresses the view that one of the purposes of the detention could be an attempt to press Basayev’s direct relatives to help identify Basayev. (Kommersant, NG, RG, VN)

20 juli 2006

- Chechen President Asks for Amnesty Extension: President Alu Alkhanov called Wednesday for an extension of a planned amnesty for rebels in the North Caucasus to last until Jan. 1. The head of the Chechen rebel movement, Doku Umarov, quickly dismissed the offer, however, saying the rebels would respond with attacks beyond the borders of Chechnya. Alkhanov said postponing the amnesty deadline to January would give militants "time to contemplate their decision and make use of the chance to become free and return to peaceful pursuits for the well-being of their motherland." (INTRFAX, Moscow Times)

21 juli 2006

- Chechen President wants third term for Putin: Dailies, including Vremya novostei in a front-page article, report about initiatives put forward by North Ossetia’s NGO ‘Agreement and Stability’ and Chechen President Alu Alkhanov to lift a constitutional ban on a third presidential term. Alkhanov is quoted as saying that it is “necessary for a process [of stabilization in Russia] to be completed under the leadership of the current Russian President”. (Novye Izvestia, VN)

- Amnesty for militants in Dagestan?: Kommersant cites a senior Interior Ministry official in the Southern Federal District, Sergey Solodovnikov, who announced that a majority of the leaders of illegal armed formations in Dagestan had been killed and who called on the rest of militants to surrender. According to the daily, an amnesty for militants in Chechnya could be extended to Dagestan. (Kommersant)

24 juli 2006

- Chechen envoy holds talks with Chechen separatists abroad: The media report broadly about a mission to Azerbaijan by Chechen parliamentary deputy and former ‘defence minister’ of Ichkeria/Chechnya Magomed Khambiyev, with a mandate from Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov, for talks with “representatives” of Ichkeria “to persuade them to return to Russia”. Dailies also note that on his way back to Russia, Khambiyev and two Chechen refugees were detained on the Russian border, but then released following the intervention by Russian military authorities and Ramzan Kadyrov. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, NG, Novye Izvestia, VN)

- Interior Ministry poses new rules on NGOs in Chechnya: The Moscow Times reports about restrictions slapped by the Russian Interior Ministry on aid workers in Chechnya in addition to new rules that require NGOs to report their work and trips to police and the Federal Security Service (FSB). (MT)

25 juli 2006

- Chechen President declares month of reconciliation: Chechen President Alu Alkhanov has signed a decree, declaring August a month of reconciliation and accord in Chechnya with a view “to return militants to peaceful life”. Interfax cites Chechen prosecutor Valery Kuznetsov, who announced that since the beginning of this month 46 militants have surrendered in Chechnya. (Interfax, Novye Izvestia, VN)

26 juli 2006

- Ministers discuss Chechnya reconstruction: Visiting Chechnya yesterday to discuss the reconstruction of Chechnya with the Chechen leadership, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, Economics Minister German Gref and Education and Science Minister Andrei Fursenko promised to allocate additional 1.7 billion (around $63 million) roubles for the reconstruction of the social infrastructure of Chechnya. Kudrin expressed the hope that the reconstruction of Chechnya would be finished by 2011. Kommersant asserts that one of the goals of the visit was to assess the chances of Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov becoming Chechen President. (Gazeta, Izvestia, Kommersant, Novye Izvestia)

28 juli 2006

- ECHR rules in Chechen disappearance case: Dailies, including some of them in front-page articles, report that the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Russian military was responsible for the disappearance in 2000 in Chechnya of Khadzhi-Murat Yandiyev, a 25-year-old ethnic Ingush, and ordered Russia to pay 35,000 euros to Yandiyev’s mother for violating her son’s “right to life”. The press highlights that current commander of the North Caucasus military district, Col. Gen. Alexander Baranov, might have ordered Yandiyev’s possible execution. (Gazeta, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, VN)

- Amnesty to Chechen militants may be extended: Director of the Federal Security Service Nikolai Patrushev yesterday said that a proposal made by the Chechen authorities to extend the deadline for illegal armed groups’ surrender, which was set for 1 August, is likely to be backed. (Gazeta, NG, VN)

31 juli 2006

- Chechen Parliament, N. Ossetian NGO back Putin’s third term: On Saturday, the Chechen Parliament backed a proposal by the local branch of United Russia headed by Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov and asked the State Duma to amend the Russian Constitution with a view to enable President Vladimir Putin to run for a third term. In an interview with Izvestia, Ramzan Kadyrov speaks about the initiative. In parallel, a North Ossetian NGO called ‘Agreement and Stability’ on Friday notified the North Ossetian elections commission of its intention to hold an all-Russian referendum on the same issue. (Izvestia, Kommersant, Novye Izvestia, Vedomosti, VN)

- Three servicemen wounded in Ingushetia; Chechen militants laying arms: (i) According to media reports, three servicemen of Russia’s interior troops were wounded in a militant attack yesterday in Ingushetia. (ii) In a front-page article, Rossiyskaya gazeta (Saturday’s issue) reports about the ongoing surrender by former members of illegal armed formations in Chechnya. According to security officials cited by the daily, 33 militants have surrendered to the authorities in the Northern Caucasus for the last 9 days. (iii) The head of the Federal Security Service’s (FSB) department for the fight against terrorism, Yury Sapunov, stressed that Chechen militant leaders were “trying to convince the leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah to join the hostilities in Chechnya on a ‘reciprocal basis’”. (Interfax, MT, RG, VN)

- Case opened into Russian diplomats’ killing in Iraq: The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has opened a criminal case into the killing last month in Iraq of five employees of the Russian Embassy in Baghdad. In an interview last week, the head of the Russian FSB’s department for the fight against international terrorism, Yury Sapunov, did not exclude that Chechen militants might have been involved in the killing. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, NG, RG, VN)

- Chechen PM meets pro-Kremlin youth activists: Some dailies report about a meeting between Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov and activists of the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi (‘Ours’) on Friday in the Tver region. Kommersant quotes the Chechen PM as saying that “Russian people’s duty is to protect President Putin”. (Kommersant, Novye Izvestia)

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