Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - maart 2006

1 maart 2006

- Chechen PM submits resignation: All media, including most dailies in front-page articles, report about an announcement made by Chechen President Alu Alkhanov at a press conference yesterday in Moscow that Chechen PM Sergey Abramov, who was injured in a car crash last year in Moscow, had submitted his resignation. Dailies point out that the move was not a surprise despite officials’ attempts to dismiss allegations that Abramov would not return. As Alkhanov stressed, Abramov’s health does not allow him to resume office. In his turn, Abramov explained his resignation by the willingness to clear the way for Chechnya’s acting PM Ramzan Kadyrov to become premier. Presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District Kozak said Kadyrov could become Chechen prime minister “should the President nominate his candidacy”. (Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG, Novye Izvestia, Gazeta, Vedomosti, Vremya novostei)

- Constitutional court reviewing inquiry on ‘Ulman case’: The Russian Constitutional Court yesterday started the consideration of an inquiry from Chechen President Alkhanov on the case against a group of federal servicemen led by Cap. Ulman, who had been accused of murdering six Chechen civilians. Alkhanov asked the Court to check the constitutionality of some laws the North Caucasus Military District Court used to rule on the selection of jury members from other Russian regions to hear the case. (Kommersant, RG, NG, Novye Izvestia, Gazeta, Vedomosti, Vremya novostei)

2 maart 2006

- Chechen president to nominate candidate for premier: It is expected that Chechen President Alu Alkhanov today will nominate a candidate for the post of republican prime minister vacated after the resignation of Sergei Abramov. The media report that the only candidate on the list will be Chechnya’s acting PM Ramzan Kadyrov. (Gazeta, Novye Izvestia, Vedomosti)

3 maart 2006

- Ramzan Kadyrov nominated for Chechen premiership: Chechen President Alu Alkhanov yesterday announced that he had accepted the resignation of Chechen PM Sergey Abramov and nominated Ramzan Kadyrov, 29, for Chechen premiership. It is reported that the Chechen Parliament will discuss Kadyrov’s candidacy on Saturday. (Interfax, Gazeta, Izvestia, Novye Izvestia, RG, Vremya novostei)

- Putin completes visit to Czech Republic: (i) The media continue to report about the first visit of President Putin to the Czech Republic that ended yesterday. As Moskovskie novosti argues, Moscow’s irritation toward former allies’ accession to the NATO and the EU is giving the way to “a pragmatic line of using these countries in Russia’s economic interests in the region”. (ii) Nezavisimaya gazeta recalls that on the day of President Putin’s arrival in Prague, former Czech President Havel was among those who criticised Russia’s policy in Chechnya and demanded that this issue be discussed at the G-8 summit in St. Petersburg. (Izvestia, Kommersant, MN, NG, RG, Gazeta, MT)

6 maart 2006

- Ramzan Kadyrov appointed Chechen PM: On Saturday, the Chechen Parliament unanimously approved Ramzan Kadyrov as new Chechen PM to replace Sergey Abramov. A decree on Kadyrov’s appointment was signed by Chechen President Alkhanov. Nezavisimaya gazeta emphasizes that Kadyrov has become the first ethnic Chechen PM. Kommersant quotes Kadyrov as saying that if there were no positive changes in Chechnya in three months, his team would resign. (Izvestia, Kommersant, Gazeta, NG, Novye Izvestia)

13 maart 2006

- Thousands of police hunt for Basaev in mountains: Up to 3,000 of police are searching Chechnya's southern mountains for rebel warlord Shamil Basaev, Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov said Friday. At least 10 policemen loyal to the Chechen government have been killed in recent days in clashes with rebels in the foothills of the mountains, media report. Kommersant stressed that this round-the-clock operation in Chechnya coincides with the interrogation of Andrei Babitsky, the journalist of Radio Svoboda famous for his last year interview with Shamil Basaev for the American TV company ABC. During 6 hours interrogation journalist was asked about his "relationship" with rebel's leaders Doky Ymarov and Akhmed Zakaev as well as the last year interview with Shamil Basaev. (MT, Kommersant, Interfax)

15 maart 2006

- Ministerial official kidnapped in Chechnya: Interfax reports that an official of Chechnya's Housing and Utilities Ministry has been abducted in the town of Urus - Martan. (Interfax)

17 maart 2006

- Chechen government asked for better funding: Dailies report that the Chechen Parliament on Thursday rejected the 2006 budget plan submitted by the regional government and demanded it be increased by more than ten times. Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov backed the legislators and plans to ask the Russian government to drastically increase funding for Chechnya (Kommersant, Vremya Novostey, Gazeta, Nezavisimaya)

- Crime against civilians – another case in Northern Caucuses: Gazeta reports on another case accusing Russian militants in crimes against civilians in Chechnya opened up in the Northern Caucuses District Military Court. Russian soldier Alexei Krivishenok accused in killing of 3 people. (Gazeta)

- Bird flu: More than 1 million birds have died or been killed in the Southern Federal District alone, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said. No humans have contracted the disease. At present, bird flu has been registered in nine Russian regions – Dagestan, Kalmykia, Adygeya, North Ossetia, Chechnya, Kabardino-Balkaria, the Stavropol and Krasnodar territories and the Astrakhan region. As opposed to last year’s outbreak, which only affected private plots, bird flu has been found in poultry plants this year. Some 320,000 chickens have died or been killed at the Tbilisskaya poultry farm in the Krasnodar territory village of Lovlinskaya. Alexander Skorikov, deputy head of the Krasnodar territory’s veterinary service, said the Tbilisskaya plant had 432,500 chickens at the end of February and now only 25% of that figure is left. (Interfax)

22 maart 2006

- Chechnya seeks control over Grozny oil company: (i) Chechnya’s Parliament yesterday asked President Putin to change the current profit distribution scheme from oil produced in Chechnya so that the republic’s Grozneftegaz controls oil deposits in Chechnya. Currently, Chechnya’s oil fields are held by the state-owned oil company Rosneft. (ii) Rossiyskaya gazeta publishes an interview with Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov. (Interfax, RIAN, NG, Novye Izvestia, RG)

23 maart 2006

- Chechen official wants changes to Chechen constitution: Several dailies quote Chechen Labour and Social Development Minister Magomed Vakhaev as suggesting that the Chechen constitution should be amended. In this context, he mentioned the provision setting the minimum age for presidential candidates at 30. (Gazeta, Kommersant, Novye Izvestia, Vremya novostei)

24 maart 2006

- Chechen militants on medical treatment in Denmark?: According to Rossiyskaya gazeta, Chechen militants involved in the killing and torture of Russian federal troops are undergoing medical treatment in Denmark. The daily writes that the Danish immigration office has denied the country’s prosecutors’ request to provide them with dossiers of 18 ethnic Chechens who entered Denmark in the period of 2000-2002. (RG)

28 maart 2006

- China to take part in Chechnya’s development: Gazeta reports about a tripartite agreement on investment cooperation signed by Russia’s Vneshekonombank, the Chechen Government and the State Development Bank of China during the recent visit to China by President Putin. The agreement would create the basis of China’s participation in the social and economic development of Chechnya. (Gazeta)

- Chechnya to form interior battalions: Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Interior Troops Col. Nikolai Rogozhkin has announced that Chechnya will complete the formation of two own interior battalions on a contract basis by the end of the spring. The battalions called “North” and “South” will be staffed by local residents. (Novye Izvestia, RG)

29 maart 2006

- Chechen militants’ leader surrenders: Some dailies report that one of the leaders of Chechen militants and the former head of the state security department of Ichkeria/Chechnya, Sultan Geliskhanov, surrendered after talks conducted by Chechen law enforcement with Geliskhanov’s relatives. (Gazeta, Vremya novostei)

31 maart 2006

- Chechnya seeks broader economic powers: Dailies, including Kommersant in a front-page article, report about yesterday’s statement by speaker of Chechnya’s People’s Assembly, Dukvakha Abdurahkmanov, who said Chechnya would seek broad economic powers in the framework of an agreement on the division of competences between the federal Government and Chechen authorities. He suggested inter alia that a free economic zone be set up in Chechnya and that Chechnya’s natural resources be put under Chechen authorities’ control. (Gazeta, Kommersant, NG)

- Serviceman facing 20 years for murdering Chechens: The prosecutor has asked the North Caucasus Military Court to sentence the contract Defence Ministry’s serviceman, who is accused of murdering three Chechen civilians, to 20 years in a high-security prison. (Interfax, Kommersant)

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