Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - oktober 2006

2 oktober 2006

- Chechen PM to turn 30: Two weekly magazines, Itogi and Kommersant-Vlast, report about Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov, who turns 30 on 5 October, the minimum age for the post of Chechen President. Kadyrov is tapped by the media as the likely successor to Chechen President Alu Alkhanov. (Itogi, Kommersant-Vlast)

4 oktober 2006

- Journalist on trial over Chechen separatist site: A Moscow district court yesterday started hearings into the criminal case against Boris Stomakhin, editor of the Radikalnaya Politika (‘Radical Politics’) bulletin, who is charged with inciting ethnic hatred in his articles republished on the Chechen separatist Kavkaz Centre web site. (Interfax, Kommersant, MT)

5 oktober 2006

- Chechen battalions to go on mission in Lebanon: Visiting Kyrgyzstan yesterday, Deputy PM and Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov announced that servicemen from the Russian Defence Ministry’s Chechnya-based Vostok (‘East’) and Zapad (‘West’) battalions will provide security for the Russian engineer battalion in Lebanon. Kommersant writes that thus Russia wants to improve its image in the Arab world. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, NG, RG)

- Chechen PM disclaims presidential ambitions: Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov who turns 30 today has reiterated that he has no presidential ambitions, saying that he “is not ready for the post” of Chechnya’s President. Media report that the renovated Severny Airport in Grozny will be dedicated to Chechen PM’s birthday. (Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG, Novye Izvestia)

6 oktober 2006

- Celebrations of Chechen PM’s birthday; world Chechen congress postponed: (i) The media report about celebrations yesterday in Chechnya of the 30th birthday of Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov and birthday gifts. (ii) Interfax reports that the World Congress of the Chechen people which was due to open on 5 October has been postponed until end-October. (Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant)

9 oktober 2006

- Journalist Anna Politkovskaya shot dead in Moscow: Anna Politkovskaya, a correspondent for Novaya gazeta, known as a critic of the federal authorities’ policy in Chechnya, was shot dead on Saturday in Moscow. More than 1,000 people rallied yesterday in Moscow to commemorate the slain journalist, whose professional activity is considered as the main reason for the killing. ‘Shock’ and anger are the key words in comments on the killing by politicians and human rights advocates. Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov, who was sharply criticised by Politkovskaya, called for a thorough and impartial investigation into her murder. Vedomosti called the killing “a serious blow” on Russia’s reputation in the world. Nezavisimaya gazeta quotes the statements on the killing by Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, the Council of Europe’s Secretary General Terry Davis, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht, the Council of the Europe’s Human Rights Commissioner Thomas Hammarberg and others. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, MT, NG, Novye Izvestia, RG, Vedomosti, VN)

10 oktober 2006

- Journalist killing: According to media reports, the investigators are considering several leads in the investigation of the murder of Anna Politkovskaya. Among them is revenge of militiamen who were sentenced for conducting tortures and kidnappings in Chechnya and a plot against President Putin’s reputation. Meanwhile, President Putin vowed Monday to track down the killers of the journalist, while her colleagues at Novaya Gazeta pledged to continue her work despite dangers. (All Media)

11oktober 2006

- Hundreds pay tribute to slain journalist; Putin condemns the killing: Yesterday, hundreds of people, including lawmakers, politicians and human rights activists, paid their respects to slain journalist Anna Politkovskaya. On a visit to Germany, President Putin denounced the murder as a “dreadful crime” that cannot be allowed to go unpunished. At the same time, he pointed out that Politkovskaya’s importance on political life in Russia was minimal, saying that this murder “does more much harm to Russia and Chechnya than any of her publications”. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, NG, RG, VN)

12 oktober 2006

- Chechen PM denies role in Politkovskaya’s murder: Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov yesterday said he had no grounds to persecute journalist Anna Politkovskaya, expressing the view that “the people who ordered her killing did it once again to blacken my name”. He noted that “Politkovskaya’s articles did not affect my work, but on the contrary helped me”. (MT, RIAN, Vedomosti)

13 oktober 2006

- ECHR rules against Russia: The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ruled that Russian authorities were responsible for the deaths of five Chechens during a special operation, in violation of some provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights, and ordered that the Russian Federation pay the relatives of the victims more than 220,000 euros in damages. (Kommersant, MT, NG, VN)

16 oktober 2006

- Court shuts down Russian-Chechen Friendship Society: The Nizhny Novgorod regional court on Friday ordered the closure of the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society in response to a lawsuit filed by regional prosecutors who accused the Society of offences (including extremism, tax evasion etc.) The head of the NGO, Stanislav Dmitriyevsky, was earlier convicted of inciting ethnic hatred. Human Rights Watch slammed the court’s ruling as “a blatant attempt to silence a strong critic of human rights abuses in Chechnya”. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, MT)

17 oktober 2006

- Situation in Chechnya deteriorating – military: In a front-page article, Nezavisimaya gazeta reports about a number of clashes with militants yesterday in Chechnya. The daily points to the last week’s statement by commander of the combined group of federal forces in the Northern Caucasus, Col. Gen. Baryayev, who reported a deterioration of the situation in Chechnya over the past two weeks. (NG)

18 oktober 2006

- Clashes with militants in Chechnya, Dagestan: (i) Electronic media report about a special operation against militants yesterday in Chechnya’s Achkhoi-Martan district and clashes with militants in Dagestan. Interfax reports that a policeman was killed in an attack on a police checkpoint today in Makhachkala. (ii) Deputy Interior Minister Yedelev yesterday expressed concern over the situation in Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria. (Interfax, Lenta.ru, RG)

20 oktober 2006

- Chechen President on investment projects, conflicts in Abkhazia, S. Ossetia: At a press conference yesterday in Moscow, Chechen President Alu Alkhanov mentioned a list of 23 investment projects proposed to potential investors and an agreement on an investment project signed during the visit to China of a Chechen delegation. The media highlight Alkhanov’s remark that ‘volunteers’ from the Northern Caucasus might support the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia if a conflict erupts in the region. (Interfax, Izvestia, NG, Vedomsoti, VN)

23 oktober 2006

- Condoleezza Rice visit: During her one-day trip to Moscow Rice discussed sanctions on North Korea following its nuclear test and urged both Russia and Georgia to reduce the tension between their countries. Rice made a point of scheduling an interview with Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper where Anna Politkovskaya, a reporter critical of the Kremlin's policy in Chechnya, had worked before she was killed this month. Rice also met with Politkovskaya's son. (All media)

25 oktober 2006

- Former officers might have been involved in Politkovskaya’s murder – daily: In a front-page article, Kommersant reports that investigators into the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya received information that two former officers of the Nizhnevartovsk police department (Khanty-Mansi autonomous district), who are put on an international wanted list for crimes committed in Chechnya, might have been involved in Politkovskaya’s murder. (Kommersant)

26 oktober 2006

- Suspected abductor detained in Sweden: The press reports on the detention in Sweden of a man suspected of his involvement in the 1999 kidnapping in Chechnya of Russian photo journalist Vladimir Yatsina. The suspect identified in Sweden’s court documents as Magomed Uspayev claimed that he is the cousin of the slain Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has sent to Sweden additional evidence needed to make a decision on Uspayev’s extradition to Russia. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, NG, RG)

27 oktober 2006

- Draft bill on jury trials in Chechnya: Chairman of the Russian Constitutional Court, Valery Zorkin, is quoted as saying that under a draft bill, the introduction of jury trials in Chechnya might be postponed until 2010. This statement, however, was criticised by some human rights activists. (Interfax, Kommersant)

30 oktober 2006

- Dagestani residents protest against kidnappings: Dailies report about a forum on Saturday in the Dagestani town of Khasavyurt (bordering with Chechnya) to express protest against kidnappings of local residents by members of Chechen special services. According to Vremya novostei, some 1,000 people participated in the forum. (Gazeta, VN)

- Chechnya seeks control over its oil: The Chechen Government criticised Rosneft for giving Chechnya ‘too little’ earnings from extracting the Republic’s oil and gas. Rosneft, which holds the production licence for Chechnya, replied that it acted strictly in accordance with the law depositing all the related sums into the Ministry of Natural Resources’ special fund for the reconstruction of Chechnya (Vedomosti).

31 oktober 2006

- World Chechen Congress to open in Grozny: Vedomosti reports about the World Congress of Chechen People which is due to open today in Chechnya’s capital Grozny. The daily does not exclude that the forum might propose that Chechen PM Ramzan Kadyrov become Chechnya’s President. (Vedomosti)

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