Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - oktober 2008

1 oktober 2008

- Anti-corruption bills to be submitted in coming days: President Dmitry Medvedev will submit to Parliament a package of anti-corruption bills over the next two days, the head of the Presidential Administration Sergey Naryshkin announced on Tuesday. The bills stipulate that state officials, including the PM, deputy PMs, federal ministers and their family members [spouses and underage children] would be required to make public declarations of their assets and income. At the first meeting of the Presidential council for combating corruption yesterday, Medvedev compared corruption in Russia to a “grave disease that erodes the country’s economy and corrodes the whole society”. He also stressed that “events like the August crisis in the Caucasus” would not pull Russia away from the fight against corruption. However, some commentators are sceptical that the Medvedev-proposed measures would help eradicate corruption in the country. The press recalls that in its annual survey released last month, Transparency International ranked Russia 147th in the world in transparency and rule of law. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG, Novye Izvestia, RBK daily, RG, Vedomosti, VN)

2 oktober 2008

- Medvedev, Zapatero meet in St. Petersburg: Both bilateral relations and the relationship between the EU and Russia were discussed at a meeting between President Medvedev and Spanish PM Zapatero yesterday in St. Petersburg. The situation in the Caucasus and the global financial crisis were also on the agenda. (Gazeta, Kommersant, RG, VN)

6 oktober 2008

- Strasbourg Court rules against Russia in Chechen teenagers’ disappearance case: Trud reports that the European Court of Human Rights has ruled against Russia in the disappearance case of two Chechen teenagers, Murad Lyanov and Islam Dombaev, whom nobody saw again after they were detained by OMON in Grozny in June 2000. The Court has ordered that the Russian Government pay 74,000 euro of compensation to the teenagers’ mothers. (Trud)

- More attacks on police in N. Caucasus: (i) A police officer was killed in an attack by militants on a police patrol car on Saturday in Ingushetia. (ii) Four bombs reportedly exploded in Ingushetia on Saturday. Police said two of the bombs had been planted underneath cars belonging to law enforcement officers. (Interfax, ITAR-TASS, Kommersant, VN)

8 oktober 2008

- Medvedev to speak at World Policy Conference: President Medvedev is scheduled to visit France today to take part in a world policy conference in Evian where he plans to reiterate his proposal of a new European security pact. He will also meet President Nicolas Sarkozy to discuss, among other issues, the situation in the Caucasus, and Swiss President PascalCouchepin [the press recalls that Switzerland has agreed to represent Russia’s interests in Georgia]. (Gazeta)

10 oktober 2008

- Regional elections to be held on 12 October: Kommersant reports on regional legislative elections to be held on 12 October in five Russian regions – the Zabaikalsky territory, Chechnya, the Kemerovo, Sakhalin and Irkutsk regions. The daily notes that the 12 October elections will be the first ones after PM Putin became Chairman of United Russia. Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes that on 12 October, elections of deputies of representative bodies and heads of municipal entities will be held in 70 Russian regions. (Kommersant, RG, Vedomosti)

13 oktober 2008

- Regional elections: Press reports broadly on local elections of different levels on Sunday in 70 Russian regions. Regional legislative elections were held in five Russian regions – Chechnya, the Zabaikalsky territory, the Irkutsk, Kemerovo and Sakhalin regions. According to preliminary results, United Russia is leading in all regions. At the same time, observers say that “United Russia’s performance [at Sunday’s regional elections] was worse than in the 2007 Duma elections”. The highest turnout was in Chechnya in spite of the earthquake on Saturday – around 86% (see point 8 below), although ahead of the vote, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov did not exclude that the turnout in the republic “could exceed 100%”. (Gazeta, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG, Novye Izvestia, RBK daily, RG, Vedomosti, VN)

- Earthquake hits southern Russian regions: According to media reports, 12 people were killed in Chechnya in an earthquake that hit on Saturday several regions in southern Russia (Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia and the Stavropol territory). (Gazeta, Kommersant, Novye Izvestia, RG, VN)

15 oktober 2008

- Rallies in support of unified Chechnya and Ingushetia: Dailies, including Nezavisimaya Gazeta in a front-page article, report on rallies in Ingushetia and Chechnya to support the idea of re-uniting Chechnya and Ingushetia. Novye Izvestia points to the Ingush Parliament’s negative reaction to calls for re-uniting the two republics. (NG, Novye Izvestia)

16 oktober 2008

- Police warn of threat of terror attacks in Russia: Izvestia, in a front-page article, reports that Moscow police possess information indicating that “unidentified members of radical groups from the Caucasus, including ‘Patriots of Georgia’, might stage a number of terrorist attacks in Russia, including in Moscow”, the daily quotes one of the documents sent to police departments. The daily recalls that the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Alexander Bortnikov, has recently warned of a threat of terror attacks in Russian regions bordering with Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Bortnikov said the FSB foiled terror attacks planned in July-August in Sochi and Anapa by Chechen separatist leader Doku Umarov and Al-Qaeda’s emissary. (Izvestia)

17 oktober 2008

- Putin inspects relief efforts in Chechnya after earthquake: (i) On a visit to Chechnya yesterday, PM Putin met Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov to discuss relief efforts after an earthquake hit the republic last weekend, killing 13 people. (ii) The press reports on the official opening today in Grozny of the largest mosque in Europe. (Gazeta, Izvestia, Kommersant, RG, VN)

22 oktober 2008

- Police attacked in Dagestan: According to media reports, five policemen were killed and nine others wounded in two separate attacks by militants on police in the past two days in Dagestan. The attacks were the latest in a series of attacks on law enforcement officials in the Northern Caucasus. (Interfax, Kommersant, RIAN, VN)

23 oktober 2008

- New senator from Chechnya may be appointed: According to Kommersant, Chechen permanent representative in Moscow Ziyad Sabsabi is expected to become new member of the Federation Council from Chechnya. (Kommersant)

24 oktober 2008

- Strasbourg Court rules against Russia in several cases: The European Court of Human Rights has ordered that Russia pay Gennady Godlevsky, a journalist of the Orlovski Meridian newspaper (Oryol), 1,000 euro as compensation. Godlevsky had been convicted in Russia for defamation. The Strasbourg Court has also ruled against Russia in the case on the killing of three Chechen residents during an operation in 2000 in the Chechen village of Raduzhnoe. (Gazeta, Kommersant, VN)

27 oktober 2008

- Attacks on officials in N. Caucasus: (i) The media reports on an attack on a car belonging to Ingush Deputy Economic Minister, Arsamak Zyazikov, on Sunday in Ingushetia. The official was reportedly wounded. (ii) Dagestan’s senior police official Gasan Kerimov was killed in an attack on Saturday in Makhachkala. (iii) Investigators have sent to court the case into the death in police custody of Ingush opposition journalist Magomed Yevloyev. (Gazeta, Interfax, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, VN)

29 oktober 2008

- ‘Emir’ of Grozny killed in Chechnya: Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov announced on Tuesday that one of the three militants killed by Chechen police in an operation in Grozny had been identified as ‘emir’ of Grozny Bislan Bekmurzayev. No casualties are reported among policemen. Kommersant writes that according to law enforcement officials, Bekmurzayev had been plotting an attempt on the life of Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev who visited Grozny on Monday. (Interfax, Kommersant, RIAN)

30 oktober 2008

- DPNI accused of spreading extremist leaflets: Kommersant reports that the Russian Congress of the Caucasus Peoples has accused the Movement Against Illegal Immigration (DPNI) and its leader Alexander Belov of spreading leaflets which call for violence against ethnic minorities, including natives of the Caucasus. Belov, the daily writes, denied his involvement in the spreading of such leaflets and described it as “a provocation“. (Kommersant)

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