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  • Author: Valeriy Dzutsev
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Website: Few Improvements in the North Caucasus in 2008 Violence Haunts a New Year in Ingushetia and Dagestan Chechens Protest Parole for Budanov Spain Extradites Chechen Terror Suspect A Look Back at Insurgent Activities in the North Caucasus in 2008By Mairbek Vatchagaev Ingushetia's New Leader Hints at a Merger with ChechnyaBy Valeriy Dzutsev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Chechen Who Accused Kadyrov of Torture Murdered in Vienna Kadyrov Denounces Parole for Budanov Human Rights Watch's Annual Report Details North Caucasus Abuses Explosion Destroys Building in Nazran; Cause Uncertain North Caucasus Insurgency Attracting Mainly Young and Committed Members By Mairbek Vatchagaev Is Krymshamkhalov's Murder a Political Assassination?
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Lawyer for Family of Budanov's Victim and Journalist Murdered in Moscow Human Rights Groups Press Austria to Investigate Murder of Chechen Ruslan Yamadaev's Brother: He was Murdered by Kadyrov's Associate Deteriorating Security Situation in Ingushetia Sparks First Ever Visit to Region by MedvedevBy Valery Dzutsev Markelov Assassination Tied to Release of Budanov?By Fatima Tlisova.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Seven Chechens Arrested in Austria in Connection with Murder of Ex-Kadyrov Bodyguard FSB Accuses Zakaev of Organizing Armed Attacks in Chechnya Medvedev and Yevkurov Meet Again, This Time in Moscow The War on Dagestan's Police Continues Chechnya Starts the New Year on a Tense NoteBy Mairbek Vatchagaev Ingushetia's New President Faces an Uphill BattleBy Mairbek Vatchagaev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Austrian Prosecutors Were Investigating Israilov's Charges against Kadyrov Zakaev Rejects Kadyrov's Invitation Rebels and Pro-Moscow Forces in Shoot-Out near Chechen Village Ingush President Accuses U.S. of Seeking to "Undermine the Caucasus" Briefs Dagestan's Sharia Jamaat Suffers Series of SetbacksBy Mairbek Vatchagaev Ethnic-Based Governing System is Increasing Tensions in DagestanBy Valery Dzutsev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Ingushetia's Violence Continues as Yevkurov Calls for Blood Feuds to End Chechen Rebel Representative Reportedly Switches Sides Briefs Ingush Authorities Blame Insurgency on Arabs and U.S. IntelligenceBy Mairbek Vatchagaev The Changing Landscape of Islam in North OssetiaBy Mikhail Roshchin.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: New York Times Provides Fresh Details of Accusations against Kadyrov Kadyrov Calls Budanov a "Schizophrenic" and "Murderer" Kadyrov's Spokesman Defends Zakaev Militants and Police Official Killed in Dagestan as Ethnic Tensions Rise Rebels in Ingushetia Target Police and Servicemen Briefs Kadyrov Courts Akhmed ZakaevBy Mairbek Vatchagaev Salafi-Jihadis Turn Their Attention to the North CaucasusBy Murad Batal al-Shishani.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 02-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Chechen-Ingush Deportation Anniversary Marked Five Militants Killed in Dagestan Operation Rebels Attack Servicemen, Police in Chechnya Briefs Wave of Unrests and Counter-Terrorist Operations Sweep the North CaucasusBy Mairbek Vatchagaev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Six Policemen Killed in Ingushetia Bombing Kadyrov Faces Fresh Accusations of Ordering Hits Abroad Kadyrov Defends Honor Killings Kadyrov Again Invited Zakaev to Return to Chechnya Briefs Dokka Umarov Suffers Setback in Turkey By Mairbek Vatchagaev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In this issue: Four Militants Killed in Kabardino-Balkaria Militants and Security Forces Battle in Dagestan General Asks Chechens to Inform on Rebels Briefs Ingush Insurgency Approaches Major CrossroadsBy Mairbek Vatchagaev Exclusive Interview with Anzor Astemirov, March 2009By Fatima Tlisova.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Bomb disposal experts with the Interior Ministry for the Southern Federal District's counterterrorist Center 'T' defused a large bomb in a wooded area three kilometers outside the village of Babugent in the Cherkesk district of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic (KBR), Kavkazky Uzel reported on February 28. "The explosive device was located in a hiding place," a source in the KBR Interior Ministry told the website. "It consisted of a gas-cylinder with a capacity of 27 liters, four bags with a mixture of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder, a five-liter plastic canister of kerosene and a demolition cord." KBR Interior Minister Yury Tomchak told a meeting of the ministry's public council on February 26 that 53 members of "illegal armed formations" are wanted by the republican authorities, Interfax reported. "Until recently the law-enforcement bodies were searching for 42 NFV [illegal armed formation] members, 14 of whom are on the federal wanted list and 10 who are on the international wanted list," Tomchak said. He added that the republic's Interior Ministry, with the assistance of the republican branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Investigative Committee of the Prosecutor General's Office, have put another 11 members of "illegal armed formations" on the republic's wanted list over the last two weeks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Ingushetia's election commission reported on March 4 that 92.3 percent of the republic's eligible voters voted in the Russian presidential and republican legislative elections, both of which were held on March 2, Kavkazky Uzel reported. According to the commission, 91.6 percent of those in Ingushetia who voted in the presidential election cast their ballots for Dmitry Medvedev, while 6.1 percent voted for Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 1.5 percent voted for Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov and 0.1 percent voted for Democratic Party leader Andrei Bogdanov. In the election for Ingushetia's People's Assembly held the same day, the pro-Kremlin United Russia party received 74.09 percent of the vote, the LDPR won 11.06 percent, the pro-Kremlin A Just Russia party received 7.39 percent of the vote and the Communist Party won 7.34 percent.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Ingushetian President Murat Zyazikov on March 12 dismissed his cabinet, which is chaired by Ibragim Malsagov, as well as the republic's local administration heads. Newsru.com reported that the dismissed cabinet will remain in place until a new one is formed and that First Vice-Premier Khov Yevloev will serve as the republican government's acting chairman, replacing Malsagov.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen rebel, pro-Moscow government and independent sources alike reported on March 19-20 that a large-scale battle had taken place in the village of Alkhazurovo in Chechnya's Urus-Martan district. Kavkazky Uzel reported on March 20 that the battle had taken place the previous evening and that rebels had burned down the village administration building and killed five law-enforcement officers along with two civilians. At least six other people, including two women and a teenager, were wounded in the fighting, the website reported. "To all appearances, up to 15 militants took part in yesterday's armed clash in the village of Alkhazurovo," a Chechen police officer told Kavkazky Uzel. "At the moment, actions to find and neutralize this gang are continuing. The militants burned the local administration building, and five employees of power structures (four policemen and an employee of the military prosecutor's office) and two local residents were killed."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Gadzhi Abashilov, the head of GTRK Dagestan, the Dagestani affiliate of Russia's state television and radio company, was killed in a drive-by shooting as he traveled home from work in Dagestan's capital, Makhachkala, on March 21. His driver was seriously injured in the attack. Just hours earlier, Ilyas Shurpaev, a Dagestan-born journalist who covered the North Caucasus for state television's Channel One, was found stabbed and strangled in his Moscow apartment after a neighbor reported a fire in the apartment. Russian news reports quoted investigators as saying that the perpetrators had set fire to the apartment in an attempt to conceal the crime.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kavkazky Uzel, citing the press service of the Chechen president and government, reported on April 2 that President-elect Dmitry Medvedev and Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov met and discussed issues related to the socio-economic development of the Chechen Republic. Forum.msk.ru reported that the meeting took place in the Kremlin and that during a portion of the meeting that was open to the press, they discussed changes that have taken place in Chechnya over the past year. "Let's talk about the whole complex of issues: how work to develop the republic's socio-economic potential is going; what achievements [and] what problems there are," the website quoted Medvedev as saying in opening the meeting.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kavkazky Uzel reported on April 8 that Chechnya's rebels have stepped up their activities and even taken control of villages on at least two occasions during the last month. With the arrival of spring and the appearance of foliage, which works to the advantage of guerrilla fighters, rebel units have noticeably stepped up their actions in the republic's foothills and mountainous regions, the website reported. While last month's incident in the village of Alkhazurovo, in which a large contingent of rebel fighters took over the village and held it for several hours, killing five policemen and burning down the local administration building before leaving (Chechnya Weekly, March 20 and April 3), received significant press coverage, a similar rebel operation in the village of Yandi-Kotar in Chechnya's Achkhoi-Martan district received none.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechnya's parliament on April 17 adopted a resolution calling on Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov either to dissolve Vostok, the elite Chechen-manned battalion that answers to the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) of the Russian Armed Forces' General Staff, or to replace its leaders, including its formal commander, Sulim Yamadaev. A road collision between Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov's motorcade and a Vostok convoy that occurred near the Chechen town of Argun on April 14 was followed by an armed confrontation between Vostok fighters, including Sulim Yamadaev's younger brother, Badrudin, who commands one of the battalion's platoons, and fighters loyal to Kadyrov. According to Reuters, 18 or more people were killed in a shootout that followed the traffic accident (see Andrei Smirnov's article).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russian state television's Channel One on the evening of April 22 broadcast a putative documentary film made by Kremlin correspondent Anton Vernitsky called “Plan 'Kavkaz'” (The Caucasus Plan). The film purports to show how Turkey, the United States and Great Britain attempted at the start of the 1990s to divide Russia into small parts not controlled by the federal center. The film featured Berkan Merrikh Yashar, born Abubakar—a Turkish-born ethnic Chechen who claims to be a journalist who once worked for Radio Liberty in Munich and a politician with close connections to the Turkish leadership.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Development
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Asia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: A battle between rebels and security forces took place in Chechnya's Urus-Martan district on May 6. Kavkazky Uzel on May 7 quoted a Chechen Interior Ministry source as saying of the incident: “Yesterday at around 1400 in a forest tract at the village of Komsomolskoe in Urus-Martan district servicemen from a Defense Ministry unit who were carrying out intelligence-reconnaissance activities discovered a gang-formation unit numbering up to 15 people that was concealed at a temporary base. After a short shootout, the bandits retreated and left, presumably in the direction of the mountains (the village of Komsomolskoe is located in the foothills). There were no causalities or wounded among the servicemen. An operation to find and neutralize that gang group is continuing at the moment.” According to Kavkazky Uzel, Chechen rebel websites claimed that the battle lasted more than one and a half hours but did not report on whether any rebel fighters were killed or wounded.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The opposition Ingushetiya.ru website reported on April 30 that around two weeks earlier, Musa Keligov, the former deputy presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District and well-known businessman who some call the “purse” of the opposition to Murat Zyazikov, Ingushetia's president (Chechnya Weekly, March 20), by chance ran into Zyazikov in a Moscow hotel. According to Ingushetiya.ru, the chance encounter ended with Zyazikov's bodyguards finding him “unconscious and with a smashed face.” The website reported that Keligov asked Zyazikov bodyguards to tell Zyazikov once he regained consciousness that he had been dealt with “according to Ingush laws” and that judgment according to Russian laws lay ahead.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In what appears to be an ongoing campaign by Chechnya's pro-Moscow administration against the Vostok Battalion of the GRU (Russian military intelligence), investigators with the republic's law-enforcement bodies are looking into the battalion's possible involvement in the murder of the Arsamakov brothers (Chechnya Weekly, April 17 and 24; May 1). Kavkazky Uzel on May 8 quoted a Chechen law-enforcement source as saying that investigators who are looking into the Vostok Battalion's activities have information about the possible involvement of battalion members in the kidnapping and subsequent brutal murder of Yusup and Yunus Arsamakov and their driver, who disappeared in early February of 2007.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The commander of the Combined Group of Forces in the North Caucasus, Major General Nikolai Sivak, said in an interview published in the newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda on May 20 that 17 servicemen have been killed in the region so far this year, which is an increase over the same period last year, Interfax reported. “Unfortunately, we were unable to reduce the losses compared to last year,” he told the military newspaper. “Since the beginning of this year up to 27 April, 17 people have died; last year [2007] 15 people died during the same period.” Sivak said that 32 militants had been killed since the start of 2008. "Last year the figure was about the same," he said.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Unidentified gunmen fired on a car in which soldiers were traveling in the village of Verkhnie Achaluki in Ingushetia's Malgobeksky district on May 29, killing two servicemen on the spot and wounding two others. One of the wounded servicemen later died in the hospital, bringing the total number of servicemen killed in the attack to three. The press service of the Investigative Committee for Ingushetia told Interfax that the servicemen were traveling through Ingushetia on the way to their base in Mozdok, North Ossetia, at the time of the attack. Russian Interior Ministry troops were involved in a shootout with militants in Ingushetia's Sunzhensky district on May 24. A local police source told RIA Novosti that no troops were injured in the clash and that there was no information about fatalities among the “illegal armed group” members involved in the clash. “Troops clashed with a group of nine gunmen, about one kilometer from the town of Gandalbos, and then about three kilometers from the town another clash occurred with another group of militants numbering about 30,” the source told the news agency. The source said that the militants were fired on with artillery as they retreated. A spokesman for the Ingush Interior Ministry said that the ministry had no information confirming that those armed encounters had taken place. The same spokesman said, however, that two Interior Ministry troops were wounded on May 23 when an unidentified explosive device went off in the Sunzhensky district. “They were both hospitalized and the doctors say their lives are not in danger,” the spokesman said.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen rebels burned a Russian armored vehicle in the town of Bamut on June 16, the Associated Press reported on June 17. The news agency quoted the Chechen Interior Ministry as saying that a group of rebel fighters fired rocket-propelled grenades at the armored vehicle and that its crew managed to get out unhurt, but that a resident was wounded in the crossfire. RIA Novosti on June 17 quoted a Chechen law-enforcement officer as saying that three unidentified assailants had fired grenade launchers and automatic rifles at two Russian military vehicles in Bamut and that one vehicle had been burned out and a local resident injured in the attack.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Ingushetia's opposition is set to hold what Newsru.com described as a “final and decisive” republic-wide protest in Nazran and other cities on May 6. The website reported on May 5 that the main demands of the protest are the freeing of political prisoners, the resignation of Murat Zyazikov as Ingushetia's president and the return of Ruslan Aushev to that post. The opposition has already gathered more than 50,000 signatures on a petition calling for Aushev's return as president.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Security forces in Ingushetia killed five militants during a special operation conducted in the city of Karabulak on June 11. Itar-Tass quoted law-enforcement sources in Ingushetia as saying the militants, who were holed up in a house, were blockaded by security forces, who called on them to surrender. Instead, the militants opened fire, and a battle ensued in which the five rebels were killed. According to the sources, the house in which they were holed up caught fire during the shootout. Itar-Tass quoted a military source as saying that one of the militants was killed when he tried to escape, after which the rest were killed in the battle. The news agency also reported that a woman was among the five dead militants. According to the opposition Ingushetiya.ru website, the woman killed in the battle owned the house where the militants were staying and her son was among those killed. Life.ru on June 11 quoted a law-enforcement source as identifying the slain woman and her son as having the surname Abalakov and saying that they had recently arrived in Karabulak.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 06-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On June 25, Human Rights Watch released a report stating that the situation in Ingushetia is starting to resemble that of Chechnya several years ago in terms of human rights abuses. The New York-based group stated in a summary of the report that the Chechen conflict “overflowed” into Ingushetia, bringing with it “grave conflict dynamics.” “For the past four years Russia has been fighting several militant groups in Ingushetia, which have a loose agenda to unseat the Ingush government, evict federal security and military forces based in the region, and promote Islamic rule in the North Caucasus,” the report's summary stated. “Beginning in summer 2007, insurgents' attacks on public officials, law enforcement and security personnel, and civilians rose sharply. Human Rights Watch condemns attacks on civilians and recognizes that the Russian government has a duty to pursue the perpetrators, prevent attacks, and bring those responsible to account. Attacks on civilians, public officials, and police and security forces are serious crimes. Russia, like any government, has a legitimate interest in investigating and prosecuting such crimes and an obligation to do so while respecting Russian and international human rights law. Regrettably, Russia is failing to respect or to adhere to these laws. Law enforcement and security forces involved in counterinsurgency have committed dozens of extrajudicial executions, summary and arbitrary detentions, and acts of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Unidentified attackers wounded a policeman in a drive-by shooting in the Chechen town of Vedeno on July 16, Kavkazky Uzel reported. The gunmen shot the policeman, who was guarding a building housing a branch of the Russian Pension Fund, from a Zhiguli automobile and managed to get away, a Chechen police source told the website. Also on July 16, militants ambushed local police in the Shatoi district settlement of Musolt-Yurt, killing one policeman and wounding three, Itar-Tass reported, quoting a Chechen law-enforcement source. A group of Defense Ministry servicemen conducting a reconnaissance-engineering mission near the town of Shali hit a landmine on the roadside of the Agishty-Shali highway on July 15. One of the servicemen was injured. On July 14, unidentified gunmen driving in a Lada car fired automatic weapons at a car carrying two federal Interior Ministry officers in the Tersk Mountains in Chechnya's Groznensky district. The two officers—a colonel and a warrant officer—were severely wounded in the attack. On July 11, militants detonated a powerful explosive device in the path of a column of military vehicles in Chechnya's Shali district. The blast killed an officer from a unit of Interior Ministry Internal troops and wounded two contract servicemen.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Speaking during a government meeting in Grozny on July 19, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov demanded that the heads of power and law-enforcement organs strictly follow the law in using land and installations in Chechnya. “The Chechen Republic is a full-fledged subject of the Russian Federation; the constitution and other laws of Russia and the Chechen Republic function here,” Newsru.com quoted him as saying. “And I am firmly convinced that not only the civilian authorities, but also the military command of units and sub-units deployed in the republic are also strictly obligated to observe them.”
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov on July 30 denied reports that he had been the target of an assassination attempt. “Those rumors are being generated either by the Wahhabis themselves or provocateurs straining for cheap sensationalism,” Gazeta.ru quoted Kadyrov as saying during a meeting with Chechnya's education and science minister, Anzor Muzaev. The Chechen president insisted that the situation in the republic is peaceful and stable. “Naturally, there is a circle of persons whom this [situation] doesn't suit,” he said. “This sort of verbiage has only one goal—to destabilize the situation in the region. These provocative fantasies are engendered by ideologists of the extremists and their henchmen. Jackals who don't have the guts to go into the woods themselves.” The Chechen president's press service also denied that there had been an attempt on Kadyrov's life, calling the reports “provocations aimed against the Chechen Republic and its president.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The ongoing conflict between the pro-Moscow government and the Vostok battalion of the Russian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) intensified on August 6 when the Chechen authorities announced that the battalion's commander, Sulim Yamadaev, has been put on the federal wanted list for various crimes, including an alleged murder. On August 7, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office confirmed that Yamadaev had been put on the federal wanted list for the 1998 murder of a Chechen businessman, Itar-Tass reported.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 08-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kavkazky Uzel reported on August 13 that members of the Chechen-manned Vostok battalion of the Russian Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) were among the Russian forces that invaded Georgia. According to the website, the Vostok fighters were located in area of the Georgian town of Gori along with Sulim Yamadaev, the Vostok battalion commander. Yamadaev, who became a target of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov's wrath following a confrontation and apparent shootout last April involving Vostok members and security forces loyal to Kadyrov, was put on Russia's federal wanted list earlier this month.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Georgia
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Police in Ingushetia's largest city, Nazran, forcefully broke up an anti-government protest on September 2, two days after police shot dead Magomed Yevloev, owner of the opposition Ingushetiya.ru website. Reuters reported that the protest started during the funeral of Yevloev, who died after being shot while in police custody. The news agency quoted Magomed Mutsolgov of the Ingushetia-based human rights group Mashr as saying police had arrived at around 5:30 a.m. local time to disperse a crowd of around 50 men who had been sleeping in Nazran's main square. Police and military vehicles were then deployed to block access to the main square, Mutsolgov told Reuters. Protest organizers later vowed to try and force their way back into the square on September 2. However, an Ingushetia Interior Ministry press official denied the police had forced the demonstrators to leave and insisted they had left peacefully. “We didn't even have to make any arrests,” Reuters quoted the official as saying.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Newsru.com reported on September 11 that unidentified attackers had fired grenade launchers and machine guns at Ingush President Murat Zyazikov's home in the Nazran municipal district village of Barsuki the previous evening. A home located nearby belonging to relatives of Zyazikov was also reportedly targeted. According to Ingushetiya.ru, there was no information on whether there were any casualties from the attack, which lasted around 20 minutes. Ingushetia's Interior Ministry, meanwhile, denied that such an attack took place, Interfax reported.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Dagestani branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB) reported on September 17 that it had killed ten militants in an operation that day. According to the Moscow Times, the Dagestani FSB said in a statement that a Gazel minivan that was carrying the insurgents, along with arms and explosives, was ambushed on a road near Russia's border with Azerbaijan. The FSB commandos reportedly fired several rocket-propelled grenades into the minibus and sprayed the rebels with automatic gunfire. According to the FSB statement, two of its officers were wounded in the fighting, one of whom died later in a hospital.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Ruslan Yamadaev, the older brother of Vostok (East) battalion commander Sulim Yamadaev and former State Duma deputy who received a Hero of Russia award in August 2004 from then President Vladimir Putin, was shot to death in central Moscow on September 24. As is typically the case with high-profile murders in Russia, Yamadaev's killing has sparked a flurry of competing theories as to who was behind the deed.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: A car belonging to an official believed to be a relative of Musa Medov, Ingushetia's Interior Minister, was blown up in Nazran on October 8. The opposition Ingushetia.org website reported that a powerful explosion took place 100 meters from the Interior Ministry building in Nazran while Itar-Tass quoted a source as saying that the explosion was an attempt on the life of Daud Medov, the deputy head of the Interior Ministry's vehicle maintenance department. According to Newsru.com, the blast was caused by an explosive device that was attached to the undercarriage of Medov's Lada Priora car and that the bomb went off when the car was parked outside his home and as Medov had left his home and gone outside. Neither Medov nor anyone else was hurt in the blast, but the car was burned out.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: A suicide bomber attacked the motorcade of Ingush Interior Minister Musa Medov on September 30. The Moscow Times reported on October 1 that the male bomber attempted to ram a Lada hatchback packed with explosives into Medov's convoyin downtown Nazran at 8:20 a.m., local time, but the car exploded before it collided with the minister's armored Mercedessedan. According to Gazeta.ru, Ingush prosecutors said Medov and his bodyguards were unharmed, while five by standers were wounded and several houses in the vicinity of the blast were damaged. Kommersant reported on October 1 that amongthe injured were a taxi driver and his passenger who were driving by when the bomb detonated and two women living in apartment buildings nearby.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Ingushetia.ru reported on October 16 that rebel fighters had seized two villages in the republic. According to the opposition website, the militants had blocked the entrances to the villages of Muzhichi and Yandare from the Rostov-Baku federal highway and had set up their own checkpoints. Yet sources in Ingushetia's Interior Ministry called the report “disinformation,” while the republic's prosecutor, Yury Turygin, told Interfax that neither he nor the Interior Ministry nor any other republican law-enforcement bodies had received any information about “bandits” having seized villages.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Mairbek Vatchagaev
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Following the capture of the foothill villages of Muzhichi and Yandare in Ingushetia on the evening of October 16 (North Caucasus Weekly, October 16), militants from the Ingush Jamaat “Shariat” carried out another series of high-profile actions against Russian troops. According to various sources, more than 50 Russian military personnel were killed and wounded in two assaults by the militants on the Galashki Highway on October 18, which would make this the most audacious attack by the jamaat members in Ingushetia to date. According to the media reports, the attack on the Russian military motorcade took place on the Alkhasty-Surkhokhi road in Ingushetia's Nazran district at ten in the morning. According to Ingush Prosecutor General Yury Turygyn, only two soldiers were killed and five were wounded in the attack. All of them were from Interior Ministry detachments based in the village of Alkhasty (RIA Novosti, October 18) According to Turygyn, the assault was carried out by members of “illegal armed formations” with the purpose of destabilizing the situation in the region. Turygyn, however, was apparently referring to the casualties in an attack on another column of servicemen that had occurred earlier on October 18, and the Regnum News Agency quoted a source in the Interior Ministry department forIngushetia's Sunzha district as saying that all the soldiers in the column targeted in the second attack were killed except forone and that the total number killed was around 50. The surviving serviceman was transported to the Sunzha Central District Hospital, the source said (www.regnum.ru/news/1071507.html). Thus, according to the Ingush police, two attacks took place, not one, as the Ingush Prosecutor General's Office claims.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The deputy commander of Russia's army, Colonel General Vladimir Moltenskoi, announced on November 8 that the two Chechen-manned special force battalions of the Defense Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), Vostok and Zapad, will be reformed into companies of the Defense Ministry's 42nd Motor Rifle Division, which isbased in Chechnya. According to RIA Novosti, Moltenskoi announced the reorganization at a meeting with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov in Grozny. However, there was some confusion about the battalions' fate: Interfax quoted the Chechen president's press service as saying that Moltenskoi had said the battalions would be disbanded. Yet Moltenskoi told Interfax on November 8 that the units would not be disbanded but rather reorganized into companies within the 42nd Motor Rifle Division. Interfax on November 10 quoted Kadyrov's press service as saying that it had been stated during the meeting between the Chechen president and Moltenskoi onNovember 8 that the criminal investigation committee of the Russian Prosecutor General had ordered the Chechen Interior Ministry to bring Sulim Yamadaev to interrogators by force. Prague Watchdog reported on November 10 that the Chechen Interior Ministry had received a formal request on November 7 that Sulim Yamadaev be sent to the Gudermes district investigative unit for questioning. According to the website, Yamadaev is the principal suspect in the case of the murder of aGudermes district resident committed ten years ago.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Ingushetia's parliament on October 31 confirmed Yunus-Bek Yevkurov as the republic's president, replacing Murat Zyazikov, who resigned the previous day (North Caucasus Weekly, October 31). According to Itar-Tass, 16 legislators out of the 18 who attended the session voted to confirm the 45-year-old colonel, while one voted against and one ballot was invalidated. The news agency reported that Yevkurov was born into an ethnic Ingush family in North Ossetia and graduated from the Ryazan Higher School of Airborne Troops in 1989. In 2004, he graduated from the Academy of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff, Russia's highest military education institution. In 1999, Yevkurov commanded a unit of Russian paratroopers that entered Kosovo and took control of the international airport ahead of the forces of other countries. As the Moscow Times wrote on November 1, Russian media reported that Yevkurov led the 200-man contingent that caught NATO off guard by racing from Bosnia to Kosovo to occupy the airport in Kosovo's capital of Pristina, an operation at the end of the Kosovo war that “risked a dangerous confrontation with NATO troops, who were also heading to the airport.” According to the English-language newspaper, it was later revealed that an armed clash was only averted because the local NATO commander, British General Michael Jackson, refused to be involved in a conflict that could “start World War III.” However, Itar-Tass, in its description of the incident, wrote that the Russian race to occupy the airport in Pristina “went down in the history of the Russian Airborne Troops as one of the most successful peacekeeping operations.”
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Bosnia, Asia, Kosovo
  • Publication Date: 10-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On October 30, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree ordering an early end to Murat Zyazikov's term as Ingushetia's president, Itar-Tass reported, citing the Russian presidential press service. Zyazikov, the former KGB general who headed Ingushetia for six and a half years, said that his resignation as Ingushetia's president was absolutely voluntary and connected to his transfer to another job. “I will be working in Moscow,” Interfax quoted him as saying. Zyazikov did not indicate what his new job would be.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: “From the very first moment of his appointment, General Yunus-Bek Yevkurov has behaved like a man sent to the front line with a special mission,” the piece stated. “He cancelled the inauguration ceremony and the celebrations that are normally held when a new Ingush president takes office. On his first day he visited the central mosque to take part in the evening prayers. His predecessors have also made such visits from time to time, but only as guests of honor. Yevkurov plans to rely primarily on the people, rather than on the siloviki and the bureaucrats. He let this be understood when, on returning from prayers, he requested support from the elders of the Ingush teips.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Ingushetia
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev removed Musa Medov as Ingushetia's interior minister on November 24. Medov, along with Murat Zyazikov, who was removed as Ingushetia's president late last month (North Caucasus Weekly, October 30), were accused by the republic's opposition party of involvement in the August 31 murder of Magomed Yevloev, founder of the independent Ingushetiya.ru website (North Caucasus Weekly, September 5). Ingushetiya.ru's successor website, Ingushetia.org, reported on November 25 that Medov has been replaced by Colonel Ruslan Meiriev, a former employee of the police department in the Siberian town of Nizhnevartovsk. Newsru.com on November 25 quoted sources in the federal Interior Ministry as saying that Medov had been given a job in the ministry's apparatus in Moscow—which is in effect a promotion. The website reported that Meiriev had been introduced to the staff of Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Deputy Russian Interior Minister Colonel-General Arkady Yedelev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow, North Caucasus, Ingushetia
  • Author: Alexander Melikishvili
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Women Found Murdered in Chechnya Aushev: Moscow Should Talk to Rebels in the North Caucasus Assassination of Vladikavkaz Mayor: Business or Politics? Briefs Kadyrov Claims Demise of Insurgency: Rebels Respond with Wave of New Attacks By Mairbek Vatchagaev Lezgin Refugees from Dagestan Seek Refuge in Georgia's Kakheti Region.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Fatima Tlisova
  • Publication Date: 11-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Medov Removed as Ingushetia's Interior Minister Human Rights Violations Remain Rife in Ingushetia Sulim Yamadaev Says a Chechen Unit Has Been Sent to Moscow to Kill Him Briefs Dagestan's Sharia Jamaat Expands and Reorganizes By Mairbek Vatchagaev Circassian Congress Calls for Unification of Circassian Republics in North Caucasus.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Ingush President Makes Opposition Lawyer His Adviser Kadyrov Performs the Hajj Pilgrimage Sharia Jamaat Threatens Dagestani Police, Officials, Clergy KBR Authorities Again Vow to Catch Anzor Astemirov Militant Actions Shake Up Dagestan.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: IN THIS ISSUE: Rights Activists: Religious Repression Feeds Dagestan's Insurgency New Ingush Rights Council Flooded with Complaints Spain Agrees toExtradite Former Rebel Commander Briefs Chechen Interior Minister Tries to Play Down the InsurgencyBy Mairbek Vatchagaev New Tensions Surface in Ossetian-Ingush RelationsBy Valery Dzutsev.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 08-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: A person claiming to belong to the Chechen extremist group Riyadus-Salikhin (Gardens of the Righteous) called the North Caucasus Service of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty to claim responsibility for the bomb explosion that derailed the Nevsky Express passenger train traveling from Moscow to St. Petersburg on the evening of August 13, RFE/RL reported on August 15. According to the Prosecutor General's Office, the bombing, which derailed the train near the city of Novgorod, about 500 kilometers north of Moscow, and injured dozens of people, was caused by a homemade bomb equal to two kilograms of TNT.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Andrei Smirnov, Mayrbek Vachagaev
  • Publication Date: 07-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kavkazky Uzel reported on July 4 that the “armed formations of the separatists” have become noticeably more active in recent days, with armed clashes between the rebels and security forces taking place in Chechnya's mountains and foothills. “In Chechnya, rumors are actively being spread that in the coming months the militants may launch a series of large-scale offensive actions for the purpose of demonstrating their real capabilities,” the website wrote. “Some time ago, information appeared that the separatist leader Dokka Umarov demanded that members of the republic's law-enforcement bodies quit their jobs, promising 'amnesty' in exchange.” Kavkazky Uzel quoted a Grozny resident, identified only as Sakhab, as saying: “Several weeks ago, leaflets with an appeal from Dokka Umarov to the employees of the police force were found in various places. Apparently, they said that those policemen who do not quit their jobs soon will be destroyed. Those who 'come to their senses' were promised amnesty.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Russian government's amnesty for rebels in Chechnya and elsewhere in the North Caucasus, announced last July by Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Patrushev acting in his capacity as head of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAK), expired on January 15.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Andrei Smirnov
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On January 3, a shootout between gunmen and police in the Dagestani capital of Makhachkala left a police officer and two local residents wounded and one gunman dead. Citing Dagestan's Interior Ministry, ITAR-TASS reported that the incident took place around 5PM Moscow time on Ganidov Prospekt in Makhachkala, when police tried to stop a Zhiguli car for a document check and someone inside the vehicle fired on them. One of the gunmen was killed in the ensuing gun battle while the three others in the car managed to escape. One of the escaping gunmen may have been wounded. Interfax quoted a Makhachkala police official as saying that two local residents were slightly injured in the gunfight and that the life of the wounded policeman, shot in the leg, was not in danger.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kommersant reported on October 25 that investigators believe former officers of an Interior Ministry unit from Siberia's Khanty-Mansiisk Autonomous Okrug, which had been deployed in Chechnya, were involved in the October 7 murder of Novaya gazeta correspondent Anna Politkovskaya (Chechnya Weekly, October 12). Politkovskaya published an article in September 2001 accusing officers from the regional Department of Internal Affairs (UVD) in the city of Nizhnevartovsk of committing various human rights abuses while stationed in Chechnya. In particular, she accused Sergei Lapin, a senior lieutenant from the Nizhnevartovsk UVD's criminal investigation department, known by his nickname “Kadet,” along with two of his superiors, Major Aleksandr Prilepin and Colonel Valery Minin, of complicity in the January 2001 abduction and murder of Grozny resident Zelimkhan Murdalov. In subsequent articles, she accused these and other members of the Nizhnevartovsk unit of murdering a number of other Chechen civilians. Novaya gazeta subsequently received an email death threat signed by “Kadet” and Politkovskaya fled to Austria for a time (The Monitor, October 18, 2001).
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya
  • Author: Naima Nefliasheva
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Police in Nazran, Ingushetia, on October 16 violently broke up a demonstration by dozens of activists demanding that the federal authorities find the killers of journalist Anna Politkovskaya. “In Nazran the meeting was broken up with brute force and five people were detained by the police,” Oleg Orlov of the Memorial human rights group told the Reuters news agency. “A young activist had her nose broken by a policeman who hit her in the face. The police threw our pictures of Politkovskaya onto the ground and stamped on them.” Novye izvestia on October 17 quoted Memorial staffer Shamil Tangiev as saying he took the activist who was beaten up, Yektaterina Sokiryanskaya, to the hospital, were she was diagnosed with a broken nose and a concussion. Interfax quoted Ingush Interior Ministry Beslan Khamkhoev as saying: “There was an attempt to hold an unsanctioned meeting. For some reason, there was a disagreement between the members of the meeting, which turned into a fight. To preserve order and safety, policemen were forced to intervene.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: As was the case with the dozens of other murders of journalists in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, the murder of Anna Politkovskaya on October 7 has been followed by much speculation about the identity of those who ordered the investigative journalist's murder and their motives for doing so. Sadly, given how few of these cases have been solved, the theories are likely to remain unconfirmed indefinitely.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, Chechnya
  • Author: Andrew McGregor
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Kremlin on September 18 asked the State Duma to approve an amnesty plan for militants in Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus. The Associated Press, citing Itar-Tass, quoted the chairman of the Duma committee on criminal legislation, Pavel Krasheninnikov, as saying that the Kremlin's amnesty would remain in effect for six months after its approval by parliament and would also apply to Russian servicemen suspected of committing crimes while serving in Chechnya and other republics in the North Caucasus. Interfax quoted Krasheninnikov as saying that the amnesty would not apply to “recidivists, foreigners or persons without citizenship,” or to Russian servicemen who sold weapons, ammunition or other military equipment while serving in the “counter-terrorist” operation in the North Caucasus. The Duma is scheduled to take up the Kremlin's amnesty plan on September 22.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: A shootout on September 13 between a group of armed Chechen OMON police commandos and Ingush police manning a traffic police post on the Chechen-Ingush administrative border resulted in the deaths of seven people–one Ingush police and six Chechen OMON. Among the victims was the Chechen OMON's chief of staff, Buvadi Dukhiev, who was shot and severely wounded after he arrived on the scene of the battle and tried to convince both sides to stand down. Dukhiev died later in the hospital. Ten Ingush and 11 Chechen policemen were wounded in the battle, Interfax reported.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya
  • Author: Mayrbek Vachagaev
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On September 4, Chechen President Alu Alkhanov called for renaming Chechnya the “Nokhchiin Republic,” which is the republic's name in the Chechen language. The idea, however, received a thumbs-down the following day from the republic's prime minister and de facto strongman, Ramzan Kadyrov, as well as from a number of federal officials. Some analysts saw this as yet another sign that Kadyrov's power is growing at Alkhanov's expense.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Many observers have been predicting that Ramzan Kadyrov will assume the Chechen Republic's presidency soon, after he reaches the constitutionally-mandated minimum age of 30 on October 5. On August 10, for example, Kommersant quoted Frants Klintsevich, deputy chairman of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party's faction in the State Duma, as saying he had no doubts that Kadyrov, who is currently Chechnya's prime minister, would become Chechnya's president this fall. Other observers, however, have begun to express doubts about whether Kadyrov will become Chechnya's president, at least in the near term.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On August 10, an attempt was made on the life of Ingushetia's Nazran district prosecutor, Girkhan Khazbiev. According to Newsru.com, a bomb went off at Khazbiev's house in Nazran's Oltievo municipal district at about 1 AM, Moscow time, after which he and members of his family went outside to see what had happened. At that moment, a second blast occurred. Khazbiev was not hurt in the attack, but his 27-year-old younger brother, Adam Khazbiev, was killed, and 13 other people, including other relatives of Khazbiev and people from neighboring homes, were injured. According to investigators, following the detonation of the two improvised explosive devices unidentified attackers tossed four hand grenades that exploded in and around the yard of Khazbiev's house. Those injured in the attack had shrapnel wounds, and four of the 13 people injured were reported to be in grave condition.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russian and Chechen officials alike continued to discuss the offer of amnesty that the federal authorities offered to the rebels in Chechnya and the North Caucasus in the wake of the death of Chechen rebel warlord Shamil Basaev. On August 1, Interfax reported that President Vladimir Putin praised the initiative during a meeting with members of his cabinet. “By all appearances, the decision to possibly grant amnesty to the people who were members of illegal armed groups was right,” Putin said. He added, however, in a comment directed to Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev that “the work against those who continue their illegal activities should be stepped up.” Putin said that he had instructed Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Patrushev, who also heads the National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAK) and first floated the amnesty offer on July 15 (Chechnya Weekly, July 20), “to listen to proposals from the ministries and the other agencies at the next major Anti-Terrorism Committee meeting regarding plans to provide security in both the Chechen Republic and the North Caucasus as a whole.” According to Interfax, Putin asked how many people had laid down their arms since the amnesty was offered, and Nurgaliev responded that over 70 people had done so during the previous few days, with 12 people surrendering on July 29, seven on July 30 and ten on July 31. “This is happening not only in Chechnya and Dagestan, but also in other regions and republics in the Southern Federal District,” Nurgaliev said.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The death of Chechen rebel warlord Shamil Basaev (Chechnya Weekly, July 14) and Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Patrushev's offer of amnesty to Chechnya's rebels (Chechnya Weekly, July 20) have been followed by a number of optimistic statements from federal and Chechen officials about the progress made against insurgents in Chechnya and the North Caucasus. On July 24, Interfax quoted Chechnya's chief prosecutor, Valery Kuznetsov, as claiming that 46 rebels had surrendered since the start of July. On July 26, Caucasus Times quoted Chechen law-enforcement agencies as saying that 50 members of “illegal armed formations” had given themselves up since the start of July, with the largest group of these fighters personally surrendering to Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov in Gudermes. Federal Deputy Interior Minister Arkady Yedelev said on July 26 that the total number of “illegal armed formation” members in the Southern Federal District today does not exceed 800, down from the earlier number of 1,200-1,800. On July 18, Kadyrov told the board of the Chechen Interior Ministry that only 50 active rebels remain in Chechnya, with part-time rebels and rebel sympathizers numbering only 200-300. Kadyrov said that he believed that there would be “good results” by August 1, the deadline for Patrushev's amnesty offer. “There was a den of the enemy in the republic; there were many visiting militants—Turks, Arabs, Azerbaijanis, Ingush, Dagestanis,” Itar-Tass quoted him as saying. “I think those remaining will come to us.” If not, Kadyrov added, they would face heavy sentences or “liquidation.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The circumstances surrounding the July 10 death in Ingushetia of Shamil Basaev, the Chechen rebel military commander and recently appointed vice president of the separatist Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI), remain murky. At 9:45 AM (Moscow time) that day, Interfax quoted “a source in Ingushetia's law enforcement services” as saying that four militants had been killed in a “self-induced blast” during “a sweep operation” in the village of Ekazhevo, located in Ingushetia's Nazran district. The source told the news agency that the rebels “were in two cars parked nearby” a KamAz truck that blew up, while Ingushetia's Security Department told Interfax that the militants were inside the truck itself when it exploded. “The incident occurred at about midnight,” the news agency quoted the department as saying. “The bodies of four militants were discovered at the scene of the explosion.” A Security Department spokesman said that two bodies were identified as those of rebel “warlords” Tarkhan Ganizhev and Isa Kushtov. According to the department, the truck had been filled with weapons, ammunition and explosive substances that Basaev and his associates had intended to use for “high-impact subversive and terror attacks in the North Caucasus.” The Interfax report concluded: “The blast is believed to have been caused by careless handling of ammunition and explosive substances.” Likewise, the Regnum news agency, citing Itar-Tass, quoted Ingushetia's Federal Security Service (FSB) branch as saying that the massive blast, which had the force of 100 kilograms of TNT, was the result of “careless handling of ammunition and explosive substances.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya, North Caucasus, Ingushetia
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On June 27, the Chechen separatist Daymohk published two decrees by Dokku Umarov, the new leader of the separatist movement and president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI). One decree removed Abdallakh Shamil Abu-Idris, a.k.a. Shamil Basaev, from the post of first deputy chairman of the ChRI Cabinet of Ministers (i.e., ChRI first deputy prime minister), while the other appointed him ChRI Vice-President, the same post Umarov held up until the death of the previous separatist leader and ChRI president, Abdul-Khalim Sadulaev, on June 17 (Chechnya Weekly, June 22).
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The death of Chechen separatist leader Abdul-Khalim Sadulaev was first announced by Chechen government officials on June 17. Interfax quoted Chechen government minister Muslim Khuchiev as saying that Sadulaev was killed in a special operation in the city of Argun—Sadulaev's hometown— when members of the Chechen Interior Ministry's Akhmad Kadyrov special task regiment and the Argun police, acting on "operational information," established Sadulaev's location and killed him when he put up armed resistance. "At the moment we have no doubts about the fact that Saidulaev has really been liquidated," Interfax quoted Argun Police Chief Ali Tagirov as saying. "We are located next to his body; it has been identified by people who knew him very well." (The rebel leader was referred to as "Saidulaev" rather than "Sadulaev" in most reports about his death by Chechen government officials and Russian news agencies.) Tagirov added that a hostage was freed during the operation. "Two militants from among Saidulaev's bodyguards took a hostage with them and tried to use him as cover, however during the course of the armed clash police managed to liberate him." He said that a policeman and a Federal Security Service (FSB) officer were killed in the shoot-out, but that the hostage was unharmed. Tagirov refused to identify the hostage, but gave a few other details about the operation. "The operation was carried out in the residential area on Ulitsa Svobody," where Sadulaev and his associates were discovered in a private home, he said. That part of Argun is known as the "Indian Hamlet." Tagirov said that a search was underway for the two rebel bodyguards.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The violence in Ingushetia spiraled upward another notch on June 9, when gunmen fired on an SUV carrying Musa Nalgiev, the commander of the republic's OMON special police, killing him along with three of his children, a bodyguard, and a driver. Russian and Western news agencies reported that the attack occurred in the town of Karabulak when gunmen first blocked Nalgiev's car with their own car and then opened fire with automatic weapons. Nalgiev was reportedly taking his children, who ranged in age from 2 to 6, to kindergarten. Kommersant reported on June 12 that Nalgiev's wife and teenage son were also in the car at the time of the attack, and that a moment before his death, a mortally-wounded Nalgiev yelled at the three attackers: "I am here! Don't fire on the car, scum, there are children there!" According to the newspaper, the gunmen fired until they were out of ammunition, reloaded their weapons, after which one of them opened the door of the car next to where the three children were sitting and shot at them until he ran out of ammo. Kommersant reported that investigators found 120 shell casings at the murder scene, but after running forensic tests on them found that the assault rifles from which they were fired had not been used in other crimes. In addition, the attackers left no cigarette butts, hair, or pieces of clothing at the scene that could be used track them down.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya, Ingushetia
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Memorial has published a report about a secret Interior Ministry prison in Grozny where, according to the human rights group, people were tortured and killed. According to the report, which was posted on Memorial's website (Memo.ru) on June 5, at the end May Memorial staffers were able to enter a now-empty building in the center of the Chechen capital that had until recently housed an operational group of the federal Interior Ministry in Grozny's Oktyabrsky district. From 2000 to 2003, the building had housed the Temporary Department of Internal Affairs (VOVD) of the Oktyabrsky district. Based on abundant evidence found there by Memorial staffers, the report stated: "Detained and arrested people were tortured in the Oktyabrsky district VOVD. Many of the people taken there disappeared without a trace."
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Four federal Interior Ministry troops were killed and three wounded in an ambush by rebel fighters in Chechnya's Vedeno on May 24, Russian and Western news agencies reported. According to the online journal Gazeta, a Russian Interior Ministry unit was ambushed near the settlement of Eshilkhatoi in central Vedeno district at around 11:30 PM local time on May 23 (Gazeta, May 25). The unit was reportedly searching for a group of 15-20 suspected militants spotted in the region earlier that day. The three wounded servicemen, including one major, were first treated at the Khankala base outside Grozny and later at the Russian military base at Mozdok, North Ossetia, from where they were flown to the Internal Troops' Central Military Clinical Hospital in the city of Balashikha outside Moscow. Additional units were deployed to block off the area where the ambush occurred, with troops actively searching for the attackers. As Gazeta noted, however, past experience shows that the perpetrators of such attacks are apprehended "extremely rarely." "They often simply dissolve among the inhabitants of local villages," the website observed. "Furthermore, the extremists are better familiarized with the locality and know all of the forest and mountain trails. We would also note that the Vedeno district is considered to be Shamil Basaev's ancestral lands."
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: A roadside bomb detonated on the outskirts of Nazran, Ingushetia, on May 17, killing Ingushetian Deputy Interior Minister Dzhabrail Kostoev, his two bodyguards and four civilians. Kavkazky Uzel and the Associated Press reported on May 17 that the incident took place in the Nasyr-Kortovsky municipal district when a parked car exploded next to a passing convoy that included Kostoev's vehicle. Kommersant reported on May 18 that Kostoev was on his way to work from his home in the village Ekazhevo in Nazran's suburbs and that the bomb in the parked VAZ-2109 detonated just after the convoy, which included Kostoev's armored Chevrolet jeep and two accompanying Volgas, crossed a bridge over a small river known locally as Nazranovka. According to the newspaper, the blast took place at the precise moment that Kostoev's jeep was passing the VAZ-2109. "The blast hurled the jeep forward and to the left, onto the median strip, around 25 meters, and at that time a Zhiguli… with four construction workers inside who were driving to work, came toward it. The jeep flew into the Zhiguli, the [collision] was very strong, the gas tank caught fire and both cars blew up," Ingushetian Interior Ministry press secretary Nazir Yevloev told the newspaper, adding that the passengers in both cars died immediately. According to Kommersant, virtually nothing remained of the VAZ-2109 that contained the explosives or the Zhiguli that was hit by Kostoev's jeep. The explosion left the jeep a burned-out shell. Ingushetia's chief prosecutor, Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov, told Kommersant that the force of the blast equaled roughly 100 kilograms of TNT.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Ingushetia
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The speaker of Chechnya's parliament has called for the unification of Chechnya and Ingushetia—and, possibly, Dagestan. In an interview with Interfax on April 24, Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov called the liquidation of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Republic in June 1992 a historical mistake. "I am firmly convinced that it was a gross historical mistake made for the sake of the ambitious mercenary interests of individual politicians of Checheno-Ingushetia and the then-ruling elite of Moscow," he told the news agency. Reunification, he said, would "forever extirpate possible centers of tension" and effectively resolve the lingering dispute over the administrative border between Chechnya and Ingushetia and jurisdiction over the Sunzhensky district, through which that administrative border passes.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow, Ingushetia, Dagestan
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Financial Times reported on April 19 that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak had lodged a formal protest with the U.S. Ambassador to Moscow, William Burns, the previous day over The Jamestown Foundation-sponsored conference held in Washington on April 14 entitled "Sadullaev's Caucasian Front: Prospects for the Next Nalchik." RIA Novosti reported on April 18 that the Foreign Ministry had summoned the U.S. ambassador to, in the news agency's words, "hand him a note of protest against a seminar in Washington which it said called for new terrorist attacks in Russia." According to RIA Novosti, the ministry claimed that during the conference "the floor had been given to speakers who called for new terrorist acts in Russia." The news agency quoted the ministry as saying that "[t]he organization of such events in the United States contradicts the country's international obligations in the sphere of counter-terrorism" and that "[s]uch concessions on the part of Washington to Chechen militants and separatists also run counter to the spirit of partner-based bilateral anti-terrorist cooperation, and damage bilateral relations."
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Washington, Asia, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen President Alu Alkhanov said on April 10 that 14 people have been abducted since the beginning of the year, Interfax reported. "Unfortunately, the problem of kidnappings has not been fully resolved but the rate of registered abductions has shrunk," Alkhanov said at a meeting with a visiting United Nations delegation headed by UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. "Seventy people were kidnapped over the same period last year. The entire human rights community recognizes the positive trend in matters related to human rights and abductions. Statistically the crime rate in Chechnya is below the Russian average."
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Chechen separatist Daymohk website on April 3 published an address by Abdul-Khalim Sadulaev. The Chechen rebel president claimed his forces had destroyed "dozens of pieces of enemy equipment" on "all fronts of the war" this winter. "The most odious figures in the camp of the national traitors, who were decorated with medals and crosses by their bosses, have also been liquidated," Sadulaev said. "God has helped us to defeat them. The greatest successes have been achieved in Dagestan where the traitors' leaders have been wiped out. Successful combat operations are also being waged in Karachaevo-Cherkessia, although not so actively as in the main areas of the mujahideen's attacks in Ingushetia, Chechnya, Kabardino-Balkaria and Adygeya."
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Kabardino
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Leonid Roshal, the Moscow pediatrician sought out by the Beslan hostage-takers as a negotiator and who was awarded by the Russian government for his assistance during the October 2002 Dubrovka theater hostage crisis, said on March 27 that he disagrees with the official explanation for the mass illness of children in Chechnya during the last several months—a nervous disorder—and believes instead that it was caused by poisoning.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen Labor and Social Development Minister Magomed Vakhaev on March 22 called for a series of amendments to the republic's constitution, including changing the age requirement for the Chechen president. "In the Constitution of the Chechen Republic there are quite a few norms, provisions, which require substantial editorial correcting," Vakhaev said at a ceremony marking the third anniversary of the constitution's adoption, Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on March 23. "According to the constitution in force, a person who has reached the age of 30 can become president. It seems to us that this requirement is not based on anything and needs to be repealed." Many "contradictions" that "slipped into" the constitution need to be "eliminated," Vakhaev said.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Chechen separatist Daymohk website on March 13 posted a video clip of what it said was Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov "in a bathhouse scene" with prostitutes. The website said it received the clip from the "jamaat IBADULLAH" and claimed it was filmed at "one of Kadyrov's favorite saunas." The Regnum news agency on March 15 said that the clip appears to have been filmed by a cell phone camera and shows "a person resembling Kadyrov dancing with two half-clothed girls—one after another." Several other men are visible in the brief clip.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechnya's parliament unanimously confirmed Ramzan Kadyrov as the republic's prime minister on March 4, two days after Chechen President Alu Alkhanov nominated him to replace Sergei Abramov, who resigned in late February. Kadyrov had been serving as acting prime minister since Abramov was in a car accident last November (see Chechnya Weekly, March 6).
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 03-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen President Alu Alkhanov said on March 1 that he had accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Sergei Abramov and would name his successor later in the week, the Associated Press reported. Alkhanov first announced Abramov's resignation in a Moscow press conference on February 28, saying that Abramov, who was injured in a car accident in November, was stepping down for health reasons. Abramov, however, denied he was quitting due to poor health, saying instead that he was stepping down to make way for Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been serving as acting prime minister since Abramov's accident. Moreove, while Alkhanov said a successor would be named later in the week, the speaker of the lower house of Chechnya's parliament, Dukuvakha Abdurakhmanov, was all but unequivocal that Kadyrov would become the new prime minister. "I can responsibly state that at the moment there is no more suitable a candidate for the post of Chechen prime minister than Ramzan Kadyrov," gazeta.ru on February 28 quoted Abdurakhmanov as saying. "The People's Assembly [the lower house of Chechnya's parliament] unconditionally supports this candidacy upon its submission by the Chechen president for consideration." According to gazeta.ru, Abdurakhmanov indicated he had no doubt Alkhanov would nominate Kadyrov, who, he said, "has proved that he is not only a warrior but a quickly growing politician capable of solving the most difficult tasks."
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kommersant reported on February 22 that the office of presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District (YuFO), Dmitry Kozak, has asked the YuFO division of the federal Prosecutor General's Office to assess the legality of actions taken by Chechen government officials. According to the newspaper, the request was made in response to acting Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov's announcement that the Danish humanitarian organizations would be banned from the republic for the caricatures of the Prophet Muhmmad published by a Danish newspaper. Kommersant cited sources from YuFO prosecutor's office as saying that the formal reason for the request—which was sent by Kozak's legal affairs assistant, Valery Napalkov—were items in various media, in particular an article published by Novye izvestia on February 8 reported that the Chechen authorities had banned the activities of the Danish Refugees Council and that the decision was final. While the Chechen government did not take any formal decision in this regard, the Danish Refugee Council subsequently curtailed its activities in the republic.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The separatist Chechenpress website on February 11 posted a video of separatist president Abdul-Khalim Sadulaev reading a statement in Chechen. In the statement, which was credited to the Daymohk information agency and accompanied by a written Russian-language translation, Sadulaev said he wanted to "clear up our goals and tasks, around which there has, of late, developed a discussion that is leading us away from our Jihad."
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Responding to the controversy surrounding a Danish newspaper's publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammed, acting Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov announced to journalists in Moscow that Chechnya would not admit "anything that comes out of Denmark"—including non-governmental organizations.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow, Denmark
  • Publication Date: 02-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The situation in Chechnya and the North Caucasus was among the subjects that President Vladimir Putin addressed during his January 31 Kremlin press conference. "I think that it is possible to talk about the end of the counter-terrorist operation since Chechnya's law enforcement agencies will, in practice, take upon themselves the basic responsibility for law enforcement in the Republic," the Kremlin's website quoted Putin as saying in answer to a question from a Chechen newspaper reporter about whether the military operation in Chechnya could be considered over. "All bodies of state power have been created in the Chechen Republic; I have already spoken about this and you are well aware of it. This means that the law enforcement agencies can and will get stronger—the office of the public prosecutor, courts, lawyers, notaries and, of course, the Interior Ministry of the Chechen Republic. In the aggregate, I hope, I am confident, that all of this together will result in further stabilization."
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 01-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On January 25, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) passed a resolution on the human rights situation in Chechnya. According to PACE's website (assembly.coe.int), the resolution, which passed by a vote of 117 to 24, stated that the Strasbourg-based assembly "is deeply concerned that a fair number of governments, member states and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe have failed to address the ongoing serious human rights violations in a regular, serious and intensive manner, despite the fact that such violations still occur on a massive scale in the Chechen Republic and, in some cases, neighboring regions in a climate of impunity." The assembly also reiterated its "unambiguous condemnation of all acts of terrorism" and expressed "its understanding of the difficulties the Russian Federation faces in combating terrorism."
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Human Rights, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russian media have been reporting over the past week that large-scale security operations are continuing in Kabardino-Balkaria and elsewhere in the North Caucasus following the October 13 rebel attacks in Nalchik. Gazeta reported on October 26 that Ramazan Tembotov, a local legislator from the village of Khasnya in Nalchik's suburbs and a member of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, was arrested without explanation on October 23 and taken to the headquarters of RUBOP, the anti-organized crime directorate, in Nalchik. "People in masks came flying in, they [treated me] like a criminal, with obscene language. It is a disgrace for me—after all, the treatment of a deputy is special, like [the treatment of] an attorney; everyone knows me in the village," Tembotov told the newspaper. "I, unlike others, was not beaten: they lead me around the rooms, the cellars, and showed what they were doing to other detainees: they were torturing people like the Gestapo. No lawyers, no interrogations—simply beating to death, until they confessed or pointed to others." Tembotov said that the police personnel displayed particular animosity toward anything connected to Islam. He was released on October 24, the day after his detention, and told Gazeta that he thought the only thing that saved him was a telephone call he had managed to make to an acquaintance who works for the Federal Security Service.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Islam
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kavkazky Uzel reported on October 19 that a total of 92 rebel gunmen were killed on October 13 during the attack on government and law enforcement buildings in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria. RIA Novosti reported that day that a total of 24 law enforcement officers died in the attack along with ten civilians, while Ekho Moskvy radio quoted the press secretary of Kabardino-Balkarian President Arsen Kanokov as saying that the bodies of ten civilians killed in the attack had been identified while another two bodies remained unidentified.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Kabardino
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Rebels in Kabardino-Balkaria on October 13 tried to seize all of the buildings of the republic's power structures in the capital, Nalchik. The attack was carried out by large group of what the authorities called "religious extremist-Wahhabis." According to official estimates, 150-300 rebels were involved the attack. Kavkazky Uzel website reported, however, that up to 600 were involved in the raid. The separatist Daymohk website reported that the raid was carried out by "mujahideen" of the "Caucasus Front." As newsru.com noted, the "Caucasus Front" was established along with five others_the Dagestani, Eastern, Western, Northern, and Grozny fronts_on the orders of Chechen separatist leader Abdul- Khalim Sadulaev.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Caucasus, Chechnya, Kabardino
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russian media reported on October 5 that President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Tony Blair, who held talks that day and signed a joint statement on combating terrorism, discussed the issue of Akhmed Zakaev, the Chechen separatist envoy who received political asylum in the United Kingdom in December 2003. State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev, who was present at the meeting, said that Blair showed "understanding" on the issue. "The British prime minister made clear that he is in favor of changing and strengthening current British legislation to allow more specific and decisive action to be taken against people suspected of links to terrorism," Kosachev said in remarks carried by Ren-TV.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United Kingdom, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: President Vladimir Putin took several questions from residents of Chechnya in a live link-up from Grozny during his nationally televised three-hour call-in show on September 27. As the Moscow Times reported the following day, a woman told Putin her son had disappeared without a trace after being abducted four years ago and that thousands of people in Chechnya were in a similar situation. "We will continue work to search for both disappeared people and those who are guilty of these crimes," newsru.com quoted Putin as saying. The problem, he said, is linked to the fact that the problem of security has not been resolved fully, adding that it is sometimes impossible to determine whether abductions have been carried by disguised "bandits" or are "abuses by official law-enforcement organs." Dozens of criminal cases, including those targeting officials and federal servicemen, have been launched in connection with kidnappings in Chechnya, Putin said. "The main solution to the problem is political regularization in Chechnya, bringing in the largest number of people in the process of this regularization," he said, adding: "I attach very great importance to the upcoming parliamentary elections in Chechnya…It seems to me that people with the most varied political convictions should appear there [in parliament], so that all divisive issues are resolved openly, in a civilized manner, in a political process, and not through the use of force."
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: An officer in Chechnya's Anti-Terrorist Center was killed and three Chechen policemen were wounded on September 20 when rebels fired on three police vehicles outside the Shelkovsky district village of Krasny Voskhod, Interfax and Kavkazky Uzel reported on September 21. Rebels also severely wounded a policeman in Grozny's Staropromyslovsky district. "The attack was carried out near the district court by three unidentified assailants," a source told Interfax. "The policeman was hospitalized." RIA Novosti reported on September 20 that two policemen and a Federal Security Service (FSB) officer had been injured the previous day when the UAZ vehicle in which they were traveling hit a land mine near the town of Shali. According to the news agency, the mine exploded with a force equivalent to one kilogram of TNT. Separately, unidentified attackers fired shots at police officers on patrol in Borozdinovskaya on September 19, injuring one police officer. A Chechen law-enforcement source told Interfax that one policeman was wounded and hospitalized. Borozdinovskaya is the village from which eleven residents disappeared during a June raid allegedly carried out by Russian military intelligence's Vostok battalion. Also on September 19, a remand prison belonging to the Chechen narcotics control directorate in Grozny's Leninsky district came under fire from assault rifles and grenade launchers. According to Interfax, no one was injured in the attack and law-enforcers returned fire. Meanwhile, law-enforcers detained four militants in the Shali district village of Novye Atagi in connection with an August attack on a car carrying district police officers, which killed one policeman and wounded another.
  • Topic: Security, Civil War, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen State Council Chairman Taus Dzhabrailov raised eyebrows on August 15, when he told journalists that the two wars in Chechnya have killed about 160,000 combatants and civilians, 30,000-40,000 of them Chechen fighters and civilians. He said that the remaining victims were "representatives of various ethnic groups," but that the vast majority of these were Russians, Novye izvestia reported on August 16. Agence France-Presse noted that a large portion of the 400,000-450,000 people who lived in Grozny before the first war were ethnic Russian and that the city was devastated by Russian air and artillery bombardments in 1995 that caused massive civilian casualties. "They never thought they would have bombs dropped on their heads or be shot at by heavy weapons," the news agency quoted Dzhabrailov as saying. Izvestia, meanwhile, reported him as saying that "the figures I have quoted are compiled by collecting together information about all the losses in the republic in the last fifteen years. We obtained information from all those involved: the military, the Interior Ministry, and the districts. Our data for the Ichkeria period are based on official documents that I obtained from the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Ministry of Internal Affairs when I was an employee of the republican mufti's press service. The losses at that time were no smaller than they are now or were during the counter-terrorist operation."
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, France, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Council of Muftis of the Chechen Republic on August 4 officially declared a jihad against "Wahhabism." Interfax quoted Chechen Mufti Sultan Mirzaev as telling journalists that the decision had been announced during a meeting between representatives of the clergy and law-enforcement agencies in the village of Tsentoroi, which is the home village of the Kadyrov clan. Mirzaev said it was the largest such meeting since the death of Akhmad Kadyrov in May 2004. "Wahhabism is the plague of the 20th and the 21st centuries," he said. "All Arabic scholars have come to be unanimous that those fighting against Wahhabism are on the path of jihad, following the way of Allah." Wahhabis and terrorists, he said, "are bringing evil into the world and the entire world must oppose them. We adopted an official fatwa (a religious ruling in Islam – Interfax), so that those fighting terrorism and Wahhabism have no doubt that their cause is just. We have declared war on these phenomena. Those killing innocent people must be either stopped or put behind bars or exterminated. This has to be done by whatever method. Our fatwa is that those who have shed blood, those who do not want to stop must be killed by any method." Mirzaev said rebels had killed sixteen district imams in Chechnya and that he himself had been "seriously wounded" in a rebel attack. "Should I remain silent about this?" he said. "If it becomes necessary, I will take up arms and I am ready to fight against them."
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The airing by ABC News' "Nightline" of excerpts of journalist Andrei Babitsky's interview with Chechen rebel warlord Shamil Basaev caused an uproar in Russia that has yet to subside. In the excerpts, which "Nightline" broadcast on July 28, Basaev refused to take responsibility for the death of more than 150 children at Beslan's School No. 1 in September 2004. Asked by Babitsky whether he felt responsibility for their deaths, "perhaps sharing this responsibility with Putin," Basaev responded: "Why should I share it with Putin? Officially, over 40,000 of our children have been killed and tens of thousands mutilated. Is anyone saying anything about that?" Pressed by Babitsky about whether he really held the Beslan children responsible for that, Basaev continued: "It's not the children who are responsible. Responsibility is with the whole Russian nation, which with silent approval gives a yes. A nation that feeds their grasses who ravaged Chechnya. They collect food...for them, they supply them. They pay taxes. They give approval in word and in deed. They are all responsible. And in Beslan, to be honest, I didn't expect this. But in Beslan, the issue was either stop the war in Chechnya or have Putin resign. Just one of those two things. Carry out one, and all people are released, no questions asked."
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Interfax reported on July 26 that an explosion targeting a police van in the Dagestani city of Khasavyurt wounded six members of a federal Interior Ministry mobile unit. Sources in Dagestan's Interior Ministry told the news agency that the incident took place 500 meters from the Interior Ministry building in Khasavyurt. Interfax reported that two of the wounded Interior Ministry officers were in grave condition while the other four were hospitalized with less serious injuries. According to Dagestani Interior Ministry sources, shortly after the police van was bombed, a large radio-controlled explosive device was found near the Khasavyurt Interior Ministry building and defused. That device consisted of a metal container filled with a mixture of aluminum powder and ammonium nitrate, pieces of metal and an electric detonator.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Chechen rebels on July 19 capped an upsurge in activity with an attack in the village of Znameskoe in Chechnya's Nadterechny district that killed 14 people, eleven of them police and security personnel. According to the Associated Press, the attackers opened fire on a UAZ minibus and then detonated a bomb when a second vehicle came to help. Vremya novostei reported on July 20 that ten policemen and a Federal Security Service (FSB) officer died in the attack. On July 19, Interfax quoted Akhmed Dakaev of the Chechen Interior Ministry as saying that three civilians, including teenagers aged 13 and 14, were among those killed, and that 19 civilians and five policemen were wounded. One of the youths was reportedly killed while riding a bicycle past the scene of the attack. The head of Grozny's Center for Disaster Medicine, Umar Akhyadov, later told Interfax that 34 people had been injured in the attack, 20 of them seriously, with shrapnel wounds in vital organs and severed limbs. Kommersant on July 20 quoted an official with Nadterechny district Interior Ministry directorate as saying that the head of directorate's criminal investigation department, Aslanbek Elmurzaev, and the head of its passport office Khazir Meitsaev, were killed in the bombing.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Sharia Jamaat on July 12 officially confirmed the death of its leader Rasul Makasharipov. “Praise Allah, on July 6 in the city of Shamilkal (formerly Makhachkala), during the defense of a mujahideen base in the course of a violent battle, the Emir of the Islamic Jamaat of Dagestan 'Sharia' Rasul Makasharipov (call sign 'Muslim'), Shamil Korodinsky (call sign 'Vakkas') and Zeid Korodinsky became shahids [martyrs-CW],” the group said in a statement posted on the separatist Kavkazcenter website. “The two remaining mujahideen broke the encirclement by the infidels and are alive and unharmed and are safely located at an operational base. No one was taken prisoner. During the course of the battle four infidels were annihilated and three wounded. Allahu Akbar!”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Islam
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 07-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The level of terrorist violence in Dagestan, which was already high, increased precipitously over the last week with a series of large-scale bombings and assassinations. The authorities, however, scored an apparent success on July 6, when security forces reportedly killed the leader of the republic's armed Islamist insurgency.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Andrei Smirnov
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen President Alu Alkhanov announced on June 26 that he would personally take over responsibility for the situation in the Shelkovskoi district village Borozdinovskaya, from which several hundred villagers fled after a June 4 zachistka, or cleansing operation, in which several homes were burned and eleven male inhabitants "disappeared." The head of the village's administration, Natalya Zelinskaya, told Interfax that 241 families, totaling 1,184 people, lived in the village before June 4, and that 166 families fled to the nearby Kizlyar district of Dagestan following the raid. She did not indicate the exact number of people who fled to Dagestan, but some observers have put the number at around 1,000, most of them ethnic Avars. As the Associated Press reported on June 21, the fleeing Borozdinovskaya residents left the village with their belongings loaded onto dump trucks and other vehicles and set up a makeshift tent camp in a field several hundred meters across Chechnya's administrative border with Dagestan.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya