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  • 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 It seems to us that this requirement is not based on anything and needs to be repealed."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: 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: 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