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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: 02-2008
  • 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: 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: 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: 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
  • 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: 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: 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: John B. Dunlop
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kavkazky Uzel reported on May 30 that six people had been kidnapped or otherwise disappeared in Chechnya over the previous several days. The website quoted a Chechen law-enforcement source as saying that a local resident of the town of Samashki was abducted by an armed group the previous day and that a young man had been taken from his home in the northern Chechen town of Shelkovskaya on May 28. The Russian-Chechen Friendship Society (ORChD) on May 31 identified the kidnapped Samashki resident as Aslan Said Aldamov. According to the society's website (friendly.narod.ru), a group of armed men in camouflage uniforms and masks stopped the car that Aldamov and three other local residents were driving through Samaskhi on May 29, forcing them out of the vehicle and severely beating them before driving off with Aldamov.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Emil Pain
  • Publication Date: 05-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC) issued a statement on May 10 calling on the leadership of the separatist Chechen government “to take steps toward peace, even in the absence of a reciprocal effort by the Russian Federation, and reaffirm its commitment to a political solution.” The group stated that the murder of former Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov confirmed that Moscow “is unwilling to change the status quo in Chechnya, but rather unequivocally committed to forestalling a peace process, particularly that initiated by the Russian Soldiers' Mothers Committee earlier this year.” Still, the statement quoted ACPC Co-Chairman Zbigniew Brzezinski as saying that Maskhadov's successor, Abdul- Khalim Sadulaev, “has been offered the opportunity to continue his predecessor's work of constructively seeking a negotiated settlement to the war” and that despite Russia's rejection of Maskhadov's overtures, the new leadership should “explicitly and demonstratively follow in his footsteps in the hope that the international community will intensify its efforts to mediate an end to this ongoing tragedy.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Mayrbek Vachagaev, Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: President Putin touched on the North Caucasus generally and Chechnya specifically in his annual State of the Nation address, which he delivered to the Russian parliament on April 25. “I hope for energetic work to strengthen security in the southern part of Russia and firmly establish the values of freedom and justice there,” Putin said in the speech, a transcript of which was posted on the Kremlin's website, kremlin.ru. “Developing the economy, creating new jobs and building social and production infrastructure are prerequisites for this work. I support the idea of holding parliamentary elections in the Republic of Chechnya this year. These elections should lay the foundation for stability and for developing democracy in this region. I want to note that the North Caucasus region already has good conditions for achieving rapid economic growth. The region has one of Russia's best-developed transport infrastructures, a qualified labor force, and surveys show that the number of people in this region wanting to start up their own business is higher than the national average. At the same time, however, the shadow economy accounts for a bigger share in this region and there is criminalization of economic relations in general. In this respect, the authorities should not only work on strengthening the law enforcement and court systems in the region, but should also help develop business activity among the population.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: John B. Dunlop, Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russian special forces carried out an operation on April 15 against rebels holed up in an apartment building in Grozny. While six militants were killed in the ensuing battle – which lasted between seven and nine hours, depending on the press report – five Federal Security Service (FSB) commandos also died. According to unconfirmed reports, another two commandos were seriously wounded. It was the largest loss of life for FSB commandos in a shootout with insurgents since last September's school siege in Beslan, North Ossetia, during which ten FSB spetsnaz commandos were killed and 26 were left wounded. Kommersant reported on April 20 that the rebels killed in the battle had been identified as Muslim Gakaev (a.k.a. Dungo), a rebel commander from the village of Elistanzhi in the Chechnya's Vedeno district, along with five of his bodyguards.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen President Alu Alkhanov on March 28 praised a roundtable on Chechnya held in Strasbourg on March 21 under the auspices of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Alkhanov called the meeting “constructive and productive” and said that the European community now understands that the political situation in Chechnya has entered a new stage, Itar-Tass reported. “We did not stand on totally different positions, as it used to be before; indeed, we had a dialogue,” said Alkhanov, who was attending a meeting of the council of the heads of the Southern Federal District's constituent republics in Kislovodsk. The people of Chechnya, Alkhanov said, have unambiguously declared their wish to build a peaceful future as part of the Russian Federation, adding that the “doors are open for those who want to take part in this peaceful, constructive process.” He also said that former members of the pro-separatist parliament of the mid-1990s will participate in the Chechen parliamentary elections scheduled for this autumn. “The fact that so many of the former members of [the late separatist leader Aslan] Maskhadov's government are working in the Chechen government shows that we are adherents of peaceful policies, which have been decided by the people,” Alkhanov said. “If we agree that the people's wish is the determining factor, one has to take this into account. We are ready to accept anybody who adheres to this policy.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: A roundtable on Chechnya was held in Strasbourg under the auspices of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on March 21. The meeting, which was organized by Swiss parliamentarian Andreas Gross—with, according to Kommersant, “active help” from Russia's State Duma and presidential administration—went off “according to the Russian scenario,” Kommersant correspondent Alla Barakhova reported in the newspaper's March 22 edition.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Mayrbek Vachagaev, Paul Tumelty, Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Press reports and official statements concerning the circumstances of Aslan Maskhadov's death, far from clearing things up, made them even murkier. In his May 8, Ilya Shabalkin, spokesman for the federal forces in the North Caucasus, said the rebel leader had been killed when security forces used explosives to penetrate the bunker beneath a house in the village of Tolstoi-Yurt in which Maskhadov was hiding with three associates. Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov, meanwhile, claimed that Maskhadov was killed when a bodyguard who was next to him in the cramped bunker “carelessly handled his gun.” Kadyrov also claimed that those who took part in the operation against Maskhadov had planned to take him prisoner, not to kill him. The following day, however, Kommersant quoted Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov as saying that Maskahdov was killed when commandos tossed grenades into the bunker after Maskhadov refused to surrender. On March 10, Izvestia quoted Kadyrov as saying that he had been “joking” when he said that Maskhadov was accidentally shot and killed by his own bodyguard. Kadyrov, however, refused to discuss exactly how Maskhadov was killed. Meanwhile, the Rossia state television on March 13 broadcast an interview with a Federal Security Service (FSB) commando who participated in the operation against Maskhadov, who said that commandos did not negotiate with the rebel leader before blowing up his bunker because he was wearing a suicide bomber's belt and they assumed he would not surrender.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Georgia, North Caucasus
  • Author: John B. Dunlop, Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Aslan Maskhadov was killed on March 8. Ilya Shabalkin, spokesman for the federal forces in the North Caucasus, reported that members of the Alfa and Vympel special force units of the Federal Security Service (FSB) had killed the rebel leader during a special operation in the village of Tolstoi-Yurt. FSB Chairman Nikolai Patrushev was shown on Russian television informing President Vladimir Putin about Maskhadov's death. The Russian president said that those involved in the special operation should be decorated. Footage of Maskhadov's body was shown on NTV television.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Andrei Smirnov, Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: President Vladimir Putin praised staff members of the Federal Security Service (FSB) on February 28 for “successful special operations” in the North Caucasus this year, stating that that more than 200 rebels have been killed so far in 2005, RIA Novosti reported. “The operational capabilities of this department that have been improved recently should result in better performance,” Putin told FSB officers, who were part of a group of senior officials from different agencies meeting with the president in the Kremlin. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov evinced similar confidence on March 1, telling German and Italian reporters in Moscow that there is “no enemy” for the Russian army to fight in Chechnya nowadays, Itar-Tass reported. “The Defense Ministry has only 30,000 servicemen in the combined federal forces in the North Caucasus,” Ivanov said. “These are servicemen of the Main Intelligence Department of the General Staff [GRU], the 42nd motorized infantry division and two battalions staffed with local residents.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Andrei Smirnov, Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechnya was put on a “reinforced security regime” on February 21 with the approach of the end of Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov's unilateral ceasefire on February 23. Mosokovsky komsomolets in its February 21 edition quoted a spokesman for the regional operational headquarters of Russia's military operation in Chechnya as saying that the likelihood of renewed attacks was enhanced by the fact that February 23 is the 61st anniversary of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's deportation of the Chechen and Ingush people.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Kuala Lumpur
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell, Marc Brody
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Gen.-Major Ilya Shabalkin, spokesman for the Russian military operation in the North Caucasus, claimed on February 14 that Federal Security Service (FSB) and Interior Ministry forces had carried out a special operation to destroy a group of rebels, Interfax reported. Shabalkin said the rebel group numbered up to 15 and was located along the administrative border between the Shali and Groznensky rural districts near the villages of Starye Atagi and Novye Atagi. Six of the rebels were reportedly killed and ten escaped. Shabalkin said the security forces launched the operation after receiving intelligence that a large rebel group was planning attacks on federal military installations. “An ambush was set up on the route along which the bandits were likely to move,” he said. “Around 00:30 on Monday, a group of fighters were spotted. Federal forces went into action against them. The band was dispersed. According to preliminary information, around five militants were killed.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Andrei Smirnov, Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Chechen warlord Shamil Basaev appeared in a four-minute video posted on the separatist Kavkazcenter website on February 8 aimed at dispelling speculation that he had been killed. On February 2, the head of the Abkhazia's State Security Service, Mikhail Tarba, referred to rumors that Basaev had been killed, noting that according to one of them, Basaev was killed as a result of disputes with “Arab mercenaries,” while according to another, he died as a result of “kidney problems.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell, Andrew McGregor
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Vladimir Kravchenko, the Chechen Republic's Prosecutor, announced on January 31 that his office had on January 27 opened eight criminal cases related to the kidnapping of Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov's relatives, Interfax reported. Kravchenko stressed that the cases were launched by the law-enforcement agencies in connection with the wide “public interest” in – and numerous press reports about – the alleged kidnappings. Preliminary findings suggest that all the abductions took place last December, he said. This, it should be noted, is what Memorial reported earlier this month after conducting its own investigation. The human rights group listed the relatives of Maskhadov – his sister, two brothers, two nephews and three distant relatives – and detailed the circumstances of their abduction. The Memorial report also cited various eye-witnesses, including GRU commandos, who identified the kidnappers as kadyrovtsy – individuals subordinated to Chechnya's first deputy prime minister, Ramzan Kadyrov (see Chechnya Weekly, January 26). Kravchenko, however, said that there is no evidence that “power structures” or “law-enforcement” agencies were involved in the kidnappings. There are “many versions” of what happened, he said, including kidnapping for ransom, which has become a “profitable business” in Chechnya.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: John B. Dunlop, Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Makhmut Magomadov, a Chechen human rights activist who previously served as a deputy prosecutor during Aslan Maskhadov's presidency, was abducted in Grozny's Staropromyslovsky district on January 20. Since 2000, he has worked as a legal expert for the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF), the International Protection Center and the Chechnya Committee of National Salvation, helping victims of human rights abuses bring their cases before the European Court on Human Rights. According to the IHF, in 1992, following a long career with the police in Donskoi, Tula Oblast, Magomadov became an investigator for the Chechen Ministry of Interior. From 1994 to 1996 he worked in the Office of the Public Prosecutor of the Interim Administration of Chechnya and later as the republic's Assistant Prosecutor General for criminal investigations. He also headed a task force set up to fight kidnappings in Chechnya that was, according to the IHF, “instrumental in freeing hundreds of kidnapped persons.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Andrei Smirnov, Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Nikolai Gryaznov, head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) directorate in Dagestan, said on January 17 that the body of Rasul Makasharipov, a.k.a. “Muslim,” was among the remains of five militants recovered in the ruins of a house in a village located on the outskirts of the republican capital of Makhachkala, where a shoot-out with security forces lasting more than 15 hours took place on January 15-16, Itar-Tass reported.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell, John Reuter
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Tensions between Chechnya and Dagestan escalated this week after police in the Dagestani city of Khasavyurt detained Zulai Kadyorva, sister of Chechnya's first deputy prime minister, Ramzan Kadyrov. Son of assassinated pro-Moscow Chechen president, Akhmed Kadyrov, Ramzan heads the republic's infamous presidential security service. According to the version of events published by the Gazeta newspaper's website, Gzt.ru, on January 11, OMON police officers on January 10 stopped a car carrying Ms. Kadyrova on the federal highway leading into Khasavyurt, after which Ms. Kadyrova identified herself and explained that she was traveling to the city for medical treatment. With her were two members of her brother's security service but only one of them was carrying his security service I.D. The three were taken to Khasavyurt's Interior Ministry office, or GOVD – that is, the Khasavyurt city police headquarters – after which Ms. Kadyrova reportedly became ill and, according to one police officer who was present, fainted.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Andrei Smirnov, Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 01-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On December 29, President Vladimir Putin conferred Russia's highest award, the Hero of the Russian Federation, on Ramzan Kadyrov, the pro-Moscow Chechen government's first deputy prime minister and son of the late Chechen president. According to the corresponding presidential decree, the younger Kadyrov was awarded “for courage and heroism displayed during the discharge of official duties,” Newsru.com reported on December 29. Ramzan's father, Akhmad Kadyrov, was awarded a “Hero of the Russian Federation” on May 11, two days after he was killed by a bomb detonated beneath the VIP stands in Grozny's Dinamo Stadium. Ramzan said that the award “above all recognizes as heroes the whole long-suffering Chechen people. And we will continue…an uncompromising struggle against terrorism, extremism and banditry, and thereby protect the interests of the whole Russian people.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Andrei Smirnov, Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: December 11 marked the tenth anniversary of the Russian military intervention that began the first of the two modern Russo-Chechen wars. Russian, Western and Chechen media alike featured commentaries on the start of then President Boris Yeltsin's campaign to “restore constitutional order” in the breakaway republic and what has happened over the intervening decade.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Emil Pain, Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Two thousand demonstrators marched in Istanbul, Turkey to protest President Vladimir Putin's visit to Ankara, Newsru.com reported on December 7. The demonstrators carried placards reading “Murderer Putin!” and “Get Out of Turkey!” A group of protesters from among Turkey's large community with roots in the Caucasus laid wreaths at the Russian consulate in Istanbul.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Turkey, Caucasus, Asia, Istanbul
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Viktor Alksnis, one of the Russian parliament's most strident ultra-nationalists, harshly assailed the Union of Committees of Soldiers' Mothers last week for its recent offer to help promote peace negotiations in Chechnya. Alksnis, a member of the pro-Kremlin Rodina (Motherland) party, called on the federal procuracy to investigate that human-rights movement's sources of funding. The clear implication was that the soldiers' mothers are in league with western forces deliberately seeking to destroy the Russian military.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The federal government has no visible long-term strategy for handling the crisis in the North Caucasus, one of Russia's leading specialists in the region told correspondent Dmitry Taratorin of Novye izvestia in an interview published on October 15. “The federal center's policy for the Caucasus can be stated exhaustively in the phrase 'we have power, so we don't need wisdom,'” said Sergei Arutiunov, director of the section for the study of the peoples of the Caucasus in Russian Academy of Science's Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell, Zaindi Choltaev
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Further confirmation that the Beslan terrorists killed schoolboys, not just grown men, in cold blood came in an October 4 article in Novaya gazeta by Kseniya Leonova, who interviewed 14-year-old ex-hostage Andrei Kuznetsov and his mother. Andrei is convinced that his short height saved his life; he said that the terrorists forced his taller schoolmates along with the adult male hostages to carry boxes of weapons up from the basement—”and then they shot many of them.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: One of the most striking features of the Beslan atrocity and its aftermath has been the unwillingness of Russia's top leadership to state clearly and candidly what it knows, or even what it thinks it knows. Though officials have repeatedly made with an air of great certitude statements that later turned out to be untrue—or could be seen to be manifestly untrue even while those officials were making them—most often these statements have come from mid-echelon officials, not from the very top. Vladimir Putin's public stance has shown a combination of fanaticism and evasiveness. Hence the importance of the detailed oral report to Putin by Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov, broadcast in full by the state-controlled electronic media on September 8.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: One of the most striking features of the Beslan atrocity and its aftermath has been the unwillingness of Russia's top leadership to state clearly and candidly what it knows, or even what it thinks it knows. Though officials have repeatedly made with an air of great certitude statements that later turned out to be untrue—or could be seen to be manifestly untrue even while those officials were making them—most often these statements have come from mid-echelon officials, not from the very top. Vladimir Putin's public stance has shown a combination of fanaticism and evasiveness. Hence the importance of the detailed oral report to Putin by Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov, broadcast in full by the state-controlled electronic media on September 8.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: As readers will recall from the July 28 issue of Chechnya Weekly, the strongest rival to the Kremlin's preferred candidate in this coming weekend's special election for the presidency of Chechnya's pro- Moscow administration was forced out of the race last month. The election authorities claimed that the details in Malik Saidullaev's passport were not fully accurate. In an August 5 article for Novaya gazeta entitled “Passportgate,” Orkhan Dzhemal has found some piquant details about the passport of Kremlin favorite Alu Alkhanov.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On July 22, the election officials of Chechnya's pro-Moscow administration formally rejected the registration of Malik Saidullaev as a candidate in the republic's special presidential election scheduled for the end of August. The pro-Moscow authorities thus removed from contention the one serious competitor to Kremlin-anointed candidate Alu Alkhanov, who is now being given saturation, Putinstyle coverage by the state-controlled broadcast media.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: A mine exploded in Grozny on July 13 just as a large, highly guarded convoy was passing which included the car of Sergei Abramov, who has of course been acting president of Chechnya's pro-Moscow administration since the assassination of Akhmad Kadyrov more than two months ago. Abramov, who was riding an armored Volga limousine, was not harmed—but one of his bodyguards in an accompanying car was killed and another wounded. Abramov's adviser Andrei Aleksintsev was also seriously wounded. An official of the republic's Interior Ministry told journalists that the mine was probably detonated by a remote control.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: This evening (Wednesday, July 14), the U.S. Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., is to host a panel of experts on the topic “Chechnya after a Decade of Destruction.” Featured speakers are Chechen medical doctor Khassan Baiev, author of The Oath: A Chechen Surgeon Under Fire; Rachel Denber of Human Rights Watch; and photojournalist Stanley Greene, author of Open Wound: Chechnya, 1994-2003. The panel is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Just how passive was the federal military during last month's rebel raid on Ingushetia? Issa Kostoev, who represents Ingushetia in the upper house of the federal parliament, provided further revelations in an interview with Sanobar Shermatova published by the weekly Moskovskie novosti on July 1. According to Kostoev, federal forces were summoned from neighboring Chechnya and Northern Ossetia, but halted at the Ingushetian border, just a few kilometers from the guerrilla attacks. “It's obvious even to someone with no military expertise,” he said, “that the guerrillas were going to have to leave [Ingushetia] in the direction of the Assa Gorge [in southern Ingushetia]; all other routes were closed to them. And that is just what they did. One group escaped to the gorge through the village of Nesterovskaya [near Ingushetia's eastern border with Chechnya], another through Surkhakhi and Ekazhevo [just southeast of Nazran]. It would seem that those were the places where they should have been blocked—but that was not done.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia