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  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Earlier this week, Israel's Labor Party leader Amram Mitzna announced that he would not look to resume a broad coalition government with the Likud Party following the country's upcoming January 28 election, a crucial decision that dropped Labor from 24 to 20 seats (according to today's Yediot Aharonot poll) and that may have sealed the election for Likud. Mitzna's decision halted Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's slide of the last several weeks in the wake of a vote-buying scandal that imperiled his electoral bloc's grip on a Knesset majority.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The slide in the polls of Ariel Sharon's Likud Party over the last six weeks has been rather dramatic, transforming the character of the campaign from an expected Sharon landslide into a closer contest. In Thursday's Yediot Ahronot-Dahaf poll, Likud dropped from 40 to 28 seats in the 120-member Knesset, while Amram Mitzna's Labor Party edged up to 24 seats from 22. Sharon's losses stem directly from the swirl of Likud election corruption allegations, beginning with low-level charges of vote buying — illegal activity that may have helped catapult Sharon's son Omri onto the parliamentary list. The latest charges, denied by Sharon, surround a $1.5 million loan that the prime minister borrowed from a South African businessman friend, Cyril Kern, to pay back illegal campaign contributions in 1999. Sharon still clings to the hope that his denials will halt his party's slide downward, while Mitzna is finding new hope in the prospect that a drop in support for Likud will lead voters to take a second look at his candidacy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Did the U.S. and Russian governments both know that, when Russian commandos stormed Moscow's Dubrovka theater in October of 2002, the Chechen terrorists inside it had already agreed to release several of their hostages, including U.S. citizen Sandy Booker? Booker's fiance, Svetlana Gubareva, says that the answer is Yes. Booker and Gubareva's 13-year-old daughter, Sasha, both died in the tragedy; Gubareva was also taken hostage but survived.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The recent upheavals in the Kremlin, including the resignation of Aleksandr Voloshin as President Vladimir Putinís chief of staff, could portend major changes in the Kremlinís policies on Chechnya. Voloshin was known as a key architect of those policies and especially as a political ally of Akhmad Kadyrov, whose inauguration he attended in person last month. Conversely, the so-called ìsilovikiîó—the hard-liners of the military and secret police establishment, widely seen as the winners in the latest Kremlin faction fightó—have often been hostile to Kadyrov, whom they see as unreliable.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Many of the Chechens who have disappeared in “zachistki” security sweeps are still alive in Russian captivity, in the view of human rights activist Kheda Saratova. The head of the Vozvrashchenie (“Return”) foundation told correspondent Aleksandr Kolesnichenko of Novye izvestia that the organization has assembled more than a thousand individual case files. Vozvrashchenie was created only a month ago in Grozny, for the purpose of finding as many of the kidnapped as possible.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The purging from Chechnya's government structures of sup porters of the main opposition candidates in the recent election has apparently intensified since October 5. Marina Perevozkina of Moskovsky komsomolets reported in an October 21 article on her conversation with Salavat Gebertaev. He is the mayor of Urus-Martan, which lies southwest of Grozny, and was one of the leaders of the movement for the Urus-Martan district to secede from Dudaev's jurisdiction in 1994. Dudaev's army stormed his town four times. When Maskhadov came to power, Gebertaev was sentenced to death and for some time hid abroad; after returning he survived an assassination attempt that he believes was organized by Maskhadov's circle. “It would seem,” suggested Perevozkina, “that Moscow should be relying on precisely such people in Chechnya. But Gebertaev is a relative and friend of Malik Saidullaev [who tried to run for president against Kadyrov]. On top of that, he committed a terrible crime: He received from Saidullaev and distributed some 500 wheelchairs and 2,000 crutches. Because of this the head of the district administration told him on the day after the election: “From now on we will not work with you.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Among the few surprises to come from Chechnya's election day on October 5, so far the most interesting is the revelation that the Russian troops who took part voted overwhelmingly against Akhmad Kadyrov. A respected Moscow journalist, recently returned from Grozny, told Chechnya Weekly on October 14 that some 90 percent of the Russian troops who cast ballots chose the option (not available in American elections) of voting “against all” of the candidates. The journalist said that the servicemen must have done this under the direction of their commanders, which provides further confirmation of the deep alienation between Kadyrov and the Russian military.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell, Zaindi Choltaev
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: We left Sunzhensky district early in the morning, heading for Grozny from the west of Chechnya. After the turn to Assinovskaya, still not far from the Ingush border, we came upon engineering reconnaissance troops: Several tanks and military trucks, soldiers walking along the sides of the road. Civilian cars started to pile up behind us. Suddenly the soldiers stopped, squatted down, and aimed their machine guns and rifles at a spot in the field. So did the large caliber gun on the armed troop carrier. We heard an explosion. When the dust settled, our driver commented: “Those are just games. They put the explosives there themselves, and then they set them off.” I frequently heard similar talk. Many people in Chechnya have observed how the soldiers, in order to receive money and decorations, plant explosives and set up fake “battle situations.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Elections
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell, Brian Glyn Williams
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In 1999, U.S. presidential candidate George Bush spoke for much of the American right when he warned the Russians that they “need to resolve the dispute (with the Chechens) peaceably and not be bombing women and children and causing huge num bers of refugees to flee Chechnya.”[1] If the Russians did not stop their brutal second war against the Chechens, which had begun in the fall of 1999, Bush threatened to cut off IMF and Export-Import Bank loans to the former superpower that the Republican right, led by Senator Jesse Helms, still saw as a dangerous manifestation of the USSR.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In a remarkably under reported statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin has apparently accused lower echelon U.S. government officials of meeting with known Chechen terrorists. On September 20, a few days before flying to the United States for his summit meeting with President George W. Bush, Putin met with several U.S. television journalists. Asked about Chechnya, the Russian president gave a long answer that mostly repeated points that he and his spokesmen have made before. But toward the end of his response he said the following (as translated by Chechnya Weekly from the text placed on the official website Kremlin.ru): “The United States has now voted in the Security Council in favor of recognizing several individuals as international terrorists. The State Department has announced that it has included several figures in its list of international terrorists. But unfortunately we know that on the executive level there are continuing attempts at contacts with some people under the pretense that what's happening is only work with the opposition. Even with people who are included on the United Nations list. These people come, say that they are 'political activists' and present them- selves in all sorts of guises. But I assure you, I know about this precisely—they are maintaining connections with their allies in Afghanistan, including those who have gone there from the Northern Caucasus of Russia and who are fighting with arms in their hands against American soldiers. Such absurdities on the working level must be stopped, the sooner the better.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, North Caucasus