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  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kommersant reported on October 25 that investigators believe former officers of an Interior Ministry unit from Siberia's Khanty-Mansiisk Autonomous Okrug, which had been deployed in Chechnya, were involved in the October 7 murder of Novaya gazeta correspondent Anna Politkovskaya (Chechnya Weekly, October 12). Politkovskaya published an article in September 2001 accusing officers from the regional Department of Internal Affairs (UVD) in the city of Nizhnevartovsk of committing various human rights abuses while stationed in Chechnya. In particular, she accused Sergei Lapin, a senior lieutenant from the Nizhnevartovsk UVD's criminal investigation department, known by his nickname “Kadet,” along with two of his superiors, Major Aleksandr Prilepin and Colonel Valery Minin, of complicity in the January 2001 abduction and murder of Grozny resident Zelimkhan Murdalov. In subsequent articles, she accused these and other members of the Nizhnevartovsk unit of murdering a number of other Chechen civilians. Novaya gazeta subsequently received an email death threat signed by “Kadet” and Politkovskaya fled to Austria for a time (The Monitor, October 18, 2001).
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: As was the case with the dozens of other murders of journalists in Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union, the murder of Anna Politkovskaya on October 7 has been followed by much speculation about the identity of those who ordered the investigative journalist's murder and their motives for doing so. Sadly, given how few of these cases have been solved, the theories are likely to remain unconfirmed indefinitely.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Soviet Union, Chechnya
  • Author: Andrew McGregor
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Kremlin on September 18 asked the State Duma to approve an amnesty plan for militants in Chechnya and other republics of the North Caucasus. The Associated Press, citing Itar-Tass, quoted the chairman of the Duma committee on criminal legislation, Pavel Krasheninnikov, as saying that the Kremlin's amnesty would remain in effect for six months after its approval by parliament and would also apply to Russian servicemen suspected of committing crimes while serving in Chechnya and other republics in the North Caucasus. Interfax quoted Krasheninnikov as saying that the amnesty would not apply to “recidivists, foreigners or persons without citizenship,” or to Russian servicemen who sold weapons, ammunition or other military equipment while serving in the “counter-terrorist” operation in the North Caucasus. The Duma is scheduled to take up the Kremlin's amnesty plan on September 22.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 10-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: A shootout on September 13 between a group of armed Chechen OMON police commandos and Ingush police manning a traffic police post on the Chechen-Ingush administrative border resulted in the deaths of seven people–one Ingush police and six Chechen OMON. Among the victims was the Chechen OMON's chief of staff, Buvadi Dukhiev, who was shot and severely wounded after he arrived on the scene of the battle and tried to convince both sides to stand down. Dukhiev died later in the hospital. Ten Ingush and 11 Chechen policemen were wounded in the battle, Interfax reported.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Many observers have been predicting that Ramzan Kadyrov will assume the Chechen Republic's presidency soon, after he reaches the constitutionally-mandated minimum age of 30 on October 5. On August 10, for example, Kommersant quoted Frants Klintsevich, deputy chairman of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party's faction in the State Duma, as saying he had no doubts that Kadyrov, who is currently Chechnya's prime minister, would become Chechnya's president this fall. Other observers, however, have begun to express doubts about whether Kadyrov will become Chechnya's president, at least in the near term.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On August 10, an attempt was made on the life of Ingushetia's Nazran district prosecutor, Girkhan Khazbiev. According to Newsru.com, a bomb went off at Khazbiev's house in Nazran's Oltievo municipal district at about 1 AM, Moscow time, after which he and members of his family went outside to see what had happened. At that moment, a second blast occurred. Khazbiev was not hurt in the attack, but his 27-year-old younger brother, Adam Khazbiev, was killed, and 13 other people, including other relatives of Khazbiev and people from neighboring homes, were injured. According to investigators, following the detonation of the two improvised explosive devices unidentified attackers tossed four hand grenades that exploded in and around the yard of Khazbiev's house. Those injured in the attack had shrapnel wounds, and four of the 13 people injured were reported to be in grave condition.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russian and Chechen officials alike continued to discuss the offer of amnesty that the federal authorities offered to the rebels in Chechnya and the North Caucasus in the wake of the death of Chechen rebel warlord Shamil Basaev. On August 1, Interfax reported that President Vladimir Putin praised the initiative during a meeting with members of his cabinet. “By all appearances, the decision to possibly grant amnesty to the people who were members of illegal armed groups was right,” Putin said. He added, however, in a comment directed to Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev that “the work against those who continue their illegal activities should be stepped up.” Putin said that he had instructed Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Patrushev, who also heads the National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAK) and first floated the amnesty offer on July 15 (Chechnya Weekly, July 20), “to listen to proposals from the ministries and the other agencies at the next major Anti-Terrorism Committee meeting regarding plans to provide security in both the Chechen Republic and the North Caucasus as a whole.” According to Interfax, Putin asked how many people had laid down their arms since the amnesty was offered, and Nurgaliev responded that over 70 people had done so during the previous few days, with 12 people surrendering on July 29, seven on July 30 and ten on July 31. “This is happening not only in Chechnya and Dagestan, but also in other regions and republics in the Southern Federal District,” Nurgaliev said.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 07-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The death of Chechen rebel warlord Shamil Basaev (Chechnya Weekly, July 14) and Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Patrushev's offer of amnesty to Chechnya's rebels (Chechnya Weekly, July 20) have been followed by a number of optimistic statements from federal and Chechen officials about the progress made against insurgents in Chechnya and the North Caucasus. On July 24, Interfax quoted Chechnya's chief prosecutor, Valery Kuznetsov, as claiming that 46 rebels had surrendered since the start of July. On July 26, Caucasus Times quoted Chechen law-enforcement agencies as saying that 50 members of “illegal armed formations” had given themselves up since the start of July, with the largest group of these fighters personally surrendering to Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov in Gudermes. Federal Deputy Interior Minister Arkady Yedelev said on July 26 that the total number of “illegal armed formation” members in the Southern Federal District today does not exceed 800, down from the earlier number of 1,200-1,800. On July 18, Kadyrov told the board of the Chechen Interior Ministry that only 50 active rebels remain in Chechnya, with part-time rebels and rebel sympathizers numbering only 200-300. Kadyrov said that he believed that there would be “good results” by August 1, the deadline for Patrushev's amnesty offer. “There was a den of the enemy in the republic; there were many visiting militants—Turks, Arabs, Azerbaijanis, Ingush, Dagestanis,” Itar-Tass quoted him as saying. “I think those remaining will come to us.” If not, Kadyrov added, they would face heavy sentences or “liquidation.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The circumstances surrounding the July 10 death in Ingushetia of Shamil Basaev, the Chechen rebel military commander and recently appointed vice president of the separatist Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI), remain murky. At 9:45 AM (Moscow time) that day, Interfax quoted “a source in Ingushetia's law enforcement services” as saying that four militants had been killed in a “self-induced blast” during “a sweep operation” in the village of Ekazhevo, located in Ingushetia's Nazran district. The source told the news agency that the rebels “were in two cars parked nearby” a KamAz truck that blew up, while Ingushetia's Security Department told Interfax that the militants were inside the truck itself when it exploded. “The incident occurred at about midnight,” the news agency quoted the department as saying. “The bodies of four militants were discovered at the scene of the explosion.” A Security Department spokesman said that two bodies were identified as those of rebel “warlords” Tarkhan Ganizhev and Isa Kushtov. According to the department, the truck had been filled with weapons, ammunition and explosive substances that Basaev and his associates had intended to use for “high-impact subversive and terror attacks in the North Caucasus.” The Interfax report concluded: “The blast is believed to have been caused by careless handling of ammunition and explosive substances.” Likewise, the Regnum news agency, citing Itar-Tass, quoted Ingushetia's Federal Security Service (FSB) branch as saying that the massive blast, which had the force of 100 kilograms of TNT, was the result of “careless handling of ammunition and explosive substances.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya, North Caucasus, Ingushetia
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: On June 27, the Chechen separatist Daymohk published two decrees by Dokku Umarov, the new leader of the separatist movement and president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI). One decree removed Abdallakh Shamil Abu-Idris, a.k.a. Shamil Basaev, from the post of first deputy chairman of the ChRI Cabinet of Ministers (i.e., ChRI first deputy prime minister), while the other appointed him ChRI Vice-President, the same post Umarov held up until the death of the previous separatist leader and ChRI president, Abdul-Khalim Sadulaev, on June 17 (Chechnya Weekly, June 22).
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Chechnya