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  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Myanmar's first census in over 30 years, an ambitious project conducted in April 2014 with technical advice from the UN and significant funding from bilateral donors, has proved to be highly controversial and deeply divisive. A process that was largely blind to the political and conflict risks has inflamed ethnic and religious tensions in this diverse country. The release of the inevitably controversial results in the coming months will have to be handled with great sensitivity if further dangers are to be minimised.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Governance
  • Political Geography: Asia, Myanmar
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The peace process to end the 30-year-old insurgency of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) against Turkey's government is at a turning point. It will either collapse as the sides squander years of work, or it will accelerate as they commit to real convergences. Both act as if they can still play for time – the government to win one more election, the PKK to further build up quasi-state structures in the country's predominantly- Kurdish south east. But despite a worrying upsurge in hostilities, they currently face few insuperable obstacles at home and have two strong leaders who can still see the process through. Without first achieving peace, they cannot cooperate in fighting their common enemy, the jihadi threat, particularly from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Increasing ceasefire violations, urban unrest and Islamist extremism spilling over into Turkey from regional conflicts underline the cost of delays. Both sides must put aside external pretexts and domestic inertia to compromise on the chief problem, the Turkey-PKK conflict inside Turkey.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Peace Studies, Treaties and Agreements, War, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: On 22 May, for the twelfth time in Thailand's history, the army seized power after months of political turbulence. This is not simply more of the same. The past decade has seen an intensifying cycle of election, protest and government downfall, whether at the hands of the courts or military, revealing deepening societal cleavages and elite rivalries, highlighting competing notions of legitimate authority. A looming royal succession, prohibited by law from being openly discussed, adds to the urgency. A failure to fix this dysfunction risks greater turmoil. The military's apparent prescription – gelding elected leaders in favour of unelected institutions – is more likely to bring conflict than cohesion, given a recent history of a newly empowered electorate. For the army, buyer's remorse is not an option, nor is open-ended autocracy; rather its legacy, and Thailand's stability, depend on its success in forging a path – thus far elusive – both respectful of majoritarian politics and in which all Thais can see their concerns acknowledged.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Governance, Authoritarianism
  • Political Geography: Asia, Thailand
  • Author: Marcus Noland, Cullen S. Hendrix
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Myanmar is in the midst of a long and difficult multifaceted transition, involving political liberalization, economic reform, and the resolution of multiple long-standing civil conflicts. The country has a history of ethno-religious conflict and separatism. Civil-military relations are muddy, and business-military-state relations are similarly opaque. An ongoing natural resource boom, and the blessings and curses that come with it, further complicates these developments. Given the country's evident institutional weaknesses, external policy anchors could play a critical role in this transition. Hendrix and Noland address the possible role for such international precommitment mechanisms—in particular, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)—in Myanmar's growing extractive sector.
  • Topic: Economics, Ethnic Conflict, Governance, Reform
  • Political Geography: Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: Bilgin Ayata
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kolleg-Forschergruppe "The Transformative Power of Europe"
  • Abstract: Turkey has undergone significant legal and institutional reforms regarding minority rights and cultural rights in the past decade as part of a reform process to meet political criteria for EU membership. However, it has not been studied so far if this increasing institutional compliance has also led to transformations at a normative level in the public discourse in Turkey. To explore this question, this paper presents the results of a qualitative media analysis that I conducted on the restoration and reopening of an Armenian church in 2007 – a milestone for the Republic as churches were destroyed or doomed to vanish for nearly a century since the Armenian Genocide in 1915. The restoration of the Sourp Khatch/Akhtamar Church became a showcase for Turkey's self-promotion as a 'tolerant nation'. However, the church was notably made accessible to the public as a museum that initially lacked the cross on its dome and was conceived to only host a religious service once a year. This opening of a church-museum is a symbolic instance in Turkey's ongoing transformation process in which tolerance and plurality have become prominent keywords in politics and public debate. Yet, as the findings suggest, they do not so as a reflection of European norms, but rather stand for a rediscovery and reinterpretation of Turkey's Ottoman past practices as a multi-religious empire. I show, however, that this reinterpretation occurs on the shaky grounds of a blindfolded view of the past, in particular the denial of the Armenian Genocide, and on the denial that minorities are still endangered in present day Turkey. I conclude that, without an acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey's nostalgic embracement of the Ottoman past and representation of norms such as tolerance as the 'true' Turkish/Islamic norms do not stand for a norm internalization or a norm adaption process, but instead, for a disconnection between norm and practice.
  • Topic: Civil War, Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Endy Bayuni
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Blasphemy can be a deadly affair in Indonesia and Pakistan, two of Asia's largest Muslim-majority countries. Triggered by allegations of blasphemy, virulent mob attacks against those perceived to have offended Islam have rocked the two countries in recent months. While Indonesia and Pakistan have laws that specifically address issues of blasphemy, those unfortunate enough to be labeled blasphemers are rarely taken to court. Encouraged by, if not with tacit approval from, conservative Muslim leaders, Indonesian and Pakistani mobs have been taking the law into their own hands instead.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Islam, Sectarian violence
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Indonesia, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  • Abstract: The Burmese junta, its armed forces known as the “Tatmadaw,” and other armed groups under government control are committing gross human rights violations against ethnic and religious minorities. Extrajudicial killings, torture, and forced labor are prevalent; rape and sexual abuse by the Tatmadaw are rampant; and from August 2008 through July 2009 alone, 75,000 civilians in the east, where armed conflict is ongoing, were forcibly displaced. The Tatmadaw shows a complete disregard for the principle of distinction, intentionally targeting civilians with impunity.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Burma, Myanmar
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Sri Lanka's judiciary is failing to protect constitutional and human rights. Rather than assuaging conflict, the courts have corroded the rule of law and worsened ethnic tensions. Rather than constraining militarisation and protecting minority rights, a politicised bench under the just-retired chief justice has entrenched favoured allies, punished foes and blocked compromises with the Tamil minority. Its intermittent interventions on important political questions have limited settlement options for the ethnic conflict. Extensive reform of the judicial system – beginning with a change in approach from the newly appointed chief justice – and an overhaul of counterproductive emergency laws are essential if the military defeat of the LTTE is to lead to a lasting peace that has the support of all ethnic communities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Sri Lanka
  • 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
  • Author: ALİ ÇARKOĞLU
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article aims at presenting a descriptive account of the March 2009 local elections in Turkey. Comparing the general and local elections since 2004, an overall evaluation of trends in electoral preferences is presented. Using provincial general council election results, a detailed geographical comparative analysis of the 2004 and 2009 local elections is also carried out. The analyses show that the AKP's rise has stalled but it still remains as the dominant power in the party system. The electoral map continues to be divided between the coastal western and most developed provinces where the opposition is significantly supported, the east and southeastern provinces where the Kurdish ethnic electoral support is rising and the more conservative provinces in between where the AKP continues to be dominant with the MHP trailing behind. Even though the March 2009 elections had all the characteristics of a local election, they also revel the rising trends in electoral behaviour in Turkey.
  • Topic: Democratization, Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Asia
  • Author: Ashley J. Tellis
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: The United States and India share the fundamental objective of preserving an Asia that is peaceful, prosperous, and free. Without security, India's meteoric rise cannot continue. While New Delhi can manage Pakistan, its longtime regional adversary, it will have more difficulty confronting the challenges posed by a rising China. As a result, India will continue to depend on the United States to preserve order in Asia until it can protect its own interests there.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism, Power Politics, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, China, India, Asia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt, Benjamin Freedman
  • Publication Date: 12-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On December 8, the United Nations Security Council will host its first-ever thematic debate on drug trafficking as a threat to international security. This focus is notable. U.S. officials are increasingly concerned with the evolving threat of drug trafficking, especially as terrorist organizations stake a bigger claim in this illegal arena. In fact, on November 18, FBI director Robert Mueller met with senior Turkish officials to address U.S.-Turkish efforts targeting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), also known as Kongra-Gel. A press release from the U.S. embassy in Ankara following the meeting stressed that U.S. officials "strongly support Turkey's efforts against the PKK terrorist organization" and highlighted the two countries' long history of working together in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Terrorism, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Mari Luomi
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Finnish Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The purpose of this study is to enhance understanding of the new geopolitical situation currently unfolding in Middle Eastern politics that has emerged since the onset of the United States-led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The paper focuses on the notions of the Sunni-Shia divide and the Rise of the Shia.
  • Topic: Ethnic Conflict, Politics
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Asia
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Sri Lanka is in civil war again, and there are no prospects of a peace process resuming soon. On 2 January 2008, the government announced its withdrawal from a ceasefire agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). This formalised a return to conflict that has been underway since 2006 but also presaged worse to come. The humanitarian crisis is deepening, abuses of human rights by both sides are increasing, and those calling for peace are being silenced. There is no present chance of a new ceasefire or negotiations since the government, despite pro forma statements in favour of a political solution, is dependent on hardliners and appears intent on a military decision. International actors must concentrate for now on damage limitation: protecting civilians from the war's worst effects and supporting those working to preserve Sri Lanka's democratic institutions.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, War
  • Political Geography: Asia, Sri Lanka
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: There are strong indications that Uzbek security forces murdered one of Kyrgyzstan's most prominent journalists, Alisher Saipov, in October 2007 during the build-up to Uzbekistan's end of year presidential elections, most likely because of his involvement in Erk (Freedom), a leading exile opposition party. If this is the case, it would appear that the security organs, which are the key to keeping President Islam Karimov in power, are increasingly willing to move against any perceived danger, even if it involves pre-emptive strikes in foreign territory. This may be a sign not only of the ruthlessness of the regime but also of its increasing fragility. At the least it underlines the need for the U.S. and the European Union (EU) to resist the temptation to respond to Karimov's dubious December 2007 re-election with efforts at re-engagement, in the apparent hope of regaining or retaining military bases for Afghanistan operations or of outflanking Russia.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Afghanistan is not lost but the signs are not good. Its growing insurgency reflects a collective failure to tackle the root causes of violence. Six years after the Taliban's ouster, the international community lacks a common diagnosis of what is needed to stabilise the country as well as a common set of objectives. Long-term improvement of institutions is vital for both state building and counterinsurgency, but without a more strategic approach, the increased attention and resources now directed at quelling the conflict could even prove counterproductive by furthering a tendency to seek quick fixes. Growing tensions over burden sharing risk undermining the very foundations of multilateralism, including NATO's future. The U.S., which is demanding more commitment by allies, must realise that its unilateral actions weaken the will of others. At the same time, those sniping from the sidelines need to recognise that the Afghan intervention is ultimately about global security and do more.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Asia, Taliban
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The violent crushing of protests led by Buddhist monks in Burma/Myanmar in late 2007 has caused even allies of the military government to recognise that change is desperately needed. China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have thrown their support behind the efforts by the UN Secretary-General's special envoy to re-open talks on national reconciliation, while the U.S. and others have stepped up their sanctions. But neither incomplete punitive measures nor intermittent talks are likely to bring about major reforms. Myanmar's neighbours and the West must press together for a sustainable process of national reconciliation. This will require a long-term effort by all who can make a difference, combining robust diplomacy with serious efforts to address the deep-seated structural obstacles to peace, democracy and development.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, War
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Burma, United Nations, Southeast Asia, Myanmar
  • Author: David Szakonyi
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: European Centre for Minority Issues
  • Abstract: The Romani community is the most marginalized and disadvantaged ethnic community in Georgia. Although accurate estimates are hard to establish, the population is thought to number up to 1,500 persons, living in multiple small settlements across Georgia. Extreme poverty, unemployment, lack of education and health care, and isolation from larger society comprise several of the major problems the community as a whole is facing. The overall situation for the Roms in Georgia has significantly deteriorated since the Soviet period, leaving the population practically devoid of any means to lift themselves out of their often devastating circumstances.
  • Topic: Education, Ethnic Conflict, Health, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Europe, Asia, Soviet Union, Georgia
  • 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: 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