Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - december 2010

2 december 2010

Commission for North Caucasus development set up: The Government has set up a commission on the socioeconomic development of the North Caucasus Federal District, led by PM Putin. Deputy PM, Presidential envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District Alexander Khloponin has become deputy head of the commission. (Gazeta.ru, VN)

3 december 2010

Strasbourg Courtfines Russia €1.7 million over Chechen killings: The European Court of Human Rights has ordered that Russia pay a record of €1.72 million to relatives of at least 24 residents of the Chechen village of Katyr-Yurt who were killed in a military operation against militants in February 2000. Alexander Cherkasov of the Memorial human rights centre told Kommersant that according to local residents, more than 150 villagers have been killed in that operation. (Kommersant, RIAN, VN)

6 december 2010

Terror threat in Russia remains high — minister: (i) Interior Minister Nurgaliyev said on Friday that the terrorist threat in Russia remains high. He announced that 84 militants have been killed and another 22 detained in the Northern Caucasus since the beginning of this year. Twenty six Interior Troops servicemen were killed in 2010, he said. (ii) Interior Troops commander Nikolai Rogozhkin has dismissed media reports alleging that a so-called 'Dagestani army' is being formed in Dagestan, saying that a motorized infantry battalion of up to 700 servicemen will be formed in the republic. (iii) Six militants, including the leader of a local gang group, were killed in an operation on Sunday in Dagestan. A riot police officer was killed in the operation. In a separate incident on Sunday in Dagestan, a tax police official was killed. An explosive device was defused by sappers yesterday in Makhachkala. (Interfax, RIAN)

7 december 2010

Medvedev's breakthrough visit to Poland: President Dmitry Medvedev's "milestone visit" to Poland is the focus of media reports. Observers note that this was the first official visit of a Russian President to Poland in eight years and speak of a recent thaw in the relationship between Moscow and Warsaw. Both Medvedev and his Polish counterpart Bronislaw Komorowski spoke of the beginning of a new chapter in bilateral relations. At a joint press conference following talks with Komorowski, Medvedev stressed that Russia is committed to finding out the whole truth about the 1940 Katyn massacre of thousands of Polish officers by the NKVD. Gazeta.ru recalls that in an interview with the Polish media in the run-up to his visit, Medvedev reiterated that Stalin and "his henchmen" were responsible for the execution of Polish citizens in the Soviet Union in 1940. Commenting on the investigation of April's plane crash that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others, Medvedev ruled out that Russian investigators would release reports different from what their Polish counterparts would come up with and pledged that the investigation on the Russian side would be objective. Medvedev and Komorowski oversaw the signing of a number of bilateral documents. Medvedev said that Russian companies are interested in taking part in the privatization of Polish companies. Dailies speak of Russian firms' interest in acquiring stakes in Poland's Grupa Lotos SA. Gazeta.ru and RBK daily mention a protest action outside the Presidential palace in Warsaw, participants of which heldup posters saying "Smolensk — We Want the Truth" and "Free Chechnya/Ichkeria."Russian television broadcast yesterday's awarding by Medvedev of prominent Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda with Russia's Order of Friendship. (Gazeta.ru, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, RBK daily, RG, RIAN, Vedomosti, VN)

8 december 2010

Four militants killed on Chechen-Ingush administrative border: (i) Four suspected militants were killed in an operation on the Chechen-Ingush administrative border on Tuesday. (ii) Rossiyskaya Gazeta reports on an operation in Dagestan's Tsumadinsky district. Militant leader Akhmed Abdulkerimov was killed in the operation. (Interfax, RG)

Football fans block highway in Moscow over killing: Up to 1,000 football fans blocked traffic on Moscow's Leningradsky avenue on Tuesday evening demanding a thorough investigation of the killing of Spartak Moscow fan Yegor Sviridov. Fans chanted nationalist slogans. According to media reports, Sviridov was killed in a brawl late on Sunday by a native of the Northern Caucasus. (Gazeta.ru, Izvestia, Kommersant, VN)

Memorial activist attacked in Moscow: Activist of the Memorial human rights centre, Bakhrom Khamroyev, was beaten in Moscow on Tuesday. He has been diagnosed with concussion. Khamroyev's colleagues link the attack to his professional activity and do not exclude that Khamroyev has been beaten by a law enforcement officer. Amnesty International has called on Russian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of the attack and bring those responsible to justice. (Interfax; Ekho Moskvy)

9 december 2010

Terror attacks in Northern Caucasus doubled: (i) According to Deputy Prosecutor General Ivan Sydoruk, the number of terrorist attacks committed in the North Caucasus Federal District has doubled in the course of 2010. (ii) Meanwhile, Prosecutor’s General Office reports that law enforcement authorities have conducted more than 30 special operations and eliminated over 300 militants in the North Caucasus republics in 2010. Over 1,600 firearms, almost 92,000 munitions, over 1.2 tonnes of explosives and over 100 explosive devices have been seized. (Interfax, Vremya Novostei)

Think tank on North Caucasus to be set up: A special research and analysis centre will be set up in the Northern Caucasian Federal District. The centre will provide expertise and advice on the conflict settlement in this area. The academics from the local universities as well as Moscow experts will be employed. Earlier, Kremlin envoi Alexander Khloponin said that Russiashould open a university in North Caucasus to train teachers and experts on Islam. (Kommersant, RIA Novosti)

New Muslim organization set up in Russia: A founding conference of a new centralized religious organization of Russia's Muslims took place in Moscow on Wednesday. The organization is called the Russian Association of Islamic Accord (All-Russian Muslim Board). This organization will be the fourth centralized Muslim organizations, the three others being the Central Spiritual Muslim Board, the Council of Muftis of Russia, and the Coordination Center of the North Caucasus Muslims. (Vremya Novostei, Interfax)

13 december 2010

Rioting in Moscow, St. Petersburg involving football fans; Medvedev approves of police actions: Thousands of football fans and ultranationalists clashed with police in central Moscow on Saturday during an unsanctioned rally to demand a thorough investigation into the killing of Spartak Moscow football fan Yegor Sviridov, who had been killed on 6 December in a brawl with a group of North Caucasus natives. Some protesters shouted nationalist slogans such as "Russia for Russians". According to media reports, up to 5,000 people gathered in Manezhnaya square near the Kremlin for the rally. At least 30 people, including several natives of the Northern Caucasus and riot police officers, were wounded in the clashes. Police detained 65 people. After talking to Moscow city police chief Vladimir Kolokoltsev, protesters started leaving the square, but descended into the metro system where some of them continued to burn flares and set off fireworks. Commentators say that the clashes were orchestrated by radical groups. Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev stressed that the violence was provoked by nationalists who joined the action of football fans. The violent clashes came just days after about 1,000 football fans blocked traffic on Moscow's Leningradsky avenue last Tuesday over Sviridov's death. In St. Petersburg on Saturday, about 2,000 football fans held a similar unauthorised rally. Around 60 people were arrested by police. President Medvedev has approved of police actions and promised to deal with everyone responsible for rioting. Police officials promised to complete the investigation of the murder of the Spartak Moscow fan. Police earlier detained Aslan Cherkesov, a native of Kabardino-Balkaria, who has been accused of murdering Sviridov. Meanwhile, the media report that football fans plan to stage another action on 15 December. A Presidential Administration official, contacted by Vedomosti, expressed the view that Saturday's riots could prompt the adoption of amendments to the law on rallies and demonstrations. Commenting on radical youth groups in Russia, Izvestia reports that the Interior Ministry put the number of extremist groups of nationalist orientation in the country at about 150. (All media)

14 december 2010

Medvedev demands that rioters be punished: President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday that recent riots in Moscow should be qualified as crimes and that those responsible for the violence should be punished. He described interethnic hatred as a threat to national security. Eleven cases have been opened in connection with the riots on Moscow's Manezhnaya square on 11 December. Vedomosti writes, however, that the riots and attacks against natives of the Caucasus and Central Asia are being investigated as acts of hooliganism and not as mass disorder. According to latest reports, 32 people wee injured during the rioting. Moscow city police officials called riot police's actions adequate, while some commentators criticised the police for not breaking up the unsanctioned rally before it turned violent. Police are searching for masterminds of the riots. St. Petersburg police accused a member of the banned National Bolshevik Party (NBP) of instigating the 11 December riots in the city. Izvestia cites an "unexpected statement" by the leader of the 'Young Russia' movement, Maxim Mishchenko, who said that the so-called non-systemic opposition is also responsible for the riots. Liberal opposition politicians Mikhail Kasyanov, Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Milov and Vladimir Ryzhkov in a statement blamed the authorities for the riots. Further actions involving football fans and radical nationalists are not ruled out. Riot police were on alert on Monday around Manezhnaya square due to reports that a group of football fans were going to face off with a group of North Caucasus natives. Deputy head of the 'Student Communities' Union Azamat Mintsayev was quoted as saying that up to 10,000 people from the Caucasus are ready to come to a shopping mall in central Moscow on 15 December, but called on ethnic communities not to yield to provocative calls. Some nationalist groups have warned their supporters to stay off the streets. The press reports that just a day before Saturday's riots, another Spartak Moscow fan Pavel Kazakov was killed. Gazeta.ru reports that his friends believe that Kazakov had been murdered by natives of the Northern Caucasus. Meanwhile, a Moscow district court on Monday sanctioned the arrest of a fourth suspect in connection with the killing of Spartak Moscow fan Yegor Sviridov. (Gazeta.ru, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG, RG, Vedomosti, VN)

16 december 2010

Police detain more than 1,300 in Moscow to prevent racial violence: More than 1,300 people were detained by police yesterday in Moscow in an operation to prevent racial violence. Policemen confiscated traumatic guns, metal bars, knives and other weapons. About 3,000 police officers have been deployed in Moscow to maintain public order. Security measures have been tightened, including near the Kiyevsky railway station, over claims that natives of the Caucasus could try to take revenge for Saturday's riots in Manezhnaya square during which nationalists shouted racist slogans such as 'Russia for Russians'. Earlier, Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov called on ethnic Ingush not to take part in illegal actions, while Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov promised that "not a single Chechen" would take part in any mass action in Moscow on 15 December. Clashes between far-right nationalists and people from the Caucasus were reported on Wednesday throughout Moscow. At least 30 people were injured in the clashes. According to media reports, twelve natives of the Caucasus were detained near a metro station in southwest Moscow for attacking three policemen. In St. Petersburg, at least 80 people were detained as police prevented race-hate riots. President Medvedev on his Twitter account praised Moscow police's professional actions on Wednesday. In an interview with Izvestia, the first deputy head of the Presidential Administration Vladislav Surkov condemned the recent riots in Moscow and the murder of Spartak Moscow fan Yegor Sviridov [which triggered the riots]. Meanwhile, experts speak of the failure of the Government's youth and national policies and warn of a danger of interethnic conflicts in Russia. Some analysts do not exclude that the riots could prompt the adoption of tougher rules for holding rallies. (Gazeta.ru, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG, Novye Izvestia, RBK daily, RG, Vedomosti, VN; see Surkov's interview on the website: http://www.izvestia.ru/politic/article3149592/)

Dagestan leader suggests amnesty for militants: At the Congress of Peoples of Dagestan yesterday in Makhachkala, Dagestani leader Magomedsalam Magomedov suggested to adopt an address to President Medvedev asking him to consider declaring an amnesty for militants who had not been directly involved in terrorist attacks. Kommersant recalls that the amnesty for militants had been launched only in Chechnya. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant)

17 december 2010

Police detain more than 1,700 across Russia to prevent riots; Medvedev blames investigators for riots: Police detained more than 1,700 people on Wednesday across Russia in an operation to prevent clashes between ethnic Russians and members of other ethnic groups. At a meeting on measures to ensure order yesterday in Ryazan, President Medvedev blamed investigators who released suspects in the murder of Spartak Moscow fan Yegor Sviridov for recent race-hate riots and demanded that all those responsible for the crime be identified and imprisoned. He also ordered law enforcement agencies to identify and punish participants of the riots, adding that unauthorised rallies must be "decisively curbed." Vedomosti writes that Medvedev made it clear that the main reason behind the riots was xenophobia. In his interview with Izvestia published yesterday, first deputy head of the Presidential Administration Vladislav Surkov blamed the liberal opposition for the violent protests. "It was the 'liberal public' that insisted on popularizing unsanctioned protests, and nationalists and hooligans are following suit", he said. An expert, cited by RBK daily, highlight social problems among the reasons for the outburst of violence. More than 20 cases have been opened in connection with the 11 December riots in Moscow. According to Izvestia, two cases have been opened against North Caucasus natives for attacks on policemen and on an ethnic Russian on 15 December in Moscow. Interior Minister Nurgaliyev announced that a suspected organiser of the 11 December riots on Manezhnaya square has been detained and added that the detainee is also suspected of involvement in the killing of a Kyrgyz national the next day. The media report that police are searching for a car with Dagestani license plates, whose passengers opened fire early on Friday in Moscow. An Uzbek national was stabbed to death late on Thursday in Moscow. Commentators warn of a threat of further ethnic clashes. (Gazeta.ru, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, RG, RIAN, Vedomosti)

20 december 2010

Seven hunters found dead in Kabardino-Balkaria:(i) Seven hunters and forest rangers were found dead on Saturday in a wooden area in Kabardino-Balkaria's Baksan district. Two hunters reportedly managed to escape. The killed hunters have been identified as residents of the Stavropol territory. Four armed assailants are suspected of being involved in the killing. The press recalls that in 2007, nine hunters were killed in a forest in Kabardino-Balkaria after they discovered a militant camp. Several militants involved in the crime were later killed in an operation. (ii) Kommersant (Saturday's issue) reported on a new probe launched by Chechen investigators into the killing of 86 Pskov paratroopers in 2000 near the Chechen village of Ulus-Kert. Three militants have been detained in connection with the case. (Kommersant, NG, RG, RIAN)

Police detain up to 2,000 to prevent race-hate riots:Police detained up to 2,000 people, including many teenagers, in Moscow and the Moscow region over the weekend to prevent race-hate riots. Police have been put on alert over claims that nationalists and North Caucasus natives could stage clashes near the Ostankino TV centre and other areas in Moscow. Several people from the Caucasus were detained in Moscow on Saturday as part of preventive measures. About 200 people were reportedly detained in Volgograd to prevent possible unauthorised actions. Izvestia reports on detentions in Samara. A 14-year-old boy was earlier arrested on suspicion of murdering a Kyrgyz national in Moscow a day after right-wing football fans and nationalists staged riots in Moscow's Manezhnaya square. The media report that the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi ('Ours') has dismissed allegations that the leader of Nashi's Tambov branch Nikolai Makarov was involved in nationalist provocations in Moscow on 15 December. President Medvedev on Friday tasked the Federal Security Service (FSB) to identify organisers of riots that aim at inciting interethnic feud. (Gazeta.ru, Interfax, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, NG, Novye Izvestia, RG)

21 december 2010

Investigators give 'mild' qualification for race-hate riots in Moscow: Kommersant reports in a front-page article that a case on charges of appeals for mass disorders (Article 212 part 3 of the Russian Criminal Code) has been opened in relation to the 11 December race-hate riots in Moscow's Manezhnaya square. Meanwhile, the Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case on charges of negligence against law enforcement officials for releasing suspects linked to the killing of Spartak Moscow football fan Yegor Sviridov that sparked violence in Moscow. Kommersant publishes a comment by Oleg Kashin [who was severely beaten last month in Moscow] on the recent riots in Moscow and football fan groups. (Izvestia, Kommersant, MT)

Kremlin official meets Muslim cleric: The media report on yesterday's meeting between the first deputy head of the Presidential Administration Vladislav Surkov and Chairman of the Russian Muftis Council Ravil Gainutdin. The meeting followed Gainutdin's harsh statements in which he accused the authorities of attempts to "suppress Islam in Russia." Observers say that Gainutdin's criticism was prompted by the recent formation of the fourth Russian Muftiyat. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant; Ekho Moskvy)

23 december 2010

Dubai court slashes life sentences in Chechen commander slaying: A Dubai court on Wednesday overturned life sentences for two men – fromIran and Tajikistan – convicted in the March 2009 slaying of the former commander of the Russian Defence Ministry's Vostok battalion Sulim Yamadayev and cut the sentences from life to 27 months. Commentators say that the court has taken into account a letter submitted by Sulim's brother, Isa Yamadayev, who dropped demands for punishments in connection with the killing.Some observes (e.g. Kommersant), however, do not rule out that the court's decision was motivated also by politicians' position. (Gazeta.ru, Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia)

24 december 2010

Warsaw court rules not to consider Chechen exile's extradition: A court in Warsaw yesterday ruled not to consider the extradition of Chechen separatist emissary Akhmed Zakayev, saying he was no longer in Poland. In Russia, Zakayev is wanted in Russia on charges of terrorism. He was detained in Poland in September, but was released due to his refugee status in Britain, which is valid throughout the entire territory of the EU. (Lenta.ru, MT, RIAN)

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