Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - juli 2013

1 juli 2013

Two policemen killed, 17 wounded in Chechnya clash: (i) Two policemen were killed and 17 others were wounded in a clash with militants in Chechnya's Shatoi district on Saturday. Kommersant notes that this was the second time since the beginning of this year as Chechen law enforcement agencies sustained serious losses. (ii) The house of Kazbek Alkhamatov, a nephew of Khasavyurt district administration head Alimsoltan Alkhamatov who was killed in 2009, has been blown up by unidentified attackers in Dagestan's Khasavyurt. (Kommersant)

4 juli 2013

Militant leader calls to disrupt Sochi Olympics: In a video posted on an extremist website, North Caucasus militant leader Doku Umarov called on his supporters to prevent the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Russian Security Council Secretary Patrushev on Thursday stressed that special attention will be paid to security during the Sochi Olympics and added that not only Russian special services, but also special services from some other countries will be involved in ensuring security. (Gazeta.ru, ITAR-TASS, MK, MT)

5 juli 2013

Searches in 'North Caucasus Resorts' offices: In a front-page article, Izvestia reports on searches conducted by law enforcement officers in offices of the 'North Caucasus Resorts' company in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The daily does not rule out that Magomed Bilalov, the brother of former head of 'North Caucasus Resorts' Akhmed Bilalov, may soon be put on an international wanted list. (Izvestia)

9 juli 2013

Journalist killed in Dagestan: (i) Deputy chief editor of the 'Novoye Delo' weekly newspaper Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev was killed early on Tuesday in Makhachkala (capital of Dagestan). Investigators say the crime was most likely linked to Akhmednabiyev's professional activities. (ii) Leader of the Achkhoi-Martan gang Rustam Saliyev (aka 'Abu-Muslim') has been killed in an operation in Chechnya. Law enforcement agencies said Saliyev was a former bodyguard of North Caucasus militant leader Doku Umarov. (Gazeta.ru, ITAR-TASS)

Protesters in Saratov region demand deportation of North Caucasus natives after murder: Hundreds of residents of the town of Pugachyov (Saratov region) rallied on Monday to demand that natives of the North Caucasus be deported from the region after a local resident was stabbed to death in a brawl by a 16-year-old native of Chechnya. Press reports on an attempt by protesters to block the Samara-Volgograd highway. According to Kommersant, additional police forces have been dispatched to Pugachyov. Meeting with Saratov governor Radayev, residents of Pugachyov called for a public investigation of the crime. Media note that this was not the first incident in Pugachyov: in 2010, another local resident was stabbed by a native of Chechnya. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, RBK daily; Ekho Moskvy, NTV)

10 juli 2013

Investigators see no ethnic motives behind deadly fight in Saratov region: Investigators said Tuesday that there was no ethnic hatred behind a deadly fight in the town of Pugachyov (Saratov region) in which a local resident was stabbed to death by a native of Chechnya. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov noted that the crime was a 'domestic incident' and emphasized that the culprit should be brought to justice. Meanwhile, residents of Pugachyov on Tuesday tried again to block the Samara-Volgograd highway and reiterated their demands that natives of Chechnya should be forced out of the region. Commentators warn of a threat of interethnic conflicts in Russia. In an editorial, Vedomosti expresses the view that conflicts perceived as 'ethnic' are linked first of all to the ongoing erosion of the state. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, MK, Novaya Gazeta, Vedomosti)

Killing of journalist in Dagestan: Media report on the killing yesterday in Makhachkala of deputy chief editor of the Novoye Delo weekly newspaper Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev. Investigators consider his professional activities the main theory behind the crime. Kommersant writes that Akhmednabiyev was known in Dagestan for his reports on the human rights situation. Press recalls that he had survived an attempt on his life in January and received threats. In a separate incident late on Monday in Dagestan, coach of the 'Highlander' fight club Musail Alaudinov was killed in an attack. According to media reports, Alaudinov was a close ally to Makhachkala mayor Said Amirov who has been arrested on suspicion of organizing the murder of an investigator. (Izvestia, Kommersant, MK, NG, Novaya Gazeta, Novye Izvestia)

Blogs monitoring

Pugachyov unrest

The murder of a 20-year-old local resident in the town of Pugachyov by a-16 year-old native of Chechnya is one of the most discussed topics in the Russian blogosphere. Despite the local residents' indignation and hostile attitude towards natives of the North Caucasus, the majority of bloggers stressed the fact that the incident was not ethnically motivated - the victim, Ruslan Marzhanov, had friends among North Caucasus natives. His parents share this point of view and call on residents of Pugachyov to stop protest actions which have a clear nationalistic nature. In some bloggers' view, latest developments in the town may be explained by someone’s attempts to incite interethnic violence.






11 juli 2013

Police chief in Saratov region town dismissed amid ethnic tensions: Protests continued on Wednesday in the town of Pugachyov (Saratov region) after a deadly brawl in which a former paratrooper was stabbed to death by a teenager from Chechnya. About 50 local residents attempted to block a rail road in the town following meeting between residents of Pugachyov with Presidential envoy to the Privolzhsky Federal District Mikhail Babich. Police chief of the Pugacyov district Igor Lopatkin has been dismissed amid tensions. The media mention nationalist groups' possible involvement in staging protests in Pugachyov. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, MT, Novye Izvestia, RIAN)

Presidential Human Rights Council holds session in Chechnya: Addressing a recent session of the Presidential Human Rights Council in Chechnya, Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports that more than 5,000 people have gone missing in Chechnya over the past 20 years. Kommersant writes that the Council plans to propose to amend the legislation and to give the bodies of killed militants to their relatives for burial. The daily recalls a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights which found the practice of not returning the bodies of dead terrorists is 'immoral'. (Kommersant, MT, NG, Novye Izvestia)

Editorial lines

Vedomosti, 10 July

Typical conflict

A brawl in the Saratov region between a 16-year-old native of Chechnya and a 20-year-old local resident resulting in the murder of the latter was not a single instance. In the last few years, similar incidents have taken place in the European part of Russia. However, a conflict which is usually seen as interethnic has social and economic reasons. The problem is the fact that the state is not only unwilling to reorganize public institutions to make them more efficient, but also exploits the increased xenophobia of the Russians to distract them from the real problem which is inability of the state to execute its main legal functions.

12 juli 2013

Two more suspects detained over high-profile murder in Saratov region:Law enforcement officers have detained two more people in connection with last week's killing of a local resident by a teenager from Chechnya in the town of Pugachyov (Saratov region) which sparked ethnic tensions. Meanwhile, police detained several representatives of nationalist groups, including leader of the 'Russian Party' movement Nikolai Bondarik, on their way to Pugachyov where they planned to join a rally. (Gazeta.ru, MK, Novye Izvestia, RG)

Human rights council to be set up in Chechnya: Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has suggested that a human rights council be formed under the head of Chechnya. (NG, RIAN)

15 juli 2013

Situation in Pugachyov hit by ethnic tensions: The Prosecutor General's Office has opened a public reception office in the town of Pugachyov (Saratov region) hit by ethnic tensions after a local resident was stabbed to death by a teenager from Chechnya. Reportedly, 13 ethnic Chechens have been detained outside of Pugachyov for violating registration rules. Experts, contacted by Nezavisimaya Gazeta, view the events in Pugachyov as a consequence of the atrophy of the state which is incapable of countering ethnic criminal groups. (Gazeta.ru, MK, NG, Novye Izvestia)

North Caucasus: A series of attacks have been perpetrated in the North Caucasus over the past days. Lawyer Magomed Guchuchaliyev, who represented the interests of members of illegal armed groups, was killed in an attack in Dagestan late on Friday. Novaya Gazeta does not rule out that the killing may be linked to the arrest of his son, who allegedly testified against arrested mayor of Makhachkala Said Amirov. In a separate incident, four police officers were killed in Dagestan on Sunday. One police officer was killed and two others were wounded in an attack in Nalchik (capital of Kabardino-Balkaria) on Saturday. The National Antiterrorism Committee said Saturday that Mikail Musikhanov, a bodyguard to North Caucasus militant leader Doku Umarov, was killed in an operation in Ingushetia on Friday.(Gazeta.ru, Novaya Gazeta, Novye Izvestia, RG; Ekho Moskvy)

16 juli 2013

Motive behind human rights activist Estemirova's killing established: Investigative Committee spokesman Markin said Monday that investigators had established the motive behind the murder of human rights activist Natalia Estemirova, who was abducted and killed in the North Caucasus in July 2009. Markin added that the main suspect in the case Alkhazur Bashayev is hiding in France and that the Russian authorities have sent a request for his extradition. However, representatives of the Memorial human rights centre call it 'premature' to speak of serious progress in the investigation of the crime. In a statement in memory of Estemirova and Forbes Russia editor Paul Klebnikov who was killed in July 2004 in Moscow, the US State Department called on the Russian authorities to protect rights activists and journalists. (Gazeta.ru, ITAR-TASS, Kommersant, MK, RIAN)

19 juli 2013

Six militants killed in North Caucasus:(i) Four militants were killed in an operation in Kabardino-Balkaria's Baksan district on Thursday. Law enforcement officials said that the militants who had been killed planned terror attacks in the republic. In a separate operation on Thursday, two suspected militants were killed in Dagestan. (ii) Dailies reports on candidates proposed by parties for the posts of heads of Ingushetia and Dagestan. (Interfax, Kommersant, RG)

23 juli 2013

Dagestan government sacked: Today, the acting Head of Dagestan Ramazan Abdulatipov sacked the government of the republic. Such a decision, he explained, was taken because he was not satisfied with the work of the Cabinet and because the work on priority investment projects has not been completed. Notably, the first deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Karibov has been appointed the acting head of the Cabinet. Other members of the government were asked to perform their duties until the formation of a new Cabinet. (Interfax, Kommersant)

26 juli 2013

Syria: Kommersant writes that the Russian Foreign Ministry has de facto admitted that Chechen militants are fighting in Syria on the side of Syrian rebels. Press also reports on a mission of international experts to Damascus to investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons in the Syrian conflict. (Kommersant, MT/AP report)

Rabbi attacked in Dagestan: (i) Rabbi Ovadya Isakov was wounded in an attack in the Dagestani town of Derbent on Thursday. Isakov's religious activity is considered among possible theories behind the attack. Isakov is expected to be transported to Israel for medical treatment. (ii) Dagestan's former finance minister Abdusamad Gamidov has been confirmed as new prime minister of Dagestan. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, MK, MT)

30 juli 2013

Attack on police officer

An incident at a Moscow market in which a policeman was beaten by natives of the Caucasus while he was trying to detain a man suspected of rape has provoked a massive indignation. Another wave of nationalism swept over the Russians. However, blogger Anton Orekh remarks that the problem should be examined more attentively. “There are thousands of illegal migrants and newcomers of different ethnicities in Moscow. Authorities, police, as well as criminal groups benefit from their presence”, says Orekh. As long as this situation endures, citizens will suffer as nobody is really interested in their protection, concludes the blogger.




31 juli 2013

Two arrested over attack on Moscow policeman: A Moscow court on Tuesday sanctioned the arrest of natives of Dagestan Magomed Rasulov and his wife, Khalimat Rasulova, who have been charged with an attempt on the life of a law enforcement officer over last Saturday's attack on a police officer at a Moscow market. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 people, mostly from the Caucasus and Central Asian republics, were detained within two days during an operation to decriminalize Moscow markets. Novaya Gazeta writes in a comment on yesterday's statements by Moscow city police chief Yakunin that large-scale checks would be conducted not only at markets but also in the police force.(Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, Novaya Gazeta, RG; Ekho Moskvy)

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