Persoverzicht Tsjetsjenië - maart 2012

1 maart 2012

Two jailed for attack at hydropower plant in Kabardino-Balkaria : (i) Kabardino-Balkaria's Supreme Court has sentenced two defendants involved in a July 2010 attack at the Baksan hydropower plant to 14 years imprisonment each. Two security guards have been killed in the attack. (ii) Izvestia reports that the Russian authorities have decided against hosting the Youth Olympic Games in Dagestan in 2018. (iii) Kommersant reports on a territorial dispute between Dagestan and the Stavropol territory. (Kommersant, Izvestia)

2 maart 2012

Hunger strike ends in Stavropol territory town : According to media reports, protesters against a denial of registration of several candidates for election to the city council of the town of Lermontov (Stavropol territory) ended a hunger strike after meeting with Presidential envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District Alexander Khloponin and head of Putin's campaign headquarters Stanislav Govorukhin. (Gazeta.ru)

Two militants killed in Dagestan : Two militants were killed in an operation in Dagestan's Khasavyurt district on Friday morning. One of the militants has been identified as a local gang leader. In a separate incident, a police officer was killed in Dagestan's capital Makhachkala. (RIAN)

5 maart 2012

Pro- and anti-Putin rallies planned in Moscow : Pro-Kremlin youth movements Nashi and Young Guard will hold actions on Monday on several Moscow squares. An opposition rally will be held also on Monday on Moscow's Pushkinskaya Square. Supporters of leader of the unregistered group Other Russia Eduard Limonov intend to hold an unsanctioned rally outside the building of the Central Elections Commission on Monday. The Communist Party plans to hold rallies on 5, 6 and 7 March, Yabloko on 8 March. Moscow police have been reinforced to maintain order in the city. Meanwhile, the Moscow police department has refuted reports alleging that special force police from Chechnya have been brought to Moscow. (KP, NG, Novaya Gazeta, RBK daily, RG; Ekho Moskvy)

Extremist gang uncovered in Novosibirsk : Law enforcement officers have arrested 11 members of an extremist group in Novosibirsk which had links to North Caucasus militants. According to the National Antiterrorist Committee, members of the gang provided funding for illegal armed groups operating in Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria. (Kommersant, MN, NG, RG)

Electoral violations recorded : Opposition members speak of alleged vote fraud and widespread violations during Sunday's Presidential election. Vedomosti notes that the installation of web cameras at the country's polling stations and transparent ballot boxes did not prevent ballot-stuffing, 'carousel' voting, expulsion of election observers from polling stations and mass voting by absentee ballots. According to the independent election watchdog Golos, the number of violations during the 4 March election was comparable to the one in the 2008 Presidential election. Meanwhile, head of Putin's campaign headquarters Stanislav Govorukhin called Sunday's election "the cleanest election in Russian history." The Central Elections Commission argued that complaints it is expecting to receive were "prepared beforehand." The CEC said that the results of the election at a polling station in Dagestan would be annulled after a webcam recorded alleged ballot-box stuffing. Expert Alexei Mukhin, cited by Izvestia, said the irregularities revealed during the polls are unlikely to have an impact on the outcome of the election. (Interfax, Kommersant, RBK daily, Vedomosti)

6 maart 2012

Preliminary results of Presidential election announced : The head of the Central Elections Commission Vladimir Churov on Monday announced that with 100% of the ballots counted, PM Vladimir Putin gained 63.6% of the vote in the 4 March Presidential election, Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov 17.18%, billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov 7.98%, LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky 6.22% and Fair Russia leader Sergey Mironov 3.85%. Meanwhile, according to estimates by the independent election watchdog Golos, Putin won the election in the first round with slightly more than 50% of the vote. Vedomosti writes that Putin's best result (99.76%) was recorded in Chechnya, the worst (46.98%) in Moscow. Prokhorov showed his best result in Moscow (20.4% of the vote). Moskovskie Novosti writes that a total of 320,000 observers monitored the polls across Russia. RBK daily does not rule out that the election results could raise the issue of electing new leaders of the parties which nominated their candidates. (Gazeta.ru, Izvestia, Kommersant, MN, NG, Novye Izvestia, RBK daily, RG, Vedomosti)

7 maart 2012

Five policemen killed in suicide bombing in Dagestan : Five police officers were killed and two others were wounded after a female suicide bomber blew herself up at a police checkpoint in the Dagestani village of Karabudakhkent on Tuesday evening. Law enforcement officers do not rule out that the widow of a militant leader who had been killed in an operation might have committed the bombing. In a separate incident on Tuesday in Kaspiysk (Dagestan), a police officer was killed in an attack. (Interfax, ITAR-TASS)

12 maart 2012

Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria : (i) Electronic media report on ongoing operations against militants in Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria. Last Friday, a military helicopter came under fire in Dagestan's Karabudakhkent district. (ii) A female suicide bomber who killed five policemen by blowing herself up at a police checkpoint in Karabudakhkent (Dagestan) on 6 March has been identified as Aminat Ibragimova, the widow of a militant killed in last month's operation. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, RIAN)

13 maart 2012

Eight militants killed in North Caucasus : (i) Two militants, including leader of the Makhachkala militant group Eldos Zulfukarov, were killed in an operation yesterday in Dagestan. According to preliminary information, six militants, including leader of a local militant group Arslan Gegrayev and a female accomplice, were killed in a separate operation in Kabardino-Balkaria's Chegem district. Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports on discussions by the authorities of plans to create a tourist cluster in the North Caucasus against the background of the ongoing violence in the region. (ii) Three militants involved in a 2000 attack on airborne troops in Chechnya have been sentenced to long prison term. More than 80 servicemen were killed in the attack. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, NG, RBK daily, RIAN)

14 maart 2012

Dagestani native sentenced to life over Stavropol blast : (i) A court in Stavropol has sentenced native of Dagestan Cherkes Rustamov to life imprisonment for his role in a May 2010 explosion in Stavropol which killed eight people and injured 57. Two other suspects have been killed. (ii) The North Caucasus Military District Court has sentenced to life imprisonment Oleg Gagiyev who had been found guilty of organising attacks on high-ranking officials and killing of Vladikavkaz mayor Vitaly Karayev. (Gazeta.ru, Izvestia, Kommersant)

15 maart 2012

Series of terror attacks prevented in Kabardino-Balkaria : (i) Law enforcement officers said on Wednesday that a series of subversive and terrorist attacks were prevented in Kabardino-Balkaria after an underground laboratory for manufacturing explosive devices was uncovered in Nalchik. (ii) Kommersant reports on the detention of native of Chechnya Mairbek Umayev, who has confessed to killing of Chechen poet Ruslan Akhtakhanov in Moscow in November 2011. (iii) Dailies report that law enforcement and security bodies in the Privolzhsky Federal District have uncovered at a penitentiary in Ulyanovsk a unit of the 'Imarat Kavkaz' ('Caucasus Emirate') terrorist organisation. (Kommersant, RBK daily)

19 maart 2012

Five militants, one policeman killed in North Caucasus : Three militants were killed in a clash with police on Friday in Kabardino-Balkaria. The National Antiterrorism Committee said the militants killed were preparing terrorist attacks and attacks on law enforcement officials. In a separate incident on Sunday in Dagestan, one law enforcement officer and at least two militants were killed. (Interfax, Kommersant)

20 maart 2012

Ukraine charges two suspects in Putin assassination attempt : The Ukrainian authorities have charged two men suspected of plotting an assassination attempt on PM Vladimir Putin. The suspects, native of Chechnya Adam Osmayev and national of Kazakhstan Ilya Pyanzin, were arrested in February in Odessa (Ukraine) and are accused of setting up a terror group with the purpose "to kill top Russian officials," including Putin. According to media reports, the suspects acted on orders from North Caucasus militant leader Doku Umarov. (Izvestia, Kommersant, KP)

23 maart 2012

Imam, his bodyguard killed in Dagestan attack : (i) A local imam and his bodyguard were killed in an explosion early on Friday in Buinaksk (Dagestan). (ii) Acting head of the Federal Social Security Fund's department for Ingushetia, Alikhan Tsechoyev, and his driver were wounded in an explosion on Thursday in Ingushetia. (iii) Moskovskie Novosti reports in a front-page article on a draft programme prepared by the Regional Development Ministry for return of ethnic Russians to Chechnya and Ingushetia. (Gazeta.ru, MN, RIAN; Ekho Moskvy)

Nationalist leader detained on charges of murder : Police have detained leader of the nationalist group 'Moscow Defence League' Daniil Konstantinov on charges of murder. His supporters do not rule out that the case against Konstantinov could be retaliation to his refusal to collaborate with law enforcement agencies or his role in organising a protest action against the release on bail of Dagestani athlete Rasul Mirzayev who is accused of manslaughter in the death of a 19-year-old student. (RBK daily)

27 maart 2012

Federal centre's budgetary transfers to regions : According to the Finance Ministry's figures, most of the federal budget funds, which are transferred to regions in order to balance their budgets, are directed to Russia's Far North, Far East and Siberia. On their basis, Izvestia estimated per-capita distribution of these transfers in the Russian regions. Among the biggest receivers of these transfers are Kamchatka, the Magadan region, Yakutia, Tuva, Altay, Buryatia, and Chukotka. It is remarkable that the federal Government's transfers to Chechnya are much lower than those to Kamchatka –respectively around RUR100,000 per capita versus RUR13, 000. (Izvestia)

28 maart 2012

Militant leader killed in Kabardino-Balkaria : (i) Leader of a local subversive and terrorist group Alim Zankishiev (nickname 'Ubaida') was killed in an operation on Tuesday in Nalchik (capital of Kabardino-Balkaria). According to the National Antiterrorist Committee, Zankishiev had coordinated militant activities in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachayevo-Cherkessia and had been involved in organising more than 30 terror attacks. (ii) Moskovskie Novosti reports on plans to set up a federal body to help militants who did not commit grave crimes adapt to peaceful life. It could be established under the Presidential Administration or the Duma. The daily mentions the work of a similar commission in Dagestan. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant, MN, RBK daily, RG)

29 maart 2012

Probe of 2010 Moscow metro bombings : (i) Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin announced that the investigation of the 29 March 2010 twin suicide bombings in the Moscow metro system that killed 40 people established that the attacks had been organised by Dagestan militant leader Magomedali Vagabov. Kommersant reports that investigators had not found any evidence of North Caucasus militant leader Doku Umarov's involvement in the attacks. The daily recalls that Umarov claimed responsibility for the bombings. (ii) Moscow police beefed up security measures in the Moscow metro on Wednesday after receiving bomb threats. (Gazeta.ru, Kommersant)

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