Chechen separatist emissary: Saakashvili men trained Chechen militants to be sent to Russia

Map of European Portion of Former Soviet Union

(Interfax – TBILISI, April 4, 2013) Akhmed Zakayev, formerly known as a Chechen separatist emissary, has accused Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s entourage of arming and training a group of Chechen saboteurs and planning to send them to Russia in 2012. “People from Saakashvili’s inner circle brought a group of Chechens from Europe, organized their training, provided them with weapons and […]

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Moscow Must Prepare for Syria-Type War in the North Caucasus, Former MVD Officer Says

File Photo of Amed Russian Security Forces in Combat Gear Entering Back of Apartment Building

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 3, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/04/window-on-eurasia-moscow-must-prepare.html) Moscow has finally recognized that “the seizure of power in Syria by radical Islamic groups inevitably will lead to the growth of tensions in the North Caucasus” and the exacerbation of conflicts there because of the number of North Caucasians who are fighting with the Syrian opposition, […]

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Russia in the Caucasus

Kremlin and St. Basil's

(International Relations and Security Network (ISN) – www.isn.ethz.ch – Aglaya Snetkov for the ISN – February 25, 2013) Aglaya Snetkov is a senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies (CSS). Despite the attempts by Western powers to penetrate the Caucasus, Russia continues to exert unmatched influence over the region. In today’s Questions and Answers presentation, the CSS’ Aglaya Snetkov […]

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FSB Chief: US Steps Up Geopolitical Pressure on Russia

File Photo of Partial FSB Headquarters Building Facade

MOSCOW, February 14 (RIA Novosti) – Federal Security Service (FSB) chief Alexander Bortnikov said on Thursday the United States has increased geopolitical pressure on Russia in 2012. “Last year saw an escalation in geopolitical pressure on Russia on behalf of the United States and its allies, who still regard our state as a rival on the international arena,” he told […]

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Is Putin afraid of the Caucasus?

Map of Caucasus and Central Asia

(www.opendemocracy.net – Daniil Kotsyubinsky – February 4, 2013) Daniil Kotsyubinsky is Russian historian and journalist based in St. Petersburg Russian lawmakers have given preliminary approval to a law to allow governors to be appointed in the country’s 83 regions, reversing last year’s move to restore direct elections. As Daniil Kotsyubinsky reports, this issue is unimportant in itself, but it exposes […]

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Concerns about Sochi Olympiad behind Kremlin’s Move in Daghestan

Map of Dagestan, Georgia and Environs

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 29 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/01/window-on-eurasia-concerns-about-sochi.html) President Vladimir Putin named Ramazan Abdulatipov, head of Daghestan in place of Magomedsalam Magomedov who will now work on nationality issues in the Presidential Administration because the Kremlin is worried continuing instability there could threaten the Sochi Olympiad in 2014, according to commentators in the Russian Federation. Akhmed […]

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Will Moscow’s Use of ‘Soft Power’ in the North Caucasus Improve the Situation or Lead to that Region’s Islamization?

Map of Caucasus and Central Asia

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, January 28, 2013 – http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2013/01/window-on-eurasia-will-moscows-use-of.html) Moscow’s new effort to use “soft power” in the North Caucasus instead of the “hard power” it has used in the past may reduce the number of young people joining the militants and thus buy the center some time — but only at the price of opening […]

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Ex-Policeman Sentenced Over Politkovskaya Killing

File Photo of Mourners with Photo of Anna Politkovskaya

MOSCOW, December 14 (RIA Novosti) – A Moscow court sentenced a former police officer to 11 years in prison on Friday for his role in the 2006 killing of investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov was convicted in a separate trial from the others accused of involvement in the killing, the mastermind of which remains at liberty. Politkovskaya, a reporter […]

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Fear and loathing in Dagestan

Map of Dagestan, Georgia and Environs

(Moscow News – themoscownews.com – Anna Arutunyan – Dec. 10, 2012) Doctor Marat Gunashev didn’t even have time to change his slippers when masked law enforcement officials led him out of the surgery room on the morning of Nov. 28 and placed a bag over his head. The patient he was administering anesthesia to was left lying on the table. […]

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NEWSLINK: The Caucasus Emirate Goes Global

Chechen Militants file photo

(The Caucasus Emirate Goes Global – Stratfor.com – Gordon Hahn – Dr. Gordon M. Hahn is Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. – www.stratfor.com/other-voices/caucasus-emirate-goes-global) Gordon Hahn writes on the influences of international Islamic terrorism upon unrest in the Caucasus: For a decade almost all observers ignored, downplayed, and obfuscated an ugly truth about […]

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Daghestan Becomes Hotbed Of North Caucasus Insurgency

Map of Dagestan, Georgia and Environs

(RFE/RL – Tom Balmforth – November 05, 2012) MOSCOW — Suicide bombings in police stations. Muslim clerics gunned down in broad daylight. Shoot-outs between insurgents and security forces. These have become run-of-the-mill headlines in Russia’s troubled North Caucasus region of Daghestan. Last week, unidentified gunmen shot dead an imam and two of his male relatives as they drove to morning […]

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Politkovskaya Murder Suspects to Seek Jury Trial

File Photo of Mourners with Photo of Anna Politkovskaya

MOSCOW. Oct 16 (Interfax) – The people accused of murdering Novaya Gazeta journalist Anna Politkovskaya will ask for a jury trial. “We will certainly make a motion for a trial by jury. Legislation allows us to do so,” Alexei Mikhalchik, a defense lawyer for one of the suspects, told Interfax. According to the Russian Code of Criminal Procedure, a request […]

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Investigators Wrap Up Politkovskaya Case

File Photo of Mourners with Photo of Anna Politkovskaya

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – October 16, 2012) Investigators announced Tuesday that they have wrapped up a second inquiry into the murder of journalist Anna Politkovskaya and charged five suspects with murder and illegal possession of weapons. “The investigative team has collected enough evidence to draw up an indictment,” Vladimir Markin, the official spokesman for the Investigative Committee, said in […]

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Altai and Chechnya “Greenest Economies” in New Integrated Index

File Photo of Grozny, Looking out of Building Through Damaged Wall

Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Roland Oliphant – October 4, 2012 The Altai republic and Chechnya have the cleanest economies in Russia, according to a new index released Tuesday. The index, put together by WWF Russia and state-owned news agency RIA-Novosti with the support of the Russian Geographic Society, is one of the first attempts to combine environmental threat factors, […]

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Prominent Russian Rights Worker Threatened

Kremlin and St. Basil's file photo

MOSCOW, October 4 (Dan Peleschuk, RIA Novosti) – A prominent human rights worker in Moscow has reported receiving anonymous threats on her cell phone. Tanya Lokshina, a senior Russia researcher for Human Rights Watch, said she received direct and severe threats via text messages mentioning specific details of her life, including her pregnancy. She also said the contents of the […]

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For Russians, August is the cruelest month

Kremlin and St. Basil's

For Russians, August is the cruelest month – Washington Times – August 23, 2012 –  Marc Bennetts click here to read original article The Washington Times explains that August, or “Black August” has somehow been the month when some of the worst disasters in recent Russian memory have occurred:  in 1991, the attempted coup by communist hard-liners opposed to Gorbachev […]

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