Archives for April2013


CNN – The Truth about the Chechen Threat

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April 22nd, 2013

by Robert W. Schaefer, Special to CNN

“As we all struggle to make sense of the Boston bombings, and the revelation that the two suspects are ethnic Chechens, there has been a rush to reacquaint ourselves with the troubled North Caucasus region in the hope that we might be able to answer questions like “why did this happen,” or “are we under attack again?” And as the airwaves and the blogospheres are swarmed with facts and opinions, it’s worth taking a step back to put this deluge of information in some context.

It’s not as though we haven’t heard of Chechnya before, it’s just that it’s one of those places that is only occasionally in the news before fading again as our attention is pulled elsewhere. Yet it isn’t actually all that long ago that we were hearing about the two wars of independence that Chechnya fought against Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. And although we may remember President Bill Clinton drawing comparisons between Boris Yeltsin’s efforts to quell the Chechen independence movement with the U.S. Civil War, many may not be aware that the same law that Yeltsin used to declare Russia’s independence from the Soviet Union gave Chechnya (and many other Russian regions) the legal basis to do the same. It was this that created a constitutional crisis that almost destroyed Russia in the mid-1990’s, and created the conditions that resulted in a de-facto independent Chechen republic from 1996-1999.”

Read the full piece here: http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2013/04/22/the-truth-about-the-chechen-threat/


 

Chechnya funds mosque construction in Israel

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ON MARCH 9,2013:-Russia’s Chechen Republic is funding the construction of a mosque which it claims will be the second-largest in Israel after the famous Al-Aqsa. It will be located just 10 km from Jerusalem and hold several thousands of worshippers at a time.The location of the mosque is the Abu Ghosh village, which is partially populated by ethnic Chechens.Construction is already underway. The mosque is being built on a street named after ex-Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, who was assassinated in 2004. The mosque will also be named after the deceased president, the father of the republic’s present leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.“This will be the second-largest mosque in Israel, after the holy Al-Aqsa. Two of the towers have already been built,” Russian MP Adam Delimkhanov said after visiting the Israeli village.Al-Aqsa, the third-holiest site in Islam, is located in the Old City of Jerusalem and the largest mosque in Israel. It sits on the Temple Mount, which is also the holiest site in Judaism.The idea for the construction of the new mosque is to strengthen the relationship between Israel and Russia, stated Ramzan Kadyrov as he promised to visit Israel to attend the opening ceremony.The decision to finance the construction was made after the local residents failed to collect enough money to build the mosque, he Chechen government website says. The exact cost of the project remains unknown.The mosque will be decorated in the Chechen tradition and anguage/culture courses will be organized for local ethnic Chechen population.

 


 

Turkey’s Investment in Chechnya

 

 

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ON MARCH 14 , 2013:- Turkey will invest in Chechnya. This was stated during the visit to Grozny by seven members of the Turkish parliament, heads of chambers of commerce, and representatives of the business community. The head of the delegation, Turkish MP from Malatya Mujakhit Fyndykly told Vestnik Kavkaza: “We came for three days and managed to conduct political meetings and estimate opportunities in the economic sphere. We brought representatives of major chambers of commerce from Konya, Side, and Adana. We consider Chechnya as a possible place for investments. We will tell other Turkish businessmen about it. I am sure this visit will positively influence development of economic and political relations between Turkey and the Chechen Republic.”

 


 

Russian “Osama bin Laden” Surrenders

 

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ON APRIL 2,2013:-  State Duma Deputy representing Chechnya Shamsail Saraliyev has asked Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika to look into allegations that Musa Chiliyev, the prime minister of Ingushetia, is financing local militants, Izvestia writes on Tuesday. On Monday, Channel One broadcast an interview with militant Ibragim Korzhkhoyev, who said Chiliyev gave militants in the North Caucasus monthly funds of $1 million.Torzhkhoyev is a former member of the Chechen Islamist rebel group headed by Doku Umarov, who has been called “Russia’s Osama Bin Laden” and is responsible for organizing a number of terrorist attacks on civilians.According to Izvestia, Iles Tatiyev, deputy head of the Agency for Socio-Political Initiatives nonprofit organization who is responsible for the North Caucasus Federal District, believes the militant’s statement could be true.Meanwhile Rostislav Turovsky from the Center for Political Technologies think tank said the information may have been politically motivated and connected with President of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Yevkurov’s weakening influence.Chiliyev declined to comment on Torzhkhoyev’s statement.Torzhkhoyev was put on the international wanted list on suspicion of involvement in the Domodedovo Airport bomb attack in 2011. He surrendered to the Russian authorities in February.

 


 

In Memoriam – Moshe Gammer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With all the “experts” talking about the recent news, I’ve wondered why we haven’t been hearing from some of the “great voices” among the cacophony of empty noise. Unfortunately, now I know why. Dr. Gammer was one of the giants in this field and was contributing important works well before any of this became fashionable and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for his work.
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Professor Moshe Gammer, a prominent expert on religious and political history of Northern Caucasus, died in Israel on April 16. The funeral took place on April 17. He was seriously ill for the last six months and did not teach at the Department of Middle East and Africa History of the Tel Aviv University.

For more than 10 years, Professor Gammer was a regular organizer of scientific conferences in Israel, the USA and EU on the history and culture of Northern Caucasus, particularly of Dagestan.

Moshe Hammer was the author of several studies on the subject, in particular, “Muslim Resistance to the Tsar: Shamil and the Conquest of Chechnia and  Daghestan”, published in 1994 and his more famous book “The Lone Wolf and the Bear. Three Centuries of Chechen Defiance of Russian Rule,” published in 2005.

In 2008, he published a collection of works “Islam and Sufism in Daghestan”, published in Finland.

Read more about Dr. Gammar here: http://rsela.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/in-memoriam-moshe-gammer-1950-2013/
 


 

Kadyrov not on “Magnitsky List.”

Golden Gun

Ramzan Kadyrov didn’t make the “Magnitsky List.” The list comes out of the Magnitsky Act, a bipartisan proposal signed into law in DEC 2012 designed to punish Russians responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky by prohibiting entrance into the US and access to the banking system. The list came out last week and two Chechens were mentioned — the accused assassins of the Russian edition of Forbes, Paul Klebnikov, and former Kadyrov bodyguard Umar Israilov who was preparing to testify against Kadyrov. But Kadyrov himself didn’t make the list? Why not? Is the rumor of an additional “secret list” true?

 


 

Chechnya to host Russian Cup Soccer Final

Unknown Unbelievable. So last week the Russian Football (Soccer) Association fines the Chechen team and cancels games at the stadium because of one of Kadyrov’s outbursts and safety concerns. Now it’s safe enough to host the Russian Cup Final? Just another part of the Information Operations Campaign to “prove” to everyone how safe Chechnya is and what a lovely place it’s become since Putin and Kadyrov took control. Read full story here:

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/soccer-chechen-capital-grozny-host-russian-cup-final-162748904–sow.html

 


Kadyrov’s Village Burning

8189765 Part of Kadyrov’s Village has caught on fire. For years now, Kadyrov has pushed an ambitious reconstruction plan – partly as a way to “prove” that Chechnya is stable, and partly to keep employing fighting-aged men and keep them from joining the insurgency (the blue-collar effect). However, almost all of these beautiful buildings are plagued by poor materials and shoddy workmanship. Read full article here: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Fire+engulfs+unoccupied+40story+apartment+building+Russian/8189764/story.html

 


 

Georgia trains Chechens?

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Georgia ran a boot camp of Chechen warriors to prep them for a mission in Russia’s North Caucasus, the Georgian ombudsman claimed in an April 1 parliamentary presentation of his annual report on the state of human rights.

Ombudsman Ucha Naniashvili told lawmakers that the Georgian interior ministry under President Mikheil Saakashvili pulled together a force of over a hundred exiles from Chechnya and other parts of the North Caucasus, armed and coached them, and promised them passage to Russia. The report assumes that the alleged Chechen gambit was Georgia’s way of getting back at Moscow for Russia’s occupation of the breakaway territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia since 2008.

The allegations come as perhaps an unintentional gift for Moscow, whose long-running claims of Georgia sponsoring North Caucasus fighters Tbilisi used to attribute to seasonal fits of paranoia. Under the new government of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishili, Tbilisi is seeking to mend fences with Moscow, while, at the same time, every busying itself with investigationsinto the past government.   Yet, why it now falls to Georgia’s ombudsman to unveil this alleged covert operation may not be immediately clear to some. The report mainly focuses on human rights violations that were allegedly committed by Georgian forces against the fighters and their relatives after an August 2012 standoff, but delves into details far beyond that.

Citing only anonymous sources and gun registration documents, the ombudsman claims that interior ministry officials picked the Chechens up at the Tbilisi airport, took them to rented apartments and gave them guns, driver licenses, “documents and other things they would need.”

The fighters supposedly were trained at two military bases near the Georgian capital.

See full article here: http://www.eurasianet.org/node/66763

 


Ingushetia’s Prime Minister accused of helping insurgents

 

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MOSCOW, April 2 – RAPSI. State Duma Deputy representing Chechnya Shamsail Saraliyev has asked Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika to look into allegations that Musa Chiliyev, the prime minister of Ingushetia, is financing local militants, Izvestia writes on Tuesday.

Read full article here: http://rapsinews.com/news/20130402/266895409.html