Friday, August 26, 2016

Caucasus Report

Putin Cautions Kadyrov, But Gives Green Light For His Reelection

When the two men met at the Kremlin this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) announced that Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov (right) would continue as acting head of the Caucasus republic once his current term of office expires in April.
When the two men met at the Kremlin this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) announced that Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov (right) would continue as acting head of the Caucasus republic once his current term of office expires in April.
By Liz Fuller

Meeting on March 25 in the Kremlin with Ramzan Kadyrov, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he had signed a decree appointing the current Chechen leader as acting republic head when his second term expires on April 5.

Kadyrov will hold this temporary position until a vote is held across Chechnya to elect a republic head in September. 

At the same time, in a clear allusion to highly publicized incidents over the past year involving Chechen security personnel and attacks on Russian human rights activists, Putin unambiguously warned Kadyrov of the need for "closer coordination" with the federal authorities, especially with regard to security. 

That is in all likelihood an allusion to an episode in April 2015, when Kadyrov issued orders to the security forces loyal to him to "shoot to kill" in the event that Interior Ministry units from elsewhere in the Russian Federation seek to apprehend suspected criminals on Chechen territory without having obtained permission from the authorities in Grozny to do so. 

Putin also told Kadyrov that "as the future leader of the republic, you should do everything to ensure full compliance with Russian laws in all spheres of life -- I want to stress this, in all spheres of life." 

It is tempting to construe that injunction as an expression of Putin's displeasure at a vicious attack earlier this month on Russian human rights activists and two foreign journalists on the Chechen-Ingush border. The perpetrators drove cars with Chechen license plates. 

In December 2014, Putin had issued a comparable, if less strongly-worded warning to Kadyrov not to violate the law in connection with republic head's orders to expel from Chechnya the families of insurgents responsible for attacks on Grozny earlier that month and for the destruction of their homes. 

Economic Upswing

At the March 25 meeting, Putin also enumerated the positive aspects of Kadyrov's track record as Chechen leader: the rebuilding of infrastructure destroyed during the wars of 1994-1996 and 1999-2000; drastically reducing unemployment (on paper, if not in actual fact); and restoring stability and security (although this is widely believed to have been done by intimidating or killing anyone rash enough to criticize Kadyrov or question the legality of his methods). 

In the context of the rebuilding of Chechnya's war-shattered economy, Putin quipped that "I didn't expect someone of your background to develop suddenly into a competent economic manager." Strictly speaking, however, the economic upswing since Putin first named Kadyrov Chechen president in March 2007 was primarily the work of trusted subordinates -- in the first instance Grozny Mayor Muslim Khuchiyev, who pulled out all the stops to ensure Kadyrov's orders were carried out within the designated timeframe, mainly because the futures of the Chechen leader's underlings and of their families depended on it.

Putin's appointment of Kadyrov as acting republic head lays to rest widespread speculation in recent months that the Russian leadership, or more precisely a specific interest group within it, had become so alarmed at the exponential increase in Kadyrov's power and influence that they were considering naming him to another position. The independent Daghestan-based daily "Chernovik" mentioned the posts of federal envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District (currently held by Sergei Melikov,who would then succeed Republic of Daghestan head Ramazan Abdulatiov) or that of deputy Russian presidential administration head with responsibility for nationality relations. The latter position is currently occupied by Abdulatipov's predecessor as Republic of Daghestan head, Magomedsalam Magomedov. 

That speculation about Kadyrov's political future has been fueled, on the one hand, by Kremlin officials' disinclination to clarify his future role,  even though it is normal practice for a republic head to be appointed "acting" only very shortly before his term is due to expire, as was the case recently with Karachayevo-Cherkessia Republic head Rashid Temrezov. 

On the other hand, Kadyrov himself contributed to the uncertainty by declaring in late February that he did not wish to serve a third term. In response to that statement, Kadyrov's closest aides orchestrated a large-scale PR campaign under the hashtag #РамзанНеУходи (Ramzan, Don't Leave!).

A mass demonstration of popular support for Kadyrov scheduled for March 6, which budget sector workers had been ordered to attend, was called off, however, and Chechen government officials denied that it had ever been planned. 

But a rally by up to 1 million people in Grozny on March 23, purportedly to mark the 13th anniversary of the adoption in a referendum of a new Chechen Republic constitution, was in effect organized in such a way as to give the impression that the republic's entire population sees Kadyrov as the sole guarantor of its security and well-being. 

Private Army 

Putin expressed confidence that the Chechen people will "demonstrate their appreciation" of what Kadyrov has accomplished, presumably by reelecting him.But Mikhail Vinogradov, head of the Petersburg Politics Fund, has suggested that Kadyrov's reelection is still not necessarily a foregone conclusion, and that, in the five months before the September 18 ballot, the Kremlin may continue looking for an alternative candidate. 

Yekaterina Sokiryanskaya, who heads the International Crisis Group's North Caucasus project, believes that the Russian leadership has concluded that the potential risks of trying to replace Kadyrov as republic head are greater than that of permitting the continuation of his brutal, corrupt , and authoritarian regime. She further makes the point that, not only does the Kremlin lack complete control over Kadyrov -- which has been the consensus among Caucasus watchers for some time -- it is not even seeking to impose such control, even though it is capable of doing so. 

At the same time, Sokiryanskaya observes that power in Chechnya rests with the Russian forces deployed there, not with Kadyrov's own private army, the strength of which Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin recently estimated at approximately 12,000 men. Sokiryanskaya predicts that, "if [the federal troops] were withdrawn from Chechnya now, the Kadyrov regime would not survive a week," given that "a significant number" of Kadyrov's security forces would withdraw their support for him. Whether and in response to what possible blatant disregard by Kadyrov of Putin's warnings the Russian leadership might resort to that worst-case scenario can only be guessed at.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: peter from: ottawa
March 27, 2016 16:05
Junior needs to be spanked not rewarded.
In Response

by: Roman from: America
April 01, 2016 23:44
Junior, is not officially a thorn, in Putin's side. Junior did Senior, a favor, by killing the peacemaker, called Nemtsov. Besides, the evils, of Junior's regime, in Chechnya, are the reality Senior's dictatorship across Russia.

Nemtsov, was not killed by Polonium, and Radioactive Nuclear Poisoning, as were Alexander Litvinenko, Roman Tsepov, and Yuri Shchekochikhin.

Then also, Victor Yushchenko, was nearly killed by Putin, in the same method.

Hence, the lawlessness, of Junior's rule, in Chechnya, is only an example of the lawlessness, of Senior's rule, of Russia.

Democracies, don't go and kill Human Rights Activists, such as Anna Politkovskaya, or Peacemakers, such as Boris Nemtsov,
as the mafia dictatorship, of the Kremlin Spy, called Senior does.

Furthermore, Democracies, don't go and assassinate refugees, and their persons, across borders in Turkey, another member of NATO,

and don't go and assassinate British Citizens, such as Alexander Litvinenko, across the EU, in Britain. Hence one sees, that Senior's lawlessness, and lack of respect for laws, not only brings acts of Nuclear Terrorism, to the shores, of Britain, but across EU nations, to there, in the assassination of Umar Israilov, in Austria as well, and also sending Russian Terrorists, to Crimea, and Donbas, Ukraine, as well as Syria, in the Middle East.

Democracies, don't go and blow up, international planes, carrying 298 international passengers, including 2 US citizens, named Karlin Keijler, and Lucas Shansmann, but Senior, thinks for some reason, that this is acceptable, as well as stuffing ballots across Russia's elections, and voter fraud, as well as the assassinations, of whistle blowers, such as Sergei Magnitsky, and then also, Democracies, or Civilized Christian Nations, don't go and lay, roses, at the courts, ready to try, a colonel by the name, of Yuri Budanov, after three of his subordinates rape, one 18 year old woman, named Elza Kungayeva.

Christian Civilized nations, don't spread acts of Terrorism, from the domain of the Kremlin, into EU/ Nato Nations, such as Turkey, Britain, Austria, and Ukraine, as does Senior's Terrorists, working out of the kremlin.

If senior, had any respect at all, for international law, or even those written in Russia's constitution, then Terrorism, would not be intentionally spread by the Kremlin, into the homes, of Christians, abroad, in Britain, Austria, and Ukraine.

So, if one noticed, Senior not only rewarded Junior, and Junior's friends Lugavoi, and Kovtun, but encouraged lawlessness, and chaos from the very beginning, with a tactic, such as the Kremlin performing Black Flag, and False Flag Apartment bombings, in Moscow, with help from FSB officer Vladimir Romanovich, and fellow employees of the Russian FSB.

Civilized Christian Democracies, don't function in this manner. And Election fraud in such Christian Democracies, means, that Al Gore with tears, in his eyes, forgives, some cheated voters in Florida, ...not that voters get beaten, or killed, as in Chechnya, under Junior, and all of Russia under Senior. If you have questions, about such things, you can look at the Election Commissions, and data which has been analyzed by Professor Zayakin.

But, Civilized Christian Democracies, don't send Russian Terrorists to Donbas, to kill Christian woman, and children, with White Phosphorus Chemical Weapons Munitions, and Cluster Bombs, as does Senior.

The Christians living in Donbas, may have spoken Russian, and gone to Ukrainian Orthodox, or Russian Orthodox Churches, just as the 300 residents, of Ryazan, Moscow were killed by the Kremlin's and Putin's FSB in Moscow's Apartment Bombings dating back to September 1999.

Civilized Christian Democracies, don't do these kinds of things. For instance, Civilized Christian Democracies, employ something called the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe, and arrange an International Peacekeeping Mission, to bring, and maintain peace, in the Former Yugoslavia.

Russia has endless acts of Terrorism, which it has not accounted for, both domesticly, and internationally, and besides these acts of Terrorism, are those left over, those genocides, from the times under Soviet Oppression.

Senior, can not call Russia, a Civilized Christian Democracy, in the least, and too many dead bodies, of Christians around the globe, as well as in Russia, still don't have a cemetary, where family members can go to find solace. Why Not?

Russian Journalist Says Vandals Destroy Plaque Commemorating Soviet Terror Victim

February 25, 2016

A Russian journalist said vandals have ripped a plaque commemorating a victim of Soviet repression from a building in the Siberian city of Barnaul.

Sergei Parkhomenko, who is helping lead a national initiative to commemorate victims of Soviet purges, said the February 25 incident appeared to be the first since the organization known as "Last Address" launched its effort.

The project draws on the vast historical database of Soviet repression compiled by the rights group Memorial.

In Response

by: peter from: ottawa
April 02, 2016 13:28
Why pick on me, I'm just an innocent farmer.
In Response

by: Roman from: America
April 01, 2016 23:45

Attempts at independent investigation[edit]

The Russian Duma rejected two motions for parliamentary investigation of the Ryazan incident.[79][80]

An independent public commission to investigate the bombings, which was chaired by Duma deputy Sergei Kovalyov, was rendered ineffective because of government refusal to respond to its inquiries.[140][141]

In a 2002 interview to Echo of Moscow radio, Kovalyov commented on the Ryazan incident:[12]

“ In my opinion, the following version sounds quite truthworthy. The explosion of a house was not planned, but a training exercise was not planned as well. What was planned was the following action, a propaganda action, one may say so. First, to show the citizens that terrorists are active, that they did not refuse of their murderous plans, and the second point to hit was to show that the brave [security] services perform their duties excellently, and save denizens unveiling a nefarious plot. Why not a version? That plan, possibly, existed and failed. Truly to say, I am very reluctant to believe, that any sort of security services, obeying our supreme authorities were capable of exploding sleeping citizens of their country. ”

Years later Kovalyov remarked,[142] "What can I tell? We can prove only one thing: there was no training exercise in the city of Ryazan. Authorities do not want to answer any questions..."

Two key members of the Kovalyov Commission, Sergei Yushenkov and Yuri Shchekochikhin, both Duma members, have since died in apparent assassinations in April 2003 and July 2003, respectively.[143][144] Another member of the commission, Otto Lacis, was assaulted in November 2003[145] and two years later, on 3 November 2005, he died in a hospital after a car accident.[146]

The commission asked lawyer Mikhail Trepashkin to investigate the case. Trepashkin claimed to have found that the basement of one of the bombed buildings was rented by FSB officer Vladimir Romanovich and that the latter was witnessed by several people. Trepashkin was unable to bring the alleged evidence to the court because he was arrested in October 2003 for illegal arms possession, just a few days shortly before he was to make his findings public.[81] He was sentenced by a Moscow military court to four years imprisonment for disclosing state secrets.[82] Amnesty International issued a statement that "there are serious grounds to believe that Mikhail Trepashkin was arrested and convicted under falsified criminal charges which may be politically motivated, in order to prevent him continuing his investigative and legal work related to the 1999 apartment bombings in Moscow and other cities".[83]

However, in 2009, Russian Novaya Gazeta newspaper published a note which stated that Romanovich died more than a year before the apartment bombings took place:[147]

“ According to legally reliable texts of certificates of his [Romanovich's] death (the source is the bodies of power of the Republic of Cyprus), that we obtained after publishing that article, death of Romanovich occurred in April 1998. ”

Trepashkin investigated a letter attributed to Achemez Gochiyayev and found that the alleged assistant of Gochiyayev who arranged the delivery of sacks might have been Kapstroi-2000 vice president Alexander Karmishin, a resident of Vyazma.[148]

According to Trepashkin, his supervisors and the people from the FSB promised not to arrest him if he left the Kovalev commission and started working together with the FSB "against Alexander Litvinenko".[84]

On 24 March 2000, two days before the presidential elections, NTV Russia featured the Ryazan events of Fall 1999 in the talk show Independent Investigation. The talk with the residents of the Ryazan apartment building along with FSB public relations director Alexander Zdanovich and Ryazan branch head Alexander Sergeyev was filmed few days earlier. On 26 March Boris Nemtsov voiced his concern over the possible shut-down of NTV for airing the talk.[149] Seven months later, NTV general manager Igor Malashenko said at the JFK School of Government that Information Minister Mikhail Lesin warned him on several occasions. Malashenko's recollection of Lesin's warning was that by airing the talk show NTV "crossed the line" and that the NTV managers were "outlaws" in the eyes of the Kremlin.[150] According to Alexander Goldfarb, Mr. Malashenko told him that Valentin Yumashev brought a warning from the Kremlin, one day before airing the show, promising in no uncertain terms that the NTV managers "should consider themselves finished" if they went ahead with the broadcast.(Goldfarb & Litvinenko 2007, p. 198)

Artyom Borovik told Grigory Yavlinsky that Borovik investigated the Moscow apartment bombings and prepared a series of publications about them.[151] Mr. Borovik received numerous death threats, and he died in an aeroplane crash in March 2000.[152]

Journalist Anna Politkovskaya and former security service member Alexander Litvinenko, who investigated the bombings, were killed in 2006.[153]

Surviving victims of the Guryanova street bombing asked President Dmitry Medvedev to resume the investigation in 2008.[142]

Any questions? Peter? Any questions at all? Maybe Canada didn't have any passengers, aboard MH17, like the USA did, but still, you can call yourself, the authority, on who needs a spanking. God bless your for trying!
In Response

by: Roman from: America
April 01, 2016 23:50
Furthermore Peter,

acts of Nuclear Terrorism, include Oleg Sensikov, smuggling nuclear materials to Al Quaeda, in 2007,

and another Russian Smuggling Ring smuggling Nuclear Materials, to ISIS, in 2015.

Civilized Christian Democracies, don't behave this way, because they function by a means, of Law and Order, with virtues of Justice, from God.

Senior, will never pass a test, as a leader of any functioning Democracy, in the least, and definitely not ever, a Christian one.

Here's why!

The Crimes Of Russian Soldiers Abroad



Valery Permyakov is accused of murdering seven members of an Armenian family, including a 2-year-old girl and a 6-month-old boy.
Valery Permyakov is accused of murdering seven members of an Armenian family, including a 2-year-old girl and a 6-month-old boy.

Related Articles

Video Russian Court Jails Soldier For 10 Years
A Russian military court has sentenced a soldier accused of killing an Armenian family of seven to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to lesser charges.


August 12, 2015

rom the breakaway Moldovan region of Transdniester to the mountainous Central Asian nation of Tajikistan, Russia has thousands of troops stationed in other former Soviet republics.

As the trial of a Russian private accused of slaughtering an entire Armenian family in January gets under way in Gyumri on August 12, RFE/RL takes a look at some of the worst crimes Russian soldiers have been accused of committing abroad, off the battlefield.

Russian soldiers charged with crimes in what Moscow likes to call its “near abroad” are usually tried by Russian garrison military courts rather than being handed over for trial in the host country.

September 2009, Tajikistan

Two Russian soldiers, Vyacheslav Chernov and Dmitry Kuchma, were arrested on suspicion of murdering a Tajik police captain named Amur Murodov who was moonlighting as a taxi driver. According to the Tajik prosecutor, Murodov had been driving the pair from Dushanbe to Kurgan-Tyube in the south.

Fergana News reported that the soldiers confessed and that the killing occurred after an argument. It said soldiers at Russia’s 201st military base in Tajikistan often receive their wages late, meaning that soldiers and the drivers who shuttle them around on leave often work with a system of IOUs, leading to tensions.

January 2012, Moldova

About six and a half hours into the year 2012, a Russian soldier dispatched as a peacekeeper to monitor the border zone between breakaway Transdniester and the rest of Moldova shot and killed an 18-year-old Moldovan citizen. At 6:30 a.m., having already reportedly ignored peacekeepers at the checkpoint that night, the Moldovan man drove through a checkpoint without stopping, at which a Russian soldier opened fire from an assault rifle. The man was hospitalized and later died from his wounds.

Russia opened an inquiry but later dropped the case, judging the soldier to have acted correctly, although the killing prompted Chisinau to call on Russia to remove its peacekeepers. Vlad Filat, then prime minister, was quoted as saying that "there was no reason for the murder. The criminal must be punished."

April 2014, Crimea

A month after Russia took over Crimea and annexed it from Ukraine, Yevgeny Zaitsev, a Russian soldier, was accused of fatally shooting Stanislav Karachevsky, a Ukrainian soldier who was preparing to leave the peninsula for mainland Ukraine. Zaitsev was reportedly sentenced to two years in prison by a garrison military court for the shooting in April 2015.

Ildar Sakhapov and Fyodor Basimov
Ildar Sakhapov and Fyodor Basimov

​August 2015, Tajikistan

The Russian military base’s garrison court in Tajikistan began the trial of two Russian soldiers who are also charged with murdering a Tajik taxi driver. Fyodor Basimov and Ildar Sakhapov were arrested in August 2014 after the body of Rakhimdzhon Teshaboyev was found by a lake with his throat slit.

RFE/RL’s Tajik Service reports that Basimov is believed to have owed Teshaboyev 50,000 rubles ($780). The 36-year-old taxi driver who earned his keep shuttling soldiers to and from the base is survived by his three children. In October 2012, Russia signed an agreement to retain its military base in Tajikistan, which borders Afghanistan, until 2042.

January 2015, Armenia

On August 12, 19-year-old Russian conscript Valery Permyakov goes on trial at a Russian garrison military court at Russia’s in Armenia on charges of desertion with arms, stealing of firearms and ammunition, and illegally carrying weapons. After that trial, he is to be handed over to Armenian courts to be tried on charges of murdering seven members of a family on January 12 in the northwestern city of Gyumri, where Russia’s 102nd military base is located. The victims included a 2-year-old girl and a 6-month-old boy. The crime sparked violent protests in Gyumri and the capital, Yerevan.

June 2015, Armenia

When the body of a Russian soldier was found with knife wounds and signs of rape near the Russian military base in Gyumri, some suspected it was a savage revenge killing by members of a local community reeling from the butchering of an entire family. Instead, a spokesman for the 102nd Russian military base announced that the main suspect was also a Russian serviceman from the base. It has prompted calls in even pro-Kremlin media to address the rash of violent homicides linked to the base in Armenia.

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.