Saturday, August 27, 2016

Caucasus Report

Russia Again Alleges Georgian Connivance With Chechen Militants

Terrorism experts have long assumed that Doku Umarov would seek to disrupt the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.
Terrorism experts have long assumed that Doku Umarov would seek to disrupt the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014.
Russia’s Antiterrorism Committee (NAK) issued a statement on May 10 claiming that the Federal Security Service (FSB), in cooperation with its Abkhaz counterpart, had found a huge arms cache on Abkhaz territory that self-styled Caucasus Emirate leader Doku Umarov intended to use to attack targets in Sochi in the run-up to -- and during -- the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The statement claimed that Umarov arranged the transportation of the materiel (which reportedly included antitank rocket launchers, shoulder-fired ground-to-air missiles, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers) to Abkhazia via Georgia with the cooperation of the Georgian security services and of illegal armed formations based in Turkey.

The Georgian authorities have rejected those allegations as “groundless” and “absurd.”

Terrorism experts both in Russia and the West have long assumed that Umarov would seek to disrupt the Winter Olympics and would infiltrate fighters from Kabardino-Balkaria to the environs of Sochi during the spring and summer of 2013 to prepare those attacks. Sochi is less than 20 kilometers from the Russian-Abkhaz border.

The Russian allegations that Georgia has actively connived with Umarov in the preparations are not surprising.

First, there is a precedent for a faction in Tbilisi co-opting Chechen militants. In the late summer of 2001, Chechen fighters under the command of Ruslan Gelayev were transported from Georgia’s Pankisi Gorge, which they were using as a rear base, to Abkhazia to attack a strategic target there in a failed attempt to restore the Georgian government’s control over that breakaway republic.

Second, because the Georgian leadership had, at best, turned a blind eye to Gelayev’s presence in Pankisi and, at worst, recruited him, Moscow has periodically repeated the accusation that militants continue to enter the Russian Federation via Georgia to fight in the insurgency ranks.

And third, over the past couple of years, Tbilisi has consistently sought to secure the sympathy of the Circassian population of the northwest Caucasus. The Georgian parliament last year formally designated as genocide the slaughter near Sochi of tens of thousands of Circassians by tsarist armies in 1862 and the expulsion of the survivors to Turkey. And in July 2011, a special seminar was convened in Tbilisi for North Caucasus journalists to showcase the reforms implemented under the leadership of Mikheil Saakashvili.

As recently as last month, Russian academic Sergei Mikhailov accused Tbilisi of exploiting the “Circassian question” to destabilize the North Caucasus.

On the other hand, some aspects of the NAK allegations are less than convincing. Neither Umarov nor any of the insurgency websites has ever mentioned the existence of an insurgency wing in Abkhazia, although Circassian fighter Hadji-Murat Bekov half-jokingly identified a comrade in arms one year ago as the future amir of Georgia. The Abkhaz authorities say they have arrested the commander of the Abkhaz jamaat, who is identified as Rustan Gitsba.

Secondly, why should Umarov run the risk involved in transporting weaponry across the Russian-Georgian border, which is now far more tightly patrolled on the northern side than it was 10 years ago, rather than simply move it across Russian territory?
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Anonymous from: USAF
May 11, 2012 09:28
Fallowing the Russian invasion of Georgia I conducted an investigation behind the ledged claims Russia was making to justify their actions. What I found strongly suggested that the sole purpose of the invasion was to disrupt a gas pipeline running through Turkey and Georgia that threatened Russia's energy monopoly to Europe.
In Response

by: M from: Ingushetia
May 11, 2012 23:44
Like a real United States Air Force member you have made a very good investigation ... for a military person. Good that you are making right conclusions. I am not sure what plowing has to do with "the Russian invasion of Georgia" but it is not "a gas pipeline" it is the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan crude oil pipeline.
In Response

by: J from: US
May 12, 2012 02:07
What if the purpose of invasion was the Olympic games?

by: big-eyed-Arap from: darkest-oil-reserve-land
May 11, 2012 11:24
who are Circassians ? some of muslim cossacks they were. Russia deported them to Ottomans. They never return. because Cossacks have no land, or country. Stupid thinking, that a "Circasso politic on Caucasus".

Georgians killed by Chechen soldiers, the Chechen military forces who were under Russian orders, in 2008 war. Now Chechens are being new Cossacks, and they will be secondly deported out from Caucasus. All Caucasians hate from Chechens and Russians.

Umarow Dokku is a Muslim, he is not Chechen. İf he is a Chechen, it means he is not Muslim. hey Dokku ? Are you Chechen ? or a Muslim ? You can reply like this "i am Chechen speaking Muslim". This answer is good for you. Damn all natioanlists who use İslam to sell their advertisements !
In Response

by: M from: Ingushetia
May 11, 2012 23:48
Drunk-eyed, stop drinking vodka. I know it is a national spot in Russia but besides mental health issues, you are experiencing right now, you might develop cirrhosis.
In Response

by: Elephant-rider from: howling-wolf-mountain
May 12, 2012 11:03
Little Magas. :) what are you defending ? Being a Chechen, and being a Muslim are different things. Being Chechen is means "worship some animistic dog, cat, wolf... idols. Put a black wolf picture on your flag. And create some lies that you are autochtone people of Caucasus. And make secret your ancestors came from Urartaic east Anatolian highlands".

Being a Muslim is means "worship only the Allah, listen only the orders of Allah. Do only the orders of Allah. Holy Quran never say about Chechens :) Only Muslims.". You little child, thousands of your people died for nothing ! They were only Chechens, they died as their pagan ancestors. But a small amount of your people died for defending İslam, they were Muslims.

Chechen-İngush people can not understand, that being a Muslim is "Leaving all of others." They want to be Muslim and Chechen. No ! Only Muslim you can be. Or only a Chechen. There is no double identity in our religion.
In Response

by: Anonymous
May 12, 2012 08:47
Circassians are not Cossack, they are an independent nation and the oldest residences of North West Caucasus, traditionally they lived in the whole area of the eastern shores of the black and Azov seas, after several Tatar invasions their area has been shrunken to the area south to the Cuban north to Ingur and in the lowland of Kabarda, they had three main divisions; Adigha, Abkhaz and Ubykh, the latest were the inhabitants of Sochi and has almost disappeared after their deportation by Tzarist Russia along with almost 90% of the whole Circassians to Ottoman Empire after the Caucasian Russian Wars 1783-1864, now they are native inhabitant of the Federal Russian Republics of Adigheia, Karachai-Cherkessia and Kabardenio Balkaria, they are the Adigh, Cherkess and Kabardians, also they are the Abkhaz even that both Soviet and Western resources insist to separate them, their numbers are about 1 Million in Russia an 5-6 Millions in Diaspora majorly in Turkey.
For more information:
In Response

by: Alan from: Alania
May 12, 2012 19:57
Your info is out of date. We know Y chromosome "g2" and "R1a" very common in Circassian people, and Cossacks.

What happened ? Migrant Circassians entered to Caucasus 2000 - 2500 years ago. They and Cossacks are brothers. They were eliminate local Caucasians and were be a dominant power in west Caucasus. They were wear, drink and dance as native Caucasians, but genetic researchs show us that those Circasso-Cossacks are not natives, maybe West Huns were their ancestors. Yes after 2000 years, they speak a language which relative to Caucasian dialects. But in fact, Circassians are some migrant people, were stay in Caucasus. Russia was deport them to Anatolia, they did not return. Because migrants have no home.
In Response

by: Circassian from: Circassia
May 14, 2012 20:02
"Alan from Alania" is obviously a jealous, spiteful Georgian because there is no way an Ossetian would ever say something so foolish and ignorant in such a site. We are not migrants (unlike the peoples of the "South" Caucasus) and we can easily trace our earliest roots to this region. You must be either jealous or drunk to write such rubbish. Russia did not "deport" us, we were exiled and murdered by the millions. Learn some true history, simpleton. God bless our Ossetian brothers and long live free Abkhazia and Adighe
In Response

by: Kartweli from: David's Georgia
May 15, 2012 09:53
Alani told that : Circassians eliminated the real Caucasians, and absorbed Caucasian culture and language. You can find "the absorbed roots" of Caucasians, if you search. Not "Kyrgyz"-"Circas"-"Cossack"-"Kazakh" roots. Your roots are in İnner Asian steps, and North Russia, Siberia. You were earn Caucasus easily, you lost it easily, after deporting you did not return. Because your heart never feel about Caucasus as homeland.

Genetic data tells us İberi-Caucasians are a family, Osets, Abkhazetis, Georgians, Checheni Dagestanis... are one father's sons.

But Circasso-Cossacks are not relative with us.
In Response

by: Circassian from: Circassia
May 15, 2012 21:07
"David's Georgia": I can only laugh at your uneducated accusations. The truth is Georgians are the ones who are migrants to the region, and anyone in south Caucasus. It is unquestionable that the Circassians and Abkhazians, along with other North Caucasian groups are native to the region, while your roots come from Persia and beyond. You should feel to some shame for your words! Please do not insult me again and just google "Circassian" and see for yourself.
In Response

by: M from: Ingushetia
May 15, 2012 21:32
Keep blocking my posts RFE/Radio of Lies. The truth is Ciscassians are North Caucasians. They speak one of the Caucasian languages. They always lived in the Caucasus. We Caucasians don't care what Iranians (aka Ossetins) and Mongols (aka Russians) think about us. You can stick your genetics where the Sun doesn't shine. Being North Caucasian is not "genetics" its Spirit.
In Response

by: Anonymous
May 31, 2012 21:08
It is very absurd to talk about who is original and who is not, and those genetic evidences are really silly as all creatures share 97% of their chromosomes. Races are mixed and neighboring peoples share many thinks and these are the most silly nationalistic ideology ever; two chromosomes and a we delete a whole history and a whole nation!!!! My friend it is not my resources which are old, it is your mentality that is dead with Hitler.

by: NinaIvanovna
May 11, 2012 12:32
I imagine we will be seeing more of these counter-terrorist efforts in the run up to Sochi 2014. However, I worry that most of them will be similar in nature, and will not do much to protect civilians from terrorist attacks at the Olympics.
In Response

by: M from: Ingushetia
May 12, 2012 12:17
NinaIvanovna, RFE/Radio of Lies is blocking my comment but here we go again. Visit it is a very good and educational website for Russian terrorists such as you.
In Response

by: NinaIvanovna
May 13, 2012 03:11
I am against the Sochi Olympics for many reasons, and poor security is one of them. I think that these so-called "counter-terrorist operations" are only a way for Putin to make the IOC feel safe about continuing their project, but will only succeed in making people angry. I do not believe that the NAK's version of events is true in this situation. Even now the Abkhaz government is denying the NAK's story.

by: eric d from: IF Idaho USA
May 11, 2012 22:23
What if Doku Umarov is actually a FSB double agent? And is actually cooperating with the Putin regime to smear Sakaasvillii & ratify Russia's claims to Georgia? After all, Anna Politkovskaya & others uncovered massive collaboration between the Putin FSB & the Muslim (Wahabi) militants in The Moscow Theater Hostage Crisis & Beslan Crisis. And Doku Umarov & his Kavkaz Emirate are just the latest edition of this set-up. (After all, how does Kavkaz Center manage to stay on-line around the world, if it's really a Muslim terrorist website?) This whole story smacks of a Putinesque propaganda move to smear Georgia & prepare for another Russian attack (like the one that give Russia its foothold in Abkhazia & South Ossetia). And it's not just about, oil, either. It's about Great Russian imperial ambitions to dominate & control the Caucasus (Chechya, Ingushetsia, Dagestan etc.) which are thwarted by Georgian independence. But if the Russkies could just take Georgia, they'd rule the whole North & South Caucusus! And this Putinesque counter-terrorism/terrorism game just serves the Russian interests...

In Response

by: Sey from: World
May 12, 2012 11:28
Congratulations! You've just summarized out all of this intricate game of power struggles and politico-economic interests in a few phrases. Wish half the journalists in the world would have the ability to go down to the point as you've just done.
In Response

by: Marko from: USA
May 12, 2012 12:28
There are some really odd theories out there that are really illogical indeed bordering on crazy. So let me get this straight... The Russians start and wage a war against themselves destabilizing their own control over the North Caucasus in order to ... wait for it.. establish control over the North Caucasus. That crazy Putin:)! On the invasion itself, Saakashvili starts the war against South Ossetia by bombarding Tskhinvali and attacking it with tanks from three directions, prematurely celebrated victory on live TV (boy, did that turn out to be wrong), and enabled by both the US and Britain, opposed and blocked a UN resoultion calling for the fighting to be immediately stopped... the resolution was sponsored by Russia. So again we are faced by utter illogic-- the people that "didn't" want the war wanted it to continue but the people that "started" it wanted it stopped. Nuts, Orwellian or both...
In Response

by: Anonymous
May 12, 2012 20:28
Despite several hundred years of "Great Russian" attempts to colonize the North Caucasus for the Motherland & Stalin's deportation of the entire Chechen population to Siberia, Russia has never controlled the North Caucasus. So there was no Russian control over the North Caucasus for Russia to destabilize. Chechens & Inguish have resisted Russian control, regrettably, often violently, for centuries. So to establish protocol for a reign of terror, Putin & the FSB have repeatedly staged alleged :"Chechen" attacks (The Moscow Theater Hostage Crisis, The Moscow Subway Bombings etc.) & recruited double agents from among the Chechens & Muslim "terrorists" to foment these attacks. (Of course, a "Russian" double agent who infiltrtates the Chechens may also be a "Chechen" double agent who infiltrates the Russians. That's what a "double agent" is... Check out that guy Headley, who worked for the US DEA & FBI before taking part in the Mumbai terror attacks...) These Putinesque counter-terrorist/terrorist escapades have been documented by Anna Politkovskaya (A Dirty War), former KGB/FSB agent Alexnder Litvinenko, & Natalya Estimyrova, all of whom (not so) mysteriously ended up dead in horrible ways. Nobody wants to defend Sakaasvilii's handling of the Russian provocation that led to the shelling of Tshkinvalii; but Human Rights Watch found that primary responsibility for the war could be attributed to the Russians. And the Russians (not so) mysteriously ended up controlling big chunks of Georgian territory (called Abkhazia & South Ossetia). (As for Russian resolutions: The Russian just also sponsored a resolution asking for the fighting in Syria to stop... As cover for their allies, the Bashar Assad regime. The resolution served as cover for the continued atrocities of the Assad regime.) I certainly wouldn't claim any of this is logical. The whole counter-terrorism/-terrorism business defies rational explanation. Except that the Putin regime & the FSB use the counter-terrorist/terrorist charade to keep up their reign of terror & ensure funding. Not to mention getting Vlad the Impaler re-elected for a third term. And also (not so) mysteriously, despite Putin's & the FSB's crimes against their own (Russian) people, the majority of those who suffer & die in these charades are the Chechens & Ingush... If you doubt these "factoids," you're not reading your Orwell rightly. Or keeping up wirth the news from the North Caucasus, either....
In Response

by: M from: Ingushetia
May 12, 2012 12:39
What if Russia has Caucasian resistance double-agents in their ranks. Wait a minute unlike baseless ericoids conclusions about the "connections" mine are based on the facts:

use google translate ericoid and enjoy the show
In Response

by: Marko from: USA
May 13, 2012 19:48
Politkovskaya never proved or documented anything. I have read her stuff in English and Russian, and it was just a bunch of assertions and condemnations...and how could sponsoring massive costly, damaging and discrediting violence against itself assure Russian control of the Caucasus? Explain that conundrum? Besides, you are also saying that a completely illogical plan worked-- despite it not making a bit of sense? Besides that, are you saying that Saakashvili, Omar-Ibn El Khattab (who was filmed by the BBC threatening the coming apartment bombings), Dudaev, the Baraev clan, Basaev, Maskhadov, Umarov, perhaps even Cheney and Bush are/were FSB agents? That is kind of where your "logic" leads? Obama and Hu Jintao are probably FSB agents too (but maybe they don't know it) It is no more rational than the 9/11 "truthers" in the US? Rationality rules for me-- if something makes sense I believe it. If it makes no sense at all, I don't believe it at all... To quote a famous American movie-- "sometimes a spoon is just a spoon."

by: John Bradford from: Tbilisi
May 12, 2012 08:22
Remember these tapes?

Cooperation has been going on for years - just follow the money.

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
May 12, 2012 14:00
This information is already out of date...
Russian allegations of Georgian involvement in a weapons cache is lie..
Arms cache belonged to gangster аbkhaz. who wanted to kill the bandit аbkhaz Ankvab..
Of course no apology from Mr. Putin and his sixes...Say what you want, slander, lie-nobody cares...

by: Anonymous
May 13, 2012 23:49
International Caucasian Conference in Istanbul

The International Caucasian Congress begins its work in Istanbul. The organizers of the Congress is a non-governmental human rights organization of Turkey, Imkander.

The conference was attended by several hundred delegates and guests.

Conference devoted to the history and modernity of the Northern Caucasus, on issues of single succession of the Islamic State to which the Muslims of the Caucasus have sought since Sheikh Mansour.

The International Caucasian Conference is aired live on the Internet.

by: Mamuka
May 14, 2012 23:08
This article cites an earlier RFE/RL piece about the alleged Georgian/Chechen assault into Abkhazia in 2001-- but that article leaves much doubt about the details. So I'm not sure how much of a precedent that was.

Nonetheless, I cannot put anything past the Georgians and Vano Merabishvili or the MOD in their efforts to... well, I have no idea what their motivations or goals might be but they are unpredictable at best.

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.