Saturday 14 May 2005
May 14, 2005
Georgia: Calm Returns To Pankisi Gorge
In the last years of Eduard Shevardnadze's presidency in Georgia, the country's Pankisi Gorge came to be regarded as a symbol of global terrorism, kidnapping, and crime. It was claimed that Al-Qaeda used it as a training center; that Chechen fighters used it as a base for launching operations against Russia; and that it was a favorite conduit for supplying heroin to Western Europe. Georgia's new leaders say those days are over and that they have driven out the fighters and restored the state's authority. Yet Russia continues to describe the gorge as a center for international terrorism.
May 11, 2005
Chechen Field Commander Threatens To Extend War
11 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- In an interview with RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service, senior Chechen field commander Doku Umarov has said that by the end of this year the Chechen resistance will begin large-scale military activities in Russian regions beyond the borders of Chechnya.
May 06, 2005
Russia: Muslims, Rights Groups Denounce Repression
The Kremlin has long been haunted by the fear of Islamic fundamentalism spreading in Russia. The ongoing war in predominantly Muslim Chechnya and the wave of terrorist attacks that hit Russia last summer have served to fuel these fears. The number of Muslims brought before Russian courts for alleged links with the banned radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir is on the rise. But ordinary Muslims say they are taking the brunt of the government's campaign to stamp out terrorism in the country.
May 04, 2005
World War II -- 60 Years After: For Victims Of Stalin's Deportations, War Lives On
As we mark the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, RFE/RL is looking again at some of the factors that determined the course of the struggle and shaped the new world that emerged from it. Among the tragic events that unfolded on the sidelines of World War II was the forced resettlement to Siberia, the Far East, and Central Asia of hundreds of thousands Soviet citizens. Not only did Stalin's decision to send entire peoples into exile result in innumerable deaths, it also sealed the fate of entire populations for many years to come. Even today, some of these peoples continue to suffer the consequences of the 1944 deportations.
April 30, 2005
Police Forcibly End Opposition Protest In Ingushetia
Prague, 30 April 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Police and army troops used force on 30 April to disperse a protest in Nazran, the capital of Ingushetia, and detain its organizers. Officials had earlier warned the protest organizers, including Ingushetian Parliament Deputy Musa Ozdoev, against holding the demonstration.
April 27, 2005
North Caucasus: European Commission Eyes Reconstruction Work In North Caucasus
Ready for reconstruction? A European Commission assessment team that visited Chechnya, Ingushetia, and North Ossetia in mid-April has returned with what officials describe as a "broad impression" that EU-backed reconstruction work in the area has now become feasible. That work would go beyond the immediate humanitarian relief the EU has so far provided for the region.
April 27, 2005
Russia: EU Parliamentarians Criticize Moscow Over Democracy
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament approved a highly critical report yesterday on Russia. Timed to coincide with the preparations for the EU-Russia summit in Moscow on 10 May, the report attacks Russia’s record on democracy and human rights, and takes Moscow to task for seeking to carve out new spheres of influence. EU member states also come in for criticism for their inability to toe the same line when talking to Russia. RFE/RL takes a look at the report and talks to its author, Cecilia Malmstroem, a Swedish member of the European Parliament.
April 21, 2005
Chechnya: Who Will Strike First Following Maskhadov's Death?
Is Basaev next? The reprisals that some anticipated would follow the killing on 8 March of Chechen leader and resistance forces commander Aslan Maskhadov have not taken place -- yet. A 20 April commentary posted by the website ari.ru attributed the comparative lull in hostilities in recent weeks to the statutory 40-day mourning period prescribed by Islam, which ended on 17 April.
April 15, 2005
Georgia: OSCE To Begin Training Georgian Border Guards Next Week
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) begins a program on 18 April to train more than 800 Georgian border guards in modern methods of controlling the frontiers. The program will continue until the end of the year.