Keyword: caucasus

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  • Chechen leader’s moves sow chaos in Caucasus

    07/18/2009 1:01:31 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 4 replies · 997+ views ^ | July 18, 2009 | Catherine Belton
    One of the last acts of Natalia Estemirova, the human rights activist who was abducted and found murdered on Wednesday in Ingushetia, was to document the killing of a Chechen villager shot for allegedly giving a sheep to rebels. These two murders add to a fresh surge of violence across RussiaÂ’s north Caucasus, which is setting off a powder keg of Islamic extremism, top-level vested interest, interclan rivalry, traditions of vengeance and ingrained suspicion of the behaviour of human rights activists. The stability of the region is deteriorating, nearly a year after Russia attacked Georgia over the breakaway republics of...
  • The Russian Military Concentration in the Caucasus

    07/18/2009 12:20:07 AM PDT · by bruinbirdman · 5 replies · 1,225+ views
    Eurasian Daily Monitor ^ | 7/16/2009 | Pavel Felgenhauer
    After visiting breakaway South Ossetia on July 13 and Russian troops based deep inside Georgia, President Dmitry Medvedev traveled to Novorossiysk to inspect Russia's main deepwater Black Sea port and nearby military facilities. Medvedev visited the Black Sea fleet flagship cruiser Moskva, attended a meeting of the military top brass and inspected troops in the 7th airborne (VDV) division based in Novorossiysk (RIA Novosti, July 14). Russian President Dmitry Medvedev talks to 7-th Airborne Assault Division soldiers at the Rayevsky firing range in Novorossiysk on July 14, 2009 In South Ossetia Medvedev visited the Russian military HQ and base in...
  • Gazprom: Russia's ministry of ambition

    07/13/2009 4:13:28 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 3 replies · 715+ views
    AFP ^ | July 13, 2009
    MOSCOW -- Undeterred by the global slowdown, Russia's state-run energy leviathan Gazprom has pushed ahead with an expansion masterplan of huge ambition that has raised questions over its true motives. Gazprom chief executive Alexei Miller has warned Europe — keen to break Russia's stronghold on gas supplies — against turning the issue of energy diversification into a “fetish.” But analysts say it is the Russian gas giant's own actions that are now bordering on the abnormal, with deals often being motivated by factors like politics or pride rather than economic sense. “Gazprom has acquired the function of the foreign energy...
  • Geology Picture of the Week, June 21-27, 2009: Waterfalls in various locales

    06/24/2009 6:57:02 PM PDT · by cogitator · 10 replies · 1,992+ views
    Various | Various
    I'll be on hiatus into July after this. So I looked for some waterfall pictures as a send-off. Waterfall in the Caucasus Mountains (Chegem Gorge). Click for full-size. Katibawasan Falls, Phillipines (click for full size) El Chorro waterfalls, El Salvador
  • Chechen president vows to fight Ingushetia rebels

    06/23/2009 7:25:18 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 528+ views
    Reuters ^ | June 23, 2009 | Conor Humphries
    MOSCOW - Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said he had been ordered by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to fight insurgents in the neighboring region of Ingushetia after its leader was gravely wounded in a bomb attack. Kadyrov's harsh tactics have brought relative stability to Chechnya since he was elected in 2007 after more than a decade of war. But fellow Kremlin appointees have failed to stem spikes in violence in neighboring Dagestan and Ingushetia. With Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov fighting for his life in hospital, Kadyrov said he had been ordered by Medvedev to run cross-border operations. "He told me to...
  • Former official killed in Russia's North Caucasus

    06/13/2009 11:00:59 AM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 4 replies · 949+ views
    AP ^ | June 13, 2009 | SHAMSUDIN BOKOV
    NAZRAN, Russia -- Gunmen killed a former top government minister in Ingushetia as he stood outside his home in the violent southern Russian region Saturday, law enforcement officials said. .... Two gunmen sprayed Aushev with automatic weapon fire as he got out of his car at the gate outside his home in the region's main city, Nazran, around 6:30 p.m. (1430 GMT), the regional Interior Ministry's press service said. He died en route to the hospital. Aushev was vice premier under former Ingush President Murat Zyazikov, a KGB agent who was widely reviled by many Ingush for his repressive policies....
  • Assassinations Roil Russia's Caucasus Region

    06/10/2009 8:10:37 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 8 replies · 1,325+ views ^ | June 10, 2009 | Peter Fedynsky
    The deputy head of Ingushetia's Supreme Court has been shot dead in the latest incident of violence to hit Russia's troubled Caucasus region. The assassination of Justice Aza Gazgireeva follows a recent high profile killing in neighboring Dagestan, where Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has warned that poverty, unemployment, and massive corruption are undermining government authority. Deputy Chief Justice of Ingushetia's Supreme Court, Aza Gazgireeva, was killed after gunmen opened fire on her chauffer-driven van in the republic's biggest city, Nazran. Russian TV reports say one of the assassin's then walked up to Gazgireeva's body and shot her in the head....
  • Top official assassinated at wedding in Russia's Dagestan

    06/07/2009 8:01:28 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 3 replies · 1,060+ views
    AFP ^ | June 5, 2009
    The head of the interior ministry in Russia's turbulent Dagestan region was on Friday shot dead by a sniper while leaving a wedding party, investigators said. The head of the ministry's logistics unit was also killed in the attack and a third officer was injured, the investigative committee of the Russian prosecutor general's office said in a statement. Hospital officials said a fourth officer was also seriously injured. The minister, Lieutenant General Adilgerei Magomedtagirov, died when a sniper opened fire from a building overlooking a restaurant where he was attending the wedding of a colleague's daughter. The bride's father was...
  • Moscow is concerned over Armenia’s participation in NATO military trainings in Georgia

    04/23/2009 2:43:08 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 580+ views ^ | 04/22/2009
    Russia is concerned over Armenia’s participation in NATO military trainings in Georgia, especially, considering the anti-Russian nature of trainings planned, RF MP Semen Baghdasarov said at TV space bridge entitled “Armenia-Turkey: Progress in bilateral relations or geopolitical games of world powers?”. “As CSTO member, and military and strategic partner of Russia, Armenia has to refuse from participating in these trainings, like a number of other post soviet countries did,” RF MP noted. According to him, Armenia has to remember that the West has never supported Armenian people’s interests. “A search for new allies is in process in Armenia, and Russia...
  • Georgian monastics driven out of Abkhazia

    04/07/2009 9:28:22 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 20 replies · 1,659+ views ^ | April 6, 2009 | Temuri Kiguradze
    Seven Georgian monastics were forced to leave the territory of Abkhazia by separatist forces on April 2-3. Representatives of the breakaway region had accused them of “politicking.” The three monks and four nuns were from the Saint Giorgi Monastery in the village of Azhara, located in the Kodori Gorge, the only part of Abkhazia that was controlled by the central Georgian Government before the August Russian-Georgian conflict. When Georgian troops were driven out of the area the monastery and its residents stayed. “[After the August conflict] we proposed to the Georgian ‘priests’ that they accept the regulations of the Abkhazian...
  • Tension in remote regions tests Moscow

    04/01/2009 7:14:26 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 6 replies · 1,195+ views ^ | March 29, 2009 | Charles Clover
    Vladimir Radchenko’s first day on the job as acting chief tax inspector for Dagestan, a region in southern Russia, did not go smoothly. As he stepped into the office on February 6, he was confronted by the son of the president of the autonomous republic, escorted from the building by two men with pistols, stuffed into a car, driven around the capital city for an hour and threatened with death if he ever set foot in the region again. And that was just the start of a very bad week. A lesser bureaucrat, faced with the same, would likely have...
  • Gunbattle near Chechnya kills at least 5 police

    03/20/2009 12:04:56 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 1 replies · 640+ views
    AP ^ | Mar 20, 2009
    MAKHACHKALA, Russia (AP) - Security forces battled gunmen holed up in a mountainous forest east of Chechnya for a second day Friday and at least five officers were killed, regional officials said. An unknown number of militants were also killed. The fighting in the southern districts of Dagestan was some of the fiercest to hit the poor, volatile North Caucasus republic in years. State-run TV showed dozens of members of the security forces and vehicles perched on hillsides outside the Karabudakhkentsky district village of Kakashura. Helicopter gunships were shown firing missiles into a forest where police said between 10 and...
  • Economic crisis threatens Kremlin control of North Caucasus

    02/17/2009 12:32:25 PM PST · by Tailgunner Joe · 1 replies · 665+ views
    Reuters ^ | February 17, 2009 | James Kilner
    Analysts say Islamist extremists have infiltrated the region and that worsening poverty may drive people towards the rebels who have previously sent kidnappers and suicide bombers to attack Russian cities. Financial support is a tool for the Kremlin to dampen support for the rebels but Russia's cash reserves have shrunk by some 40 percent to about $385 billion (270 billion pounds) since last summer. In Russia's original budget for 2009, Chechnya's government said it had been promised around 24.5 billion roubles (474 million pounds) -- worth about $1 billion before the currency devalued by about a third. The other North...
  • 4 police killed in Ingushetia clash

    02/12/2009 2:20:22 PM PST · by Tailgunner Joe · 4 replies · 812+ views
    AP ^ | 02/12/09
    Officials in the restive Russian republic of Ingushetia say four police and three insurgents have died in a clash in the republic's principal city. The clash in Nazran ended when the house where the rebels were holed up exploded, a blast apparently set off by the fighters. The regional Interior Ministry says the four police were killed in gunfire Thursday with the insurgents and that one of the insurgents died in the crossfire. The bodies of two other fighters were found in the rubble of the exploded house, according to Russian news reports citing ministry officials.
  • Head of Azerbaijan's Air Force Shot Dead

    02/11/2009 2:13:19 AM PST · by james500 · 11 replies · 1,873+ views
    Reuters ^ | 2/11/2009 | Lada Yevgrashina and Afet Mehtiyeva
    The air force chief of Azerbaijan, an oil producing state in the fragile southern Caucasus region, was shot dead outside his home on Wednesday, officials said. General-Lieutenant Rail Rzayev was the most senior official to have been killed in ex-Soviet Azerbaijan, a country where Russia and the United States vie for influence, since the 1990s. It was not immediately clear whether the motives for the killing were political. "At approximately 8 a.m. (0400 GMT) at the entrance to his home the head of the air force and missile defense system was shot in the head and later died of his...
  • Turkey’s drift away from the West

    01/14/2009 4:28:35 PM PST · by Tailgunner Joe · 4 replies · 876+ views
    Jerusalem Post ^ | Jan 14, 2009 | SVANTE E. CORNELL
    A decade ago, Western and Israeli leaders could count on Turkey as an ally. A solid NATO member, Ankara took decisions based on pragmatic calculations of interest - and erred on the side of caution if at all. But under the rule of the Islamic conservative AKP, this has changed. In the face of Hamas rockets, Israel could have expected more understanding from a country long suffering from aggressive PKK terrorism. The vehemence with which Turkish leaders attacked Israel, and their apparent willingness to convey Hamas' position to the United Nations, came as a surprise to many. Some of this...
  • Building blast in Russia's Ingushetia kills eight

    01/13/2009 3:23:19 PM PST · by Tailgunner Joe · 2 replies · 546+ views
    Reuters ^ | January 13, 2009
    NAZRAN, Russia (Reuters) - An explosion in the southern Russian region of Ingushetia destroyed a government office in the main town of Nazran on Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring another 22, officials said. An official from the Ingush prosecutor's office said a gas leak was the likely cause of the blast, but added that this had yet to be confirmed. "The total number of people recovered from under the rubble is 30, eight of them dead," a spokeswoman for the regional Emergency Services Ministry said in Nazran. At least 17 people were rushed to hospital, while others with lighter...
  • South Russian ex-mayor shot dead

    12/31/2008 5:10:52 PM PST · by Tailgunner Joe · 10 replies · 986+ views
    BBC ^ | December 31, 2008
    A former mayor of Vladikavkaz, in Russia's troubled North Caucasus, has been shot dead in his car, police say. Kazbek Pagiyev's car came under a hail of bullets, killing him and his driver, in Vladikavkaz, the capital of Russia's republic of North Ossetia. Mr Pagiyev stood down as deputy prime minister in North Ossetia last week, Russian news agencies report. He served as mayor until December 2007, when he was replaced by Vitaly Karayev, who was killed by a gunman last month. Mr Pagiyev had been mayor for five years in North Ossetia, which lies near Chechnya, and has been...
  • Russian general fatally wounded in Dagestan attack

    12/29/2008 5:26:16 PM PST · by Tailgunner Joe · 12 replies · 1,134+ views
    Reuters ^ | December 29, 2008
    MOSCOW, Dec 29 (Reuters) - A senior Russian officer was fatally wounded when his car came under fire in the Dagestan region of southern Russia on Monday, Russian news agencies reported. Major General Valery Lipinsky, deputy commander of the North Caucasus arm of Russia's Interior Ministry forces, died in hospital from chest wounds, Interfax news agency quoted an official in the local prosecutor's office as saying. Lipinsky was travelling through the regional capital of Makhachkala when it came under fire, the RIA agency reported. Gun and bomb attacks in Russia's Northern Caucasus regions are common, although they rarely result in...
  • Russia claims US plans new bases for Central Asia

    12/16/2008 4:32:36 PM PST · by homeguard · 10 replies · 1,180+ views
    Yahoo News / AP ^ | Wednesday, December 17 | By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
    MOSCOW - Russia's top military officer warned that Moscow felt threatened by U.S. policy in ex-Soviet Central Asia and claimed that Washington was attempting to establish new military bases there, news agencies reported Tuesday. Gen. Nikolai Makarov, the chief of the Russian military's general staff, said Washington planned to establish a foothold in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Interfax and ITAR-Tass reported. U.S. officials denied there were plans. Makarov also said U.S. support for bids by Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO made Russia feel threatened. He cast doubt that relations between the countries would improve under Barack Obama. "According to our...
  • Putin's Long-Ended War Enters Its 10th Year

    11/06/2008 11:37:59 AM PST · by Tailgunner Joe · 1 replies · 498+ views ^ | October 31, 2008
    Perhaps hoping to emulate the devil's imputed success in convincing much of humanity that he does not exist, Russian propagandists have taken great pains over the past several years to persuade the world that the war in Chechnya is over, and the region is on the fast track to stability and prosperity. No effort has been spared in ensuring that the Russian spin on the situation is heard loud and clear and remains unchallenged. Even with official accreditation, no foreign journalist is allowed to travel within Chechnya unchaperoned. Vast swathes of the republic still remain off-limits to outside observers. Human...
  • Russia's Chechnya inaugurates vast new mosque

    10/17/2008 1:03:11 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 13 replies · 794+ views
    Reuters ^ | Oct 17, 2008
    GROZNY, Russia (Reuters) - Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov opened one of Europe's biggest mosques in the rebuilt capital of the southern Russian region Friday, saying it was proof Russian rule and Islam can go together. The mosque, named "The Heart of Chechnya" and constructed by Turkish builders, can host up to 10,000 worshippers. Its minarets rise as high as 62 m (200 ft) and the complex extends over 14 hectares (35 acres), including a vast garden. "With the start of the Chechen war, the enemies of Islam and foes of Russia alleged that Russia wages war against Islam and the...
  • Russian Patriotism Unleashed by Georgian War

    10/16/2008 5:47:42 PM PDT · by neverdem · 11 replies · 734+ views
    SPIEGEL ONLINE ^ | 10/15/2008 | Fred Weir
    LETTER FROM MOSCOW The war in Georgia has provoked unprecedented levels of patriosm in Russia. The majority of the population supported their army's actions in the Caucasus. And even the fiercest critics of the Kremlin have now become proud Russians. REUTERS Members of the Kremlin-loyal youth organisation "Nashi" wave flags and hold a banner during a protest in front of the US embassy in Moscow during the Georgia war. I never thought I’d see the day when regular Russians, without any prompting, would voluntarily and passionately defend the actions of the Kremlin in conversations with a foreign friend. But at...
  • Car bomb kills 9 Russians in South Ossetian capital

    10/03/2008 1:34:51 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 14 replies · 701+ views ^ | October 3, 2008 | Ellen Barry
    MOSCOW: A car bomb in the capital of South Ossetia on Friday killed nine Russian peacekeepers and wounded three others, raising tensions in the separatist enclave days before a scheduled pullback of Russian troops from Georgian territory. President Eduard Kokoity of South Ossetia said he had "no doubt" that Georgian special forces were behind the explosion in the capital, Tskhinvali. The acts, he said, "undermine international efforts to stabilize the situation and torpedo the Medvedev-Sarkozy plan." The blast came six days before a deadline for Russia to pull back from the so-called buffer zone outside South Ossetia, yielding a large...
  • Two soldiers killed, 3 injured in S.Russia militant attacks

    10/02/2008 12:27:38 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 2 replies · 290+ views ^ | 10/02/2008
    ROSTOV-ON-DON, October 2 (RIA Novosti) - Two soldiers were killed and three injured in separate attacks by militants in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia on Thursday, the local Interior Ministry said. A ministry spokesman told RIA Novosti said that unknown assailants had opened fire on ministry troops who were in a Lada car on the Caucasus highway near Ingushetia's largest city, Nazran. Two soldiers were killed and one was wounded in the attack. In a separate incident, a motorized column of military servicemen was involved in a road accident near Nazran. When soldiers left their vehicles, militants opened fire...
  • NATO Kicks Off Armenia Drills

    10/01/2008 1:15:12 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 1 replies · 288+ views ^ | September 29, 2008 | Emil Danielyan
    Armenia hosted on Monday the first NATO-led military exercises in the South Caucasus since the recent Russian-Georgian war, underlining its intention to continue to deepen security ties with the West despite the latter’s confrontation with Russia. About one thousand troops from 17 nations, eight of them NATO members, will practice in the next three weeks joint military and humanitarian operations at the training ground of Armenia’s main military academy located on the northern outskirts of Yerevan. An opening ceremony there was led by Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian and Lieutenant General John Gardner, the U.S. deputy commander of NATO’s Land Component...
  • What the Russians Left in Their Wake in Georgia

    09/24/2008 3:41:57 AM PDT · by docbnj · 12 replies · 397+ views
    Wall Street Journal ^ | 24 Sep 2008 | Melik Kaylin
    Having devastated vast areas of its own lands in the Caucasus, such as Chechnya and Ingushetia, in order to "protect" them from instability, Moscow's obliterating shadow has settled deep over Georgia -- with the usual consequences. The full barbarism of Russian actions in Georgia may not emerge for years; much of the evidence lies behind the lines in terrain newly annexed by Russia. But some details are now beyond dispute. Alongside the various human atrocities, such as the bombing and purging of civilian areas, the invaders looted and destroyed numerous historical sites, some of which were profoundly revered by the...
  • Rival accuses pro-Kremlin Chechen leader of murder

    09/25/2008 11:25:54 AM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 1 replies · 227+ views ^ | Sep 25, 2008
    GUDERMES, Russia (Reuters) - A Chechen warlord on Thursday accused the Russian region's pro-Kremlin leader of killing his brother and vowed to take revenge, pitching the two most powerful men in Chechnya against each other. Chechnya's pro-Kremlin leader Ramzan Kadyrov denied any role in the shooting. About 70 to 80 men -- mainly family members and loyal fighters -- attended the funeral of Ruslan Yamadayev in the town of Gudermes east of the Chechen capital Grozny. Gunmen killed the former parliamentary deputy as he drove through the center of Moscow Wednesday evening. "I accuse Ramzan Kadyrov of the murder of...
  • Three killed, 2 wounded in Ingushetia, official targeted

    09/23/2008 2:29:17 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 146+ views ^ | 09/223/08
    MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) - Three people have been found dead in Ingushetia, while in separate attacks another two were wounded and the deputy interior minister's official car was blown up, law enforcement sources said Tuesday. The incidents all occurred in the Russian North Caucasus republic late Monday, when one soldier was also injured in a grenade attack in neighboring Chechnya The latest took place at approximately 23:47 Moscow time (19:47 GMT) when unknown people fired a grenade at an Interior Ministry arms store in Ingushetia's largest city, Nazran, injuring two servicemen. At around 20:30 Moscow time (16:30 GMT)...
  • Scholar Claims to Find 1,000-Year-Old Jewish Capital

    09/20/2008 9:14:49 PM PDT · by Cinnamon Girl · 23 replies · 474+ views
    fox news ^ | Saturday, September 20, 2008
    MOSCOW — A Russian archaeologist says he has found the lost capital of the Khazars, a powerful nation that adopted Judaism as its official religion more than 1,000 years ago, only to disappear leaving little trace of its culture. Dmitry Vasilyev, a professor at Astrakhan State University, said his nine-year excavation near the Caspian Sea has finally unearthed the foundations of a triangular fortress of flamed brick, along with modest yurt-shaped dwellings, and he believes these are part of what was once Itil, the Khazar capital. (edit) The Khazars were a Turkic tribe that roamed the steppes from Northern China...
  • Gracious Grozny

    09/18/2008 7:30:16 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 2 replies · 180+ views ^ | 09/18/2008 | Anatol Lieven
    Grozny, which I last saw as an immense heap of rubble, is now a truly impressive sight, with fine modern apartment blocks and a beautiful Turkish-built mosque, modeled on the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, towering over the main square. Grozny as it now stands is a vast improvement on the city as it stood before the war of 1994, when it was a dirty, run-down Soviet industrial city with grim, shabby architecture, very few amenities—and no visible mosques at all. ... It may, however, have been a help in the reconstruction that the current population of 228,000 is less than...
  • One soldier killed, two injured in Chechnya

    09/18/2008 12:53:01 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 7 replies · 248+ views ^ | 09/18/2008
    MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - A soldier was killed and two others injured when gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons on their vehicle near the capital of the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, a health official said on Thursday. According to the source, the soldiers, members of the Defense Ministry's Zapad (West) battalion, were traveling in a Mitsubishi vehicle when the shots were fired at around 10:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday. As a result of the shooting, one soldier died, while the unit commander and another serviceman were injured. In a separate incident in neighboring Daghestan's capital, five...
  • Swedish think-tank studies Russian-Georgia conflict

    09/17/2008 1:20:56 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 5 replies · 213+ views
    DPA ^ | Sep 16, 2008 | Lennart Simonsson
    Stockholm - The recent war between Russia and Georgia would have 'profound consequences' on international relations, according to the Swedish Defence Research Agency. 'The Russian actions were the result of deliberate and premeditated choices,' researcher Robert Larsson said, noting Russia's decision to enter the conflict, and to use a 'relatively large portion of violence' and then to recognize breakaway regions in Georgia. Larsson made his remarks at the launch of a 153-page study titled 'The Caucasian Litmus Test: Consequences and Lessons of the Russian- Georgian War in August 2008.' Larsson, editor and one of 14 contributors to the study, said...
  • Russian soldiers killed in Ingushetia

    09/17/2008 1:08:27 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 9 replies · 237+ views
    Reuters ^ | September 17, 2008
    Four Russian soldiers have been shot dead in the southern region of Ingushetia, Russian news agencies reported, in the latest attack on federal forces in the increasingly unstable North Caucasus republic. The bodies of the four interior ministry servicemen were found with gunshot wounds by an armed patrol near the village of Galashki on Wednesday afternoon, Vasily Panchenkov, the aide to Russia's interior troops commander, told Interfax news agency. A source in the investigative department of the Ingush prosecutor's office told Interfax later that the soldiers had probably been shot from a nearby forest. Another four servicemen and three gunmen...
  • Russia criticises Nato for 'Cold War' visit

    09/17/2008 5:06:19 AM PDT · by Schnucki · 38 replies · 275+ views
    Irish Times ^ | September 17, 2008
    A visit to Georgia by senior Nato officials this week was anti-Russian and showed the alliance is driven by Cold War-style thinking, Russia's Foreign Ministry said today. "Decisions taken ... confirmed that in Nato, the Cold War-era reflexes of 'them and us' are at work once again," a statement said. "We cannot view steps to intensify relations between the alliance and Georgia any other way than as encouragement for new adventures ... We believe the alliance's session in Tbilisi in the current conditions was not timely and does not help stabilisation in the region." The statement said the visit showed...
  • DID SAAKASHVILI LIE? The West begins to doubt Georgian leader

    09/17/2008 4:02:34 AM PDT · by Doctor13 · 50 replies · 545+ views
    Spiegel ^ | 15 September 2008 | by SPIGEL Staff
    The West Begins to Doubt Georgian Leader Five weeks after the war in the Caucasus the mood is shifting against Georgian President Saakashvili. Some Western intelligence reports have undermined Tbilisi's version of events and there are now calls on both sides of the Atlantic for an independent investigation. But now, five weeks after the end of the war in the Caucasus, the winds have shifted in America. Even Washington is beginning to suspect that Saakashvili, a friend and ally, could in fact be a gambler -- someone who triggered the bloody five-day war and then told the West bold-faced lies....
  • Georgia says phonetaps show Russia launched war

    09/16/2008 1:39:48 PM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 6 replies · 295+ views
    Reuters ^ | September 16, 2008 | Matt Robinson and Margarita Antidze
    Georgia produced telephone intercepts on Tuesday it said proved Russian armour entered Georgia hours before the start of a Georgian attack that Moscow said forced it to send in its troops. The release of the intercepts comes as both Moscow and Tbilisi wage a diplomatic and public relations campaign to prove the other side fired the first shot in a war that killed hundreds of people and caused widespread devastation. Russia said the evidence was "not serious". The force movements referred to in the intercepts may, it said, have been a routine rotation by Russian peacekeeping forces already operating in...
  • Georgia Offers Fresh Evidence on War’s Start

    09/15/2008 8:52:01 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 18 replies · 560+ views ^ | September 15, 2008 | DAN BILEFSKY, C..J. CHIVERS, THOM SHANKER and MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ
    Georgia has released intercepted telephone calls purporting to show that part of a Russian armored regiment crossed into the separatist enclave of South Ossetia nearly a full day before Georgia’s attack on the capital, Tskhinvali, late on Aug. 7. ... The back and forth over who started the war is already an issue in the American presidential race, with Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Republican vice presidential candidate, contending that Russia’s incursion into Georgia was “unprovoked,” while others argue that Georgia’s shelling of Tskhinvali was provocation. Georgia claims that its main evidence — two of several calls secretly recorded...
  • 4 officers killed in gunbattle in south Russia

    09/15/2008 3:03:39 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 4 replies · 243+ views
    AP ^ | September 15, 2008
    ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia: Militants battled security forces in Ingushetia, killing four security officers as rising violence threatens to further destabilize the troubled southern Russian region, officials said Monday. Sunday's gunbattle also killed two militants and left eight officers wounded, the Ingush Interior Ministry said. The Interfax news agency, meanwhile, reported that that the deputy chief of regional Federal Security Service was killed in the operation.
  • Chechnya to name street after commander killed in Perm air crash

    09/14/2008 10:09:25 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 2 replies · 166+ views ^ | 09/14/ 2008
    MOSCOW, September 14 (RIA Novosti) - The president of Russia's North Caucasus republic of Chechnya has said that a street in the capital Grozny will be named after an ex-commander killed in Sunday's plane crash in the Urals. Gennady Troshev, 61, a former commander of the North Caucasus Military District, was one of the 88 people killed in the Boeing-737-500 crash outside Perm. He had received a Hero of Russia award for his service. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov's announcement was quoted by TV channel Vesti. Troshev commanded federal forces during the 1994-1996 First Chechen War, and became the top commander...
  • Separatist passions heating up in Russia's restive North Caucasus

    09/12/2008 2:04:46 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 5 replies · 191+ views
    DPA ^ | Sep 12, 2008 | Ulf Mauder
    Moscow - The ceasefire between Russia and Georgia has not calmed down the Caucasus. While inhabitants of Georgia's separatist enclaves Abkhazia and South Ossetia celebrate formal recognition by Russia as independent nations, hardly a day goes by without bloodshed in Russia's North Caucasus regions Ingushetia and Dagestan. Since the shooting dead in August of Ingush opposition journalist Magomed Yevloyev, calls to break away from Russia have grown louder in Ingushetia. Russian media report that even in hitherto tranquil Russian regions such as Tatarstan and Bashkiria, Muslim separatists have become more independence-minded of late. For years, Russia's leaders have sought to...
  • Poland Was Right

    09/12/2008 1:34:15 PM PDT · by lizol · 5 replies · 210+ views
    TOL ^ | 12 September 2008
    Poland Was Right by TOL 12 September 2008 The need is greater than ever for the EU to embrace Warsaw’s Eastern Partnership. Georgia’s military is a wreck, its economic locomotive derailed, and even a drunken gambler would think twice before wagering on its political future. In Ukraine, the unhappy marriage between the president and prime minister grows more desperate, while the country remains riven over whether it belongs with the East or West. If this picture from behind the old Iron Curtain isn’t enough to bring on depression, look again. Moldova worries that Russia could launch another “humanitarian intervention” in...
  • How self censurship works in Russia - a must see

    09/11/2008 1:26:35 PM PDT · by davker · 19 replies · 266+ views
    Could the Kremlin censor an entertainment programme on live TV? According to Russian bloggers, that's exactly what happened on one of the country's national television channels. The programme, "Phenomenon," aired on the state-run Rossiya channel on Sept. 5. In the live broadcast, Russian magician and self-styled psychic Alexander Char played a version of the children's game Cluedo, telling the audience that the details of a murder were in a safe. Then he asked three audience members to name first a weapon, then a place, then the person who committed the crime. The first guinea pig in the audience chose a...
  • Chechen President Says U.S. Fomenting Caucasus Unrest

    09/11/2008 1:01:57 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 21 replies · 298+ views ^ | 12 September 2008
    GROZNY -- Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has accused the United States of fomenting unrest in the Caucasus and emboldening Georgia to launch an attack on South Ossetia. Speaking to members of the Valdai Discussion Club at his residence near Grozny, he said Russia's crushing defeat of Georgian troops in their brief war was the appropriate response. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili "was dancing to someone else's tune," Kadyrov said during the one-hour briefing. "He started a war, an inhuman war. ... The United States was testing Russia through Georgia, and Russia reacted decisively." He backed Moscow's recognition of South Ossetia and...
  • Separatists in Russia see hope in South Ossetia and Abkhazia

    09/10/2008 11:22:11 AM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 5 replies · 101+ views ^ | September 10, 2008 | Ellen Barry
    Tatarstan is a long way from South Ossetia. Where South Ossetia is a poor border region of Georgia battered by war, Tatarstan is an economic powerhouse in the heart of Russia, boasting both oil reserves and the political stability that is catnip to investors. But the two places have one thing in common: Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, both have given rise to separatist movements. And when President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia formally recognized the breakaway areas of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent nations two weeks ago, activists in Kazan, the Tatar capital, took notice. An association...
  • The biggest European mosque to open in Grozny in October

    09/10/2008 10:34:45 AM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 6 replies · 240+ views ^ | 10 September 2008
    Grozny, September 10, Interfax - Chechnya has set a date of opening the Ahmad Kadyrov's mosque, which is to be the biggest in Europe. "Ceremony of opening is planned for October 17. The 2nd international peacemaking forum Islam: a Religion of Peace and Creativity is to open the same day in Grozny," the republic's president Ramzan Kadyrov told Interfax. According to him, "people of the Chechen Republic first time in sixty years will have a possibility to have a grand mosque in Grozny and conduct Islamic religious rites there." "All the mosques were closed, destroyed and robbed in the Chechen...
  • Azerbaijan: VP Cheney Was Reportedly Less Than Diplomatic in Baku

    09/08/2008 6:12:42 PM PDT · by onedoug · 33 replies · 592+ views ^ | MON 9 SEP 2008 | Eurasianet Staff
    It seems that US Vice President Dick Cheney caused a scene during his recent visit to Azerbaijan when his hosts declined to follow his script.Over the past few days, details have leaked out that indicate that Cheney’s September 3 visit to Baku was a spectacular diplomatic failure.
  • Russia's Ingushetia blames U.S. for its instability

    09/08/2008 10:57:49 AM PDT · by smokingfrog · 2 replies · 148+ views ^ | 09.08.2008 | Dmitry Solovyov
    MOSCOW, Sept 8 (Reuters) - The head of the Russian region of Ingushetia, facing protests over the killing of an opposition leader, accused Washington on Monday of stirring trouble with the aim of ending Russian rule in the volatile north Caucasus. Opposition in the north Caucasus region mounted protests against Kremlin-backed Ingush President Murat Zyazikov after the death of Magomed Yevloyev on Aug. 31 in police custody. Police said Yevloyev was shot dead when he tried to grab an officer's gun. The European Union and the U.S. have urged Russian authorities to investigate Yevloyev's death, which Europe's democracy watchdog the...
  • Russia’s Restless Muslim Republics(the cost of Georgian adventure)

    09/08/2008 8:08:52 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 8 replies · 216+ views
    Spiegel ^ | 09/08/08 | Uwe Klussmann
    Russia’s Restless Muslim Republics By Uwe Klussmann Although Russia is celebrating the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, it still has its own problems in the region as its Muslim republics are drifting toward a partisan war. Last Monday, an eerie funeral procession passed through the center of Nazran in the Russian republic of Ingushetia. Hundreds of people silently crowded around the coffin of Magomed Yevloyev. The 37-year-old lawyer and founder of a Web site ( that was critical of the government was killed in police custody. The authorities said that he was shot in a police car “inadvertently”...
  • Murder as problem solver

    09/08/2008 4:18:39 AM PDT · by Schnucki · 6 replies · 255+ views
    Economist ^ | September 4, 2008
    Russia could find that it is getting more than it bargained for EVEN by Russia’s recent bloody standards, it was a brazen killing. Magomed Yevloyev, the editor of an opposition website in Russia’s north Caucasus territory of Ingushetia, was detained by the police as he arrived in Nazran on a flight from Moscow on August 31st. Within minutes he was dead, having allegedly tried to seize a policeman’s rifle and been shot in the head. His body was dumped outside the region’s main hospital. The Ingush authorities say they are investigating an accidental death but nobody takes this seriously. There...