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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...