The Month in Brief - May 2005

May 2

A battle between Chechen guerrillas and federal forces took place in the southern Nozhai-Yurt district, with both sides reporting different number of casualties.

May 5

Russia announced that its forces seized a truck loaded with explosives in Chechnya and that they also prevented a series of terrorist attacks in the Northern Caucasus in which poison was to be used.

The number of customers of mobile carrier Megafon in Chechnya reached 100,000, Grozny-inform reported.

May 10

During his overnight visit to Georgia, US President George W. Bush spoke to tens of thousands of Georgians on Tbilisi's Freedom Square. He described Georgia as “a beacon of liberty for this region and the world” and called for a peaceful resolution of the country's territorial problems.

May 14

Vakha Arsanov, former Vice-President of the independent Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, was killed in Grozny, the Moscow-backed Chechen authorities announced, but the information has not been confirmed by independent sources.

May 14-15

Six local guerrillas were killed in an overnight police operation in a five-storey house in Cherkessk, Karachayevo-Cherkesiya. No casualties among civilians were reported.

May 15

Chechen guerrilla commander Danilbek Eskiyev was killed in the village of Gerzel in the Gudermessky district, Russian sources reported.

May 16

Pro-guerrilla Internet site Kavkaz-center published several May 5 decrees by which Chechen separatist leader Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev carried out a territorial and personnel reorganization of guerrilla forces, inter alia by creating "the Caucasus Front".

Chechen guerrilla commander Danilbek Eskiyev was killed in the village of Gerzel in the Gudermessky district, Russian sources reported.

May 17

The North Ossetian Supreme Court started hearing the case of Nurpasha Kulayev, who had been accused of directly participating in the September 2004 school hostage tragedy in Beslan.

Top Chechen guerrilla leader Alash Daudov was killed near Grozny, announced Russian military sources.

May 19

Elections to the Parliament of the Chechen Republic might take place in November 2005, said the Moscow-backed Chechen leader Alu Alkhanov.

The jury of the North Caucasus Military District Court ruled that four members of Russian special forces accused of killing six Chechen civilians in 2002 (the Ulman case) are not guilty, which sparked protests in Chechnya.

Russian gas giant Gazprom proposed once again that Chechen gas utilities should be taken over by it to avoid gas pilfering in Chechnya.

May 20

Belarus extradited to Russia Nurmagomed Khatuyev on charges of participation in Shamil Basayev's attack on Budyonnovsk in June 1995. Khatuyev was detained in late March in Minsk.

Zagir Arukhov, Dagestani minister of nationalities, information and external relations, was killed in a bomb attack in Makhachkala.

May 25

Twenty-eight policemen of the Interior Ministry of the Chechen Republic have been killed and 100 others wounded in clashes with the guerrillas since the beginning of this year, announced Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov at a meeting of law enforcers in Grozny. Fourty-three guerrillas have been killed and 101 arrested over the same period.

An official ceremony was held in Baku to mark the launch of the filling of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline with oil.

May 26

Akhmad-Khadzhi Shamayev announced his resignation as Chechnya's chief mufti. The Moscow-backed Chechen religious leader, who was recently criticized by the Moscow-backed Chechen political leader Alu Alkhanov, explained that he had no chance to change the situation in Chechnya for the better and that he would leave the republic.

An agreement on friendship and economic co-coperation between Dagestan and Chechnya was signed by the leaders of the two republic, Magomedali Magomedov and Alu Alkhanov, in the Dagestani capital of Makhachkala.

May 27

Pro-guerrilla Internet site Kavkaz-center published a brief letter allegedly from Shamil Basayev in which the Chechen warlord claims responsibility for a large-scale power outage that hit a part of Moscow and its environs on May 25.

Chechen writer and respected public figure, Abuzar Aydamirov, died after a long illness in his home village of Mesketi.

May 29

Three Polish journalists from the Polish state television station TVP, who were planning to travel to Grozny and complete their work on a documentary, were detained in Nazran, Ingushetiya, and then reportedly recommended to leave the republic immediately.

May 30

Foreign Ministers of Russia and Georgia signed a joint communique in Moscow according to which Russia will immediately start leaving its military bases in Batumi and Akhalkalaki and complete the pull-out process by 2008.

May 31

Seven relatives of Chechen resistance leader and Ichkerian President Aslan Maskhadov, who were kidnapped in December 2004, were freed. Apparently, their abductors were members of an official force.

Sultan Mirzayev, first deputy mufti of the Chechen Republic, was elected mufti, replacing Akhmad-Khadzhi Shamayev, who resigned on May 26.

Aleksandr Dzasokhov, President of the Republic of North Ossetia, who was widely criticized for his handling of the September 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis, announced his resignation.

Compiled by Prague Watchdog. Along with these monthly summaries, we also publish weekly summaries, distributing them on Mondays within our weekly newsletter.



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