December 31st 2001 · Prague Watchdog · PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT · E-MAIL THIS

January 2001

Summary of main news related to the conflict in Chechnya.

January 1

Russia stopped its gas supplies to Georgia because of escalating tensions between the two countries over the war in Chechnya.

January 2

President Putin was elected Person of the Year 2000 in Russia receiving 38% of votes. At the same time the Chechnya campaign was voted as Putin's least successful venture.

January 3

Policemen from Nijnyi Novgorod discovered a 25-meter tunnel loaded with explosives leading to their base in Gudermes city.

January 4

Russia won't make its first-quarter payments this year on the billions of dollars of debt owed to nations known collectively as the Paris Club, a government spokesman said.

Russia has resumed gas supplies to Georgia following an appeal by the Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze and criticism from the U.S. State Department.

Pro-Moscow Chechen leader, Akhmad Kadyrov, survived yet another assassination attempt.

January 5

Over 270 Russian soldiers committed suicide in year 2000, several dozens of others tried to end their lives - Military News Agency

January 6

Twenty-two judges arrived to Chechnya to set up ten regional courts and the Chechen republican court.

January 7

President Putin celebrated Russian orthodox Christmas in the company of German Prime Minister Gerhard Schröder.

Imam of a mosque in the Urus-Martan area near Grozny, Kasmagomed Umalatov, was shot dead outside his home.

January 9

The imam of a mosque in the village of Germenchuk, Magomed Khasuyev, was shot dead in the courtyard of his home.

Sergei Ponomarenko, top administrator of Chechnya's Naur region, and Anatoly Storozhenko, head of the Shelkov region resigned on their jobs indicating Moscow’s indifference, and incompetence and weakness of the pro-Russian administration in Chechnya as their main reasons.

Head of mission of relief aid agency Médecins sans Frontieres (MSF) - Holland, Kenneth (Kenny) Gluck, was kidnapped in Chechnya by unidentified masked men. Another humanitarian, Jonathan Littell, head of mission of Action contra la Faime (ACF) managed to escape from the ambush.

January 10

All relief aid agencies suspended their humanitarian operations on the territory of Chechnya in reaction to the kidnapping of Kenny Gluck.

January 11

New Romanian OSCE chairman-in-office Mircea Dan Geoana indicated the immediate return of the OSCE Assistance Group to Chechnya as his first priority.

Lithuanian MPs have formed a working group on Chechnya comprised of 30 deputies, as was decided in November 2000. The group should "disseminate information in Lithuania about the situation in the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, paying special attention to human rights violations there, and boost Chechen culture, art and science".

January 12

Investigation in the case of Chechen warlord, Salman Raduev, arrested in March 2000, has been completed.

January 13

PACE delegation headed by Lord Frank Judd started its official visit to Russia with the aim to review Moscow’s human rights record in Chechnya. The delegation’s report will be presented at the PACE session on January 22-26 as a key input for the decision whether to reinstate Russia's voting rights, suspended in April 2000 because of the Chechen conflict.

Chechen Field Commander Ruslan Tsagaroev is reported to have died from his wounds in Starye Atagi town hospital.

January 16

Ramzan Kadyrov, son of the head of the pro-Russian Chechen administration, Akhmad Kadyrov, survived an assassination attempt.

January 17

Delegation of Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) finished its official visit to Russia and Chechnya. In Chechnya the delegation visited Znamenskoye refugee camp, Chernokozovo detention camp, Grozny, and military base in Khankala.

Malik Saidullayev, chairman of the State Council of the Chechen Republic, said that up to 25 Russian soldiers die in Chechnya every day

January 18

European Commissioner for External Affairs Chris Patten visited Russia and stated Russia's treatment of civilians in Chechnya and tensions with neighbour Georgia as his concerns in relations with Moscow.

Vladimir Putin ordered his ministers to draft proposals on reducing the number of Russian troops in Chechnya.

Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Indulis Berzins) started his two day visit in Russia to collect more information for the PACE session next week.

Rally in Gudermes city protested against the wide-spread abuses of federal troops and the inaction of the local administration. About 100 people were beaten and several dozen arrested – Glasnost Foundation

January 19

President Putin appointed former head of the Stavropol region, Stanislav Ilyasov, as prime minister of the (pro-Russian) Chechen government and Kadyrov’s deputy.

January 22

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the number of Russian troops in Chechnya would be reduced and the chief command of the operations in Chechnya taken over by the Federal Security Service (FSB).

More than 2,700 staffers of Russia’s interior bodies and Ministry of Interior have been killed and over 7,500 wounded in Chechnya, and losses have increased in the recent months - Deputy Interior Minister Ivan Golubev

January 24

U.S. President George W. Bush's administration criticized Russia's campaign in Chechnya and called for a political settlement of the conflict.

January 25

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) restored voting rights of the Russian delegation during PACE's winter session in Strasbourg. The voting rights were withdrawn in April last year because of the situation in Chechnya.

The Presidential aide for Chechnya, Vladimir Kalamanov, reported that his office had received 13,000 complaints from local residents.

January 26

U.N.'s World Food Program launched an appeal for international donations to help 335,000 people displaced by the war in Chechnya.

January 27

Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov started the fifth year of his five-year term of office. He was elected President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria on January 27, 1997.

January 29

The head of the Chechen administration, Akhmad Kadyrov, survived another assassination attempt.

January 30

The deputy Chief of General Army Staff, V. Manilov, announced that there would be no major withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya.

January 31

A week after announcing major troop withdrawals Russia announced it was deploying fresh units and combat planes in Chechnya.

Compiled by Prague Watchdog


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