Eighteenth issue of the monthly Chechen Society Today released
PRAGUE, March 14 - The eighteenth issue of the monthly Chechenskoye obshchestvo segodnya (Chechen Society Today) has been released.
The issue opens with a report on a recent Chechen parliamentary roundtable discussion of the degree to which the law on the rehabilitation of victims of political repression has been implemented in the Chechen Republic. As parliamentary committee head Musa Ibragimov pointed out, the fact that Chechnya has not been part of Russia's political and judicial framework for the past 15 years has led to a situation where the rehabilitation of the victims of the Stalin-era deportation has simply not taken place.
Feature items – several of which are reproduced from other press and media sources – include Chechen government press reports on a recent appeal by President Ramzan Kadyrov to guerrilla units, asking them to return the young men who have joined them to their families and loved ones, and on the recent and growing phenomenon of land being seized back from state enterprises by private individuals. Lyoma Shakhbulatov considers the fate of Yukos vice-president Vasily Aleksanyan, and contrasts it with the leniency given to military commanders who have been tried for much worse misdemeanours in Chechnya. And Zalina Lakayeva describes how a Russian woman in Grozny became a second mother to a young Chechen boy, enabling him to grow up and have a normal life.
There are articles on social problems, including an account of recent protest action by residents of the Grozny suburb of Novye Aldy who are agitating for a more thorough investigation of the massacre that occurred there in 2000, when Russian soldiers killed a large number of civilians. An SNO report discusses the problem of the defective supply of drinking water in the city of Grozny, and asks when the supply of fresh water will be restored. Another related article features the problem of unexploded mines, bombs and shells in the republic, and there is also a report on unemployment.
The issue contains the customary collection of articles, essays and reviews which focus on historical subjects, including an interesting analysis by Professor Yavus Akhmadov of the recent historical debates in the republic, which have centred on the production of a new standard Chechen history textbook. There is a further chapter from Lecha Ilyasov's book Shadows of Eternity, about the historical oblasts of the republic, and the concluding portion of the series by Indarbi Byzov, this time with a discussion of the economic situation of Chechnya in the second half of the 19th century.
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The black-and-white Russian-language publication Chechen Society Today is a joint project of Prague Watchdog and the Moscow-based Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations, which is being implemented thanks to support from the US-based National Endowment for Democracy. The journal’s aim is to strengthen Chechen civil society, promote independent media in Chechnya, and provide objective information to Chechens living in Russia and Europe.
A thousand copies are published in Moscow; additional copies are printed and distributed by Prague Watchdog for Chechen exiles in Europe. In addition, a printer-friendly PDF version can be downloaded from the PW (http://journal.watchdog.cz) and CJES websites (http://chechnya.cjes.ru). Free e-mail subscription to the PDF version is also available.
Prague Watchdog welcomes proposals from both organizations and individuals for participation in this project, especially the distribution of the paper version of the journal.