The Month in Brief - July 2006

July 3

British journalist Thomas de Waal, who specializes in the Caucasus, was denied a Russian visa. While the Russian authorities explained the denial by "state security" concerns, de Waal attributed it to his reporting about Chechnya.

July 4

Chechen guerrillas ambushed a Russian military column near the village of Avtury. According to Russian sources, 6-7 soldiers were killed, according to Chechen guerrilla sources, at least 20 soldiers were killed.

July 6

The Moscow-backed Chechen President Alu Alkhanov introduced the new commander of the Joint Troops Groops in the Northern Caucasus, Yevgeny Baryayev, to senior commanders of the republic's law enforcement agencies. Baryayev, who is first deputy to the chief commander of the Russian Interior Ministry troops, replaced Yevgeny Lazebin.

July 7

A contract soldier and a private driver were killed when unknown people opened fire at their car in Nazran, Ingushetiya. Another soldier was wounded.

July 8

Ichkerian President and Chechen resistance leader Dokka Umarov signed decrees creating the Volga and Ural fronts in order "to oppose Russia's military aggression, expand the war theater and fulfill serious military and politicak tasks," according to documents published by Kavkaz-Center.

July 10

Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev was killed along with several other guerrillas in an overnight blast of a truck laden with explosives near the village of Ekazhevo, Ingushetiya. While Russian officials later that day said it was a special operation, pro-guerrilla sources said the blast was accidental.
July 11

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov made an unplanned visit to Grozny, where he met representatives of the Moscow-backed Chechen leadership and Russian military and confirmed the death of Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev.
July 12

Security forces killed two guerrillas in an apartment building in the Daghestani town of Buynaksk.
July 13

Chechen resistance website Chechenpress published a manifesto in which the resistance leadership offers talks to the Kremlin. The manifesto, which was reportedly adopted in Berlin on July 5, was signed by Akhmed Zakayev, Foreign Minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.
The Moscow-backed Chechen Premier Ramzan Kadyrov stated that the killed Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev had been replaced by Daghestani guerrilla leader Khayrula Elmurzayev.
Moscow-backed Chechen forces crushed a group of about 15-25 guerrillas near the village of Ishkhoi-Yurt on Chechnya's eastern border with Daghestan. One third or half of the guerrillas, who were young and unexperienced, were killed.
The Russian military started unprecedented two-week anti-terror exercises throughout the Northern Caucasus and adjacent regions.
July 15

Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Russia's National Anti-Terror Committee and the Federal Security Service (FSB), called on the guerrillas in the Northern Caucasus to surrender and start communicating with the authorities by August 1.

July 18

Nikolai Patrushev, the head of Russia's National Anti-Terror Committee and the Federal Security Service (FSB), said an act of amnesty for Chechen guerrillas was being drafted and would be sent to Russian President and Parliament for approval.

Adam Delimkhanov, the commander of the special regiment for the protection of oil utilities, was appointed Chechen Vice-Premier in charge of law enforcement, a post held by Premier Ramzan Kadyrov.

A Georgian Foreign Ministry official announced that the remains of Zviad Gamsakhurdia, First President of Georgia, would be moved from Grozny to Tbilisi because of plans to erect a government building in the location of his grave.

July 19

The Moscow-backed Chechen President Alu Alkhanov asked the Russian leadership to extend the deadline of August 1 for guerrillas to surrender to January 1, 2007.

July 20

The Moscow-backed Chechen President Alu Alkhanov asked MPs of the Moscow-backed Chechen Parliament to ask their federal colleagues to change Russia's Constitution to allow a third consecutive presidential term for the incumbent Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin granted state awards to those members of Russian special services who allegedly took part in the liquidation of Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who died in a truck blast in Ingushetia on July 10.

July 23

Magomed Khambiyev, a former top Chechen guerrilla commander who now works as a deputy to the Moscow-backed Chechen Parliament, was shortly detained on the border between Russia and Azerbaijan when he was returning home with two Chechen refugees. Khambiyev was allegedly asked by the Moscow-backed Chechen Premier Ramzan Kadyrov to persuade Chechen compatriots to return home.

July 24

The Moscow-backed Chechen President Alu Alkhanov declared August the month of reconciliation with members of the resistance in Chechnya as well as outside its borders.

The Moscow-backed Chechen Premier Ramzan Kadyrov stated that all Chechen IDPs should return from Ingushetiya by the end of this year.

July 26

The Moscow City Court sentenced Chechen national Aslanbek Khaskhanov, who had been accused of organizing a car blast near a McDonald's restaurant in southwestern Moscow on October 19, 2002, to 22 years in prison.

The Chechen branch of Russia's most powerful political party, Unified Russia, proposed to lift the constitutional ban preventing Russian Presidents from staying in office for more than two terms in a row, said Ramzan Kadyrov, the party's local head and Premier of the Moscow-backed Chechen government.

The Office of Russia's Prosecutor General announced that it had brought new charges against Chechen resistance representative Akhmed Zakayev, who was granted asylum in Great Britain in 2003, after a British court rejected Russia's extradition request.

July 27

The European Court of Human Rights for the first time condemned Russia for "disappearance" in Chechnya, obliging it to pay compensation to Fatima Bazorkina, whose son Khadzhimurat Yandiyev was detained by Russian troops in the Chechen village of Alkhan-Kala in February 2000 and then was never heard of again.

July 29

The Moscow-backed Chechen parliament proposed a third term for Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Compiled by Prague Watchdog. Along with these monthly summaries, we also publish weekly summaries, distributing them on Mondays to the subscribers of our free weekly newsletter.




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