The Month in Brief - July 2007

July 3

Mass graves in Chechnya contain the remains of more than 3,000 people, both civilians and soldiers, Chechen human rights ombudsman Nurdi Nukhazhiyev said at a Moscow conference at which the possible creation of a laboratory for identifying exhumed bodies in Chechnya was discussed.

July 4

The Russian State Duma approved the treaty on the delimitation of powers between the federal centre and Tatarstan. The Federation Council, which rejected it in February, followed suit on July 11.

July 5

The European Court of Human Rights condemned Russia for the killing of Ruslan Alikhadziyev, Speaker of the Parliament of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, who was arrested by federal soldiers in May 2000 in his home in Shali and then "disappeared".

Representatives of the Memorial human rights group stated at a Moscow news conference that the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights relating to Chechnya are not reducing the number of violations of the law in the republic.

Moscow-backed President Ramzan Kadyrov said that the holding of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi points to the stability of the political situation in the cities of the Southern Federal District, and expressed the hope that Chechen builders and specialists will be involved in the preparations for the games.

Citing the Constitution, the Office of Russia's Prosecutor General announced that Russia sent the British government an official refusal to extradite Russian citizen Andrei Lugovoi, whom the British authorities have charged with the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.

July 6

A group of guerrillas carried out a night attack on the Russian army's 503rd motorized infantry regiment based in the village of Troitskaya in the Sunzhensky district of Ingushetia.

The head of Grozny's Oktyabrsky district police headquarters, Saypudi Lorsanov, was shot dead in Grozny when he tried to arrest Yunus Akhmadov, an alleged commander of guerrillas operating in the Chechen capital. Subsequently, Akhmadov was also killed in the police operation.

July 7

Valery Zorkin, chairman of Russia's Constitutional Court, called for legislation preventing Russian citizens from lodging complaints with the European Court of Human Rights as frequently as was the case at present.

July 9

In his first message to Parliament, pro-Moscow Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov proposed - as part of the plan for 2008-2011 - a doubling of the gross regional product and a fairer distribution of oil production proceeds between Chechnya and the federal budget. He also proposed to switch to Chechen as the language of instruction in primary education.

Three Russian Interior Ministry servicemen were killed and five wounded in a landmine explosion and subsequent firing when an armoured personnel carrier was attacked near the village of Dyshne-Vedeno in the Vedensky district of Chechnya.

Novaya Gazeta published live photographs of 21 people who according to the official inquiry took part in the seizure of School No.1 in Beslan in September 2004.

July 11

Chechen human rights ombudsman Nurdi Nukhazhiyev said that "mop-ups" and illegal detentions during the two wars in Chechnya have resulted in the disappearance of more than 4,300 people, namely 1,500 people disappeared in 1994-1996 and over 2,800 in 2000-2007.

July 12

The European Court of Human Rights condemned Russia for the killing of Chechen national Ayubkhan Magomadov, who was arrested by an armed unit of the Federal Security Service in October 2000 in his home in the village of Kurchaloi and then "disappeared".

All Orthodox churches in Chechnya will be restored, stated the Moscow-backed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.

The Chechen Parliament closed for the summer recess that will last until September 14, Grozny-inform reported.

July 13

The pro-guerrilla website Daimohk reported that Kabardino-Balkarian guerrillas had warned tourists who were vacationing or planning to vacation in the republic that this could put their lives in danger.

July 14

Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended involvement in the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, which limits the number of heavy weapons deployed between the Atlantic Ocean and the Urals mountains.

Ingushetia's President Murat Zyazikov assumed the leadership of the republic's branch of the United Russia party.

July 16

The Moscow-backed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov signed a decree on the opening of an official representation in Rostov-on-Don, appointing Imran Patsumovich as its head.

A schoolteacher of Russian nationality and her two children were murdered in the Ingushetian village of Ordzhonikidzevskaya. During their funeral on July 18 an explosion injured several people.

In the Ingushetian village of Barsuki unknown perpetrators fired on a house where relatives of President Murat Zyazikov were living.

July 17

The Chechen Prosecutor's office is registering an increasing number of economic and corruption-related crimes at all levels, from ordinary people to highly placed officials, prosecutor Valery Kuznetsov said in an interview for the Rossiyskaya gazeta newspaper.

President Putin accepted the resignation of Igor Ivanov from the post of Secretary of the Security Council, and replaced him with the Council's deputy secretary Valentin Sobolev.

July 18

Grozny-Inform reported that a military polygon is to be built near Makazhoi in the southern part of Chechnya's Vedensky district, one of its main tasks being the education and training of law enforcement personnel for the upcoming Olympic Games in Sochi.

Four policemen were killed and several more wounded in an explosion during their morning exercise at a school sports ground in Dagestan's Kizilyurt.

July 19

Dokka Umarov, President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI), appointed Brigadier General Akhmed Yevloyev, aka "Magas" (earlier referred to as Magomed Yevloyev) to the post of Chief of the General Staff of the armed forces of the ChRI, which had remained vacant since the June 2006 death of Shamil Basayev, and Emirs (i.e. commanders) Mukhannad, Tarkhan Gaziyev and Aslambek Vaduyev to the posts of Deputy Chief, according to a Kavkaz-Center report of July 21.

The first combat units of the Russian defence ministry's recently-created southern border zone mountain infantry brigades arrived in the North Ossetian city of Mozdok. They will be based in the settlement of Zelenchukskaya in the Karachayevo-Cherkessian Republic.

July 21

Vakha Vedzizhev, a religious leader and allegedly former adviser to the Ingushetian President, was killed in the Ingush town of Karabulak.

July 23

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov announced the appointment of Colonel Isa Surguyev as head of the republic's ORB-2 police unit, which became notorious for the use of torture. The appointment was made on the orders of the Federal Russian Interior Minister, Rashid Nurgaliyev.

Websites close to the Chechen guerrillas reported that Emir Muslim, commander of the northeastern front of the Chechen resistance, died from wounds received in fighting near the village of Azamat-Yurt in May of this year, and that Emir Daud was appointed in his place.

Servicemen of the "Vostok" battalion clashed with the guerrillas near the village of Tazen-Kala in the eastern part of Chechnya's Vedensky district. Several participants in the battle were killed.

July 24

Akhmed Khasambekov, until recently head of the ill-famed ORB-2 police unit in Chechnya, was appointed the Southern Federal District's deputy chief of police.

July 25

Grigory Fomenko, former military commandant of the Chechen Republic, was appointed head of the representation of the President of the Chechen Republic in the Southern Federal District.

Murad Lorsanov was appointed head of Grozny's Oktyabrsky district police headquarters, replacing his brother Saypudi Lorsanov, who was killed during the arrest of a top guerrilla commander on July 6.

July 26

The European Court of Human Rights found Russia guilty of murders committed by federal forces in the Chechen village of Novye Aldy on February 5, 2000, where at least several dozen people were killed. In another ruling published the same day, the Court found Russia guilty of the murder by federal forces of two residents of the Chechen village of Gekhi in August 2000.

July 27

A Russian serviceman died when unknown gunmen opened fire with grenade launchers and other firearms from the vicinity of the village of Ali-Yurt on the building of the local Federal Security Service (FSB) in the nearby Ingushetian capital of Magas. On the following day government forces carried out a mopping-up operation in Ali-Yurt, which human rights defenders called a "punitive raid", as at least 27 residents visited hospital for medical assistance.

Members of the Mothers of Beslan Committee asked FSB head Nikolai Patrushev to declassify the video and audio archive of the events at Beslan and make it available to the inquiry because the committee believes it proves that it was the government forces, and not the terrorists, who triggered the explosions and gunfire on the tragic day of September 3, 2004.

July 30

The Kuntsevsky Inter-District Prosecutor's Office in Moscow opened a criminal case in connection with articles published on the website, which are accused of containing statements liable to incite ethnic hatred, according to Russian media reports of August 23, 2007.

July 31

One policeman was killed and several others wounded when a police bus came under fire in the village of Nizhnie Achaluki in the Malgobeksky district of Ingushetia.


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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