The Month in Brief - February 2008

February 1

The Chechen government press service announced that the UN World Food Programme (WFP) was planning to complete the implementation of most of its humanitarian projects in Chechnya by the end of October.

Local resident Yusup Chapanov was shot dead by Russian forces in Nazran. While the authorities initially claimed he was suspected of many attacks on local law enforcers, his relatives said that he was innocent and that the police later admitted to them he was killed by mistake.

February 2

At least two policemen were killed in a clash with guerrillas near the village of Mesedoy in Chechnya's Vedensky district.

February 3

The termination was announced of the "counter-terrorist operation" regime declared in part of Ingushetia on the eve of the January 26 opposition rally and later expanded to the villages of Troitskaya and Nasyr-Kort.

February 4

Electronic gates were installed at the Chechen State University (ChGU) to monitor the flow of students and lecturers, Grozny-inform reported.

Aymani Kadyrova, mother of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and head of the Akhmad Kadyrov Foundation, was injured in a car accident near the village of Novogrozny.

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited military units that Russia deployed last year in the Dagestan village of Botlikh and Karachay-Cherkess village of Zelenchukskaya to secure its southern border. He also visited a military unit in Nalchik, the Kabardino-Balkarian capital.

February 5

The Chechen government's press service reported that deputies from the Chechen Republic elected in the December 2 parliamentary elections had been appointed deputy chairmen of various committees of Russia's State Duma.

A guerrilla was killed and an OMON policeman wounded in a shootout in a house in Dagestan's Derbentsky district.

February 6

Ramzan Lechkhadziyev, who headed the Chechen government's External Relations Department, was appointed head of the office of Premier Odes Baysultanov.

February 7

Russian lieutenant colonel Aleksey Korgun was given a three-year conditional sentence because of the March 24 2007 incident near the village of Urdyukhoy in Chechnya's Shatoysky district in which a spetsnaz group under his command opened fire by mistake on three Chechen women, one of whom later died.

The Moscow-backed Chechen government held a session in Vedeno to discuss the implementation of the “No signs of war“ programme in the mountainous Vedensky district.

Chechnya's population rose to 1.205 million in January 2007 from 1.183 million in the same period one year earlier, according to preliminary figures released by the Chechen State Statistical Commitee and published by the press service of the Chechen government.

Two guerrillas were killed and one arrested in the village of Avadan in Dagestan's Derbentsky district, Russian media reported.

The OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) as well as its Parliamentary Assembly said they would not deploy their planned observation missions to the March 2 presidential election in Russia due to restrictions imposed on them by Russian authorities.

February 8

A police patrol killed one of the three gunmen who attacked it in the village of Novy in the disputed Prigorodny district near the administrative border between North Ossetia and Ingushetia.

According to a report by the pro-guerrilla website Chechencenter referring to a statement by Dishni Abdulmalik, the commander of guerrillas operating in Chechnya's Urus-Martanovsky district, Chechen guerrillas executed a Russian serviceman they took prisoner on January 30, allegedly in revenge for the killing of two Chechen women in Grozny.

February 10

The documentary film “Letter to Anna - The Story of Journalist Politkovskaya's Death“ ("Ein Artikel zu viel - Der Mord an Anna Politkowskaja") by Swiss director Eric Bergkraut received its premiere in Berlin.

February 11

Charges of negligence were brought against the Russian military in connection with the January 29 artillery bombardment of the Chechen village of Gekhi.

In central Nazran leaflets emerged in which Ingush guerrillas called on drug dealers, gambling house owners and moneylenders to cease their operations in the republic, threatening them with death.

Police raided the Vladikavkaz office of journalist Alan Tskhurbayev, who was working for the London-based IWPR and several Russian-language media outlets.

The corpse of a guerrilla from the Dagestan town of Khasavyurt was found near the village of Arshty in Ingushetia's Sunzhensky district, according to Russian sources.

February 12

In its latest report on Ingushetia, entitled „Ingushetia, 2007: Where Next?", the Memorial Human Rights Centre said that the Ingush authorities view the republic's real problems not as a challenge that needs to be addressed but as a threat to the republic's leadership.

Three guerrillas and a district FSB head were killed in a clash near the village of Sasitli, Dagestan.

Georgian tycoon and former presidential candidate Badri Patarkatsishvili died in London at the age of 53.

February 13

Ekazhevo resident Magomed Yevloyev, the brother of the wife of Ingush opposition leader Maksharip Aushev, was detained in central Nazran. Several dozen protesters, and possibly more, took part in a spontaneous march on the capital Magas, demanding his release, but Yevloyev was eventually escorted to a remand prison in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria.

Two gunmen and one FSB officer were killed in a shoot-out in the village of Lukovskaya in North Ossetia's Mozdoksky district, according to Russian media reports.

February 14

During his Kremlin meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said that by mid-March there would be no IDPs left in the Chechen Republic.

The Chechen government press service reported that nearly 25,000 hectares of land in Chechnya need to be cleared of mines.

Ingush opposition leader Mashkarip Aushev was detained in Nazran and escorted to a remand prison in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria.

February 15

Four guerrillas were killed after a clash in Chechnya's Shatoysky district, Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov announced.

Magomed Khazbiyev temporarily replaced the detained Maskharip Aushev as head of the Ingush opposition rally organizing committee, according to

February 18

Nurid Barkhadzhiyev, who heads the secretariat of Chechnya's president, was appointed chairman of the Chechen Government Committee for Youth Issues, replacing Zaurbek Saidov, who has been the Committee's head since November 5, 2004.

February 19

Senior bank official Galas Taymaskhanov was appointed head of the Secretariat of the President of the Chechen Republic, replacing Nurid Barkhadzhiyev.

February 20

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said he had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to help grant a new amnesty to persons who committed crimes during the recent war in Chechnya, adding that some Chechens have been convicted without sufficient evidence.

According to Russian media reports, Buynaksk guerrilla group's leader Bammatkhan Sheykhov was detained in the Dagestan village of Gimri, where Russian forces have been carrying out a self-styled security operation for over two months.

A Russian policeman was killed and another wounded when unknown gunmen opened fire on a check-point in Nazran, Ingushetia.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) executive director Kenneth Roth said he had been refused a Russian visa, which prevented him from attending HRW's news conference in Moscow on February 20, where the organization's new report entitled "Choking on Bureaucracy - State Curbs on Independent Civil Society Activism" was presented.

February 22

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov met with representatives of the Memorial Human Rights Centre to discuss human rights issues in Chechnya.

An official ceremony was held in Grozny to mark the renaming of a local street in memory of 84 Russian paratroopers from the Pskov Airborne Division who were killed in a battle with Chechen guerrillas in the mountainous Shatoysky district of Chechnya in late February 2000.

February 23

Events in memory of the Stalin-era deportation of the Chechen and Ingush peoples were held in Chechnya, Ingushetia, Moscow and several European capitals.

February 26

Many Chechens who are considered to have disappeared without trace were actually in prisons or in custody in Russia, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said at a meeting with Chechen deputies to Russia's State Duma.

An unsanctioned rally took place in Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria, demanding the release of Ingush activists who had been detained in connection with the January 26 opposition rally in Nazran, Ingushetia.

Kabardino-Balkaria's Interior Minister Yuri Tomchak said there was a guerrilla network operating deep underground in the republic.

February 27

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) definitively won a case brought against it by the Dutch government in connection with the release of Arjan Erkel, MSF's mission head who was held hostage in the North Caucasus between August 2002 and April 2004.

February 28

Three people were killed in a counter-terrorist operation in the suburb of Nazran, 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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