Summary of the main news related to the conflict in Chechnya. Compiled by Prague Watchdog.
Monday, August 18
Chechen and Russian human rights defenders stated during their meeting in the Ingush town of Nazran that it is not possible to hold free election in Chechnya at this time, referring to the election of the President of the Chechen Republic, which the Kremlin scheduled for October 5.
Tuesday, August 19
No major events.
Wednesday, August 20
The Chechen Election Commission completed the process of receiving documents and/or financial deposits from candidates for the post of the President of the Chechen Republic. Eleven candidates met the requirements for the registration, whose final results will be announced in several days.
Akhmad Kadyrov, head of the Moscow-backed Chechen administration, ended his holiday he took on August 5 reportedly "in connection with the Chechen presidential election campaign", and resumed his duties. This time Kadyrov's press service specified that his holiday was "connected to his wife's illness" and quoted him as saying that he would perform his duties "till the period allowed by the Act on the Election of the President of the Chechen Republic".
The family of Elza Kungayeva, a Chechen girl who was kidnapped and then murdered by Russian Colonel Yuri Budanov in March 2000, moved from a tent refugee camp in Ingushetia to Norway, according to the August 25 issue of The Moscow Times. Kungayev told the daily that they had not asked for political asylum in Norway and plan to return home "when things settle in Chechnya".
Chechen guerrilla fighters entered the village of Avtury, southeast Chechnya, and clashed with Russian soldiers and the Chechen police. A heavy fight followed and resulted in casualties on both sides. On the following days, the fight continued with lower intensity in the vicinity of villages of Vedeno and Tsa-Vedeno.
Thursday, August 21
Nine federal soldiers, including eight paratroopers, died in a car bomb blast near the Petropavlovsky village, north-east of Grozny.
American movie star and UNHCR's goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie arrived in Russia for four days to become familiar with UNHCR's operations in the North Caucasus and the situation of Chechen refugees in Ingushetia and North Ossetia.
A group of masked armed men in uniforms killed the head of the Tsa-Vedeno village administration, Supyan Yusupov.
A group of masked armed men, presumably Russian soldiers, burst into a medical facility in the Sunzhensky district in Ingushetia and kidnapped five Chechens.
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