December 31st 2001 · Prague Watchdog · PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT · E-MAIL THIS

February 2001

Summary of the main news related to the conflict in Chechnya.

February 1

Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), N. Patrushev, said that there were about 5,000 fighting rebels in Chechnya, 1,500 of which would never surrender.

Kavkaz-Center announced that in the course of military operations in Dagestan and Chechnya Russian forces had lost 24-27,000 men.

February 2

The first stage of formation of 54 village militia offices in Chechnya has been completed. The second stage (76 offices) is to begin in April. - Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo

Since October 1, 1999 Russian forces have lost 2,728 men and another 7,971 men have been wounded in Chechnya. – General Manilov

February 3

Akhmad Kadyrov opened the first session of the newly created government by announcing plans for the return of all refugees to Chechnya by the end of 2001.

February 4

Kidnapped U.S. aid worker Kenneth Gluck, the head of the mission of MSF Holland, was freed after 26 days in captivity.

February 6

According to General Valery Manilov about 50,000 federal troops will remain in Chechnya after the first part of the planned withdrawal. Russia is now keeping about 80,000 troops on the Chechen territory.

According to the leader of the Union of Right Forces in the State Duma Boris Nemtsov, about $1 billion is spent for war in Chechnya annually which makes over 2% of the whole Russian budget.

February 7

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko announced that 500 million US dollars will be invested in Chechnya to improve the social and economic situation.

Chechen warlord, Adam Khamzathanov, also called “Wahhabis’ Emmir”, was reported killed.

February 8

A powerful blast destroyed the building of the Shali city court. Nobody was hurt.

Radio Liberty announced it would go ahead with plans to broadcast in the Chechen language

February 9

Stavropol police captain, Alexander Popov, and five constables have been arrested on suspicion of selling thousands of guns seized from the Chechens during the two Chechen wars.

Field commander Ali Shabazov, a deputy of field commander R. Gelayev, was reportedly detained by the Russian forces.

February 10

Akhmad Kadyrov signed the first appointments to Chechnya's new government

February 13

The nephew of the Chechen president of CSKA Moscow soccer club was arrested on a suspicion of being a member of a criminal Chechen gang. The president of CSKA, Shakhrudi Dadakhanov, said that the arrest was part of a bid to oust him from his post because he was "of Chechen origin."

February 14

Chechen administration chief Akhmad Kadyrov established a public and economic security council and appointed Rudnik Dudayev its secretary.

February 15

Chechen warlord, Salaudin Temirbulatov, was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping, torture and execurion of Russian servicemen

A total of 401,700 people fled their homes in Chechnya since 1999, most of whom are currently living in Chechnya (234,000), and Ingushetia (122,500). 80 percent of the displaced are women and children. – Russian Government

Foreign Minister Anna Lindh of Sweden, which holds the EU presidency, visited Moscow together with EU foreign affairs chief Javier Solana and External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution that calls for a cease-fire in Chechnya and for an independent commission of inquiry to be set up "to look into allegations of war crimes committed by both sides in the conflict."

February 16

Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) held its VI General Assembly in Tallinn, Estonia. The General Assembly was preceded by the conference "Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples".

A group of Russian officers who extorted the so-called combat allowances from servicemen hired to fight in Chechnya on a contract basis was arrested in Nizhniy Novgorod.

The Union of Chechen Journalists was created in Moscow (independently on the Kremlin).

February 18

The People in Need Foundation (PINF) and Danish Refugee Council (DRC) resumed their humanitrarian aid supplies on the territory of Chechnya suspended after the January 9 kidnapping of U.S. relief aid worker, Kennetk Gluck.

February 19

Chechnya's pro Moscow Prime Minister Stanislav Ilyasov called to end the curfew in the republic.

Russia will spend 4.5 billion rubles (US$ 161 million) in 2001 to rebuild Chechnya.

February 20

The Russian Government asked the UK to use new Terrorism Act to crack down on British pro-Chechen groups.

Anna Politkovskaya, a war reporter for Novaya Gazeta newspaper was detained in Chechnya.

February 21

The Russian Culture Ministry has earmarked 120 million rubles for special assistance to Chechnya in 2001.

NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson visited Moscow and urged Kremlin to start peace talks.

February 23

The 57th anniversary of Stalin-era deportations of 650,000 Chechens and Ingushes to Soviet Central Asia and Siberia in 1944.

Rallies and demonstrations marking the anniversary took place in over 15 places around the world.

The Russian Army Day.

Novaya Gazeta reporter Anna Politkovskaya, detained on Tuesday, was released and returned to Moscow. She stated that the reason for her arrest was her discovery of a brutal filtration camp in Khatuni.

February 24

A mass grave containing unspecified number of bodies of murdered Chechens was found near the Khankala military base in Grozny outskirts.

February 26

The Council of Europe human rights commissioner Alvaro Gil-Robles started his visit to Moscow and Chechnya.

U.S. State Department published a report on human rights practices in Russia stating that press freedom, torture and Chechnya remain serious concerns for the U.S.

The Dagestan Supreme Court began hearings in the trial of six people accused of causing the Sept. 4, 1999 explosion of an apartment building in Buinaksk.

February 27

Russian national TV and radio channels restarted broadcasting in Chechnya.

February 28

The Rostov District Military Court began hearing with Col. Yuri Budanov accused of abducting and murdering a Chechen girl in March 2000.

Compiled by Prague Watchdog


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