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

September 2001

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

September 1

School facilities in Chechnya, many of which have been completely or partly destroyed by the war and some of which have not been repaired yet, were to welcome – according to pro-Moscow Chechnya’s government – about 190,000 pupils and students.

September 2

Russian military helicopter Mi-8 crashed down in the vicinity of Chechen village Khindoy near the border with Dagestan. Four Russian servicesman were killed and two other wounded in the crash. -- Interfax.

September 3

A bomb exploded in the building of the pro-Moscow Chechen government in Grozny during the government’s meeting, killing a woman who worked in the building and wounding several other employees but none of the participants in the meeting.

September 4

Russian federal forces sealed off Grozny for security reasons on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the restoration of state independence of the Chechen nation (September 6),

September 5

Russian State Duma deputy Boris Nemtsov submitted to Stanislav Ilyasov, Premier of Chechnya’s pro-Moscow government, his new plan for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Chechnya, according to which Chechnya should become Russia’s eighth federal district and change over from a presidential to parliamentary republic. Nemtsov also called for peace talks with representatives of Chechen fighters, including Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov, which raised a lot of protests among Russian politicians.

September 6

10th anniversary of the restoration of state independence of the Chechen nation, which was declared by first Chechen President Jokhar Dudayev in 1991.

Sergey Yastrzembski, Russian presidential aide on Chechnya, said in an interview for Russian television ORT that dozens of Russian soldiers had been convicted for crimes against civilians in Chechnya and that information about the completed cases (i.e. convictions) would soon be handed over to the media and international organisations.

September 7

In response to the initiative of Russian State Duma deputy Boris Nemtsov (of Sept 5), Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is ready to hold peace talks with anybody on condition that Chechnya is subject to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, Chechen fighters are disarmed and their leaders handed over to federal authorities.

September 10

Lecha Kadyrov, a nephew the head of Chechnya’s pro-Moscow administration Akhmad Kadyrov, and three of his companions were shot dead near Kurchaloy, east Chechnya, after attackers fired at their car.

September 11

Chechen Foreign Minister Ilyas Akhmadov sent a telegramme to the White House and the US State Department expresssing condelences to the American nation in connection with the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said that all the main units of the North Caucasus grouping of federal forces in Chechnya will never leave the republic and stay there on a permanent basis.

Chairman of the Union of Right Forces and Russia’s State Duma deputy Boris Nemtsov again called on the Kremlin to launch talks with „real representatives of the Chechen nation“, including Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov. Nemtsov’s proposal provoked in Russia a big discussion and a crushing majority of Russian politicians condemned such a plan. Nemtsov later withdrew his plan.

September 12

Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov expressed his condelences to the American nation in connection with the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on Sept 11.

September 13

Five deputies for the Union of Right Forces (SPS) submitted a proposal calling on Russia’s State Duma to ask the Constitutional Court to check if former Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s ruling of Sept 23, 1999 on the „anti-terrorist operation“ in Chechnya complies with the Russian Constitution. The authors of the proposal are Viktor Pokhmelkin, Sergei Kovalyov, Sergei Yushenkov, Vladimir Golovlyov, and Jurii Rybakov.

September 15

Ingush authorities prevented the Chechen National Congress from taking place, by not issuing the necessary permit first and then by arresting the delegates. The aim of the Congress was to stop the war in Chechnya and find a politicial solution to the crisis.

September 17

Chechen fighters carried out large coordinated attacks in towns of Gudermes, Argun and in the Nozhay-Yurt district, south East Chechnya. Minor attacks were reported from other parts of Chechnya, including Grozny.

Chechen fighters shot down an Mi-8 military helicopter near Khankala, Russia‘s main military base in Chechnya. All 13 people on board, including general Anatoli Pozdnyakov, were killed.

A 12-member delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) arrived in Moscow on the invitation of the State Duma’s commission on the normalisation of the situation in the Chechen Republic. Its visit to Chechnya, which was scheduled for Sept 18-19 and should focus on the human rights situation in Chechnya, was cancelled, allegedly for security reasons.

September 19

More than 500 people have been detained over the last two days in Argun, Gudermes, and the Jalka village, following the coordinated attacks on these places on Monday. So called „mopping-up operations“ were going on also in other parts of Chechnya and movement around the country was limited.

September 20

Russia’s lower house, the State Duma, turned down a proposal made by five deputies for the Union of Right Forces which called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to declare a state of emergency on the territory of the Chechen Republic. 68 deputies voted for the proposal and 175 against it while at least 226 votes were necessary for the proposal to be passed.

Russian daily „Rossiysskaya gazeta“ published an official list of cases involving soldiers who have already been convicted for crimes they had committed on civilians during Russia’s military operations in Chechnya since 1999. The document, which the daily received from the office of Russian President’s Aide Sergey Yastrzembski, contains brief descriptions of 11 completed cases, involving 15 soldiers. About a half of the cases resulted in unconditial sentences ranging from 2 years and 6 months to 15 years of imprisonsment while the rest are conditional sentences and various penalties and bans. Amnesty applies to two of the eleven cases.

Salman Abuyev, the chief of the interior forces department in Kurchaloy, east Chechnya, and a close ally of the head of Chechnya’s pro-Moscow administration, Akhmad Kadyrov, was killed during an attack between villages Kurchaloy and Mayrtup. Abuyev, former member of Aslan Maskhadov’s bodyguard team in the first Russian-Chechen war and later chief of Ichkerian state buildings security team, turned away from Maskhadov at the very beginning of the present conflict.

September 21

Chechen representatives participating in PACE-sponsored two-day talks in Strasbourg on a political solution to the conflict in Chechnya issued a statement sharply criticising the activities of the Joint Working Group of PACE and Russia's State Duma and pointing at the zero progress since PACE's part-session in June 2001.

September 24

Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Chechen fighters to get in touch with federal authorities in 72 hours and launch talks on a handover of their weapons and intergration into a peaceful life. Putin appointed his plenipotentiary in the Southern Federal District Viktor Kazantsev to organise the process. Putin’s appeal was interpreted as a proposal for a political resolution of the Russian-Chechen conflict.

Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov ordered that all his subordinates immediatelly suspend all contacts on all levels with the Council of Europe, which in his opinion acts against the interests of the Chechen nation.

September 25

In response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s appeal on Chechen fighters to launch talks on handover of their weapons, Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov appointed Akhmed Zakaye to get in touch with Putin’s deputy Viktor Kazantsev and launch talks on political resolution of the Russian-Chechen conflict.

September 26

US President George Bush said that „we [the USA] do believe there are some al Qaeda folks in Chechnya … but I would hope that the Russian President, while dealing with the al Qaeda organization, also respects minority rights within his country.“ White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said that „the Chechnya leadership, like all responsible political leaders in the world, must immediately and unconditionally cut all contacts with international terrorist groups, such as Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda organization.“

September 27

Walter Schwimmer, chaiman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said that in Chechnya „there has clearly been some progress … but many problems concerning the protection of human rights in the Chechen Republic still persist“, thus reflecting PACE’s view on the conflict in Chechnya.

September 28

Maskhadov’s representative to talks with Russia, Akhmed Zakayev, made a phone call with Viktor Kazantsev, arranging their first meeting, possibly in Nazran in the upcoming days.

September 29

Maskhadov’s representative to talks with Russia, Akhmed Zakayev, sent an open letter to Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze asking him to take part in possible talks between the Russian and Chechen side on a peaceful resolution of the Russian-Chechen war.

Chechen fitghters carried out a series of attacks on various Chechen towns and villages, including Argun, Kurchaloy, Shali.

September 30

Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze agreed to take part in possible talks between the Russian and Chechen side on a peaceful resolution of the Russian-Chechen war.

Chechnya’s prosecutor Vsevolod Chernov, who was appointed by the Kremlin, said that in 2001 the republic’s prosecution instituted a total of 103 criminal proceedings concerning crimes committeed by Russian soldiers in Chechnya, including crimes against civilians, and that 32 cases involving 43 people had been sent to military courts. – Interfax

Compiled by Prague Watchdog.


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