–OSCE WILL NOT MONITOR CHECHEN ELECTION
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has decided not to send official observers to monitor the August 29 election. In a July 15 interview with RIA Novosti, the head of the OSCE’s bureau for democracy and human rights tactfully refrained from commenting on matters such as procedural fairness or election fraud. Instead, he merely observed that the OSCE “has no obligation to conduct monitoring” since the elections “are not nationwide, but only internal Russian elections within one of Russia’s regions.”
–OFFICIAL REPORTS OVER 200 KIDNAPPINGS THIS YEAR
Rudnik Dudaev, head of the Security Council for the pro-Moscow administration in Grozny, told Interfax on July 16 that 213 people had been kidnapped in Chechnya from January 1 to June 30, 2004. Another 68 people were reported to be missing during that period.
–FORMER REBELS RE-DEFECT
Malik Saidullaev, who briefly ran for the presidency of Chechnya’s pro- Moscow administration last autumn and is running again this year, told the German daily Die Welt in an interview published on June 24 that some 300 members of the Kadyrov clan’s private army had defected back to the rebel guerillas earlier that month.
–LITHUANIA WILL NOT CLOSE SEPARATIST WEBSITE
Lithuania’s new president has made it clear that he has no intention of cracking down on the Chechen extremists who publish the website “Kavkaz-center” from Lithuanian territory. In an interview published in Moskovsky komsomolyets on July 19, Valdas Adamkus said that “no official (including myself) has a right to forbid private individuals to express their opinions or to disseminate information about the situation in Chechnya….Freedom of speech is guaranteed by Lithuania’s constitution.”
–U.N. STAYS AWAY FROM INGUSHETIA
International humanitarian staff employees of the United Nations had not yet returned to Ingushetia as of the end of last week, according to a U.N. statement released on July 16. Ron Redmond, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said in Geneva that the Ingush authorities had not provided sufficient armed guards to protect the U.N. workers.
–CHECHENS WANT AN INTELLIGENT PRESIDENT
According to a poll conducted in Chechnya at the end of June by the Institute for Social Marketing and reported in Novye izvestia on July 15, 52 percent of Chechens would like the president of the republic to be an intelligent, well-educated individual. Only 5 percent care whether he is a religiously observant Muslim.
–“EVERYONE LOVES US”
Irina Kusenkova, Moskovsky komsomolyets correspondent: “They say that the federal security forces do not love you…”
Ramzan Kadyrov: “Everyone loves us. Those who don’t like us don’t remain long in Chechnya.”
–from an interview published in Moskovsky komsomolyets on July 15