Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 5 Issue: 45


President Vladimir Putin on December 3 lashed out at the United States and Great Britain for having granted political asylum to Ilyas Akhmadov and Akhmed Zakaev, respectively. “Providing safe haven and support to terrorists, their accomplices and sponsors actually serves as a justification and, indeed, encouragement of their crimes,” the Russian president told India’s The Hindu. “In our view, a tolerant attitude towards Zakaev, Maskhadov, Akhmadov and the like is an apparent recurrence of the notorious ‘double standards.’ Such steps undermine the unity and mutual trust of the participants of the anti-terrorist front.”


Local residents in Chechnya’s Groznensky district discovered the bodies of three apparent murder victims near village of Zebir Yurt and the Mineralny state farm, Interfax reported on December 6. The victims, all of them male, had bullet wounds in their heads and bodies and their hands had been tied with wire. Meanwhile, a police lieutenant, Mukharbek Kukayev, was abducted along with another man, Ruslan Magomadov, in Grozny on December 5. According to Interfax, another man was abducted in the village of Katayama in Grozny’s Staropromyslovsky district.


“The fact that inhabitants of Chechnya, despairing of getting justice in Russia, are trying to get it through international channels should, in my view, only be welcomed by the [Russian] state. After all, the alternative to the legal mechanism is the AKM and the ‘martyr’s belt’ [worn by suicide bombers-CW]. But no, the officials and politicians look at such actions by citizens and public organizations as almost subversive activity. In any case, many inhabitants of Chechnya who have appealed to the Strasbourg court [the European Court of Human Rights-CW] are being pressured to withdraw their complaints. It is not coincidental that PACE [the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe] in a resolution in October called on the Russian government to protect those who have appealed to the European court from violence.” —Oleg Orlov of the Memorial human rights center writing in the December 6 edition of Nezavisimaya gazeta.