Jamestown Denounces Moscow’s Distorted Accounts of North Caucasus Conference

Russian State Television, Foreign Ministry Falsely Manipulate Coverage of North Caucasus


Contact: Glen E. Howard , +1 202.483.8888

WASHINGTON, DC (4/18/06)–The Jamestown Foundation today denounced a Russian state-owned television report on a conference examining instability in the North Caucasus, calling the coverage distorted, manipulative and patently false. The April 14th conference, entitled "Sadullaev’s Caucasian Front: Prospects for the Next Nalchik" assembled independent experts from around the world to assess Russian policy and Muslim separatist movements in the region.

"ORT’s false reporting on The Jamestown Foundation is a throw-back to Soviet-style manipulation and propaganda," declared Jamestown Foundation President Glen E. Howard. "Far from advocating terrorism, Jamestown’s publications and public events provide American and Russian policy makers with the insights they need to prevent catastrophes like the September 2004 hostage crisis in Beslan and the October 2002 Moscow theatre siege."

The report, which ran April 15th on Kremlin-controlled ORT Television, falsely alleged that the Jamestown Foundation is advocating future terrorist attacks in the North Caucasus and incorrectly implied that the United States government is supporting Muslim separatists in the region. The report also speculated wildly about the role of U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney, a long time friend and supporter of the Jamestown Foundation.

"The Jamestown Foundation produces five publications, including Eurasia Daily Monitor and Chechnya Weekly, which covers developments in Chechnya and the North Caucasus," explained Howard. "The Jamestown Foundation is a leader in providing independent, fact-based analysis about instability in Eurasia and global terrorist activities. The notion that Jamestown and the U.S. government are promoting terrorism in Russia is not just absurd, it also shows just how paranoid the Kremlin’s repressive regime has become."

The ORT report also featured prominently in today’s formal protests to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, in which the Russian Foreign Ministry alleged U.S. support for terrorist attacks in Russia. The Jamestown discussion did not feature terrorists, but included a group of independent experts to discuss recent developments in the North Caucasus. The participants included two Americans, a Canadian, a Paris-based Chechen historian and an independent journalist from Russia.

"The Russian Foreign Ministry’s protests come at a time when the Kremlin is shuttering independent media, systematically repressing human rights organizations and funding the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas," argued Howard. "Accusing Jamestown and the U.S. government of promoting terrorism in Chechnya and the North Caucasus is not just ironic, but blatantly hypocritical."

Founded in 1984, The Jamestown Foundation is an independent, non-partisan research institution dedicated to providing timely information concerning critical political and strategic developments in China, Russia, and Eurasia. Jamestown’s research and analysis is available to the public free-of-charge via Jamestown’s website, www.jamestown.org.