–NO SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE FOR CHECHNYA?
The latest version of a draft treaty on future relations between the federal government and the pro-Moscow administration in Chechnya does not include provisions for creating a special economic zone in the republic, the Interfax news agency reported on October 28. The administration’s representative to the Kremlin, Ziyad Sabsabi, said that the government of Alu Alkhanov would nevertheless seek special tax treatment and the right to retain all revenues raised within Chechnya.
–KILLER OF CIVILIANS GETS PROMOTED
Russian Lieutenant Aleksandr Kalagansky, one of four Spetsnaz troops who took part in the shooting of several Chechen civilians in the winter of 2002, was recently promoted to the rank of captain according to an October 25 article by Anna Lebedeva in Novaya gazeta. The promotion came in spite of the fact that Kalagansky’s case is still being reconsidered by a military court in Rostov on the Don. A jury found Kalagansky and his comrades innocent earlier this year even though it recognized that the shooting of the unarmed Chechen civilians by the Spetsnaz patrol had in fact taken place.
–WASHINGTON BANS OFFICIAL NORTH CAUCASUS TRAVEL
According to an October 27 announcement from the U.S. Department of State, U.S. government personnel are “prohibited” from traveling to all areas in Russia that border Chechnya. The announcement specifically named “North Ossetia, Ingushetia,
Dagestan, Stavropol, Karachayevo-Cherkessiya and Kabardino-Balkariya”—as well as Chechnya itself. Private U.S. citizens residing in those provinces were warned to “depart immediately as the safety of Americans and other foreigners cannot be effectively guaranteed.”