Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 29

On July 26, a new crackdown on Russian and foreign journalists working in Chechnya was announced by Russian federal forces based in the republic. “The reason for the crackdown,” the online daily commented, “is obviously the military’s and the Kremlin’s discontent with the journalists’ work.” In the future, journalists will be permitted to leave the main Russian base at Khankala, located outside of the Chechen capital, only “if a accompanied by an army press officer.” In addition, “journalists making longer outings must travel with military transport.” (, July 27). The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs has announced identical new rules for journalists working in Chechnya (, July 26). Also on July 26, the Russian military chief of staff, General Kvashnin, complained to NTV that the regular media were not doing an adequate job in covering the war. “You are not doing a very good job,” he groused, “and we have decided to set up two [media outlets] of our own. We will have a military television studio broadcasting here [in Chechnya]” (NTV, BBC Monitoring, July 26). The net effect of these new rules will likely be that Russian military and police forces operating in Chechnya will be able to behave with greater impunity, while Chechen civilians will receive less protection from the “anarchy” of federal forces based in the republic.