Latest Articles about The Caucasus

DEFENSE MINISTER TARGETS CORRUPTION IN GEORGIAN MILITARY

Irakli Okruashvili, Georgia's Minister of Defense has alleged the continued existence of widespread corruption within the military. On January 4, he named senior Ministry of Defense officials, whom he said were involved in misappropriating funds, and set the target of seeing them imprisoned within one... MORE

OPPOSITION LEADER RESIGNS IN ATTEMPT TO RE-ENERGIZE AZERI POLITICS

Etibar Mammadov, the long-time chairman of the Azerbaijan National Independence Party (ANIP) and one of the most influential opposition leaders in Azerbaijan, announced his resignation from his party position on December 24. His decision came as a surprise not only to other political parties, but... MORE

ARMENIA TO DEPLOY TOKEN CONTINGENT TO IRAQ

On December 24, the Armenian parliament approved a symbolic deployment of Armenian military personnel as part of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq. The vote was 91-23, with one abstention, after a seven-hour closed session late into the night. A last-hour switch by the opposition National... MORE

BABITSKY’S INFERNO

Radio Liberty's Andrei Babitsky recently traveled to Chechnya for the first time in a year. On January 3, he shared his observations with colleague Andrei Sharyi. According to the veteran Chechnya correspondent, there have been no "significant changes" over the last year. Babitsky quoted a... MORE

2004’S GRIM TALLY

The Memorial human rights group estimates that 384 residents of Chechnya were kidnapped in 2004, Interfax reported on January 3. Memorial spokesman Dmitri Grushkin told the news agency that 182 of these people were freed, 22 found dead, 173 are still listed as missing, and... MORE

ALEXEYEVA: HUMAN RIGHTS CRUCIAL TO REBUILDING

Moscow Helsinki Group head Lyudmila Alexeyeva said that protecting human rights in Chechnya is crucial to accelerating reconstruction in the republic, Interfax reported on January 3. "First of all, it is necessary to ensure that security agencies act in compliance with the law and observe... MORE

BRIEFS

--BODY COUNTS The Federal Security Service claimed that more than 200 separatist fighters were killed and more than 900 people detained on suspicion of "involvement in terrorist activities" in Chechnya during 2004, Gazeta.ru reported on January 3. The rebels, for their part, claimed they killed... MORE

NEW GEORGIAN GOVERNMENT TO INCREASE STABILITY, CONSISTENCY

After last week's intense media speculation, yesterday Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili announced an overhaul of key ministries. That same day, December 14, Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania announced the structural and personnel reorganization planned for the rest of the ministries. "We are doing this to make... MORE

OBSERVERS NOTE TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF CHECHEN INTERVENTION

December 11 marked the tenth anniversary of the Russian military intervention that began the first of the two modern Russo-Chechen wars. Russian, Western and Chechen media alike featured commentaries on the start of then President Boris Yeltsin's campaign to "restore constitutional order" in the breakaway... MORE

TALKING WITH MASKHADOV: ASLAKHANOV VS. AKHMADOV

Speaking at Columbia University in New York on December 9, President Vladimir Putin's adviser on Chechnya, Aslambek Aslakhanov, reiterated the Kremlin's policy of rejecting negotiations with rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov, calling him "just a banner" around which rebel groups rally. "Without him, they are only... MORE