EDITORIAL: The Latest Barbaric Outrage from Russia’s Man in Chechnya

EDITORIAL

The Latest Barbaric Outrage from Russia’s Man in Chechnya

Last week, Russia was formally convicted after a trial once again for barbaric abuses of human rights in Chechnya by the European Court for Human Rights.  Last year, Russia was convicted more than 200 times for everything from kidnapping to murder by the ECHR, and already this year it has been ordered to pay more than $700,000 to its victims in the Caucasus region.  But the Kremlin, of course, goes right on flouting international law, and it’s only response to the convictions has been to threaten to reject the court’s jurisdiction.

That is, until recently.  In the past few months the Kremlin has hit upon a new masterstroke:  Blame the CIA.  That’s right, the CIA.

Ramzan Kadyrov, Russia’s man in Chechnya, declared to the Zavtra newspaper last week that CIA agents were responsible the massive spate of violence that is roiling the region.  He stated: 

We’re fighting in the mountains with the American and English intelligence agencies. They are fighting not against Kadyrov, not against traditional Islam, they are fighting against the sovereign Russian state. The West is interested to cut off the Caucasus from Russia. The Caucasus – a strategic frontier of Russia. If they take away the Caucasus from Russia, it’s like taking away half of Russia.  Now they strike a blow against Putin and Russia. Chechnya, Dagestan are weak, vulnerable parts of the Russian state.  There was a terrorist Chitigov, he worked for the CIA. He had U.S. citizenship…When we killed him, I was in charge of the operation and we found a U.S. driving licence and all the other documents were also American.

It’s hard to believe that even the likes of Vladimir Putin could approve of Kadyrov spewing out such totally ridiculous lies.  Surely Putin must realize how utterly desperate such chilidish fabrications would make his government appear in Western eyes.  Has Putin really lost control of Kadyrov? Has Chechnya, at last, defeated Russia and fully won its independence?  If so, what new horrors does this Frankenstein of the Caucasus hold in store for Russia?

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21 responses to “EDITORIAL: The Latest Barbaric Outrage from Russia’s Man in Chechnya

  1. So why doesn’t the butcher Kadyrov show these documents to the media?

    • They actually say things like that (“Western agents”, “foreign mercenaries”, “NGOs involved in terrorism” etc.) all the time and MANY ordinary Russians on YouTube say this in their comments too.

      @So why doesn’t the butcher Kadyrov show these documents to the media?

      Kadyrov said they have “US driving licenses” on them.

      No, really. I’m kidding you not:

      Kadyrov: We Fight U.S, British Special Services in Mountains

      MOSCOW. Sept 24 (Interfax) – Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov believes the U.S. and British special services are involved in the destabilization of the situation in the Caucasus and promises to neutralize the bandits who still remain in Chechnya in the nearest future.

      “The West is interested in separating the Caucasus from Russia. The Caucasus is a strategic frontier of Russia. Taking the Caucasus away from Russia will mean taking half of the country away from Russia. Now they are sending groups of foreigners to us. We are fighting U.S. and British special services in the mountains,” Kadyrov said in an interview with the newspaper Zavtra (the transcript of the interview was published on the Chechen president’s and government’s websites on Thursday).

      (…)

      Kadyrov believes U.S. and British special services are involved in the destabilization of the situation in the Caucasus.

      “Of course. There was a terrorist named Chitigov, he worked for the CIA. He had U.S. citizenship. He was a brigadier general under Khattab. When we destroyed him – I led the operation then – we found an American driving license on him, and his other documents were American,” Kadyrov said.

      (Btw, according to South Ossetian KGB they fought “black American soldiers” in the 2008 conflict.)

  2. Blame the CIA. That’s right, the CIA.

    According to RIA Novosti russian president? Medvedev still promotes the idea of Georgians having a moscow friendly president like the specimen they have installed in Chechnya, Kadyrov:

    “I personally will not deal with President Saakashvili because he committed a crime against his own people, and the people of South Ossetia,” but Moscow would be happy to build “good, warm” relations with Tbilisi, “based on hundreds of years of friendship,” but not with Saakashvili. (Source: Eurasianet)

    http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/news/eav092509a.shtml

    What “hundreds of years of friendship” means can be read in the signed handwritten death sentences passed by a number of more or less degenerated former soviet leaders, displayed together with all the broken deals Russia has signed, in the Tbilisi streets on the memorial day for the 2008 russian attack .

    Also the Russian troops killing 20 students with gas in 1989 will surely be remembered by the Georgians as an act of friendhip together with all the warmongery, embargos and support of all kinds of separatism from 1991 and onwards? I really don’t know what planet Medvedev come from, .

    Kremlin has hit upon a new masterstroke: Blame the CIA. That’s right, the CIA.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7986282.stm

    “Like a scene from a medieval battle,” is how one of the Soviet soldiers involved remembers the dawn hours of 9 April 1989.

    • @(later refusing to tell medics treating those poisoned precisely which agents they had employed).

      Just like in Moscow in 2002.

    • @At least one of the victims, a teenage girl, was beaten to death by soldiers.

      And she was actually only returning there home from school.

  3. “Surely Putin must realize how utterly desperate such chilidish fabrications would make his government appear in Western eyes.”

    Well, just a year ago Putin went public on CNN to suggest that the Bush administration orchestrated the war in Georgia on behalf of John McCain’s presidental campaign.

  4. Did you see this documentary about kidnapping of women in Chechnya? It’s from a group called SMI Productions, who do human rights stories all over the world.
    http://www.smiproduction.com/

  5. I am waiting for a Andrey Nekrasov’s “Russian Lessons” documentary about invasion to Georgia. He has filmed the http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMjqeRMW1gY

    a legendary movie that unfortunately was seen by so few Russians… afraaid are you little Pukins?

  6. Using Kadyrov as a mouthpiece for anti-western propaganda will work in some circles….but anyone with any savvy will listen with deaf ears. It’s called a set-up….let’s see who gets stung though.

  7. Btw, that’s just in:

    Russia: Complying With European Court Key to Halting Abuse
    27 Sep 2009 23:22:01 GMT

    (Moscow) – Russia has ignored a series of judgments by the European Court of Human Rights on Chechnya, fueling unchecked violence in the North Caucasus, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

    Following the recent murders of human rights defenders there, the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly will decide on September 28, 2009 whether to schedule a debate to focus on the dangerous conditions for human rights defenders in the North Caucasus.

    The 38-page report, “‘Who Will Tell Me What Happened to My Son?’: Russia’s Implementation of European Court of Human Rights Judgments on Chechnya,” examines Russia’s response to European Court judgments on cases from Chechnya.

    In almost all of the 115 rulings, the court concluded that Russia was responsible for extrajudicial executions, torture, and enforced disappearances, and that it had failed to investigate these crimes. In the 33 cases researched by Human Rights Watch, Russia has still not brought a single perpetrator to justice, even in cases in which those who participated in or commanded the operations that led to violations are named in the European Court judgments.

    “The families who brought these cases deserve justice for brutal acts against their loved ones,” said Jane Buchanan, senior researcher on Russia for Human Rights Watch and an author of the report. “Every crime that goes unpunished sends a clear signal to others that they can get away with equally horrific abuses.”

    In recent months, there has been a pattern of violence and threats against human rights defenders in Chechnya. On July 15, 2009, the leading human rights voice in Chechnya, Natalia Estemirova, was kidnapped and murdered. Less than a month later, on August 10, Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband Alik Dzhabrailov, activists from the local humanitarian organization Save the Generation, were abducted from their office in Grozny and found murdered the next day. Local law enforcement authorities have been implicated in the killings, but there have been no arrests.
    Several staff members of Memorial, the leading Russian human rights organization and the group for which Estemirova worked as a researcher, have been threatened, intimidated, and harassed in recent weeks by security services, including suspicious visits to their homes. A court in Moscow on September 25 began hearing a civil defamation suit brought by the president of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, against Memorial’s director, Oleg Orlov, who stated in July that Kadyrov was responsible for Estemirova’s murder.

    The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Europe’s premier human rights monitoring body, holds its autumn session this week in Strasbourg, France. It is scheduled to vote today on whether to hold a so-called “current affairs debate” on threats against human rights defenders in the North Caucasus.

    One of the cases described in the Human Rights Watch report concerned Khadzhi-Murat Yandiyev. While watching an evening-news broadcast on February 2, 2000, his mother, Fatima Bazorkina saw footage of federal forces detaining him. The video showed a Russian Army colonel-general, Alexander Baranov, yelling at soldiers, saying, “Come on, come on, come on, do it, take him away, finish him off, shoot him, damn it…” Russian servicemen are then seen leading Yandiyev away. He has not been seen since and his body was never found.

    In 2006, the European Court determined that the Russian government had illegally detained and killed Yandiyev and had failed to conduct a proper investigation into his disappearance. To this day, Bazorkina has received no information from Russian investigative authorities about her son’s fate.

    As a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, Russia has an obligation following a European Court judgment to pay the monetary compensation and legal fees awarded by the court – which it has done. But it also is required to take steps in each individual case to remedy the violations, as well as adopt policy and legal changes to prevent similar violations.

    The European Court judgments on Chechnya, issued between 2005 and 2009, relate to violations during Russia’s military and intelligence operations in Chechnya from 1999 to 2004. In almost all cases, the court determined that Russia had routinely failed to conduct effective investigations into crimes committed by its servicemen. One of the key steps for Russia to rectify the violations in such cases is to conclude investigations and bring perpetrators to justice. However, Human Rights Watch found that Russia has not effectively pursued these investigations even after the judgments were handed down.

    In a troubling new trend, in several cases Russian investigative authorities have flatly contested the court’s findings of state responsibility for human rights violations in Chechnya, even in cases in which those officials participating in the operations that led to violations or their superiors are known and named in court judgments.

    “It is profoundly disappointing for victims and their families when Russia blatantly ignores the core of the judgments and its obligations to the Council of Europe,” said Buchanan. “Full implementation of European Court judgments not only provides real justice to the victims and their relatives, but has enormous potential to produce lasting improvements in the human rights situation in Chechnya and Russia.”

    Human Rights Watch called on the Russian authorities to bring ongoing investigations in these cases to meaningful conclusions, including prosecuting perpetrators, as well as to cooperate with future judgments. Human Rights Watch also urged Council of Europe member states to make implementation of European Court judgments a priority issue in their bilateral and multilateral dialogues with Russia.

    • “Who Will Tell Me What Happened to My Son?”

      http://www.hrw.org/en/node/85744

      • A sample:

        No Accountability for Perpetrators

        To date, not a single person has been held accountable for crimes committed in the 33 cases from Chechnya decided by the European Court and analyzed by Human Rights Watch. In numerous cases, evidence obtained by Russian investigators and cited in European Court judgments indicates the individuals directly involved in the violations; persons responsible for commanding the operations that led to the violations; or a particular military or other unit as being present or involved in the violations. Despite such powerful evidence, investigations have failed to lead to prosecutions of those responsible. Six of these cases are described below.

        In numerous judgments on cases from Chechnya, the European Court found that the Russian authorities failed to effectively investigate even very strong leads or evidence indicating official involvement in human rights violations. It appears that this shortcoming has continued in some cases even after the European Court judgments. In four cases known to Human Rights Watch, described in detail below, the Russian government has rejected or ignored the court’s findings of violations, emphasizing its lack of intent to conduct full investigations and prosecute even perpetrators or commanding officers.

        The Disappearance and Presumed Death of Shakhid Baysayev

        Russian federal troops detained Shakhid Baysayev during a sweep operation in Podgornoye (near Grozny) on March 2, 2000. Baysayev’s wife of 25 years, Asmart Baysayeva, has been looking for her husband ever since. Baysayeva obtained a videocassette in August 2000 containing footage of Russian riot police (known by the Russian acronym OMON)) detaining her husband. In April 2007, the European Court determined that “Shakhid Baysayev must be presumed dead following unacknowledged detention by State servicemen.” The court determined the investigation to have been inadequate, among other reasons, because investigators failed to identify or question the servicemen shown in the videotape detaining Baysayev.[22]

        On March 20, 2008, the Investigative Directorate of the Chechen Republic reopened the investigation.[23] However, as of this writing neither Asmart Baysayeva nor her representatives have any further information about the status of the investigation and are not aware of any further efforts by the authorities to identify or question the servicemen shown in the video.[24]

        • And another one:

          The Killing by Bombardment of Zara Isayeva’s Son and Nieces

          On February 4, 2000, a Russian military aerial and artillery bombardment of the village of Katyr-Yurt killed at least 46 civilians, including Zara Isayeva’s son and three nieces, and wounded 53 others. Russian forces had declared the village a “safe zone” for people fleeing fighting taking place in other parts of Chechnya. In 2005, the European Court found two senior military officers, Major-General Yakov Nedobitko and Major-General Vladimir Shamanov, responsible for the operation, which involved the “massive use of indiscriminate weapons” and which led to the loss of civilian lives and a violation of the right to life.

          The court also found that the investigation into the operation had been inadequate. In particular, the court determined that government’s decision to close the investigation, based on a February 2002 military experts’ report concluding that the actions of the operational command corps (including Nedobitko and Shamanov) were legitimate and proportionate to the situation, was not consistent with the materials of the investigation file.[34]

          Following the European Court’s judgment, in November 2005, the Russian authorities resumed the investigation into the operation in Katyr-Yurt, but closed it in June 2007, having found “no evidence of a crime.” None of the applicants in the case were informed about the closure, and learned about it only after the government submitted a memorandum to the European Court in another application involving the same events and investigation.[35] On May 25, 2009 the Ministry of Defense announced that Lt. General Shamanov had been appointed commander of the airborne troops of the Russian Federation.[36]

  8. Well the sad truth is that all of this is traded for Russian “support” in the middle east… N.Korea, Afghanistan… whatever. What our so called leader should realize is that asking for “support” from Pukin in this cases is like asking “support” from Bin Laden or Hammas… Putin is a bloody murderer! The murderer should be called a murderer! 1 + 1 = 2

    He will NEVER “help” He ENJOYS when all is bad in the world. I bet he had complimentary vodka and caviar on 9/11 2001.

  9. Karl Marx Statue Removed in Moscow.
    Dmitry Shlapentokh, PhD, is associate professor of history, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Indiana University South Bend. He is author of East Against West.

    During protests in Vladivostok police refused to beat up protesters. Moscow was compelled to bring riot police from the center.

    But, if this violence were to emerge simultaneously in several places, Moscow would not be able to muster enough forces. The end could come quicker than even before.

    That makes the granite statue of Marx so irritating in the eyes of the authorities.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/KI30Ag03.html

    • Someone’s surprised they pulled down Marx? You know, a giant monument to Kadyrov 1.0 recently vanished in Grozny overnight. (It used to be guarded by 2 OMON all the time so no one would shoot/blow it up.)

      The bronze statue, created by Russia’s quasi-official sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, was unveiled in 2005. RFE/RL correspondents are reporting that Kadyrov’s statues are also being removed in other cities and towns.
      http://www.rferl.org/content/Akhmad_Kadyrov_Monument_Dismantled_In_Grozny_/1819763.html

      • @(It used to be guarded by 2 OMON all the time so no one would shoot/blow it up.)

        Grozny’s main thoroughfare, Victory Prospekt, has been renamed Kadyrov Prospekt, and the city’s centrepiece is a statue to his late father, a monument guarded round the clock by a two-man Kalashnikov-wielding guard.

        At times, Chechen state TV feels like Ramzan TV. “Ramzan: A Hero of Our Time. Discuss” urges one channel of schoolchildren taking part in a nationwide essay competition.

        Minutes later, to the accompaniment of rousing Top Gun-style music, the same channel presents this year’s candidates for Person of the Year. No prizes for guessing who gets prominent billing.

        http://www.heraldscotland.com/kadyrov-sinner-or-saviour-1.829264

        My humble guess is that Kadyrov 2.0 now wants all the cult of personality for himself (“Kadyrov Prospekt” name is okay, after all he is also a Kadyrov) and his new dad Putin.

        He also removes all traces of the three “Hero of Russia” Yamadayev brothers in Chechnya:
        http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/383735.html

  10. @Has Putin really lost control of Kadyrov? Has Chechnya, at last, defeated Russia and fully won its independence?

    Hey, I wonder if you have seen THIS coming? Apparently Ramzan now wants to become a president of Russia:

    The theme of “Kadyrov as Russia’s ruler” is not really a new one. Hundreds of bloggers and dozens of Internet pundits have already sharpened their pens on it. The vast majority of them perceive such an option as one which, although unlikely to be realized, is menacing all the same. The Russian nationalists sound the alarm because of the worrying accumulation of power in the hands of a “non-Russian”, while the democrats of different hues regard Kadyrov as a tyrant, a despot and a suppressor of freedom, and therefore portray the Chechen president’s possible triumph at a federal level as the collapse of Russia’s entire political system.
    http://www.watchdog.cz/?show=000000-000024-000001-000025&lang=1

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