December 21, 2009 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Russia and Rape

(2)  EDITORIAL:  A Bun in Putin’s Oven?

(3)  The Malignancy that is Nord Stream

(4)  Russia and Zynga, Birds of a Corrupt Feather

(5)  Miraculous Russian Churches obliterated by Dictatorship

9 responses to “December 21, 2009 — Contents

  1. I guess this is the new low in the Russian conduct in Ingushetia:

    Relatives of Maksharip Aushev, the slain Ingush opposition and human rights activist, were killed in a car that exploded outside Nazran after police opened fire on it.

    Wednesday’s explosion killed Aushev’s mother-in-law and brother-in-law, said Kaloi Akhilgov, a spokesman for the Ingush president.

    Two other people in the car, Aushev’s widow and another one of his brothers, were injured, Akhilgov told The Moscow Times on Thursday. He couldn’t identify any of the victims.

    The car was running on propane gas, which exploded when police fired at the car, Akhilgov said.

    He denied reports on Interfax and RIA-Novosti, which cited local police as saying the explosion was caused by a bomb in the car and that the dead included Aushev’s widow and adult son. The reports said the two injured people were Aushev’s adult son and daughter.

    Ingush police have said they opened fire after the car approached a checkpoint outside Nazran, made a U-turn, and sped away.

    Aushev, 43, who campaigned against abductions by security forces in Ingushetia, died at the wheel of his car after unknown assailants peppered it with bullets Oct. 25 in Kabardino-Balkaria.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recognized Aushev’s work earlier this month by posthumously awarding him with the State Department’s annual Human Rights Defenders Award.

    • Early reports – so this “bomb assasination attempt” turned out to be a gun attack by the “law enforcers” out of control of the president (of Ingushetia) – just days after the verdict in Yevloyev’s murder:

      The widow of slain Ingush oppositionist Maksharip Aushev has been hospitalized after an attempt on her life, Kommersant reported on Thursday.

      Fatima Dzhaniyeva was driving with her mother and two brothers in the Ingush city of Nazran when their car suddenly exploded.

      Dzhaniyeva, who is pregnant, and one of her brothers were hospitalized with heavy wounds, while her mother and second brother died at the scene.

      Investigators believe that the attempted assassination may be connected with the murder of her husband, opposition activist Maksharip Aushev, in October.

      One investigator said that a bomb had been placed under the driver’s seat either directly inside of the car or within the undercarriage.

      “It’s obvious that it was a well planned assassination attempt,” said the investigator.

      Maksharip Aushev was gunned down in his car by unknown assailants in the Kabardino-Balkaria territory of the Northern Caucasus on October 25. He died at the scene. His cousin, Tauzela Dzeitova, was hospitalized with heavy wounds, but passed away on December 6.

      Aushev was a prominent businessman in the Russian republic of Ingushetia who turned to activism after his son and nephew were abducted in 2007, an incident that he blames on the republic’s security forces. His colleague, former editor Magomed Yevloyev, was murdered in August 2008. Aushev had been determined to form an opposition movement that would use all lawful methods to stop bloodshed in the troubled North Caucuses.

      • And and another official version/spin:

        Revenge appears to have been the motive in the suicide attack on a group of police and soldiers in a restive North Caucasus province, a regional prosecutor said Friday.

        Ingushetia’s chief prosecutor Yuri Turygin said Friday that the suicide bomber apparently wanted to avenge the death of his mother and a brother.

        The attacker drove his car Thursday into a police checkpoint in Nazran, the main city of the province of Ingushetia west of Chechnya, and detonated his explosives. At least 13 police and soldiers and 10 civilians were wounded in the blast which killed the attacker.

        Turygin identified the attacker as Batyr Dzhaniyev. He said Dzhaniyev’s mother and one of his brothers died when their car exploded in Nazran Wednesday. Another brother and a sister, who also were in the car, were wounded in the explosion.

        The authorities initially said the vehicle exploded after police had fired at it when it refused to stop at a checkpoint.

        But on Friday, Svetlana Gorbakova, a spokeswoman for regional branch of Russia’s top investigative body, denied that police had fired at the vehicle. She said a probe had revealed that the car was carrying an explosive device, which went off accidentally.

        Dzhaniyev’s sister, who was wounded in the explosion, was the widow of Maksharip Aushev, a prominent Ingush opposition and rights activist who was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in October. Aushev, who worked to publicize human rights abuses, said before the killing that security forces had tried to abduct him.

        Aushev’s widow is pregnant and is in a stable condition after the explosion, according to hospital officials.

        Aushev’s murder followed the killing in July of Natalya Estemirova, a prominent human rights activist who was found shot in Ingushetia after being kidnapped in Chechnya. And in August, Zarema Sadulayeva, a Chechen woman who helped injured children, and her husband were kidnapped and killed.

        The killings underlined deadly risks for opposition and rights activists in the region which has been increasingly mired in violence stemming from two separatist wars in Chechnya.

        Rights groups says that authorities massive abuses against civilians, including abductions, torture and killings, have swelled the ranks of Islamic militants throughout the volatile region.

    • Hi Robert,

      This is not a new low, this is standard procedure for the uncivilized barbarians in the kremlin.

      “There needs to be a clear condemnation of this kind of killing by the Russian leadership because what happens at the highest level sends a signal to those below,” Allison Gill, the Russia office director of Human Rights Watch, told Reuters.

      “One of the problems in Russia is that there has now been a long history of people who speak out, of reporters, of human rights workers and especially activists in the North Caucasus, and when people are not held accountable or when the leadership remains silent it does help create a climate of impunity.”

      There has been no Kremlin reaction to the killing so far.

      • No, it’s the new low.

        One such symbolic milestone was when they shot in the head a 6 year-old boy in his own room in 2007:

        Groups of armed personnel arrive in a given area, often wearing masks. They do not provide the residents with any explanation for the operation, force entry into homes, beat some of the residents, and damage their property. Particularly disturbing are the frequent extrajudicial executions. The Human Rights Watch report documents eight such cases. The youngest victim, six-year-old Rakhim Amriev, was killed in a raid on his parents’ home, where security forces believed an alleged insurgent was hiding. An investigation into his death is ongoing. That investigation is exceptional, however, and can be explained only by Amriev’s young age, which precluded the authorities from alleging his involvement in insurgency. In the majority of extrajudicial executions, insurgency-related charges are filed against the victims posthumously, and their killings are never investigated. Security and police personnel responsible for human rights violations in Ingushetia are not held to account. Distressed by absolute impunity for the perpetrators, and the authorities’ repeated claims that the situation in the region is normal, local residents organized several protest rallies in 2007 and early 2008. The Ingush authorities, however, call those rallies “a provocation” playing into the hand of the insurgents. They have done their utmost to prevent protests, including by banning and violently dispersing planned events and attempting to silence media coverage.

        Revenge attack already? – and a brand new version (now the car with the family exploded “minutes after” leaving the checkpoint):

        Twenty people were severely injured in the explosion outside the Ingushetian city of Nazran outside the capital, Magas, that police said was caused by a car driven by Batyr Dzhaniyev, the brother of Aushev’s widow, Fatima Dzhaniyeva. Officials said Dzhaniyev was likely seeking revenge against the police for an explosion on December 16 that killed his mother and a brother and severely injured Dzhaniyeva and another brother.

        The car carrying Dzhaniyeva, 27, and her family had stopped at the same checkpoint when they were asked by police to get out of their car so it could be searched. They were then allowed to drive on, but the car exploded just minutes after leaving the checkpoint. Dzhaniyeva, who is pregnant, has been hospitalized in serious condition along with her brother.

  2. Meanwhile,

    Attackers in Ingushetia kill 4 FSB personnel

    17.12.2009, 17.47

    NAZRAN, December 17 (Itar-Tass) – Unidentified gunmen in Ingushetia on Thursday sprayed automatic fire at a car carrying personnel of the regional department of the Federal Security Service (FSB).

    The gunmen attacked the FSB car in the Gamurziyevsky municipality of Nazran at around 16:15, Moscow time. Four FSB officers were killed, an official at Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry told Itar-Tass.

  3. Next up, they go for the babies.

    • “The police” apparently planted a bomb at this checkpoint and then detonated it by remote control (and also shot at them?):

      Magomed Khazbiyev, an opposition politician in the North Caucasian republic, said the bomb attack on the family was politically motivated.

      Khazbiyev told RFE/RL that police at a checkpoint near the Ingushetian capital, Magas, stopped their car. The police asked them to leave the car and then searched it. They were then allowed to drive on, but the car exploded just minutes after leaving the checkpoint.

      “I think those who did that wanted to warn everyone in Ingushetia who may want to speak up and tell the world about the real situation here,” Khazbiyev said.

      He added that the attack might have also been retaliation for the U.S. State Department awarding its annual Human Rights Defenders Award posthumously to Aushev last week.

      Investigators say a bomb was planted under the driver’s seat and detonated by remote control, Kommersant reported. The force of the explosion was estimated as equivalent to 5 kg of TNT.

      Aushev worked before his death with Ingush opposition journalist Magomed Yevloyev, who was shot dead after being taken into police custody in the republic in 2008. A police officer was recently jailed for two years for “accidental homicide” in connection with the shooting.

      After Yevloyev’s death, Aushev ran his website, which was critical of local authorities.

      In October, Aushev’s car was attacked by assailants armed with automatic weapons in the neighboring republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. He died at the scene.

    • Memorial in 2007 about the early campaign against the Aushev family:

      Magomed Aushev had been previously detained by security servicemen. On June 17, 2007 after a notorious military operation in Sukhakhi, where a local resident R.Kh. Aushev was killed (, Magomed was illegally detained, but released the same day. In the meantime he was subjected to beatings and torture in one of the security agencies in North Ossetia. Security servicemen under threat of murder tried to force Aushev into cooperation with them (see details at ). However upon release, Aushev turned to human rights organizations and media, providing details of his detainment, he testified during a meeting of Memorial with the Ombudsman of Germany Gunter Nooke, disclosed the phone number which was given to him by security servicemen. After release Aushev voluntarily came for interrogations to local law enforcement agencies with his lawyer.

      According to the released cousins their abductors spoke Russian and Chechen languages, some Russian speakers inserted Ossetian words in their talk. After abduction Aushevs were brought into an unknown place where they were beaten. Their passports and personal belongings were burnt. The younger brother was taken into a cellar and not interrogated. The older cousin was interrogated and tortured with electricity. The abductors said that they took Aushevs in reprisal for older cousin’s public statements after previous detainment. They also issued threats in regards of a human rights defender Magomed Mutsolgov, who helped Aushev publicize his case.

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