May 27, 2011 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  Vampire Moscow

(2) EDITORIAL:  Red Russian Blood on the White Sochi Snows

(3)  Goodbye JV, Hello JV II!

(4)  Holy Putin, Batman!

(5)  INTERVIEW:  Anatoly Karlin 

NOTE:  Now, Putin is planting narcotics on the family members of opposition leaders in order to silence them. What will he think of next?

NOTE:  Now, Putin is teaching his Georgian allies to hit and run just like the thugs in his own employ.

8 responses to “May 27, 2011 — Contents

  1. Burjanadze is not exactly a Russian puppet, but anyway actually 2 people died (a protester was also run over).

  2. There are two reasons why the UN security council has failed, utterly, to react to Bashar al-Assad’s murder of hundreds of his own people in Syria. The first is that Russia, a veto-wielding permanent member, has indicated that it will block action. And the second is that the US won’t stand up to Russia.

    It’s part of a longstanding post-Soviet tradition in Russian diplomacy of meanspirited, tit-for-tat obstructionism with little regard to the facts on the ground. Russia blocked UN reaction to Milosevic’s ethnic cleansing in Kosovo in 1999. Having assented to the years-long UN diplomatic process to decide Kosovo’s final status, Russia abruptly refused to accept its independence in 2008, and later recognised South Ossetia and Abkhazia in a bizarre kind of retribution (as this Pravda article makes clear).

    This “cold war lives on” tradition is also evident in Russia’s continuing and baseless complaints about US missile defence plans; only this week, President Medvedev threatened to build up Russia’s nuclear forces and scrap arms treaties, claiming without evidence that the planned anti-missile systems are “aimed at Russia”. We are a proud country, Russian leaders repeatedly say: mess with us, and we will make you pay – if necessary, on a totally-unconnected issue. The west’s own duplicity and game-playing at the UN in recent years – above all, on Iraq – has given Russia some (but not much) excuse for this pettiness. The UN’s inaction over Syria speaks yet again of lingering mistrust of western motives.

    Russia’s position is inexcusable in the face of the mass killing of peaceful demonstrators in Syria. Unfortunately, they are getting away with it. The Europeans want to table the resolution and force Russia, if it persists with its threat to veto, to explain why exactly it is protecting Assad’s murderous behaviour from international censure. By quickly tabling the resolutions on Libya, the Europeans managed to sweep away Russian and Chinese objections with the momentum of international concern at Gaddafi’s repression (the US was very late in that game, too). But this time, the US is again holding back, concerned that a Russian veto will make things worse – by signalling to Damascus that they can get away with murder.

    This is a legitimate concern. When I was on the security council, I believed that you shouldn’t table resolutions before privately ensuring that there were enough votes for adoption (a prerogative that the UK ignored when it tabled the famous failed second war-authorising resolution on Iraq: I had left the mission by then!). But times have changed. There is a new mood in the air. Even the Chinese can sense it and, I understand, are unlikely to veto action on Syria. Not only the US is recalculating its interests in the Middle East in these dramatic days. Standing up for dictators doesn’t seem so clever, especially if the democrats eventually win.

    The Russians should be shown up for their tactics at the UN; put the resolution to the vote. My bet is that it will pass. And if the Russians do veto it, everyone will know who to blame.

  3. Vienna Jails 3 in Killing of Kadyrov Foe
    02 June 2011

    An Austrian court has convicted three Chechens of accessory to murder and sentenced one of them to life in prison for the 2009 murder of a former bodyguard and critic of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

    The Vienna court found Otto Kaltenbrunner, 42, guilty of serving as a ringleader for the trio and handed him a life sentence, the Austria Press Agency reported.

    The court found that the group had originally planned to kidnap 27-year-old Umar Israilov, a Chechen, who had come to Austria seeking asylum after serving and later turning against Kadyrov.

    Israilov was gunned down on a Vienna street on Jan. 19, 2009 in a case that proved embarrassing for Austrian authorities after it emerged that he had been denied their help after alerting them that he believed he was being followed and in danger of losing his life.

    Austrian investigators have said they believed — mostly based on circumstantial evidence — that Kadyrov ordered the kidnapping.

    Kadyrov’s spokesman Alvi Karimov has consistently denied Kadyrov’s involvement, and a court attempt to get Kadyrov to testify via video link came to nothing.

    “It is up to you whether you will allow political murders to take place in Austria,” prosecutor Leopold Bien told the jury Wednesday.

    Suleiman Dadayev, 37, was handed a 19-year sentence for his role in the killing and 32-year-old Turpal Ali Yeshurkayev, a sentence of 16 years in prison.

    The three men were also ordered to pay damages of 25,000 euros ($35,940) to each of Israilov’s close family members.

    All three had pleaded not guilty to charges of accessory to murder, forming a criminal organization and attempted kidnapping.

    The suspected shooter has fled the country, prosecutors have said.

    Amnesty International official Heinz Patzelt hailed the verdict and appealed to Russia to follow up on the case, noting that the court had made clear that “the people in the background are to be sought abroad and that this is a political contract murder.”

    Israilov, the father of four children who once served as Kadyrov’s bodyguard, was a key witness against Russia before the European Court of Human Rights. His accounts of abuse — including being beaten by Kadyrov’s cousin Adam Delimkhanov, a State Duma deputy, in Kadyrov’s presence — had also formed the basis of a criminal complaint against Kadyrov on charges of torture and attempted duress filed by Austrian lawyers in June 2008.

    The Kremlin credits Kadyrov, who fought against Russia in the first war but then switched sides, with maintaining security in Chechnya, still tense after two wars over the past 15 years.

    But rights activists say that in return for relative stability the Kremlin turns a blind eye to Kadyrov’s heavy-handed rule and torture at home and abroad, accusations he has consistently denied.

    Dubai police have accused Delimkhanov, Kadyrov’s cousin, of masterminding the March 2009 killing of former Chechen commander Sulim Yamadayev in the emirate and issued an international arrest warrant for him through Interpol. Delimkhanov has denied wrongdoing and says the allegations are aimed at destabilizing Chechnya.

    • Arrest of Politkovskaya’s suspected killer brings mixed reactions

      Sergei Sokolov, deputy editor in chief of the Novaya Gazeta newspaper that Politkovskaya worked for, said the editorial board believed that Rustam Makhmudov was most likely Politkovskaya’s killer.

      Oleg Orlov, head of the Memorial human rights group, said Makhmudov’s arrest would help restart the “deadlocked investigation.”

      However, Anna Stavitskaya, a lawyer representing the interests of Politkovskaya’s children, said Makhmudov’s detention did not mean the crime would be solved. “The crime will only be solved when its masterminds are found and punished,” she said. She added that it was up to the court to decide on whether Makhmudov was in fact involved in the murder.

      Politkovskaya, a fierce Kremlin critic, was shot dead in her apartment block four years ago. Her murder, like many other killings of reporters and attacks on journalists in Russia in recent years, remains unsolved.

      MOSCOW, May 31 (RIA Novosti)

    U.S. Designates North Caucasus Insurgency As Terrorist Organization

    The State Department offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to Doku Umarov’s capture.
    May 30, 2011

    The U.S. State Department’s May 26 designation of the Caucasus Emirate (Imarat Kavkaz, IK) proclaimed by then-Chechen Republic Ichkeria President Doku Umarov in late 2007 as a terrorist organization was unexpected. Whether Moscow’s offer, announced on May 27, to mediate with embattled Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to persuade him to step down was the quid pro quo is not clear at this juncture.

    Until last week, the State Department had tacitly acknowledged that the various territorially based groups of militants in the North Caucasus fighting under the banner of the IK constitute not a terrorist organization, but a classic insurgency.

    The wording of the May 26 State Department statement does not explicitly differentiate between the IK and what it described in 2010 as the “national separatist” wing of the insurgency. The status of the senior Chechen commanders who revoked their oath of allegiance to Umarov last summer and criticized his proclamation of the IK as a strategic blunder that was “not pleasing to Allah” and led to the withdrawal of His grace therefore remains unclear.

    Khusayn Gakayev, whom those commanders elected as their leader, has since been identified (in English) on video footage posted to YouTube as “leader of the military forces and parliament of the Chechen Republic Ichkeria” (ChRI). Gakayev has not issued a formal statement claiming to be the legitimate head of the short-lived independent Chechen state.

    But Akhmed Zakayev, the London-based head of the ChRI government in exile, told RFE/RL’s North Caucasus Service in June 2010 that the designation of Umarov under Presidential Executive Order 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism, “has nothing to do with the national liberation movement in Chechnya.”

  5. Arsenal fire, blasts shake Russian region
    Today at 09:26 | Associated Press Shells are exploding and tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes as fire blazes through an ammunition depot in central Russia.

    Russian news reports say at least 28 people have been injured in the blaze and explosions that started late Thursday at the arsenal in the republic of Udmurtia, some 900 kilometers (550 miles) east of Moscow.

    Read more:

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