Tag Archives: caucasus

SPECIAL EXTRA: Umarov Declares war on Putin

Appearing on YouTube, separatist leader Doku Umarov (above, center) has declared war on Russia, the city of Moscow, and Vladimir Putin. So much for a “pacified” Caucasus.  Here’s one “bandit” still very much alive and kicking on his “toilet.”  In fact, he’s spitting in Putin’s eye. (Anyone thinking this chap is bluffing best think again.)

After the jump, the full English text of his remarks, provided by an LR reader (corrections appreciated).

NOTE:  We cannot but express our outrage at YouTube for daring to remove this vital historical document from its virtual pages, apparently in response to Kremlin-sponsored pressure. The above is at least the second posting of the video and we cannot say how long it will last. To censor this material is an offense against basic principels of democracy and YouTube should be ashamed.

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EDITORIAL: Blood on the Olympic Snows of Sochi?

EDITORIAL

Blood on the Olympic Snows of Sochi?

Last week in the city of Vladikavkaz, capital of North Ossetia and just 250 short miles from Sochi where the 2014 Winter Olympics are to be held, a bomb exploded in a marketplace, injuring at least 173 people.  Seventeen people, and the suicide bomber who triggered the blast, were killed.  Rioting followed, and even more were killed.

If it can happen in Vladikavkaz, it can happen in Sochi. If it does, world leaders who send their athletes to the Russian games will have blood on their hands.

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Putin has lost control in the Caucasus

The New York Times reports, under the headline “With Breakdown of Order in Russia’s Dagestan Region, Fear Stalks Police”:

At a certain point last summer, when snipers on rooftops began picking off police officers, Col. Mukhtar Mukhtarov’s wife blocked the door with her body and refused to let him leave home in his uniform.

For 25 years, it had been one of the great joys of Colonel Mukhtarov’s life to walk the streets in his red-striped police cap. But by last summer all that had been turned so thoroughly on its head that he quietly went back to his bedroom to change into civilian clothes.

His son Gassan, a 20-year-old beat officer, has known the job only this way, thick with fear. He changes in his car outside the station house. Aware that militants often follow police officers for days before killing them — his neck sometimes prickling with the sense of being watched — Gassan Mukhtarov swaps license plates with friends to make himself harder to track. He is still not safe. He knows that.

“They’ve known who I was from the first day,” he said.

It is all a measure of how thoroughly order has broken down in the Russian region of Dagestan, in the North Caucasus. Fifty-eight police officers were killed in attacks here last year, according to the republic’s Interior Ministry, many of them while running errands or standing at their posts. Last month alone, according to press reports, 13 officers were killed in bombings and gangland-style shootings.

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