Thursday, November 05, 2009

NEWS: RFE/RL Caucasus Report 11/5/2009 (

11/5/2009 5:15:53 PM A review of RFE/RL reporting and analysis about the countries of the South Caucasus and Russia's North Caucasus region. For more stories on the Caucasus, please visit and bookmark our Caucasus page .

Georgian Opposition Wants U.S. To Renounce Recognition Of Kosovo The chairman of Georgia's opposition Labor Party is in Washington to discuss Georgian-U.S.-Russian relations and the recognition of Kosovo and Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, RFE/RL's Georgian and Russian services report. More

Russia Is Dying To Learn Its Census Data The news that the next Russian census will be held in 2010 is welcome news indeed. There had been considerable speculation that the census had been delayed largely for political reasons, and it is encouraging to think that the opinions of experts who say the census information is crucially needed were heeded in this case. More

Commander's Testimony Fails To Substantiate Mukhrovani Coup Allegations Testifying in court in the ongoing trial of military officers accused of plotting to overthrow the Georgian leadership, the commander of Georgia's land forces could not confirm that two of the charged officers were pursuing any broader political objective. Nor could he say positively that three other men identified as the masterminds of the alleged coup were present at the Mukhrovani military base on the crucial morning of May 5. More

Has Armenia's Economy Bottomed Out? Official statistics suggest that after seven consecutive months of negative economic growth, the Armenian economy has begun to recover. But some prominent former officials are skeptical. More

Jailed Armenian Journalist To Run For Parliament Jailed Armenian opposition newspaper editor Nikol Pashinian says he will run as a candidate for parliament, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. More
Campaign To Discredit Exiled Chechen Leader Intensifies Over the past year, Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov has repeatedly said he would welcome the return to Chechnya from London of Akhmed Zakayev, who heads the Chechen Republic Ichkeria (CHRI) leadership in exile. But last week, Kadyrov abruptly changed tack, branding Zakayev a liar and a hypocrite and accusing him of misrepresenting the present situation in Chechnya. More

RFE/RL Begins Russian-Language Program To South Ossetia, Abkhazia RFE/RL's first Russian-language news program to the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia began today. More

EU Envoy Hopes Turkey-Armenia Protocols OK'd Soon The European Union's special representative to the South Caucasus, Peter Semneby, said he hopes the rapprochement protocols signed by Armenia and Turkey will be ratified soon, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. More

Russia To Build New Nuclear Plant In Armenia The Armenian government says Russia will build a nuclear power plant in Armenia that will nearly triple the country's current levels of nuclear energy production, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. More

New Bone Of Contention Emerges Between Georgian Opposition, Government Even before the putative date (May 30) of next year's Georgian municipal elections has been confirmed, opposition parties are expressing concern that amendments to the election law proposed by the authorities will give President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement (ENM) an unfair advantage over its opposition rivals. More

Karachais Join Balkar Protest In Moscow A group of Balkars launched a series of public pickets in Moscow on October 26 to protest perceived discrimination at the hands of the predominantly Kabardian leadership of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic (KBR) and the failure of the federal authorities to implement the 1991 law on the rehabilitation of ethnic groups deported by Stalin from the North Caucasus in 1943-1944. More

Violence Pervades Ingushetian President's First Year In Office Since being named president of Ingushetia a year ago, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov's greatest achievement over the past year is arguably that he is still alive, having made a remarkable recovery from injuries sustained in an assassination attempt in June. But he also secured financial aid from Moscow to kick-start the republic's moribund economy, and has made every effort to reach out to, and win the trust of, a population alienated and disgusted by corruption and inefficiency. More

Georgia Braces For ‘Provocations’ On Border With Russia Georgian parliamentarians met on October 28 with top national security officials to discuss the implications of recent Russian allegations that international terrorists affiliated with Al-Qaeda are transiting Georgia en route to join the ranks of the North Caucasus resistance. More

Georgian Public Broadcaster ‘Unable’ To Grant Patriarchate Air Time In the wake of last week's scandal surrounding the internet footage showing Patriarch Ilia II, the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, apparently denigrating Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, Ilia's press secretary Mikael Botkoveli has addressed a formal request to the Georgian Public Broadcaster to air a debate on the issue. More

Massacre In Armenian Parliament Still Echoes On October 27, 1999, armed men stormed the Armenian parliament and killed eight people, including the prime minister and speaker. Ten years later, lawmakers and other officials say the tragedy permanently changed the emerging institutions in post-Soviet Armenia. More

EU Reviews Cooperation With The South Caucasus Foreign ministers of the three South Caucasus countries today met with an EU troika of top officials in Luxembourg. The routine meeting takes place yearly under the aegis of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreements the EU has with Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. The EU is offering all three countries an upgrade to an Association Treaty, which could eventually bring with it free trade and visa-free travel, but would not open the door to EU membership. More

Biden: Trip Has Laid Eastern Europe's 'Reset' Fears To Rest U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has just wrapped up a three-day visit to Eastern Europe. In an exclusive interview with RFE/RL, Biden said he believes he has successfully allayed fears that U.S. efforts to improve relations with Russia could come at the expense of Washington's Eastern European allies. More

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