Friday, December 04, 2009

NEWS: RFE/RL Caucasus Report - 12/4/2009 (

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 .

Who Will Be Daghestan's Next President? The political situation in Daghestan is arguably both more complex, and more difficult to comprehend, than that in any other federation subject. That complexity derives less from the ongoing battle against the Islamic resistance than from the constant jockeying for power and influence among and within the largest of the republic's 14 titular nationalities. More

Circassian Youth Groups Under Pressure In Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachayevo-Cherkessia In recent weeks, unofficial youth groups that claim to defend Circassian national interests have incurred the wrath of the republican authorities in both Kabardino-Balkaria, and in neighboring Karachayevo-Cherkessia. A confrontation may be imminent in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, where the municipal authorities have asked Circassians to postpone a rally. More

Relatives Worried About Jailed Azerbaijani Journalist's Health Relatives of a jailed Azerbaijani journalist say they are worried about his deteriorating health, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports. More

Insurgent Killed In Daghestan Carried Kyrgyz Passport Russian officials say an insurgent killed by security forces in the Russian republic of Daghestan was carrying a Kyrgyz passport, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports. More

Armenian Generals Urge Activist's Release Two retired Armenian army generals have urged President Serzh Sarkisian to pardon an Armenian opposition leader arrested and imprisoned after last year's postelection unrest in Yerevan, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. More

Azerbaijan Insists On 'Self-Rule' For Karabakh Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov says Baku insists on restoring control over Nagorno-Karabakh despite accepting the right to self-determination as a core principle for resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani dispute over the territory, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. More

South Ossetia Jails Two Georgian Teens; Two Freed Two Georgian teenagers were jailed in breakaway South Ossetia today and two were freed after days of European mediation secured the release of a group of South Ossetians held in Georgia. More

Chechen Activist's Killing 'Not Connected To Her Work' Prosecutors in Chechnya say the killing of a prominent human rights activist in August was not connected to her work, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports. More

Islamists Claim Responsibility For Russian Bombing An Internet site linked to Chechen separatist fighters said today that it has received a letter from Islamist militants who claim responsibility for the bombing of a Russian express train last week that killed 26 people. More

Russian Delegation Members Refused Entry Into Georgia Georgian authorities have refused to allow some Russian scholars to enter Georgia, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports. More

Murder Highlights Missionary Role In Russian Church Nobody knows for sure who murdered Moscow priest Daniil Sysoyev, who died on November 19 after being shot by an unidentified assailant in his own church. But his death, which some have blamed on Islamic extremists, has cast light on how the Russian Orthodox Church has increasingly turned to proselytism work in recent years, and highlighted tensions between the church and Islam. More

Armenian Leader's Lofty Words Fall On Deaf Ears Even as Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian gave a speech decrying the stifling of internal dissent within parties for the harm it does to the political ciulture of a country, his own party members rushed to unanimously reelect him as leader -- some even couldn't wait for his nomination. More

Campaigning Begins For Azerbaijan's Municipal Elections Campaigning for municipal elections in Azerbaijan has officially begun, with 18 parties and some 31,000 candidates registered to compete, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports. More

Contested Grazing Grounds Kabardian public organizations are serious in their plans to campaign for the annulment of the draft law adopted by the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic (KBR) parliament in the first reading on October 30, which transfers some 200,000 hectares of mountain grazing grounds to 16 Balkar-populated villages. Loss of access to those pastures was one of the issues that drove the Balkars to plan a march on Moscow last month. More

Was Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mother Azeri? A few years ago Leonardo Da Vinci researchers presented a theory claiming that the Renaissance artist’s mother, Caterina, had not actually been a local peasant as had previously been believed. More

Solidarity, Oil, Human Rights, And Azerbaijan Azerbaijan has the highest number of imprisoned journalists among all of the 56 member states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Thirty-four members of the nongovernmental organization Human Rights House Network, based in Oslo, sent a letter of concern to the authorities in Baku, condemning the deterioration of freedom of expression in Azerbaijan. RFE/RL correspondent Anna Zamejc spoke with Ane Tusvik Bonde, regional manager for Eastern Europe and the Caucasus at the Human Rights House Foundation about the situation in Azerbaijan. More

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