Friday, April 09, 2010

NEWS: RFE/RL Caucasus Repor - 3/17/2010 (

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 .

Russian Patriarch Honors Armenia 'Genocide' Victims Russian Orthodox Church leader Patriarch Kirill has honored the victims of what Armenians consider the first genocide of the 20th century. More
Circassian Activist's Killing Rekindles Demands For Separate Republic The killing on March 14 in Cherkessk of young Circassian activist Aslan Zhukov has highlighted once again latent tensions between the Karachai majority and the Cherkess minority in the Russian republic of Karachayevo-Cherkessia. More
Turkey Threatens To Expel Armenian Immigrants Amid Genocide Row Armenian officials have criticized a threat by Turkey's prime minister to expel thousands of Armenian immigrants from his country. Recep Tayyip Erdogan's comments are the latest in an ongoing row over the World War I-era mass killing of Armenians nearly a century ago. More
Chechen Ex-President Gets Prison Job Former Chechen President Alu Alkhanov has been temporarily placed in charge of Russia's beleaguered penitentiary system, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports. More
Armenian Party Head Won't Campaign Orinats Yerkir party leader Artur Baghdasarian today said that he will not contest the Armenian presidential election in 2013, RFE/RL's Armenian Service reports. More
Armenian Politician Slams Minister For Rosy Economic Prediction The leader of the second-largest party in Armenia's ruling coalition has lambasted a government minister who recently said the economic crisis in the country is over. More
Medvedev Names New Ingushetian Interior Minister Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today dismissed Ingushetia's acting interior minister, Colonel Viktor Zhirnov, thereby calling into question Ingushetian President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov's assertion in an interview earlier this year that the work of the police is improving, and popular trust in them is growing. More
Hopes Raised Anew About Future Of Nabucco Gas Pipeline Project The EU-backed Nabucco natural gas pipeline has experienced a roller-coaster ride in recent years. At times it appeared the project was close to being scrapped, but shareholders have steadfastly maintained Nabucco is a viable way to deliver non-Russian natural gas to Europe. Several events at the start of this month have again raised hopes about the project. More
Diplomat: Family Ties Behind Sacking Georgia's ambassador to the Netherlands says she was dismissed because she is a relative of opposition leader Irakli Alasania, RFE/RL's Georgian Service reports. More
Saakashvili's Erratic Response To Invasion Hoax Raises Suspicions The fallout over a fake news report of a Russian invasion that caused widespread panic in Georgia continues, with President Mikheil Saakashvili facing criticism from all quarters. More
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Discloses Details Of 'Madrid Principles' Speaking at a press conference in Baku, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has disclosed details of the most recent draft of the so-called Madrid Principles for resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. More
Public Panic, Opposition Anger Over Report Of Mock Invasion In Georgia Georgians reacted with fear and in some cases panic to a mock television report that claimed that invading Russian tanks had crossed the border and were heading for Tbilisi, and that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili was dead. More
Kadyrov Seeks To Expel Illegal Migrants And Russian Police In recent days Ramzan Kadyrov has proposed two new moves to reduce to a minimum the number of non-Chechens in Chechnya. More
Fake Russian Coup Report Sparks Outrage In Georgia A 30-minute TV report of an alleged new Russian attack on Georgia coinciding with a Russian-backed coup led by two prominent oppositionists has triggered widespread panic and outrage. More
Azerbaijan's Unsinkable General Colonel General Safar Abiyev is the longest serving defense minister in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and one of the longest serving in the world. Now just 60, he has headed the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry since February 1995. More
Former UN Mediator, EU Special Representative Visit Abkhazia Ambassador Dieter Boden, previously the UN secretary-general's special representative for the Abkhaz conflict, returned to Sukhumi this week after a seven-year hiatus for talks with Abkhaz leaders. He will then travel to Tbilisi. EU special representative for the South Caucasus Peter Semneby was also scheduled to arrive in Abkhazia. More
Kadyrov Orders Drivers To Clean Their Cars Regularly Chechnya's Ramzan Kadyrov is the meddling type of strongman and there is nothing he won't speak out about. In the past he's taken firm stands on the state of the Russian republic's roads and amount of litter on the ground. More
Turkey Objects To 'Genocide' Vote In a move that has angered Turkey, Sweden has joined a growing list of countries recognizing as genocide the massacres of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago. More
Daghestan Police Ask Medvedev To Fire Top Investigator The independent trade union of Interior Ministry and prosecutor's office employees in Daghestan has addressed a written request to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to fire Aleksandr Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee of the federal Prosecutor-General's Office. More
EU's Ashton Puts Focus On Neighborhood Catherine Ashton, the EU's high representative for foreign policy, told the European Parliament in Strasbourg today reforms in the bloc's immediate neighborhood will be her key priority and will be vital in furthering the bloc's ambition to play a greater role in the world. More
Georgia’s Opposition Faces A Choice Between Unity And Principles Does the slogan “united opposition” imply cooperation with everyone who opposes President Mikheil Saakashvili or should unity be based as well on some sort of positive principles? Many in the opposition cannot answer this question. More
Alasania Nominated Tbilisi Mayoral Candidate After U-Turn Former Georgian Ambassador to the UN Irakli Alasania was nominated on March 4 as a candidate for the upcoming Tbilisi mayoral election. Alasania said he will launch his election campaign immediately, as there is no time to continue "endless talks" on how to select a single opposition mayoral candidate to challenge incumbent Mayor Gigi Ugulava. More
Umarov Vows To 'Liberate' Krasnodar, Astrakhan, Volga Region, the website of the North Caucasus Islamic insurgency, has posted the transcript of an address in Russian by the self-styled amir of the North Caucasus, Dokka Umarov, in which he rejects as untrue claims by various Russian and North Caucasus officials that he has been killed, and/or that the insurgency is rapidly losing strength. More
Balkar Activists Demand 'Self-Determination' Between 300-500 Balkars congregated in Nalchik yesterday to mark the anniversary of the deportation to Central Asia on Stalin's orders in 1944 of the entire Balkar nation -- some 38,000 people. More
The Blooming Friendship Between Azerbaijan And Israel Although Azerbaijan is a predominantly Shi’ite Muslim country and a majority of ethnic Azeris live in neighboring Iran (a ferocious enemy of Israel), Baku routinely shares intelligence with the Jewish state, buys its arms, and considers it trustworthy in security matters, completely contradicting stereotypes about a “clash of civilizations.” More
Five Years After Maskhadov's Death, Situation In North Caucasus Remains Complex Five years ago, on March 8, 2005, the Russian authorities announced the death in a shootout of Chechen President and resistance commander Aslan Maskhadov. More
Inaction, Stigma Fuel Chechnya's TB Epidemic Chechnya is facing a mounting epidemic of tuberculosis. Official indifference, low awareness, and a medical infrastructure battered by two wars have allowed TB to flourish in the North Caucasus republic. More

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