Friday, April 09, 2010

NEWS: RFE/RL Caucasus Report - 2/18/2010 (

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 .

OSCE Wants Trips To Georgian Regions The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) special envoy for conflict regions says he wants to establish regular OSCE visits to Georgia's breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. More
Abkhazia Is Independent 'And That Will Not Change' In Moscow to sign an agreement on a Russian base in the separatist territory, President Sergei Bagapsh says Abkhazia needs Russian help for its own security. More
Armenia Warns Azerbaijan Against Hampering Karabakh Settlement Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian has warned Azerbaijan against disregarding the principle of self-determination in negotiations to resolve the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh. More
Armenian Tycoon: Charges Political An Armenian entrepreneur says his recent arrest for an alleged death threat is linked to the political views held by him and his brother. More
Azerbaijani First Lady Given Prestigious French Award Azerbaijani First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva has been designated an officer of the Legion of Honor, France's most prestigious national award. More What Did The Avar Say To The Dargin? Great piece from Ellen Barry in "The New York Times" about ethnic jokes in Daghestan. More
Kumyks Stage Protest In Daghestan Just eight days after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev named Magomedsalam Magomedov to succeed Mukhu Aliyev as president of Daghestan, that republic's third-largest ethnic group has taken to the streets to protest the violation of the unwritten agreement on the distribution between the various nationalities of the three top leadership posts. More
British MP Praises NGOs In Chechnya A British member of Parliament on a fact-finding trip to Chechnya has praised the work of Russian human rights groups and Chechen NGOs investigating disappearances and abductions. More
Russia Gains Military Base In Abkhazia Russia and the Georgian rebel region of Abkhazia today signed a deal allowing Moscow to establish a military base on its soil, further raising tensions with Georgia. More
Foul Play Alleged In Armenia Eurovision Voting Music fans in Armenia are up in arms about what they claim was a rigged vote to nominate a singer for this year's Eurovision Song Contest. More
Georgian Town Prepares To Bury Olympian In the Georgian mountain town of Bakuriani, grim preparations are under way for the burial of 21-year-old Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Olympic luger killed in a horrifying training crash in Vancouver last week. Maia Ivelashvili of RFE/RL's Georgian Service traveled to Bakuriani to speak to friends and neighbors about Kumaritashvili's death and mounting concerns about the safety of the sport. More
Armenian Official Arrested Over Leak The Armenian Defense Ministry says a former senior ministry official has been arrested on suspicion of disclosing a secret government order that made military involvement possible in the suppression of the 2008 opposition protests in Yerevan. More
Muslim Procession Blocked In Baku Azerbaijan’s Interior Ministry says that 15 people were detained on February 13 for disturbing the peace during a march held by Shi’ite Muslims, RFE/RL’s Azerbaijani Service reports. More
Ukraine Vote Was A Victory For Colored Revolutions LINKS Executive Director Dennis Sammut talks about the recent Ukrainian presidential election and the legacy the "colored revolutions" have left, not only on the three countries directly affected, but on the whole post-Soviet space. More
What Yanukovych's Victory Means For Georgia The feeling of solidarity between Georgia and Ukraine did not begin with the colored revolutions and the personal ties between Yushchenko and Saakashvili. And it will not disappear under President Yanukovych. More
French-Russian Warship Deal Making Waves Among NATO Allies The French government's decision this week to sell a technologically advanced battleship to Russia has put NATO in a spot. The prospect of Western-built assault ships flying Russian colors has especially unsettled some of NATO's new eastern allies, which see their large neighbor as more of a threat than a partner. More
In The Land Of Yanukovych's Forefathers The residents of one Belarusian village were particularly interested in the results of the Ukrainian election. More
Kadyrov Swayed By His Mom An official says the mother of Chechnya's leader has persuaded him to cease legal action against two rights activists. More
Kyrgyz Official Fired Over Controversial Photo Exhibit Kyrgyzstan’s president has fired the chief of the state culture agency for permitting a controversial, Russian-born U.S. photographer to hold an exhibition in Bishkek. Sergei Melnikoff is known for his critical views of Russia, which he has called a “country of slaves.” Kyrgyz MPs from the ruling party insist Melnikoff’s exhibition would harm Bishkek’s relationship with Moscow. More
In Georgia, Crimes Of The Past Haunt The Present The European Court of Human Rights has found Georgia guilty of denying financial compensation to a family that suffered Stalin-era repression. The landmark ruling could pave the way for other repression victims in Georgia to seek damages and raises difficult questions about the historical responsibility for Soviet crimes. More
Daghestan's Intelligentsia Appeals To Medvedev Seven prominent academicians and writers have written to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev asking him to renominate Daghestan's incumbent President Mukhu Aliyev for a second term. They point out that recent opinion polls show that over 50 percent of the population wants Aliyev, who is 69 and reputedly in poor health, to serve a second term. More
'Veteran Arab Field Commander' Killed In Daghestan The Federal Security Service (FSB) in Daghestan has identified one of two militants killed late on February 2 in Botlikh Raion (on the border with Chechnya) as Egyptian citizen Mohmad Mohamad Shabaan, known by the nom de guerre Seyf-Islam. More

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