Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NEWS: RFE/RL Caucasus Report, November 12, 2010 (rferl.org)

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 .

Armenian Army Scrambles To Tackle Abuse After Spate Of Deaths Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian this month faced the uneasy task of comforting parents whose sons were found dead after suffering vicious treatment in the army. More
Kazakhstan's Jihadists Solicit Assistance From Ingush Insurgency Website More
Interview: One Year After Husband's Sentence, Wife Of Azerbaijani 'Donkey Blogger' Speaks Out One year ago, Azerbaijani youth activists Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizada were jailed for 2 1/2 and two years in a case that has generated interest far beyond the Caucasus. Dubbed the "donkey bloggers," the two men had posted a satirical video shortly before their arrest in which a person dressed as a donkey led a government press conference. More
Azerbaijani Government Crackdown Follows Bear Video After the video was posted on RFE/RL's website, Azerbaijani officials conducted raids on two restaurants, confiscating two bears and placing them in an Environment Ministry rehabilitation center. More
Azerbaijan's Most Prominent Opposition Parties Lose Parliament Mandates As widely anticipated, the November 7 Azerbaijani parliamentary elections replicated to varying degrees the most egregious failings of previous ballots. For the first time, not a single candidate from the main right-wing opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front or Musavat parties was elected to parliament. More
Armenian Government Dismissals: Turning Point, Or PR Exercise? Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian has followed up on his trenchant criticism last week of government corruption by announcing the dismissal of two deputy ministers and a senior Finance Ministry official. In addition, he requested the sacking of a civil servant employed at the Ministry of Agriculture. It's not yet clear, however, whether this marks the start of the systematic crackdown on corruption that many analysts argue is long overdue. More
It Depends on What You Mean by 'Elected'.... In the aftermath of Azerbaijan's parliamentary elections on November 7, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said "the country needs to do much more to make progress in developing a truly pluralist democracy." Khadija Ismaiylova of RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service spoke about the vote and the future of democracy in Azerbaijan with Ambassador Audrey Glover, head of the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) Election Observation Mission in Baku. More
Former Georgian President Speaks Out For several years after his ouster in Georgia's November 2003 Rose Revolution, Eduard Shevardnadze lived quietly outside Tbilisi and rarely spoke to the press. But over the past year he has spoken out with increasing frequency, not only criticizing the present Georgian leadership but candidly admitting to his own grave errors of judgment. More
End Of Part 1 The two high-profile attacks by Chechen suicide bombers in late August and mid-October have eclipsed the more frequent, and more deadly attacks committed almost on a daily basis by Islamic insurgents in Kabardino-Balkaria. More
New Georgian Opposition Party Under Pressure Georgia's newest opposition party took shape less than a month ago, and has still to hold its founding congress. But already the brother of one of its five leaders has been arrested on fraud charges, two of its activists have been arrested and accused of perpetrating explosions in Tbilisi, and someone opened fire on the son and daughter-in-law of a third. More
Interview: Top U.S. Diplomat Discusses Regional Developments, Abuses, Stalemates, And Cooperation Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon sat down with RFE/RL for a wide-ranging interview on the U.S. position on everything from the jailed bloggers in Azerbaijan to Ukraine's improving relationship with Moscow, Georgia's right to territorial sovereignty, to Russia's role in brokering a deal over Nagorno-Karabakh. More
Stefan Fuele's Revolution That Never Was A small revolution came close to taking place in the European Union right about now -- only to dissolve into the kind of self-doubt so characteristic of the bloc of late, leaving behind only the barest ripple among (mostly bemused) officials. More

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