CAUCASUS EMIRATE: Fierce fighting reported between Russian forces and mujahideen in Kabarda-Balkaria-Karachai
Fierce fighting goes on in United Province of KBK’s Elbrus district. Invaders using aviation.
© Kavkaz Center
February 23, 2011 12:02 Emirate Time
Fiighting is taking place for almost a day between the Russian invaders from the occupation gang of “Special Forces” and a mobile unit of the Mujahideen in the Elbrus district of the United Province of Kabarda-Balkaria-Karachai (KBK).
Information about what is happening is contradictory. Occupation sources refer to the fact that there is no stable communication in the battle zone due to weather conditions.
Meanwhile, according to invaders’ [Russian] reports the fighting is fierce. This indicates that the invaders are using aircraft, which strikes at places of possible positions of the Mujahideen.
It is reported that the invaders are also using heavy mortars and artillery. Large force of invaders and their puppets are sent to the battle area. There is no clear information on the number of Mujahideen.
Previously, the invaders stated that the Mujahideen unit consistied of 7 men. Then it was suggested that several groups of Mujahideen are involving in the fighting.
There are also contradictory reports about the losses of the sides. Invaders initially reported that “a squad of Mujahideen was discovered in the Elbrus district”. In the ensuing clashes five Mujahideen were allegedly killed.
Later it was claimed that 3 Mujahideen were killed, only 3 gang members of “special forces” were allegedly injured from the invaders’ side.
It is to be mentioned thereupon that even some Russian media outlets note that claims of the occupation command about the Mujahideen casualties have not been confirmed and that there is no accurate data on whether there are casualties among the Mujahideen at all.
After some time the invaders said that a fight between a mobile squad of Mujahideen and a detachment of the invaders from the gang of special forces consisted of the so-called contractors-mercenaries took place near the village Bylym, Elbrus region, at about 3:00 pm on Tuesday.
Initially it was reported that it was Mujahideen who attacked a checkpoint and a police station. A few hours later the invaders changed the original version and said that “militant were discovered”.
Occupation command said that an invader was killed and 6 others wounded as a result of fighting.
Meanwhile, ITAR-TASS news agency referring to the occupation command reported that no accurate data available on losses among the Mujahideen. “If there were dead bodies, they have taken them with them”, the agency was told by a representative of the occupation command.
At the same time, RIA Novosti news agency was reported by a spokesman for the occupation gang “NAC (National Anti-terrorist Committee)” that 3 Mujahideen were allegedly killed and their bodies were taken for identification procedures. However, no facts to support this statement had been given.
In turn, Interfax news agency referring to the gang MIA reported that “a group of militants numbering up to 7 people attacked a police station of the Russian Interior Ministry troops in the Elbrus region”. This report indicated that the Mujahideen attacked a checkpoint of Interior Troops of the Russian Federation, 10 km south-east of the village of Bylym.
It is worth to be mentioned that the claims of a “success” in fightings against the Mujahideen appeared at the background of a secret visit to the Caucasus by the Kremlin’s idiotic dwarf leader Medvedev, who announced that behind the latest developments in the region ostensibly hide undefined “foreign forces”.
The information about operations against the Mujahideen was reported in standard Russian propaganda style, with reference to alleged Russian “tourists” who had been presumably shot dead by the same Mujahideen who were now “being tracked down in the mountains”.
Department of Monitoring
CAUCASUS EMIRATE: Fierce fighting in Nogai Steppe province reported: Russian soldiers killed, chopper downed
Fierce fighting in CE Nogai Steppe province reported: enemy soldiers killed, chopper downed in CE Nogai Steppe province reported: enemy soldiers killed, chopper downed
© Kavkaz Center
February 15, 2011 13:41 Emirate Time
A fierce fighting between a group of the Mujahideen and Russian invaders took place in the CE internal border area between the Combined Province of Kabarda-Balkaria-Karachai and Nogai Steppe Province in woodland near the settlement Belomechetinskaya, Russian occupation sources report.
The battle took place on Tuesday morning. The invaders initially claimed that 5 Mujahideen were martyred and that only one member of a Russian terrorist police gang had been killed and 3 others wounded.
Later, they stated that at least 3 police invaders had been eliminated and 3 others injured during the battle. As for the Mujahideen, the occupiers said they only assumed that 5 Mujahideen who were engaged in the battle had been killed.
It is to be mentioned in this context that there is no accurate data about what actually happened in the border area between the two provinces. There is also no exact data about losses on the both sides, as the occupiers regularly conceal their fatalities.
It is also reported that a Russian “Night Hunter” MI-28 helicopter crashed on the site of the battle. The invaders claim that the helicopter went down due to some technical reasons. According to other sources, the helicopter presumably made a hard landing in the area of Budennovsk.
Occupation sources also said that additional Russian terrorist forces were sent in the combat area who are now searching for the Mujahideen group.
Department of Monitoring
Ingush opposition leader Magomed Khazbiyev poisoned
© Kavkaz Center
February 13, 2011 12:19 Emirate time
Ingush opposition leader Magomed Khazbiyev has been urgently hospitalized. He believes he had been poisoned.
Khazbiyev felt sick the night before. During the night his condition was stable, but during the day he began to lose consciousness. An ambulance took him to a Moscow clinic.
Doctors are trying to establish the diagnosis. Magomed himself believed he was poisoned in a Moscow cafe, where he held a meeting.
“Two strange men were sitting near our table and watching us. As soon as our meeting ended, they also stood up and left the cafe. I tried to finish my dish, but I couldn’t,” Magomed Khazbiyev told Novaya Gazeta newspaper.
It is to be recalled Magomed Khazbiyev is a Member of the Expert Council under the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, and an editor of Ingushetiya.ru website.
The former owners of the site, Magomed Yevloyev and Maksharip Aushev, were killed in 2008 and 2009. These murders have not yet investigated.
Department of Monitoring
Arab scenario prospects in Georgia
© The Messenger
February 4, 2011
So far, the Georgian political establishment has not paid much attention to the developments in the Arab world. They have been more focused on Arab-Israeli developments. But recently the situation in Tunisia, Egypt and other Arab countries has attracted the attention of the Georgian media. Some analysts try to draw comparisons between some of what is happening in the Arab countries and Georgia. Certain analysts think that the situation in Georgia looks much like the situation in Tunisia. The latter was a western oriented country with a developed tourism sector and claims of democratic development. However it appeared that it was only a facade in Tunisia. It appeared that the country was not having democratic leadership. For tens of years the country was ruled by the same people. It is managed by small groups of people who subordinate everything to their interest. These groups controlled the media and all of the important levers. The opposition was very weak and almost invisible. During the last elections, the head of state of Tunisia Ben Ali gained 90% of the votes; however it appeared that, in reality, people do not want him anymore.
A similar situation seems to be taking place in Egypt where the people openly state that they are fed up with Mubarak who has been head of state for 30 years. (Similarly, prior to the Rose revolution, the people’s dissatisfaction was mainly targeted at the figure of then president Eduard Shevardnadze who had been leader of Georgia for more than 30 years. First, as the communist party boss of Georgia during Soviet Union and later as head of state of independent Georgia. We think that this was the main stimulus for people to come out into the streets rather than problems during the elections).
In Tunisia and in Egypt people came out into the streets of their own accord. There was not much done in terms of opposition propaganda. Some analysts think that this could be kind of an example for Georgian situation. On one hand it shows that it is not necessary to have strong opposition but on the other hand this should be a warning to the ruling party to take appropriate action. However we had already mentioned that the ruling power might prefer to have some unrest so that new parliamentary elections could be arranged. The ruling administration is sure that if the elections are held now their victory is almost guaranteed. There are two reasons for that: regular scheduled parliamentary elections in 2012 could coincide with an even more aggravated situation in the country. Social problems, unemployment and inflation could deteriorate badly and, on the other hand, today the opposition is extremely weak and fragmented. Besides, the elections code is not amended quite yet. So these arguments could be behind the possible decision of holding snap elections.
There is a possible threat as well that public protests could take place on a larger scale and could get out of control. So, nobody could predict what might happen if there were such developments. The best way however is smooth democratic development, introducing logical amendments in the elections code to ensure that regular elections can be held in a fair and transparent manner. When such a structure is in place, if the ruling administration wins, the opposition should have no doubt as to the fairness of the process and congratulate the winner and vice versa.
FSB: Moscow airport bombed by ‘Russian Wahhabies’, Nogai ‘militants’, Pakistani instructors etc.
© Kavkaz Center
January 27, 2011 15:13
A quite bizarre version of the events around the bombing of the Moscow airport Domodedovo, which resulted in about 200 persons killed and injured, was produced by the FSB four days after the attack.
The FSB/KGB announced that the evidence leads to North Caucasus, and they are already “searching” for 10 people under the command of a “Russian Wahhabi”, Razdobudko, a resident of the Stavropol region (Nogai Steppe Province of the Caucasus Emirate).
The KGB acknowledged that they are only “suspects” and that they “may” have been involved in the Domodedovo attack.
The FSB/KGB believes that Razdobudko is a member of the “Nogai Battalion”, whose fighters “wanted” to commit a sabotage operation in Moscow on 31 December 2010, but by chance the attack failed.
In the version put forward by the FSB, the December bomb was detonated via a random SMS message.
On the day of the failed attack, a bomb exploded in a house of a small private club, which was being used as a hotel in Kuzminsky Park in Moscow. The FSB/KGB claimed that they found the remains of female body along with a “martyr’s belt” filled with metal bolts and ball bearings.
They claim that the dead woman was the widow of the leader of the “Nogai Battalion”, an Islamic military unit from the Caucasus Emirate, which is operating in the Stavropol region.
The KGB has also put forward a version that the “suicide bomber” at Domodedovo may have been one of the fighters of the “Nogai Battalion”, Nazir Batyrov. Meanwhile, according to official information, he was killed in Dagestan back in September 2009.
However, this circumstance does not seem to bother the FSB. The FSB claimed that the identity of the “terrorist” had been established, but “was yet disclosed”. Besides, the FSB paraded with their technology and knowledge of scientific words.
Despite significant damage to the body of the terrorist, a ‘computer generated portrait of him was produced. The picture of the terrorist was made with help of a special computer program, being able to recreate the feature of his face with good accuracy, suitable for identification of the person.
In the course of unwinding of the “Russian trace”, the FSB/KGB declared that the “Wahhabi” Razdobudko may have organized the explosion in Pyatigorsk on August 17, 2010.
Meanwhile, information about the identity of the executioner of the sabotage operation is so absurd and completely contradictory, that leads to a conclusion that the FSB/KGB has not even a slightest idea about his identity.
It is to be recalled that Russian state terrorists first claimed that the “suicide bomber” may have been an Arab. And they added a “spicy” detail to their story that it was an Arab who came from the North Caucasus.
After that, Russian media began to spread a report that the skull and the face of the “suicide bomber” was typical for Mediterranean Europeans. Thus, the “terrorist” may have been French or Italian.
Furthermore: Before the explosion, this “Arab” (“French”, “Italian”) said, in fluent Russian his name and age and then shouted “I will kill you all” – and exploded the bomb. It is not yet clear if he said his address, reported about his relatives, and how he came to Moscow. In any case, officially, the FSB remains silent about it.
Meanwhile, according to a very complicated story of how the FSB “established” where from the “terrorists” came to Moscow. If the “suicide bomber” really said something before the blast as in a Hollywood film, it is again not clear how the FSB got to know about it because everybody who stood nearby and could hear him died in the explosion.
But obviously, it does not bother KGB. Versions are sculpted during the “investigation” and edited online.
According to a new update of KGB online version about the bombing at Domodedovo, the KGB “discovered” that “three Chechens and one woman” came to Moscow via Pakistan. In the context of this version, it was revealed that the “three Chechens and one woman” first traveled to Pakistan (assuming that they came from Chechnya) and from there, through Iran, etc. they finally came to Moscow, using trucks and railways, “in order not to show their IDs at the airport”.
In general, the “terrorist group” zigzagged, covered its tracks, but the cunning FSB always knows better. The FSB now claims that it requested the Pakistani authorities to “help with the investigation of the terrorist attack in Domodedovo”.
The Russian FSB requests help from Pakistani Intelligence within the framework of conducting an investigation over the circumstance of the terrorist attack at the Domodedovo airport. Russian Intelligence does not exclude that the suicide bomber who blew himself up on January 24 at the airport has been previously trained in Pakistan by Afghan militants.
Obviously, the KGB believes that the further from Moscow, the easier it explains its failure. Recognizing this obvious fact, underground sabotage cells have been already active for a long time directly in Moscow and that the ethnic origin of this underground is not from the Caucasus.
The FSB/KGB has made a more convincing version by releasing operational information and demonstrating knowledge of “specific” details.
Russian intelligence service believes that military formations of Abu Hanifa (influential field commander of Chechen, Bosnian, and Kurdish militants), Abu Akasha (leader of militants from Central Asia) and Abu Nisara (who is in charge of Uighur terrorists operating there) are currently active on the Pakistan-Afghan border.
With a jumble of intelligence data, smart computer programs and various versions of events at the background, the KGB has not forgotten its main enemy – Dokku Umarov and the Caucasus Emirate, logically assuming that the explosion at Domodedovo could have been organized by the Caucasian Mujahideen. And in this case the FSB already has a ready answer, which should convince that the Caucasian Mujahideen cannot be an independent force, but are only a tool in the hands of Russia’s enemies from “foreign centers”.
The FSB believes that the terrorist attack was committed by militants from the Caucasus Emirate headed by Dokku Umarov, who are active in the North Caucasus, but are controlled by their leaders in Pakistan.
Department of Monitoring
Uncertain World: Terrorism’s local roots
© RIA Novosti
By Fyodor Lukyanov
January 27, 2011
International terrorism was at the forefront of global politics in the first decade of this young century. The concept is actually relatively new.
After the September 11 attacks shook America to its core, the Bush administration declared war on “international terrorism” and sought to enlist others in the cause. This was initially intended to serve as the organizing principle for a new international system. But really it was the same good-versus-evil dichotomy, with international terrorism taking the place once occupied by the Soviet threat.
It seemed at first that they might succeed. The broad coalition in the “war on terror” overthrew the Taliban in Afghanistan and drove them out of Kabul. But this was the high watermark for the coalition.
There was a design flaw in the war on terror. A global counterterrorism campaign must be comprehensive and rooted in cooperation, but the United States ended up using it as a tool to maintain global dominance. That drive toward dominance included exerting pressure – hard and soft – on other countries to follow America’s lead. But no one likes to be pressured.
Washington’s dubious motivation was only part of the problem. Many began to doubt that “international terrorism” really existed as a distinct phenomenon.
In the era of globalization, we are more interconnected and interdependent than ever before. The “martyrs” are no longer confined to the Middle East. They are found on the Moscow subway system and at Russian airports. However, the recent attacks in Moscow and Nalchik were not committed by the abstract international terrorists we are called on to fight. These attacks were carried out by specific Islamic groups from the Caucasus.
Terrorism today can have a global impact while still being rooted in local problems. International terrorism is, in fact, a collection of various separatist and nationalist movements. Each of these groups – in Russia, Indonesia, Sudan, Palestinian Territories, Afghanistan, China, India, Turkey or Yemen – is opposed to its respective government and calls for self-determination or the overthrow of the current regime.
Even the unprecedented attacks of September 11 were a specific extremist group’s response to U.S. ambitions in the world, which successive administrations have been pursuing since the end of the Cold War. They see America as a global empire controlling vast territories, either directly or indirectly.
As such, George W. Bush’s attempt to make international terrorism the focus of global politics was doomed from the start. First of all, the concept was overly broad and subject to various interpretations by different political leaders. Most governments tried to use the perceived terrorist threat to expand their power. U.S. intelligence agencies were granted greater authority, while Russia put an end to the direct election of regional governors.
Second, because international terrorism is a manufactured concept, it could not bring countries together to work toward a common goal. Each new country joining the coalition against international terrorism brought its own interpretation of the concept. Again, this was to be expected, as there was no common threat in actuality. Terrorists are not a monolith, even if they do share some motives and means. As a result, the war on international terrorism is at best an empty slogan and at worst a source of irritation between countries caused by the inevitable double standards.
Third, there can be no one-size-fits-all solution to terrorism, because terrorism is rooted in local grievances specific to each country.
The purpose of a major terrorist attack is to undermine a specific government, to make it look weak and ineffectual. Therefore, the initial reaction of the government is always to prove its strength by striking back with sanctioned violence.
If a quasi-state is involved, such as the self-proclaimed Chechen Republic of the late 1990s or the Taliban regime, it becomes the target of revenge. Both Russia and the United States sent in troops that ultimately succeeded in destroying the basic terrorist infrastructure in Chechnya and Afghanistan, respectively. But neither knew what to do next, when the surviving enemies fled and became ghosts in the hills, posing even greater danger.
No government has found the answer yet. The illusion of stability brought by the use of overwhelming force fades very quickly, and it becomes clear that the new, unconventional war may drag on forever. Each new act of retribution swells the ranks of the enemy.
Eliminating the roots of terrorism is a long and complex process with no guarantee of success. The United States learned this lesson in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia learned it in the mountains of the Caucasus. America can at least leave these foreign lands when the situation becomes unbearable, although the terrorists could strike again on U.S. soil. Russia is not so fortunate. Russia cannot leave the Caucasus, and so it will have to keep trying to find a balance between suppression and development in its fight against terrorism.
Fyodor Lukyanov is Editor-in-Chief of the Russia in Global Affairs journal – the most authoritative source of expertise on Russian foreign policy and global developments. He is also a frequent commentator on international affairs and contributes to various media in the United States, Europe and China, including academic journals Social Research, Europe-Asia Studies, Columbia Journal of International Affairs. Mr. Lukyanov is a senior member of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy and a member of the Presidential Council on Human Rights and Civic Society Institutions. He holds a degree from Moscow State University.
Carving Up Sudan
© Andrey Areshev
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation
January 21, 2011
A week-long referendum over what is becoming the biggest divorce between African nations in a decade ended in Sudan on January 1. The country’s conflict along ethnic and religious lines unfolded for ages. Sudan is split into two distinct parts by the so-far virtual border between the Arab-dominated North and the tribal South where much of the African population was – perhaps without genuine immersion into the new faith – led to convert to Christianity by Western missionaries. The division reflecting an array of ethnic, religious, and geographical traits recurred at various phases of the evolution of the largest African country. In the colonial epoch, Great Britain’s policy was built on isolating South Sudan from its Muslim central and northern parts, thus de facto programming further tensions. The struggle over the future nature of the border between Sudan’s South and North – the South could continue to exist in a semi-autonomous mode or move on to an independent status – provoked endless government crises the country (an Arab journalist wrote that Sudan’s South was a cemetery for its politicians) and, much worse than that, took hundreds of thousands of lives.
On the eve of the referendum, Khartoum attempted – even at the cost of tolerating the growth of separatism in South Kurdufan, Blue Nile, and Darfur – to partially break out of the international isolation by demonstrating goodwill. At the same time, Washington sought to take advantage of the situation to bleed Khartoum seen in the U.S. as Africa’s Islamist stronghold and the key obstacle in the way of the U.S. access to the region’s oil. In Sudan, the exploration of oil resources is left to France and China, and until recently Sudan sustained the atypical pattern of supplying energy to China, India, and Malaysia, but not to the U.S., the E.U., and Japan. Washington regards the resource-rich part of Africa to the south of the Sahara as a strategic region with enormous economic potential. The U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM or AFRICOM) was established in 2007 and functioned as an element of the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) but became fully independent in just a year.
What contours will the situation in Sudan have following the referendum? It should be taken into account that Sudan’s South lacks such factors normally propping up statehood identities as, for example, a language common to all of its population. The South is a conglomerate of some 600 markedly disunited tribes and small ethnic groups mostly speaking their own dialects. Several clashes between the otherwise close Nuer and Dinka groups over livestock and pastures were reported in 2009. The smaller Nuer group claims to be chronically underrepresented in the preeminently Dinka Southern government. No doubt, infighting in Sudan over the distribution of humanitarian aid and energy revenues will get a boost in the nearest future. The ruling coalition – the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) – will disintegrate into the Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk and other ethnic factions. Considering the militant character of many of the tribes, South Sudan’s reversion to armed confrontation seems more than likely.
The official Juba will be habitually blaming the escalation on the North, but the net result on the horizon is a deep conflict between the sovereign parts of what used to be – at least nominally – a single country. Issues to spark hostilities will be readily available, ownership of Abyei’s impressive oil resources clearly being the biggest bone of contention. The ethnically mixed region where Dinka, the African group, holds key positions and the Arab Muslims are a minority will likely draw intense rivalry between Washington, Paris, and Beijing. It is worth noting that the area’s riches are not limited to oil, its other attractions counting deposits of iron, copper, chromium, zinc, wolfram, silver, gold, and even uranium…
Both Khartoum (which seems doomed to a surge of Muslim radicalism in the aftermath of the referendum) and Juba will have no difficulty finding allies eager to provide various forms of assistance including arms supplies. It is generally clear at the moment which players will intervene on the respective sides. Oddly enough, Beijing will surely try to gain footholds in both Khartoum and Juba, inevitably inducing a schism in South Sudan. Information surfaced that Juba is already struggling to get on the U.N. list of the neediest countries entitled to systematic humanitarian infusions, but the U.N. can as well be expected to forward the problem to the African Union, additionally contributing to the conflict.
In any case, a new epicenter of protracted conflict in Africa is in the making, and only the interests of Western and Chinese energy companies will – for a limited period of time – be freezing Sudan’s slide into total chaos as it happened in Rwanda and Somalia. Sharing his vision of the not-so-distant future, South Sudan’s leader Salva Kiir Mayardit bluntly opined that the crumbling of Sudan, formerly Africa’s largest country, would only initially lead to the independence of South Sudan, but then spin into the independence of East Sudan, Darfur, etc.
The key circumstance in the context is that the natural resources of South Sudan, however impressive, are landlocked, while the corresponding oil pipelines run across the North which also owns seaports and other pertinent infrastructures. Consequently, South and North Sudan will remain economically interdependent regardless of the independence of the former. Moreover, some 1-2 million southerners whose interests obviously failed to factor into the referendum’s outcome currently reside in the North and are tightly integrated into its economy and administrative machinery.
A number of analysts contemplated the preservation of the unity of Sudan balanced by a broader autonomy for its South. In fact, this was the underlying concept of the constitution Sudan adopted several years ago, but the divisive tendencies largely fanned by powerful external players – U.S. President B. Obama, for example, described the independence vote in Sudan as nothing less than historical in a recent NYT paper – eventually prevailed.
Strictly speaking, Russia has no vested interests in Sudan. Russian energy giants will hardly deem it feasible to compete over the energy resources of an African country – or, rather, of two African countries – where the U.S. and China are already locked in an intense rivalry (and which India might yet be eying). Burdened with persistent disputes with the West over Georgia and Transdnistria, Moscow explainably preferred to show some solidarity with the West in dealing with a region relatively unimportant to Russia, especially since the referendum’s bottom-line in Sudan was 100% predictable in the light of both the country’s entrenched South-North discord and the international community’s interference which evoked similarities with the Kosovo case.
The U.S. has for two decades been explicitly and implicitly supporting separatism in South Sudan, a region strategic from the standpoint of oil production and transit in Africa. The referendum to which the cornered Khartoumconsented fit neatly into the wider U.S. policy framework. Moscow’s support for the secession of South Sudan via an unconvincing referendum may yet prove counterproductive. A selective approach to precedents, the international acceptance of games around political metaphors, and the preponderance of pseudo-humanitarian rhetoric can some day enable the forces taking advantage of inter-ethnic discord to present Russia with additional problems in the North Caucasus.