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Situation in the Northern Caucasus and the War in Chechnya (1996-2003)

Press releases


Press releases

Stop Persecution of Russian Human Rights Activist
Urgency Resolution adopted by ELDR Dresden Council
May 20, 2011, submitted by YABLOKO.

The European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party Council, convening in Dresden, Germany on 20 May 2011:

Notes with deep concern:

- Reports on political reprisals against Oleg Orlov, Russian human rights activist, winner of the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize and Chair of the "Memorial" Human Rights Centre, for voicing criticism of Chechen authorities about the investigation into the murder of human rights activist Natalya Estemirova in 2009;
- That trials initiated by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, the latest of which is set to resume in June, are clearly politically motivated, raise serious questions on the functioning of the Russian judicial system, and demonstrate the desire of the Chechen authorities to prevent Orlov voicing his opinion.

Calls upon Russian authorities to:

- Stop trials and harassments against Oleg Orlov and other human rights defenders and properly investigate such attacks and trials;
- Properly investigate the murder of Natalya Estemirova and bring the perpetrators to justice.

States that

ELDR will continue to closely monitor events in Russia.

On political reprisals against human rights activist Oleg Orlov

Statement by YABLOKO's Political Committee, April 18, 2011.

The Political Committee of the Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO expresses its indignation in view of political reprisals against human rights activist and Chair of the Memorial human rights centre Oleg Orlov.

Orlov’s statement on political responsibility of [the head of Chechnya] Ramzan Kadyrov for the murder of [human rights activist] Natalya Estemirova can not form grounds for any presecution, either in the civil or moreover in the criminal suit...

Round table “Political and Economic Development of the Northern Caucasus: Diagnosis and Forecast” took place in YABLOKO

Press Release, April 7, 2011.

Round table “Political and Economic Development of the Northern Caucasus: Diagnosis and Forecast” took place in YABLOKO. Galina Mikhalyova, Executive Secretary of YABLOKO’s Political Committee, noted opening the discussion that it was very important for the party to conduct such a discussion with experts so that to develop an alternative policies for the Caucasus...

Sergei Mitrokhin: Murderers of Chechen farmers should be punished

Press Release, April 1, 2010

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin forwarded to the head of the Investigative Committee at the Public Prosecutor’s Office Alexander Bastirkin a second address demanding to start criminal persecutions on the murder of Chechen farmers gathering herbs by the Arshty village in Ingushetia on February 11-12...

Mitrokhin’s letter based on the facts obtained during investigation of the Memorial human rights centre. Memorial proved that the versions voiced by the top officials that the militants had allegedly used the civilians as a shield and that people had been killed due to the air strikes were incorrect...

“I realise that after yesterday’s statement by Umarov [where he took the responsibility for the acts of terror in the Moscow Metro] the Investigative Committee may have psychological difficulties with the adoption of such a decision, however, this body has to be guided by lawful interests of the citizens protected by law rather than by bandits’ provocative statements,” runs Mitrokhin’s letter...

YABLOKO insists that the Chair of the Investigative Committee at the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation should take under control investigation of a killing of civilians in Ingushetia

Press Release. February 17, 2010

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin asked Alexander Bastyrkin, Chair of the Investigative Committee at the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation, to take under his personal control investigation of a killing of civilians on the Chechen-Ingush border during special operation on February 11 – 12, 2010.

“The investigation conducted on February 13 – 14 by the Memorial human rights centre showed that the versions worded by the officials – that civilians had been used by the militants as a human shield and died because of the air-to-ground attack – were incorrect,” ran the letter...

At least 70 local civilians engaged in agricultural works turned out to be in the area of a special operation. The authorities had the information about their work in the area, as they had given a special permit for agricultural works to the local residents there, however, the officials did not take measures so that to evacuate people to a safe place. At least four persons were killed. According to the Memorial’s data they were gunned at a short range and possibly fired “insurance” shots afterwards.

Young people from the Northern Caucasus stand for peaceful relations among republics

Press Release, January 26, 2010

After Taimuraz Mamsurov, head of the North Ossetia, and Yunus-bek-Yevkurov, head of Ingushetia, signed a programme for broadening of cooperation among republics, activists of youth movements also held their actions targeted at prevention of conflicts.

Youth public and human rights organisations from Chechnya, North Ossetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Ingushetia met at the forum Youth for Peace at the Caucasus. YABLOKO activists from the North Ossetian branch of the party also took part in the forum.

On the situation in the Northern Caucasus

Resolution of the 15th congress of the YABLOKO party No 252, December 24, 2009

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO once again expresses its deep concern on the political and economic situation in the Northern Caucasus.

Despite victorious reports on stabilisation of the situation in the Northern Caucasus the policies of the Russian authorities completely failed. Escalation of armed conflicts has been going on, clan-authoritarian developments and corruption has continued to grow in this region.

The YABLOKO Party Points to a Crisis in the Security System in the Russian Federation
Press release, September 2, 2004

"We became the object of terrorists for one reason only - our state cannot protect its citizens. The authorities pursue a policy, which sharply increases the danger of terrorist acts. This course should be considered irresponsible..."


The Fifth Meeting of the All-Russia Democratic Assembly adopted a statement on how to resolve the crisis in Chechnya
Press release, March 17, 2003

...The long-term implications of an ill-timed and unprepared referendum and the decisions adopted after this referendum that can aggravate the opposition inside the Chechen community and play into the hands of the forces interested in civil war, are especially dangerous.


YABLOKO concerned about forced return of refugees to Chechnya
Press Release, December 05, 2002

The Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO expresses its deep concern regarding the prospects of the forced return of refugees residing in Ingushetia back to Chechnya. Such a statement to journalists was made by the Chairman of the party Grigory Yavlinsky.


Yabloko positive about the start of the negotiations between the Plenipotentiary of the President of the RF in the Southern District and Maskhadov’s representative
Press release, November 16, 2001
First Deputy Head of the Yabloko faction in the State Duma Sergei Ivanenko said in an interview with journalists on November 19, 2001 that Yabloko regarded positively the start of the negotiations between the Plenipotentiary of the President of the RF in the Southern District Viktor Kazantsev and representative of Aslan Maskhadov Akhmed Zakayev.


Grigory Yavlinsky declares that Russia would welcome information from the West on the channels used to send money and donate weapons to the terrorists in Chechnya and the Central Asia

The leader of the Yabloko Association Yavlinsky declared that Russia welcome information from the West on the channels used to send money and give weapons to the terrorists in Ñhechnya and Central Asia. Such a declaration was made by Grigory Yavlinsky in the Memorandum disseminated to the Tripartite Commission conference in London (a non-governmental forum uniting famous politicians and businessmen) on March 11, 2001.

Press release, 12.03.01

Delegates of Yabloko faction to participate in the PACE session

Press release, 19.09.2000

Yabloko representatives advocate restoration of Russia’s delegation rights in PACE

Sergei Ivanenko advocated the restoration of the Russian delegation's rights in PACE at a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly on June 29, 2000. He stressed that he had come to speak at the PACE session on behalf of Yabloko, which obtained the votes of 5 mln Russia’s citizens in recent elections.

Press release, 30.06.2000

Vladimir Lukin supports the appointment of Akhmad Kadyrov as Head of the Administration of Chechnya

Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, Vladimir Lukin, (the Yabloko faction) supports the appointment of Mufti Akhmad Kadyrov as Head of the Administration of Chechnya. This statement was made by Vladimir Lukin late on June 12, 2000 in an interview with the press in St.Petersburg: he had come to the city to participate in the session of the Interparliamentary Assembly of the CIS.

Press release, 14.06.2000

Alexander Shishlov thinks that Russia may be sued by the European Court for its actions in Chechnya

A member of the delegation of the State Duma of the Russian Federation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) from the Yabloko faction Alexander Shishlov thinks that Russia may be sued by the European Court on Human Rights for "Russia's violation of the European Convention on Human Rights in Chechnya ".

Press release, 10.04.2000

Sergei Ivanenko: a law on a state of emergency should be adopted to regulate the situation in Chechnya

The decision of President Putin to establish a provisional administration in Chechnya was mandatory. Today there are no other options, said the First Deputy Head of the Yabloko faction Sergei Ivanenko in an interview with journalists.

Press release, 08.06.2000

Grigory Yavlinsky proposes conducting negotiations from a position of force to terminate the partisan war in Chechnya

The leader of Yabloko, Grigory Yavlinsky, thinks that Moscow must conduct "negotiations from a position of force” with the representatives of the opposing side to stop the partisan war in Chechnya.

Press release, 06.04.2000

Members of the Yabloko faction doubt that PACE will apply tough measures against Russia

A member of the Russian delegation to PACE (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) and Deputy Head of the Yabloko faction in the State Duma, Sergei Ivanenko, doubts that PACE will take tough measures, with regards Russia’s membership in this organisation.

Press release, 05.04.2000

Vladimir Lukin meets representatives of the Chechenian community

The Deputy Speaker of the State Duma, Vladimir Lukin (from the Yabloko faction) held a meeting with representatives of the Chechenian Republic, that included the Head of the Republican Party of Chechnya, Hamid Vitushev, Chairman of the Chechenian Banks Association Usman Yerihanov, representative of the parliament of Chechnya in Moscow Hamid Hatuyev and others.

Press release, 23.03.2000

Grigory Yavlinsky advocates the introduction of a state of emergency in Grozny and some other areas of Chechnya.

Presidential candidate Grigory Yavlinsky thinks that a state of emergency should be introduced in those areas of Chechnya that lack local self-government. This refers in particular to such areas as "Grozny, which has been ruined to the core", stated Grigory Yavlinsky in a press conference in Moscow on March 20, 2000.

Press release, 20.03.2000

The Committee for Security of the State Duma of the RF has decided to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the fighters of Moscow Region OMON in Chechnya on March 2.

The Committee for Security of the State Duma of the RF has decided to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of the fighters of Moscow Region OMON in Chechnya on March 2.

Press release, 30.03.2000

Grigory Yavlinsky proposes creating three safety zones in Chechnya

Presidential candidate and leader of the Yabloko movement Grigory Yavlinsky proposes the creation of three safety zones in Chechnya.

Press release, 12.03.2000

Grigory Yavlinsky is worried that partisan war may spread to the whole of Russia.

Presidential candidate and the leader of the Yabloko association Grigory Yavlinsky thinks that the "main danger today is the partisan war and the wave of terrorism that may spread from the Northern Caucasus all over the country".

Press release, 03.03.2000

Grigory Yavlinsky declares that his views on the Chechen problem differ to those of Vladimir Putin

In the State Duma, the leader of the Yabloko faction, Grigory Yavlinsky said that a number of very important issues were discussed during a meeting held in the Kremlin on Saturday 26, 2000, between the acting President Vladimir Putin and the leaders of the Duma factions, including the situation in Chechnya, economic policy and vodka prices.

Press release, 27.02.2000

The Memorial Society supports Grigory Yavlinsky's position on Chechnya and criticises Chubais

Press release, 26.11.1999


Sergei Ivanenko: Yabloko favours negotiations with official Chechnian authorities from a position of force.

Press release, 09.11.1999


The situation with human rights and efforts of society consolidation
in the Republic of Dagestan.
Memorial Human Rights Centre. March 2010 – March 2011

...This report contains the situation analysis of human rights violations in the RD and the authorities’ attempts to achieve the rule of law and consolidation of the society. The report consists of various parts...

The main points of the political programme of Magomedov (new President of the RD since 2010) are the following: modernization of economy, change of the methods regarding the fight against terrorism, rule of law. The main obstacles are: the high level of corruption, undeveloped, subsidized economy, unemployment, poverty, terrorism, instability in the region. New policy is not supported and welcomed by both sides: armed militants continue their activity, and state defense and law enforcement agencies do not follow the rule of law and legal order...

Russian Governor Backs Colonel's Pardon
By Mara D. Bellaby, The Guardian, September 21, 2004

Russia's human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, said he would advise the president against pardoning Budanov.


Russian Who Killed Chechen May Get a Pardon
By Sophia Kishkovsky, The New York Times, September 18, 2004

Vladimir Lukin, Russia's human rights ombudsman, told Interfax by telephone from Athens that he would recommend that Mr. Putin be cautious about approving the pardon.


Human rights commissioner against the pardoning of Budanov
Interfax, September 17, 2004

"I can say only one thing here. Naturally, as human rights commissioner, I am inclined to support humane solutions on any issues. And if an individual repents for his crime and truly changes, he has to be pardoned..."


What Happened to Russia?
By Grigory Yavlinsky, www.yavlinsky.ru, September 15, 2004

What happened to Russia? It drowned. In lies and cynicism.
Still, we have to swim on. We cannot sink to the bottom of this sea of cynicism and lies. Many people cannot live on in this way. After getting a taste of truth and freedom once, hoping that it will be possible to live in Russia and human dignity will be observed, they have become inner defectors.


After the tragedy in Beslan
By Grigory Yavlinsky, www.yavlinsky.ru, September 6, 2004

The authorities should take three steps, which can be broken down into three areas. Economic: the people must have normal jobs, incomes and living conditions. Military: the local habitants should be able to trust the actions carried out to capture the bandits... Political: it is necessary to involve as many Chechens as possible in the discussion of developments in Chechnya...


Liberals Against Naming Moscow Street After Chechen President
MosNews, August 18, 2004

Russian democratic party Yabloko has made an announcement against the decision by the Moscow authorities to name a street after the killed Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov.


Russia Must Be True to Its Words in Chechnya
By Andrei Piontkovsky, The Moscow Times, June 8, 2004

What are we fighting for in Chechnya? For the territorial integrity of Russia, of course. But territorial integrity does not mean uninhabited scorched earth. We are fighting in order to prove to the Chechens that they are citizens of Russia. In doing so, however, we are destroying their cities and villages and kidnapping innocent civilians whose corpses turn up bearing evidence of torture.


After the Act of Terror in Grozny on May 9
By Andrei Ryabov, Gazeta, May 11, 2004

The developments of May 9 in Grozny really shocked the Russian political class. This is not simply a strong epithet. The moral and psychological consequences of the act of terror which took away the lives of the president of Chechnya Akhmat Kadyrov and several heads of the republic are obvious.


Andrei Piontkovsky: it would be catastrophic if the future of Chechnya were entrusted to Kadyrov Junior.
polit.ru, May 11, 2004

The [federal] centre should support Aslambek Aslakhanov at the presidential elections in Chechnya. This is the point of view of a well-known political scientist Andrei Piontkovsky. There are no good decisions concerning Chechnya.


Sergei Mitrokhin: Act of terror in Grozny confirms that war against everyone is going on in Chechnya
Rosbalt, May 9, 2004

According to the Deputy Head of the YABLOKO party, the clan-based system of power formed in Chechnya is extremely inefficient and dangerous. The fact that Kadyrov's son was the head of security demonstrates that the president of Chechnya did not trust anyone...


On the 60th anniversary of the mass-scale deportation of the Chechen and Ingush peoples
The Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO, Bureau of the Federal Council, Statement, February 20, 2004

Hundreds of thousands people were forcefully pushed out of their native places of residence where their ancestors had been living for centuries and deprived of their property. Tens of thousands of died during transportation and in the hard conditions of exile.


Awfully Familiar The war in Chechnya - now sending suicide bombers to Moscow - is becoming Russia's version of Palestine
By Yuri Zarakhovich, Time Europe, July 12, 2003

"Now suicide bombers will start hitting Russia."


On the adoption by the Duma of Act Amnesty for Chechnya
BBC, Broadcast 6 June 2003

Only those Chechens who are not implicated in crimes such as murder, kidnap, or rape may be pardoned. But first they must surrender and wait for the outcome of an investigation of their past.


Grigory Yavlinsky: Peace conference on Chechnya should be conducted in Moscow
Grani.ru, June 8, 2003

...We think it absolutely necessary to conduct a peace conference on Chechnya in Moscow, it should be chaired by the President of Russia and based on the Russian Constitution and Russian laws.


Russia parliament approves partial Chechen amnesty
By Jeremy Page, Reuters, June 6, 2003

Russia's parliament gave final approval on Friday to a limited amnesty for fighters in separatist Chechnya that the Kremlin says will help end a decade of conflict in the region.


Duma Approves Chechen Amnesty
By Nabi Abdullaev, The Moscow Times, May 22, 2003.

The Yabloko faction opposed the bill. An amnesty will not contribute to peace in Chechnya until the rampant mopping-up operations that federal troops conduct in Chechen villages are drastically limited and Chechen borders are effectively sealed so hardened rebels cannot escape, said Alexei Arbatov, the faction's point man on the bill.


Russia Lawmakers: End Abuses In Chechnya, Open Peace Talks
Associated Press, May 18, 2003

Liberal Russian lawmakers called Sunday for an end to abuses by Russian forces in Chechnya and for talks aimed at bringing peace to the region, where deadly violence has persisted despite the Kremlin's efforts to defeat rebels and enhance stability.


Alexei Arbatov: "Election at war time is nonsense."
By Natalya Gorodetskaya, Politburo, March 31, 2003

The voting won't provide an answer as to whether there is a state of emergency in Chechnya today or not; whether you can stop anyone at a control post, asking for bribes or not; whether you can arrest people without the authorization of a public prosecutor or not, etc: This means that the referendum has not resolved the conflict - and there has been a conflict - between the military and the population.


Referendum in Chechnya
Special for YABLOKO web-site, By Grigory Yavlinsky, March 24, 2003

Real progress towards an improvement in the situation can be expected, if the authorities adhere to their promises on guaranteeing social support for the citizens of Chechnya and there is an end to the mop-ups, torture, violence and kidnapping of people.


Artists Call for Peace in Chechnya
Smena, St.Petersburg, March 20, 2003
An open letter to all the citizens of Russia on an end to the war in Chechnya was signed by 60 prominent figures of arts and science in Russia.


Where all the Democrats Agreed
By Ekaterina Blatova, Novaya Gazeta, March 20, 2003
Explaining at a press conference the position of the YABLOKO party, Deputy Head of the Party Igor Artemyev said that: "In general we support the adopted statement, but we think that a peaceful conference must be chaired by the President of Russia, as this is the only way to guarantee that the decisions adopted at the conference are real and will be implemented".


Let Us Join Together to Stop the War in Chechnya
Novaya Gazeta, March 20, 2003
We call on our compatriots to do away with passivity and indifference. We represent the state! The country is what we make of it.


Grigory Yavlinsky: "Russia should not send a single soldier to the war."
Ekho Moskvi radio station, March 19, 2003
Speaking in an interview with Russian Ekho Moskvy radio on 19 March, Grigory Yavlinsky said a large international contingent should be amassed to bring political and military pressure to bear on Iraq, but that action should stop short of a large-scale military operation. In the same interview, the Yabloko leader also cast doubts on the value of the Chechen referendum, arguing that only a peace conference chaired by the Russian President could alter the situation in the republic.


Grigory Yavlinsky: "Mop-ups, robberies and violence should be stopped."
Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky, "Politbureau" journal, March 17, 2003
The consequences of an unprepared referendum can also bring dangers: they can aggravate contradictions inside the Chechen community: they can play into the hands of the forces interested in civil war.


"On the attitude towards holding a referendum on Constitution in Chechnya and the necessity to convoke a peace conference."
Statement, The All-Russia Democratic Assembly, Moscow, March 17, 2003
The situation in Chechnya can only be resolved through a wide-ranging political process, involving all the interested parties.


Putin offers Chechens sweeping autonomy under new constitution
AFP, March 17, 2003

The constitution would "give Chechnya a chance to reconstruct its life and obtain sweeping autonomy within Russia's borders," Putin said in a televised address broadcast late Sunday to the few Chechen households that still have access to television.


Yabloko Party opposes an unprepared referendum in Chechnya
Interfax, March 12, 2003

MOSCOW. March 12 (Interfax) - Yabloko Party leader Grigory Yavlinsky believes that the Chechen referendum has not been fully prepared and that a peace conference with all the warring parties should be held instead.


On regulation of the crisis in Chechnya
Statement, The Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO, March 11, 2003

The Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO thinks that the situation in Chechnya can only be settled as part of wide-ranging political process involving all interested parties.


After the referendum - not too much
By Andrei Piontkovsky, The Russia Journal, February 21-27, 2003

A demonstration against the Chechen War in central Moscow on Feb. 1 attracted just a few hundred people. Wet snow fell on the yellow robes of Buddhists beating a tambourine that somehow made a particularly mournful and lonely sound. The state TV channels either ignored the demonstration altogether or emphasized the small number of people it drew.


Chechen Referendum Will Solve Nothing
By Grigory Yavlinsky, The Moscow Times, February 20, 2003

It is clearly unrealistic to expect a referendum can be held in just over a month that will foster a political process which will put an end to the bloodshed -- given the existing situation in Chechnya and the time constraints.


Return of the refugees residing in Ingushetia to Chechnya is inadmissible
Aliance Media, December 10, 2002

The leader of the YABLOKO party Grigory Yavlinsky said that the problem of refugees from Chechnya was discussed at the meeting of the Presidium of the Federal Council of the YABLOKO party. Earlier some human rights activists and journalists had informed the public that the Ingush authorities had made Chechen refugees leave the "Iman" camp. This information was subsequently refuted by Presidential Aid Sergei Yastrzhembsky.


Why Doesn't the Budget Allocate Expenditures on War Separately?
Novaya Gazeta, November 28, 2002

Such a situation has developed since the first military campaign in Chechnya. At the time there considerable debate about the need to introduce a separate budget item on [the war in] Chechnya. Unfortunately, however, even then there were already a considerable number of opponents to such transparency. Nobody wants to disclose the exact figure for expenditures.


The Expenditures Are Typical of War Rather Than an "Operation"
Interview with Alexei Arbatov by Irina Gordiyenko
Novaya Gazeta, November 18, 2002

Alexei Arbatov, member of the State Duma commission for reviewing federal budget expenditures allotted to defence and security issues of the Russian Federation, told us about the specifics of the formation of the "budget of war".


Alexei Arbatov: What Should We Do About Chechnya?
Interview with Alexei Arbatov by Mikhail Falaleev
Komsomolskaya Pravda, November 9, 2002

We need to review the course of action we have pursued in Chechnya over the past three years - the military, economic, and political aspects. Look, even the Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov recently referred to events in Chechnya as "a war" - previously, the official term was "counter-terrorist operation". This indicates that events are getting out of control.


Yavlinsky calls untimely the Moscow conference of supporters of talks with Maskhadov
Interfax, November 9, 2002

MOSCOW. Nov 9 (Interfax) - Leader of the Yabloko party Grigory Yavlinskyhas called inappropriate the timing of the conference For the Termination of War and a Peace Settlement in the Chechen Republic, which is being held in Moscow on Saturday.


Russia to Probe Hostage Crisis
Associated Press, By Sarah Karush, November 15, 2002

Moscow (AP) - President Vladimir Putin will appoint an official to investigate last month's hostage crisis in a Moscow theater that left 128 captives dead, a leading Russian lawmaker said Friday.


In Russia, "Nothing Is Debated"
Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky by Paul Starobin and Catherine Belton

BusinessWeek Online, November 13, 2002
In Russia, "Nothing Is Debated". So says Grigory Yavlinsky, whose efforts to negotiate an end to the Moscow theater siege reminded him that the Soviet mindset lives on With dark rings under his eyes and a look of exhaustion on his face, it was clear Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the liberal Russian parliamentary faction Yabloko, had been through a hellish few days. An advocate of ending Russia's war in the breakaway republic of Chechnya, he was among the few allowed to negotiate with the armed Chechen terrorists who took some 800 people hostage in a Moscow theater Oct. 23 in a tense three-day siege.


Forum Tries to Find Peace for Chechnya
The Moscow Times, By Judith Ingram, November 11, 2002.

Human rights activists, liberal politicians and Chechen representatives gathered at a Moscow hotel on Saturday to discuss an unpopular idea -- ending the three-year war in Chechnya through peace talks.


Putin hints at new action to solve Chechnya
Reuters, By Richard Balmforth, November 9, 2002
MOSCOW, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, under international pressure to end the Chechnya conflict peacefully after a bloody hostage-seizure in Moscow, gave his backing on Saturday for new political moves in the rebel region.


A Generation Raised With War
The Moscow Times, By Anna Politkovskaya, November 4, 2002

Abu Bakar lifts the black mask covering his face. We are staring, examining each other at close quarters, both trying to understand what's going to happen when this, yet another Russian tragedy, is over. Abu Bakar, a 29-year-old Chechen, looks 40. He is deputy commander of the terrorist group that has taken several hundred people hostage. I am a journalist who has come to the captured theater to negotiate. I am trying to understand who these people are. Who is behind them? And, more important, what comes after them?


Russian liberal politician calls for end to the Chechen war
Channel 3 TV, Moscow, October 3, 2002
Russian liberal Yabloko party leader Grigoriy Yavlinsky urged President Vladimir Putin to put an end to the war in Chechnya, which he described as pure "bloodshed" and a "political adventure", and launch negotiations with rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov. He also said that Russian army colonel Yury Budanov, accused of murdering a Chechen girl, should be convicted.


Nezavisimoe Voyennoye Obozrenie, July 19, 2002
by Alexei Arbatov

A controversial presidential bill on combating extremism was pushed through the State Duma by On June 6 the Duma resolutely voted in favour of a law to counter extremism in the first reading. The law was passed despite its clearly draft" nature and the views of some parties that this law Clearly Chechnya is the most sensitive issue for the Russian leadership. The situation there may well be described as stagnation or a cul-de-sac. The federal government is incapable of establishing firm military and political control over Chechnya; the armed opposition lacks the strength to inflict a major defeat on the federal troops.


Temporary Friendship or Eternal Union?
Obschaya Gazeta, January 24, 2002
Our party has from the outset ultimately backed the position expressed by President Vladimir Putin in his television address to the nation on September 11, 2001, - solidarity with the US in the fight against international terrorism, a course towards rapprochement with the West and the establishment of a partnership and preferably an alliance.

Alexei Arbatov on the proposal to punish the relatives of terrorists
Ekho Moskvi radio station, January 23, 2002
'Anchor: News from the Duma: the Duma has drafted a law that has engendered many disputes...'

Russian political activist calls on West to tell Russia whence terrorist money and arsenals come

RIA Novosti, March 11, 2001

Russia looks forward to information from the West about sources of weapon and money donations to Central Asian and Chechen terrorists, Grigori Yavlinsky, reformist Yabloko movement leader, says in a memorandum to a Tripartite Commission conference in London.

Elena Bonner: Living a big lie in Putin's new

The Sunday Times, February 18, 2001

Today total state terror seems impossible, but we lived, and continue to live, in a state of lies. The great lie calls Russia a democratic state. The barely created election procedures were violated during the elections in Chechnya, which took place during the first Chechen war, and again in Yeltsin's 1996 election victory - which was decided largely by money and not the will of the voters. Then came the appointment of Putin as Yeltsin's heir, as if Russia were a monarchy.

Anti-war Yavlinsky is Russia's real patriot

The Russian Journal, By Michael Heath,

January 17, 2000

To call for a halt to a hugely popular war in the midst of an election campaign, as liberal Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky did late last year, would normally amount to political suicide.

Removing the bandits and saving our own peoples' lives

By Grigory Yavlinsky, Chairman of the Yabloko Association, Yabloko Rossiyi, No. 50, November 20-26, 1999

Recent developments confirmed yet again the correctness of our stance. Owing to negotiations Gudermes was taken by our army without a single shot of gun fire, followed by Akhchoi-Martan. In August-September we discovered that if the local population supports the Russian authorities and the actions of the military, this leads to effective measures to overcome the bandits.

Six Conditions for Maskhadov

By Grigory Yavlinsky, Chairman of the Yabloko Association, Obschaya Gazeta, No. 45, November 11, 1999

Today the problem of Chechnya is the most difficult one for Russia. This is primarily because here we are confronted with a lethal threat to hundreds of thousands of really unfortunate, innocent women, old people and children, ordinary citizens of the Russian Federation, Chechnians by birth who simply want to live and work on their land.


Declaration of Grigory Yavlinsky, head of the Yabloko faction in the State Duma on November 9 1999

The situation in Russia has become increasingly tense. There are hundreds of thousands of refugees in the Northern Caucasus; there is the threat of a wide-scale partisan war in winter, an increase in civilian casualties, and the provocation of conflicts between the military and the civil leadership of the country owing to unclear political prospects in Chechnya all this becomes a serious factor behind political destabilisation.


Interview of Grigory Yavlinsky by Sergey Dorenko

ORT channel, Interviewer -Sergey Dorenko October 24, 1999

Yavlinsky: Our position can be summed up as follows: today the requisite conditions have been established for increased control over security in the Northern Caucasus. We support the government's actions, with respect to our troops's success in establishing control over the heights (Ed. around Chechnya). We think that our troops should consolidate their positions in the heights.


Interview of Sergei Stepashin for the programme "Geroi Dnya" ("Hero of the Day") programme

NTV Programme, Interviewer - Svetlana Sorokina, October 5, 1999

Stepashin: I think that, as far as I understand Vladimir Putin, one of his main tasks was to enlist our support. Let us be honest. For today we are involved in a full-scale military operation in Chechnya. We call it a war against terrorism, but it is absolutely clear that, when artillery and aviation are employed and the troops have already approached the Terek River, this certainly means war.

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