My translation of Novaya gazeta calling Putin out.
Ramzan Kadyrov and the unnamed “officials of Chechnya”? They are all one in the same. We remember the names of those who questioned. It’s unknown whether “Kadyrov’s list” was written on down. About which are many rumors. But it has been obvious for a while that there are a number in Moscow, other exotic international capitals, and with a furious speed – in the Caucasus. Last entry on it – was reserved for Natasha.
And nevertheless – someone must answer. Still before killers will stand like Raduev at the prison doors. Some suggest that we don’t have a state. But we do have a state, and there are even people who know about these high-profile political murders in Russia (everyone) more that others. This person gave the “all clear” for tying Russia to Chechnya. He thought up a new type of power in the Russian Caucasus. This person claims that human rights activists such as Natalia Estemirova must be “jackals” who beg for scraps at foreign embassies.
Where the jackals, Vladimir Vladimirovich?
You Might also like
- By Sean — 8 years ago
DE RUEHMO #2429/01 1441227
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 241227Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0559
INFO RUEHXD/MOSCOW POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MOSCOW 002429
EO 12958 DECL: 05/23/2017
TAGS PREL, PGOV, PINR, RS
SUBJECT: RUSSIAN REACTION TO LITVINENKO MURDER CHARGES
REF: LONDON 1997
Classified By: Ambassador William J. Burns. Reasons 1.4 (b and d).
1. (C) SUMMARY: The GOR is highly unlikely to extradite former FSB officer Andrey Lugovoy to Britain, citing constitutional and other legal prohibitions against the extradition of Russian citizens. Official and unofficial Russian reaction to the May 22 British announcement that Lugovoy would be charged with the murder of Aleksandr Litvinenko has been nearly uniform in rejecting the UK request that he stand trial in London. The MFA held out the prospect of further cooperation in the investigation, while citing the impossibility of extradition, but other Russian commentators were more categorical, suggesting that the British charges were politically motivated. A few opposition voices called for Lugovoy to voluntarily submit to British justice. The British Embassy expects a further worsening in the UK-Russia and EU-Russia relationships. We should continue to reinforce to the GOR the damaging consequences to Russia’s reputation should this case fail to reach trial. END SUMMARY.
2. (C) On May 22, the UK’s Crown Prosecution Service announced that it had sufficient evidence to request Lugovoy’s extradition and to charge him with the polonium poisoning of Litvinenko in November 2006. UK Ambassador Brenton told the Ambassador May 23 that the UK Embassy expected to receive the final warrant by the end of the week and would transmit it to the Procuracy shortly thereafter.
EXTRADITION: OBSTACLES AND OPTIONS
3. (SBU) Both the Russian Constitution and the Criminal Code prohibit the GOR from extraditing Russian citizens, as is the case in several other European countries whose legal systems have evolved from the Napoleonic code. Russia has a 2006 Memorandum of Understanding with the Crown Prosecution Service and is a signatory to the 1957 European Convention on Extradition. Both of these were mentioned in the Prosecution Service’s announcement of the charges, but neither of them would supersede the Russian Constitution and obligate Russia to extradite Lugovoy. There is a precedent for the GOR to prosecute Russian citizens in lieu of extradition. Three times it has done so at U.S. request — two murders and one money laundering case — but none of these cases led to a conviction, and the British are not apparently considering this option.
4. (SBU) In a May 22 statement on its website, the MFA reiterated its readiness to cooperate further in an objective investigation into Litvinenko’s death, but it emphasized that Russia’s legal prohibitions against extradition were well known and similar to those in place in other countries.
5. (SBU) Other official and unofficial Russian reaction was overwhelmingly against the British request. Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov said that the Russian parliament would uphold Russian law and not allow Lugovoy to be returned to Britain. International Affairs Committee Chairman Konstantin Kosachev warned that diplomatic relations with the UK would be negatively affected should the charges be politically motivated. Duma Deputy Viktor Ilyukhin, the vice chair of the Duma’s Security Committee, rhetorically asked why Russia should even consider Britain’s request when it ignored the GOR’s efforts to extradite Boris Berezovskiy and Chechen separatist emissary Akhmed Zakayev. LDPR Chairman Vladimir Zhironovskiy thought that Russian law enforcement might want to trade Lugovoy for Berezovskiy.
6. (SBU) Independent Duma Deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov was one of the few who suggested Russia’s international interests ought to take precedence over national law and expressed confidence in the results of the British investigation. Protecting Lugovoy would lead to extensive damage to Russia’s image abroad, he said. Likewise, LDPR Deputy Aleksey Mitrofonov publicly called on Lugovoy to return to London voluntarily. Mitrofonov said that Russia and Britain needed to resolve the issue or Russia faced the prospect of further deterioration in its relations with the West amid growing suspicions that the GOR was protecting Lugovoy. He suggested that “public” pressure on Lugovoy to voluntarily face British justice might be the best way out of an impasse.
BRITAIN’S NEXT STEPS
7. (C) Noting that the UK would be seeking an EU statement of support in urging Russia to agree to extradition (reftel), Brenton predicted that the failure to turn over Lugovoy would create serious problems in London’s bilateral relationship with Moscow, and potentially problems in the EU-Russian relationship as well. Failing any progress, he reiterated the UK may reassess whether it would support a new EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement. The German and French missions have expressed to us their doubts about this approach, noting the similar constitutional restrictions on the extradition of nationals by some EU countries.
PUBLIC APATHY ABOVE ALL
8. (C) Ekho Moskvy’s Aleksey Venediktov told us separately there is little chance of a resolution soon, particularly given the rift in relations between Putin and Blair. Putin believes PM Blair betrayed him over the British refusal to extradite Berezovskiy, and Venediktov said that the GOR has now pinned its hopes for a better relationship with Britain on Brown. Venediktov said Russian public opinion is largely indifferent to the whole affair, based on responses to Ekho’s on-air discussions about Litvinenko’s death, and doubted it would be a factor in the GOR position. Demos Center’s Tanya Lokshina similarly questioned whether there would be anything other than public support for the GOR’s position and that the public was more likely to believe that the charge against Lugovoy was one more Western provocation.
9. (C) Comment. It is highly unlikely that the GOR will yield its constitutional principle on extradition. There is no indication that any Russian offer of cooperation short of extradition will satisfy the Crown Prosecution Service’s request. Given the sensational nature of the murder and the uncertainty over where the trial may lead beyond Lugovoy, there has been little official interest expressed in Lugovoy clearing his name in a UK court. Although we know of no other legal mechanisms that would trump the Russian constitution, we should continue to reinforce to the GOR the long-term damage to Russia’s reputation if this case fails to go to trial. BURNS
- By Sean — 9 years ago
Two more human rights workers have been kidnapped in Grozny, the Russian media is reporting. According to Ingushetia.ru, Zarema Sadulaeva and her husband Alik Dzhabrailov were taken by unknown gunmen from the office of “Save the Generation,” a non-governmental youth organization that provides medical and psychological help for youth and children traumatized by violence in Chechnya. Alexandr Cherkasov of Memorial told Ekho Moskvy:
“Around 2 p.m. unknown armed men entered the office of “Save the Generation.” Two were in civilian clothing and three were in black uniforms. They introduced themselves as representatives of the security organs. They took Zarema and her husband, and after some time returned and took their cell phone and her husband’s car. When they are now and which agency abducted them is unknown.”
Chechen security organs say that it is too early to say whether Sadulaeva and Dzhabrailov were kidnapped. “According to eyewitnesses, Saduleava and her husband went into the car voluntarily. No force was used against them,” a representative told Interfax.
Too early to say? It’s not like this is the first time this has happened. Well, if they were indeed taken by Chechen security agents then the MVD should know where they are and why they were taken. If not, then they were kidnapped by persons posing as Chechen police. I don’t know which is worse.
The kidnappings come a few days after Ramzan Kadyrov denied allegations in an interview with Radio Svoboda that he was involved in last month’s abduction and murder of Nataila Estemirova . When asked whether he would consider creating an independent commission to investigate her murder, Kadyrov replied,
Why invite people from outside to do that if we have our own laws here? Are investigations in the Russian Federation conducted worse than in other countries? A full investigation is being carried out.[Memorial head] Oleg Orlov blamed me [for Estemirova’s death]. That human rights defender violated my human rights. He should have protected me as an individual and thought about what he was going to say. But he accused me of being a murderer. He said that Kadyrov killed Estemirova. I told him, “Mr. Orlov, you’re an adult. Be a real person for once in your life and tell me why you violated my rights?” He replied saying, “That’s not what I meant. I meant you in your role as president.”
They [human rights activists] are all lawyers. The texts they write follow the letter of the law. [Orlov] told me he blamed me as president, as the guarantor of the constitution. They’re very good lawyers. But if they say that Kadyrov or his people are to blame, let them prove it. Why would Kadyrov kill women that no one needs?[Estemirova] never had any honor or sense of shame. And still I appointed her head of a [civil society advisory] commission with the mayor of Grozny as her deputy. I wanted to be objective about addressing the issue. But she didn’t like it. She would say stupid things. I told her, “You’re a woman, and we’re trying to do something for the people. But if it doesn’t work, don’t blame us.” I said I would show her the city budget and told her to try to do better. She said, “Yes, I understand.”
So I said I’d disband the commission, thanks very much for your work, but I don’t trust you. I didn’t treat her gently. I didn’t tell her I loved her. I told it like it was. We were both acting in our professional capacities. She was the head of the commission, and I, as the president of Chechnya, was evaluating her work. So why am I to blame? Let the investigators conduct their work. If Kadyrov or his people are to blame, let them be tried and jailed.
Well that’s reassuring . . .
Here is more Kadyrov in his own words:
- By Sean — 9 years ago
The Nation‘s Katriana Vanden Heuvel (and wife of Russia scholar Stephen Cohen) has addressed the murder of Natalya Estermirova. According to preliminary reports, Estermirova was abducted and stuffed in a van. Her corpse was later found murdered near a woodland area near Nazran in Ingushetia. Estermirova had a direct connection to the Nation. She wrote a chronicle of Anna Politkovskaya’s work in Chechnya for the magazine in 2007. About Politkovskaya, Estermirova wrote:
“There are those with a vested interest in keeping the Russian Abu Ghraib forgotten–so that they can once again kidnap and torture. Our task, however, is to uncover their deeds and to fight them. Anna was at the forefront of this work for many years.”
The final line of that article reads: “She is no more. Now it is up to us to continue her work.” Well, Estermirova did, and like Politkovskaya, paid the ultimate price, most likely at the hands of very people who have a “vested interest in keeping the Russian Abu Gharib forgotten.”
For Russian Live Journal reactions see Vilhelm Konnander’s summary on Global Voices.
While Estermirova was no journalist by trade, her personal friendship with Politkovskaya once again reminds one of the dangers of activist journalism in Russia. However, it is important to remember that most Russian journalists who’ve been killed or beaten don’t have high profile status or Western liberal friends. Most write for small papers. Most live far from Moscow where local power is much more immediate and violent and where baseball bats and metal pipes, not pistols, tend to be the weapon of choice. Most write not on Chechnya or oligarchs in Moscow, but on local political and business corruption. The most recent example of such a journalist was Vyacheslav Yaroshenko, the editor-in-chief of Rostov paper Corruption and Crime. He was beaten to death in April and died of his injuries in late June.
Vanden Heuvel says that more than thirty journalists have been killed since Yeltsin. I’ve read much higher numbers. It just depends how you categorize them. But one thing is for sure, this pattern unfortunately has continued with Putin and Medvedev at the helm.
Equally sad is the pessimism that these types of incidents induce. While I share Vaden Heuvel’s call to honor the courage of Natalya Estemirova, I’m afraid that even despite Medvedev’s expression of outrage, that her call for justice, however necessary, will ring hollow.