Russia

Chechnya - The week in brief: 23 - 30 Apr 2007

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April 23 - Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin died of heart failure in a Moscow hospital, aged 76.

April 24 - The Moscow-backed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov held a meeting in Moscow with Abubakar Arsamakov, chairman of the Moscow Industrial Bank, who recently announced his intention of investing in economic and social spheres in the Chechen Republic. The businessman's brothers, Yunus and Yusup Arsamakov, who were abducted on February 8, have not yet been found.

April 25 - Deceased former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who died on April 23, was buried at Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow.

April 25 - Gazeta.ru reported that the Council of Europe and the European Commission are going to spend 1.9 million euros to reduce the number of complaints received by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) from Russia. Particular attention will be paid to violations of citizens' rights in the North Caucasus.

April 26 - The European Parliament criticized Russia and the institutions of the EU for making too little progress in the field of human rights violations in Russia and expressed its concern at the situation in Chechnya, the new law on NGOs, and threats against journalists and human rights defenders.

April 27 - Pro-guerrilla website Daymohk.org reported that on April 7 Chechen resistance leader Dokka Umarov signed a decree reviving the so-called "Sharia Guard" in the structures of the Armed Forces of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. This unit was disbanded by the then Ichkerian President Aslan Maskhadov after the tragic armed clashes that took place in Gudermes in mid-July 1998.

April 27 - A Russian military helicopter crashed in Chechnya's Shatoysky district during a battle with Chechen guerrillas, killing 18-20 people on board. Early news reports and pro-guerrilla websites said the Mi-8 helicopter had been shot down, while the Moscow-backed Chechen authorities rejected it.

April 28 - A chapel was opened on the site of the tragic death of former army general and regional governor Alexander Lebed and that of his seven co-passengers who lost their lives in a helicopter crash in the Yermakovsky district of Krasnoyarsk Krai five years ago, Newsru.com reported.

April 28 - The Moscow-backed Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov completed the formation of the cabinet by appointing its last member, minister for housing and communal services Abu Sugaipov.

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