23 July 2010
The Moscow Times
The government is hoping to launch the first version of a "national operating system" for its computers as early as next year, a senior Communications and Press Ministry official said Thursday.
The operating system, for use on the computer systems of government agencies and state-run companies, will be 90 percent based on the open-source Linux operating system, Deputy Communications and Press Minister Ilya Massukh said.
He said use of the operating system would be optional for all agencies.
The operating system is part of the Information Society program, which the government is planning to implement from September. The program will receive 10 billion rubles ($330 million) in funding per year and includes other technology-related projects such as the creation of an "electronic government."
The national operating system "may be one of the first targeted programs from the new raft that the government is going to approve," Massukh said.
The ministry is planning to hold a tender for the development of the operating system at the beginning of next year.
Massukh also said a state e-mail system, under the "electronic government" framework, could be launched next year.
The government may have even bigger IT goals in mind as well.
Vedomosti reported Thursday that the Kremlin is supporting the development of a national search engine to fuel the development of new technologies and increase competition.
The government is investing $100 million in the program and has convinced IT companies such as Abbyy, Rostelekom, KM.ru and IBS Group to participate.
Anti-Kremlin activists have targeted the home of one of the police officers accused of complicity over the agonising prison death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
By Andrew Osborn in Moscow
Published: 5:45AM BST 23 Jul 2010
Mr Magnitsky, 37, died a lonely death in a Moscow prison in November 2009 after uncovering what is alleged to be the biggest tax fraud in Russian history – a $230m (£150m) crime against the state.
Before his death, Mr Magnitsky, whose firm was working for William Browder's Hermitage Capital Management at the time, alleged the fraud was orchestrated by a group of corrupt policemen using two stolen subsidiaries of the hedge fund.
His friends allege the same policemen then falsely imprisoned Mr Magnitsky. Activists from the "Other Russia" anti-Kremlin opposition party on Thursday targeted one of the policemen in a high-profile protest. They unfurled a banner making allegations about the officer on a building opposite his elite Moscow apartment.
They also glued a portrait of the late Mr Magnitsky to his front door and flooded his neighbours' letterboxes with leaflets explaining the case and the officer's alleged role in it.
"We want to inform you who is living under the same roof as you," said Alexander Averin, one of the party's senior activists.
The officer has so far not responded to the allegations though one of his colleagues, Pavel Karpov, said earlier this month that the policemen were the victims of a slanderous campaign to discredit them.
He asked the authorities to open a criminal case against Mr Browder, Mr Magnitsky's former boss, Jamison Firestone, and one other lawyer for allegedly organising the campaign.
Mr Magnitsky, who left a wife and two children, was kept in medieval prison conditions and denied basic medical care and medication despite making repeated requests for help.
Dagestan authorities give militants 'final warning'
The authorities of Russia's North Caucasus republic of Dagestan issued a "final warning" to the militants, urging them to stop further terrorist attacks, the first deputy head of the Dagestan government said.
"We are giving the militants a final warning: stop the extremist activity and give up or face elimination," Rizvan Kurbanov said.
He said the government's repeated attempts to start negotiations with the militants had been ignored.
Kurbanov said the warning was also directed at anyone who helps known militants.
"They [accomplices] must stop helping the 'forest brothers' [terrorist gangs often hide out in the forest]. They will be eliminated along with the militants, within the law, but without any mercy," he said.
Russia's mainly Muslim North Caucasus republics, especially Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, have seen an upsurge of militant violence lately. Experts see the poor social and economic situation in the region as the main reason for the numerous terrorist attacks in the country.
MAKHACHKALA, July 23 (RIA Novosti)
07/23 11:42 Railway services restored on railway damaged by blast in Dagestan
Bomb blasted on railway in Dagestan, train traffic suspended
MAKHACHKALA, July 23 (Itar-Tass) -- Unidentified gunmen set off an explosive device on the Inchkhe-Izbirbash railway section in Dagestan on Friday morning. The bomb blast went off at 8.50 am Moscow time on the 2,362nd kilometer of the North Caucasus Railway, a source in the police alert force of the Makhachkala transport police department told Itar-Tass.
“About two meters of the railway track were damaged on the down line. No casualties were reported,” the source said.
The Baku-Kharkov passenger train was delayed and is on standby on the railway station Derbent.
Detectives are working at the blast site. After that the repairmen will start restoring the railway track.
Trains moving from Azerbaijan stopped due to explosion in Dagestan
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 23 / Trend /
We have not received the information about delay of trains because of the explosion at the railway Inchkhe-Izbirbash in Dagestan (Russia) yet, spokesman for CJSC Azerbaijan Railways Nadir Azmammadov said.
Russian media reported that the movement of the passenger train Baku-Kiev was temporarily halted because of the explosion. The train is in Derbent.
The blast occurred today about 10:00 Baku time on the 2,362 km North-Caucasian Railway. The blast damaged about 2 m line. No one was injured.
CJSC Azerbaijan Railways chief engineer Gurban Nazirov said that demand for tickets for trains from Azerbaijan in this direction reduced by 20-30 percent due to often explosions on the railway on the territory of Russia (Dagestan).
Nazirov said that explosions affect negatively both on passenger and freight transportation and lead to delays in the schedule of trains.
The explosions often take place on the Russian railway on the territory of Dagestan. An explosive device detonated when a buffer distance train, consisting of a locomotive and two wagons with sand, was moving July 15.
As a result of such incidents trains moving to Azerbaijan and from Azerbaijan delay. Today CJSC "Azerbaijan Railways" makes trips through Dagestan to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov, Tyumen, Kiev, Kharkov and other cities.
In Dagestan, land mine exploded on the railway
At the railway-the line Inchkhe Kayakent in Dagestan, an explosion occurred, which resulted in one person injured. This informs "Interfax" referring to Makhachkala branch railway.
The incident occurred at 8:50 local time. According to railway officials, exploded bombs, hidden in a bag wrapped in duct tape.
At the time of the explosion of trains on this section was not - trains traveling in both directions, had to pass. Nevertheless, the explosion had damaged about half a meter rail, and fragments of an explosive device hit the arrows of the railway.
At the same time, the Itar-Tass quotes a few other details. As the agency in the duty of Makhachkala linear Department of Internal Affairs on transport, the explosion occurred in the line-Inchkhe Izberbash. According to the source of Itar-Tass, damaged about two meters of track. According to police, there were no injuries.
As a result of the accident train traffic in both directions suspended. In particular, time to destination is not able to arrive at a passenger train number 369 Baku-Kiev, which is now in Derbent.
Jihad railroad occur regularly in Dagestan. In July alone, such cases were already at least two. July 11 explosion occurred in the way of freight trains on the line Aci Izberbash, resulting in electric locomotives and 13 cars derailed. Four days later, on the line Tarkio Manas has been undermined by train. No victims in both cases.
Veteran of Anti-Russian Wars named as Head of Dagestan's Sharia Jamaat
July 23, 2010
Dagestan’s Sharia Jamaat acquired a new leader this past week, six months after the death on the night of December 31, 2009 of the previous Emir al-Bar (aka Umalat Magomedov).
Seifullah of Gubden (aka Magomed Vagapov), the emir of the Gubden Jamaat, has been chosen for this position on the orders of Doku Umarov, the leader of the Caucasus Emirate (www.kavkazcenter.com, July 15). Seifullah of Gubden is now not merely the emir of Dagestan, but has also become the chief qadi of the Caucasus Emirate under a separate decree by Umarov. Vagapov has thus also assumed the responsibilities that were filled by Emir Seifullah (aka Anzor Astemirov), the leader of Kabardino-Balkaria’s Yarmuk Jamaat, before he was killed on March 25, 2010 (www.generalvekalat.org, March 25) and left the post vacant. The new leader of the Dagestani rebels thus enjoys a bigger role than his predecessors did since he now leads both the military branch of the Sharia Jamaat and the judiciary branch of the entire Caucasus Emirate.
The appointment of Seifullah of Gubden is not surprising. He was one of two potential candidates. A trickier part of the question is why the selection process for the new emir took such a long time –more than six months. It could well be true that the leadership of the Caucasus rebels was considering someone else for that position, who might have died between March and April. Among the purported candidates was also Ibrahim Gadzhidadaev, a two-time champion of Europe and the world in Chinese martial arts (wushu) (www.runewsweek.ru, February 3), who organized the assassination of Dagestan’s Interior Minister, Adilgirei Magomedtagirov, on June 5, 2009 in the Dagestani capital, Makhachkala (Kommersant, June 6, 2009). Gadzhidadaev now serves as the leader of the Gimri Jamaat, one of the active units on the Dagestani front of the North Caucasus insurgency. Despite the fact that many Russian press sources had long circulated information on Gadzhidadaev’s appointment, Caucasus Emirate representatives did not hurry to either confirm or deny the Russian media speculation. In any case, an official decree on the appointment of the successor to Emir al-Bar has appeared only in regard to Emir Seifullah (Magomed Vagapov).
No matter what, the incumbent emir is well known across Dagestan as a tough and uncompromising man toward everyone who supports Russian rule in the North Caucasus. He received his Islamic education overseas, including in Pakistan (www.chernovik.net/print.php?new=3444). Apparently, his knowledge of Islamic law was taken into account when he was appointed as supreme qadi of the Caucasus Emirate. Emir Seifullah started his rebel career in Chechnya with the beginning of the second Russo-Chechen war in 1999. The Gubden Jamaat that he leads is thought to be quite numerous, and includes approximately 50 men and has the reputation for being one of the most efficient military units in the entire Dagestan Jamaat.
Now that a man with a ten-year war experience in Dagestan and Chechnya is in charge of the jamaat, it might be assumed that rebel attacks would intensify all across the Dagestan front of rebel activities. But even without a further intensification, that part of the North Caucasus is already dangerously active. For instance, after the decree on Emir Seifullah’s appointment was published, on July 15 yet another armored train was blown up in Dagestan, interrupting the connection with the southern part of the republic, as well as with Azerbaijan for both passenger and freight trains. That same day, the head of the administration of the village of Kirov-aul was killed in Makhachkala’s Separatorny district. Around the same time, unidentified rebels fired for fifteen minutes on the house of a local police officer in the Dagestani village of Sergokala. A little later, Arthur Suleimanov, the 49-year-old minister of the Hosanna Protestant Church was killed in the Dagestani capital. And finally, Russian law enforcement officers engaged in a 16-hour-long battle in the city of Khasavyurt as they attempted to storm a house where two rebels were hiding.
Details of these attacks are from open source information that is freely accessible on the Internet. But, obviously, there are other incidents, especially in the mountainous sections of Dagestan, routinely left outside media coverage. It is just such information that the Russian authorities are trying as hard as they can to hide from the public.
Meanwhile, disturbing reports have started to emerge from the Black Sea coastline on the opposite side of the Caucasus. With the arrival of the Russian army in Abkhazia and simultaneously wider Internet accessibility, there has been (paradoxically) more news from that region, which is not controlled by either the local or Russian authorities. For instance, the Spiritual Board of Abkhaz Muslims announced that there had been an attempt to kill the imam of the Sukhumi mosque, Salikh Kvaratskhelia, on July 10 (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru, July 12). Three days later, in the town of Gagra in Abkhazia, unidentified gunmen shot dead a member of the public chamber and the chairman of the Gagra division of the Spiritual Board of Abkhaz Muslims, Emmik Chachmach-ogly (www.kavkazcenter.com, July 17). It is worth remembering that the first murder in Abkhazia of a member of the Muslim clergy was committed in 2007, when Imam Khamzat (Rokki) Gitsba and a resident of the Russian city of Ufa, Ruslan Assadulin, were killed in the town of Gudauta in Abkhazia (www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/123425/). Investigators have not even come up with official interpretations of those three murders.
Given that Abkhazia has a very small population and Islam is observed by a majority of the population (unofficially, Islam, Christianity and Animism are very much mixed up here and at times it is difficult to attribute a certain person to a perticular religion), it would be difficult to say that those murders were religiously motivated. But, in fact, hundreds of thousands of Abkhaz living in Turkey are Muslims. They are rather influential and are capable of impacting the situation in Abkhazia. The Abkhaz Diaspora allegedly has political rather than religious motivations, and there seems to be a force in Abkhazia that opposes Turkish influence in Sukhumi. Given the political leverage of the Abkhaz Diaspora in Turkey, they have to make concessions to it. The initial thought that the Abkhaz themselves could use tourism for their economic prosperity now already lacks credibility (http://beslan-arat.livejournal.com/1121.html). To change the situation, significant financial resources are needed. Having recognized Abkhazia’s independence from Georgia, Moscow would probably not like to have yet another Muslim republic in its southern flank that could strongly influence the neighboring Circassian lands in Russia’s Northern Caucasus. It can be concluded that the assault on and murders of Abkhazia’s Muslim figures are directly linked to Russian policy in the region. As the Muslim part of the population becomes stronger, Christians will depend on help from the outside. If this trend continues, then in two or three years the region might have new problems that would be impossible to regulate from Moscow.