Basic Political Developments

Police officer killed in shootout with militants in Russia’s North Caucasus

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Police officer killed in shootout with militants in Russia’s North Caucasus
08:38 27/05/2011

One police officer has been killed in a shootout with militants in the volatile south Russian republic of Dagestan, a police spokesman said on Friday.

Police have blockaded the militant group of around five people inside a private house in the village of Chontaul in the Kizilyurtovsky region.

“A police officer, who was wounded in the shootout, has died,” the spokesman said. “Security forces have isolated three private houses; militants are hiding out in one of them.”

More than a decade after the end of a war against separatists in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, Russian security forces continue to fight militants in other regions in the area, including Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, Ingushetia, and North Ossetia.

MAKHACHKALA, May 27 (RIA Novosti) 

North Ossetian professor beheaded for poetry criticizing Islam – paper

RT News line, May 27

Investigators believe a North Ossetian professor and public activist Shamil Jikayev has been killed for writing a poem critical of Muslims, Kommersant daily reports. The body of Jikayev, 71, Dean of the Ossetian Philology Department at the North Ossetian University and a prominent public figure, was found beheaded on Thursday. According to the investigators, Jikayev recently complained he had been receiving threats from Muslim activists who found one of his poems to be insulting to their religion and extremist. The poem in question, which mentions wolf cubs on their way to Hadj, was even reviewed by an official commission, though the experts did not find it extremist.

May 27, 2011 12:22

State of emergency declared in fire-hit districts of Yakutia
YAKUTSK. May 27 (Interfax) - Yakutia President Yegor Borisov has declared a state of emergency in the city of Yakutsk, villages located in its suburbs and eight districts of the republic where major wildfires are raging, the press service of Yakutia's president and government reported on Friday.

They include the Amga, Gorny, Megino-Kangalassky, Namtsy, Tattinsky, Ust-Aldansky and Churapcha districts.

The administrations in all of the municipalities where a state of emergency has been introduced have been ordered to take measures to extinguish forest fires and to prevent any threat to the local population.

Earlier reports said that a state of emergency had been declared in the Amga, Namtsy and Tattinsky districts by the local authorities, while 15 other districts of the republic and the city of Yakutsk had been put on a fire alert.

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09:35 27/05/2011ALL NEWS

Emergency regime introduced in Yakutia over forest fires.

27/5 Tass 88

GORNO-ALTAISK, May 27 (Itar-Tass) — The regional state of emergency in connection with forest fires has been declared in eight districts of Yakutia and in the city of Yakutsk by the republic’s presidential decree, the press service of the head and governments of the region said in Yakutsk.

The emergency situation regime is declared in the territory of the Amginsky, Gorny, Megino-Kangalassky, Namsky, Tattinsky, Ust-Aldansky, Khangalassky, Churapchinsky districts and the city of Yakutsk urban district. President of Yakutia Yegor Borisov instructed heads of municipalities to take measures to extinguish fires and prevent threats to human settlements in an emergency situation regime. According to him, the stay of people that are not involved in the fire extinguishing efforts in the forest zone, will be banned.

There are a total of 34 fires affecting a total area of 86,500 hectares in the forests of Yakutia. The city of Yakutsk and a number of settlements are in smoke. As many as 2,978 people and 289 pieces of fire-fighting equipment, including 8 aircraft, including two helicopters Mi-26 and an Ilyushin Il-76 plane from the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia (EMERCOM) are engaged in the fire fighting operation. The paratroopers of the specialised aviation fire fighting service of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, Magadan, Murmansk and Arkhangelsk regions, as well as Karelia, have been attracted to the operation within the framework of interregional cooperation in fighting wildfires. The main cause of the fires is agricultural burning in the conditions of dry and windy weather. The law enforcement and regulatory authorities have been able to identify 39 people, through the fault which fires occurred. Criminal proceedings will be instituted against them depending on the damage caused.

Earlier, head of the Aerial Forest Protection Service (Avialesookhrana) Andrei Yeritsov said that Yakutia’s leadership should declare the state of emergency in the republic due to big wildfires. “We proposed to move personnel of the Russian Federal Forest Service to the area. Previously the personnel fought fires in the Trans-Baikal region. But the republic’s government has given up assistance,” he said. Now the Federal Forest Service is expected to send its representatives to Yakutia “in order to estimate the situation on the ground.” “Recommendations have been given to declare the state of emergency because the situation remains difficult in the next few days,” Yeritsov said.

On May 16, a source from the regional department of the Russian emergencies ministry told Itar-Tass that five major forest fires, each covering the territory of up to 900 hectares, are raging in Russia’s Baikal region.

“Three of them have engulfed 1,600 hectares in the Petrovsk-Zabaikalsk district,” they added. Dry weather and gusts of wind up to 24 meters per second contribute to the spread of the blaze in Baikal region’s taiga, where 25 fires have spread to the area of 4,300 hectares. Seven more fires have been localized. Nine fires covering the area of about 240 hectares were put out on Monday. A total of 1,200 people, assisted by 215 special vehicles and six aircraft fight the blaze. Meanwhile, the regional prosecutor’s office toughens punishment for fires for officials and forest renters.

According to the Emergencies Ministry’s statistics, the most difficult fire situation is in the Republic of Yakutia, the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area, the Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk, and Amur regions. “There is no danger of fire spreading to local settlements. However, means and forces of the Ministry for Emergency Situations remain on high alert,” sources from the regional centre of the emergencies ministry said.

10:53 27/05/2011ALL NEWS

Damages from ammo depot fire in Bashkortostan exceed RUR 100 mln.

27/5 Tass 128


THE SETTLEMENT IGLINO (Bashkortostan), May 27 (Itar-Tass) —— The damages from a fire, which broke out at a munition depot of a military unit near the settlement of Urman in Bashkortostan, according to preliminary reports, exceed 100 million roubles, Bashkir Prime Minister Azamat Ilimbetov said on Friday.

Bashkir President Rustem Khamitov pledged that the full material damages will be indemnified to local residents. “New houses will be built at the place of the destroyed village and all the damages, even the minimal ones, will be repaid to local residents,” he noted.

About 400 employed residents of the village will receive the salary for the whole period of forced inactivity over the incident.

“The railway resumed the full train traffic and the oil pumping continues along the oil pipeline to Tatarstan,” he pointed out.

Ilimbetov emphasized that “construction sites for new houses are being picked up, the material aid is being determined to allocate from federal and republican budgets.” The Russian Defence Ministry will also agree on the payments, he remarked.

The fire was localized at a military unit by now, the press service of the Bashkir main EMERCOM department told Itar-Tass on Friday. “According to preliminary reports, no people died in the fire. Some 12 people turned for the medical aid, particularly nine people received the medical aid on the spot and three people were hospitalized to the central district hospital in the Iglino district,” the source said.

“The fires in the residential area were put down and were localized at the military unit. A drone has made a reconnaissance of the terrain in the incident area. The robotic equipment El-10 and El-4 are used at the ammunition depot. The robot extinguished at 7.23 a.m. Moscow time a fire in the building at the military unit quarters,” the press service reported.

Some 627 people and 189 pieces of machinery, including a fire train, airplanes Be-200 and il-76, are involved in the firefighting efforts.

“Some 526 evacuated people, including 60 children, are accommodated at temporary residence stations and more than 2,000 people dropped at their relatives,” the press service reported.

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