GENERAL OF THE POLICE APPOINTED COMMANDANT OF CHECHNYA

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GENERAL OF THE POLICE APPOINTED COMMANDANT OF CHECHNYA

Izvestia, February 4, 2003, p. 2, EV

Second-in-Command of the Internal Troops of the Caucasus Military District, Lieutenant General Yevgeny Abrashin was appointed the senior military commandant of Chechnya.

His predecessor Kizyun’s resignation was inevitable. Army units and formations have been on the move in Chechnya since last December. Units of the Defense Ministry vacate commandants’ offices, to be replaced by the Internal Troops. Units of the Internal Troops have already moved into fifteen settlements on the plains of Chechnya. The regular army is leaving for the mountains. Forming a line on the southern borders of the Vedeno, Shatoi, and Achkhoi-Martan districts, they are splitting Chechnya into its plains and mountain parts. Formally, restoration of order is the prerogative of the Internal Troops now. Military commandants’ offices are involved in political activities, “preparing the referendum” (according to the press release of the PR department of the federal Interior Ministry). Abrashin is a police general and his appointment is quite logical from this angle.

On the other hand, it is impossible yet to say that the regular army is to play a secondary part in Chechnya from now on. Chief of the General Staff Anatoly Kvashnin flew to Khankala yesterday. According to unofficial sources, he will discuss coordination of all security structures in Chechnya and inspect combat readiness of the 42nd Motorized Infantry Division quartered in Khankala.

ON THE EVE OF THE OSCE SESSION

Parlamentskaya Gazeta, February 4, 2003, EV

Bruce George, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, is on a two-day official visit to Russia.

Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznev met with George yesterday. The meeting was also attended by Yelena Mizulina, Deputy Chairman of the Legislation Committee, and Leonid Ivanchenko, of the Committee for affairs of the Federation and regional policy. Mizulina and Ivanchenko sit on committees of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

A Deputy Chairman of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Seleznev emphasized importance of the visit, taking place on the eve of the annual OSCE meeting in Vienna. Seleznev informed George about the current activities of the Duma in the year of the parliamentary election. “Russian deputies intend to participate in all OSCE functions,” he said.

A broad range of international issues, including facilitation of cooperation between the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Russian parliament, was discussed at the meeting.

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