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Ukraine

Putin Assassination Trial Highlights Ongoing Problems With Chechnya

KOMMERSANT (Russia), KOMMERSANT UKRAINE, ROSBALT (Ukraine)

Worldcrunch

ODESSA - The second of two men accused of planning a plot against Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadirov, Ilya Pyanzin, filed an appeal on Thursday with the local appeals to court in an attempt to fight extradition to Russia. Adam Osmaev, the man Pyanzin is accused of plotting with, had also filed an appeal to fight extradition, but his appeal was denied on Tuesday, clearing the way for his extradition to Russia, Kommersant Ukraine reports.

Both men were arrested in Ukraine in January 2011, after a bomb that they were constructing in an apartment in Odessa exploded accidentally. After the two men were arrested, Ukrainian police discovered that Osmaev, who is Chechen, had been on a wanted list in connection to an attack planned in 2007 against the leader of Chechnya Ramzan Kadirov. According to Russian security forces, Osmaev had travelled to Ukraine to prepare another attack against Kadirov and an attack against Putin, as part of a larger Chechen separatist organization called the “Caucasian Emirate,” Kommersant reports.

Russia considers the Caucasian Emirate a terrorist organization. The group’s ideology is based on a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, and advocates for the North Caucasus to become independent of Russia and establish Sharia law.

Now that the Ukrainian appeals court has cleared the way for Osmaev’s extradition, the only possible way to prevent him from being sent to Russia would be an appeal to the European Human Rights Court.

Osmaev’s wife said that she is afraid that if Osmaev is sent to Russia, he will not live to stand trial, because Russian security forces simple want her husband to ‘disappear’ on his way to Russia, Rosbalt reports. She added that she did not believe Osmaev would get a fair trial in Russia, and that he would have had a much fairer trial in Ukraine.

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Geopolitics

How Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Plays Right Into Erdogan's Election Campaign

Turkey's objections to Swedish membership of NATO may mean that Finland joins first. But as he approaches his highly contested reelection bid at home, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ready to use the issue to his advantage.

How Blocking Sweden's NATO Bid Plays Right Into Erdogan's Election Campaign

January 11, 2023, Ankara (Turkey): Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the International Conference of the Board of Grievances on January 11.

Turkish Presidency / APA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — This story has all the key elements of our age: the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the excessive ambitions of an autocrat, the opportunism of a right-wing demagogue, Islamophobia... And at the end, a country, Sweden, whose NATO membership, which should have been only a formality, has been blocked.

Last spring, under the shock of the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin's Russia, Sweden and Finland, two neutral countries in northern Europe, decided to apply for membership in NATO. For Sweden, this is a major turning point: the kingdom’s neutrality had lasted more than 150 years.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan raised objections. It demanded that Sweden stop sheltering Kurdish opponents in its country. This has nothing to do with NATO or Ukraine, but everything to do with Erdogan's electoral agenda, as he campaigns for the Turkish presidential elections next May.

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