Chronology: Central Asia and the Caucasus

The Middle East Journal, Summer 2002 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Central Asia and the Caucasus


See also Turkey

2002

Jan. 17: Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Akayev signed a law that extended a moratorium on death sentences, and defined a human rights program under which the death penalty would be abolished by 2010. [NYT, 1/17]

Feb. 1: A court in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, sentenced four policemen to twenty years in prison for torturing two men detained on suspicion of belonging to a banned Islamic group. [NYT, 2/ 1]

Feb. 6: Georgia's International Atomic Energy Agency Team recovered two titanium-- based ceramic containers of nuclear fuel, and Environment Minister Nino Chkhobadze said there are other radioactive objects in the country that still have to be traced. [NYT, 2/6]

Feb. 9: US Air Force named Manas International Airport, near Bishkek, Kyrgystan, as the site of a base it desired to build north of Afghanistan. [WP, 2/9]

Feb. 11: Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Elizabeth Jones, announced in a briefing about her meetings with leaders of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and the Kyrgyz Republic, that these countries and the United States discussed plans to enact long term relationships that would address economic reform, democratic reform, and human rights. [AN, 2/12]

Feb. 26: Nugzar Sadjaya, a close aide to President Eduard A. Shevardnadze of Georgia, committed suicide after opposition forces in Parliament accused him of involvement in a series of unsolved assassinations. [NYT, 2/26]

Feb. 28: President Eduard Shevardandze of Georgia expressed his reluctance to bring the fight against global terrorism to the Pankisi Gorge in the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia, where Afghan and Arab terrorists were suspected to be hiding, and an estimated 8,000 refugees and 1,500 Chechen rebels were also taking shelter. [NYT, 2/28]

A Russian military helicopter carrying Deputy Interior Minister General Mikhail Rudchenko, Deputy General Nikolai Goridov, three senior officers, and a security detail, exploded in midair and crashed in Chechnya, killing all 14 onboard. Chechen rebel command claimed that the helicopter was shot down with a surface-to-air missile. [NYT, 2/28]

Mar. 1: After the United States' offered to train Georgia's armed forces, leaders of Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia region said that they would step up efforts to secede and seek an 'associated' relationship with Russia. [NYT, 3/1]

Mar. 2: Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he supported the US military initiative in Georgia to help rid the region of terrorists operating on Russia's frontier, and in Chechnya. …

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