Senior Correspondent, Kabul
Amie's Feed
Jul 16, 2010

Russia swelters in heatwave, many crops destroyed

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Soaring temperatures across large swathes of Russia have destroyed nearly 10 million hectares of crops and prompted a state of emergency to be declared in 17 regions.

On Friday the state-run Moscow region weather bureau said it expected the heatwave, which has gripped the country since late June and is estimated to have already cost the agricultural sector about $1 billion, to continue into next week.

Jul 9, 2010
via FaithWorld

Chechnya’s leader hails paintball attacks on women without headscarves

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The Kremlin-backed head of Russia’s Muslim Chechnya region has praised assailants who targeted women with paintball pellets for going bareheaded, prompting outrage from rights activists.  Eyewitnesses have said men in camouflage, often worn by police and security forces in the volatile region, fired paintball guns from cars about a dozen times last month at women who were not wearing headscarves. (Photo: Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, dressed in the national costume,  in Grozny on April 25, 2010/Denis Balibouse)

“I don’t know (who they are), but when I find them I shall announce my gratitude,” Ramzan Kadyrov said in a weekend interview on the state-run regional television channel Grozny.  He called the victims of the paintball attacks “naked women” who had most likely been forewarned.  “Even if they were carried out with my permission, I wouldn’t be ashamed of it,” he said of the paint-pellet attacks.

Jul 9, 2010
via FaithWorld

Russia’s Muslim south triples sharia bride price as Islamic law advances

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The pricetag on a bride in Russia’s Ingushetia province has been tripled by the regional government, in a sign the Muslim North Caucasus region is slipping out of Kremlin control as sharia eclipses Russian law.

Against the backdrop of a bubbling Islamist insurgency, the revival of Islam in the North Caucasus following the break-up of the Soviet Union almost 20 years ago has brought sharia law to the region, revered by both rebels and ordinary citizens alike.

Jul 7, 2010

Russia’s Muslim south triples sharia bride price

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The pricetag on a bride in Russia’s Ingushetia province has been tripled by the regional government, in a sign the Muslim North Caucasus region is slipping out of Kremlin control as sharia law eclipses Russian.

Against the backdrop of a bubbling Islamist insurgency, the revival of Islam in the North Caucasus following the break-up of the Soviet Union almost 20 years ago has brought sharia law to the region, revered by both rebels and ordinary citizens alike.

Jun 30, 2010

Cold War support for Russian “spies” on networking site

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Patriotic, anti-American messages adorn the pages of two alleged Russian spies on Russia’s answer to Facebook, a reminder of historic suspicions and resentments that have survived the end of the Cold War.

“Russia will never abandon you!” is the repeated message on the pages of Mikhail Semenko and Anna Chapman, arrested in the United States on suspicion of being part of a Russian spy ring. Over 100 people left similar messages of support on the Russian language social netowrking site odnoklassniki.ru on Wednesday.

Jun 29, 2010

Gaddafi’s artist son shows off paintings in Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Artist and reformer Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the Libyan leader’s son credited with brokering Tripoli’s stand-off with the West, kept Russian relations warm on Monday when he showed off his paintings.

“It is good here, we are friends,” said the shaven-headed 38-year-old, before guiding Russian officials through the exhibit “The Desert is Not Silent,” made up of around 50 of his own paintings along with Roman and Libyan antiques.

Jun 19, 2010
via FaithWorld

Chechen women say police paintball them for not covering hair

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Women in Russia’s volatile Muslim Chechnya region say that police have targeted them with paintball pellets for not wearing headscarves, outraging rights activists.  The attacks highlight tension over efforts by Chechnya’s firebrand Moscow-backed leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, to enforce Muslim-inspired rules that in some cases violate Russia’s constitution. (Photo: Chechen women voting near Grozny, November 27, 2005/Eduard Kornienko)

“A car carrying men in military uniform slowed down to approach us, one started filming on his mobile phone, and when they sped away we noticed paint all over our clothes,” a woman in the Chechen capital Grozny said on Friday  on condition of anonymity.

Jun 15, 2010

Russia court hears Greenpeace gripe on Baikal mill

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Supreme Court on Tuesday heard a Greenpeace complaint against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s order to reopen a Siberian paper mill that the group says pollutes the world’s largest freshwater lake.

In January, Putin ordered the Soviet-era Baikalsk Pulp and Paper mill to be restarted on the shores of Lake Baikal, 5,000 km (3,100 miles) east of Moscow. The plant had been mothballed in late 2008 amid disputes over alleged pollution.

Jun 9, 2010

Russia says captured Caucasus Islamist leader

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia said on Wednesday it had captured an insurgent ringleader responsible for hundreds of deaths in its troubled Muslim North Caucasus region, where the Kremlin is struggling to contain an Islamist insurgency.

The head of the FSB security services, successor to the KGB, told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that Ali Taziyev, from the Ingushetia province, was one of the leaders of an envisaged Caucasus Emirate, which seeks to create a state under sharia law independent from Russia.

Jun 3, 2010

Six men “take off” for 520-day simulated Mars trip

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Clad in a blue jumpsuit and waving, crew member Sukhrob Kamolov quipped “See you in 520 days!” before hopping into sealed-off chambers Thursday with five other men taking part in a simulated trip to Mars.

To cheers and air kisses from their wives and relatives, three Russians, a Chinese man, a Frenchman and an Italian-Colombian entered the wood-paneled modules where they will live until November 2011, in an experiment to test how isolation affects people.

    • About Amie

      "Based in Kabul, Amie reports on the NATO-led war in Afghanistan. She was previously based in Moscow, where she reported across the former Soviet Union for almost five years, covering energy, politics and lifestyle stories. For over two years there, she focused on the Islamist insurgency in Russia's Muslim North Caucasus. She has also reported in Greece and Britain."
      Joined Reuters:
      September 2006
      Languages:
      English, Russian, Italian
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