Andrei Babitsky, in Ekho Kavkaza:
“Вы сказали, что они выходцы из Чечни. Нет, они выходцы из Кыргызстана, насколько я могу судить по информации, опубликованной в СМИ, несколько лет они прожили в Дагестане, а потом переехали в Америку. Я не думаю, что это как-то повлияет на активность северокавказского подполья, поскольку все-таки на Северном Кавказе эта активность заметно снижается, но то, что в такой своеобразной конкурентной борьбе с арабами за право считаться передовым отрядом глобального джихада чеченцы сегодня одерживают убедительную победу, – это очевидно.”
“You said that they come from Chechnya. No. They come from Kyrgyzstan, as far as I can tell from the information published in the media. They lived for a few years in Dagestan, and then moved to America. I don’t think it will somehow affect the activity of the North Caucasus underground, because in the North Caucasus that activity is markedly diminishing. But that in this strange competition with the Arabs for the right to be the vanguard of global jihad the Chechens today are winning a landslide victory – that’s obvious.”
Prague Watchdog, the Prague-based North Caucasus human rights NGO and monitoring service, is closing down after 10 years of operation. In May this year, for reasons that are unknown to the site’s co-ordinator, the delivery of new Russian-language material stopped and has not been resumed. Andrei Babitsky, who was fulfilling the role of chief commissioning editor, appears no longer to be in charge of PW’s publishing, though he continues to be active as an editor and commentator at other Russian-language media outlets, including Radio Liberty’s Russian service.
According to PW’s present coordinating editor, the site will continue to be accessible even though it is not updated, and its considerable volume of North-Caucasus-related information and resources will continue to be available to the general public.
Andrei Babitsky, Prague Watchdog’s Russian-language editor, has apparently gone missing somewhere in Russia. Sources at PW say that Babitsky’s absence shouldn’t give rise to concern, as he is probably also working for RFE/RL in some capacity, and has simply stopped replying to email. The situation is causing some problems for PW, however – no new material has appeared there since May 5.
Update: a new article (by Valery Dzutsev) has now appeared, though Babitsky has still not returned.