On Tuesday the Stavropol Territorial Court in Mineralnye Vody passed a surprisingly mild sentence on a prominent Chechen terrorist. While the struggle against terrorists is becoming ever tougher in the world, the Pyatigorsk court sentenced Chechen Alvi Khaiderkhanov, 23, to only 20 years of imprisonment, although he was considered guilty on seven counts of the Criminal Code of Russia - terrorism, murder, participation in illegal armed formations, inflicting bodily injuries, encroachment upon the life of member of a law-enforcement body, illegal possession of arms and destruction of property.
Khaiderkhanov joined the terrorist gang led by Magomed Khadzhimuradov nicknamed "Polkovnik" (colonel) in 1999. In April 2001 the former placed an explosive device on the Khankala-Argun railway span and blew up a platform with military hardware on it. In June of the same year he blew up an echelon on the Mozdok-Khankala branch-line, in which 2 servicemen were killed and 8 wounded.
Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.
Presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak, who was accredited for the press conference by Vladimir Putin from Dozhd (Rain) television channel, asked Putin about competition at the coming election
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign