Articles by Patrick E. Tyler

Chalabi Shifting Position Away From U.S. Handlers

  • 24 September 03
Ahmad Chalabi, the president of Iraq's interim government, is in New York this week to press alternatives to the U.S. administration's occupation policy in postwar Iraq.

Secrecy Surrounds Syrian Border

  • 26 June 03
On a desolate panorama of hardtack desert along the Syrian border here, the United States military has cordoned off part of this village, evicted five families whose houses were bombed six days ago and refused to say what is going on.

Iraqis Poisoned by Nuclear Site's Looted Items

  • 09 June 03
For Iptisam Nuri, a mother of five who was sick with typhoid, the arrival of the barrels in her home at first seemed a godsend.

Iraqi Political Hopefuls Criticize U.S. Strategy

  • 27 May 03
The sudden shift in postwar strategy in favor of a U.S. and British occupation authority has deflated the Iraqi political scene.

U.S. Troops Get Nod to Shoot Iraqi Looters

  • 15 May 03
United States military forces in Iraq will have the authority to shoot looters on sight under a tough new security setup.

Phone Call Betrayed Al-Qaida

  • 07 February 03
A satellite phone conversation gave away the location of an al-Qaida operative, Zarqawi's deputy, driving out of Iraq.

Saudis Launch Plan to Remove Hussein

  • 20 January 03
Increasingly desperate to avoid war, Saudi Arabia is engaged in a campaign to incite Iraqi security forces to overthrow Saddam Hussein if he continues to refuse to step down or go into exile, officials here say.

Energy From Russia Is Power as Well

  • 05 August 02
Behind the decision facing U.S. President George W. Bush on whether to make war on Iraq is a set of calculations that ought to be called the realpolitik of oil -- and Russia is at the center.

Asylum Seeker's Account Challenged

  • 29 April 02
Andrei Samorodov, a former Russian army officer who said last month that he had fled the battlefield in Chechnya in 1999 to escape pressure from fascist cadets to execute civilians, was not serving in the army at that time, according to Russian officials and acquaintances of his.

Defector: Army Killed Civilians

  • 18 March 02
A Russian army officer who fled the battlefield as Moscow sent military forces into Chechnya in 1999 says that young fascist cadets in his elite airborne unit encouraged soldiers to execute civilians during the assault.

'Dummy' Bomb Haunts Ryazan

  • 15 February 02
The 12-story apartment block on the edge of the industrial city of Ryazan stands like a monument to the doubts harbored by many of the building's 600 residents.

History of Ingushetia Is History of Aushev

  • 05 February 02
In the rough-and-tumble politics of the regions, Ingushetia has been an island of relative stability, sandwiched between the flames of war in Chechnya and a seething, and even more tangled, ethnic conflict in North Ossetia.

Chechen Police Investigate Troops

  • 28 January 02
Nearly two years after major hostilities ended in Chechnya, troops are killing civilians in a campaign of executions and looting that takes place alongside military operations aimed at destroying rebel forces, according to Chechen police officials.

U.S. Again Focuses On Ousting Saddam

  • 19 December 01
The option of taking the war against terrorism to Iraq and Saddam Hussein has gained significant ground in recent weeks both inside the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush and among some important allies in the Muslim world, according to administration officials and diplomats from the region.

Chechen Warlord Fights Rebels for Russia

  • 20 July 01
UPPER VEDENO, Chechnya Ч Raybek Tovzayev is a Chechen warlord who fights on the side of Mother Russia against the rebels of his homeland whom he calls bandits. He was born in a red brick house perched on a mountaintop where three ancestral villages of his clan look out over the Vedeno Gorge, a narrow slash of valley cut since prehistory by the retreating snowmelt from the high Caucasus further south. It is a recent Sunday, and Tovzayev has just returned from a memorial service for one of his bodyguards who was killed on June 28 during the seventh attempt by Chechen rebel leaders to assassinate Tovzayev because, as he says, he is the only thing standing between order and chaos in Vedeno. The rebels, especially Shamil Basayev, the most famous of their leaders, who also comes from Vedeno, ""are doing everything they can to get back here and to get rid of me."" Tovzayev is therefore a key link in the Russian strategy to pacify Chechnya after two cycles of war in the last decade.

Espionage Tape Was Not All It Appeared

  • 02 April 01
The Russian-language voice-over on an audio tape provided by the Federal Security Service and broadcast on RTR state television contained information involving allegations of espionage that did not exist on the actual recording. In its effort to prove that U.S. military attach?s in Moscow have engaged in espionage, the FSB released an audio tape purporting to show that a Russian scholar accused of spying gave an American naval officer in Moscow information about the armaments on a Russian intelligence ship, the Liman. The tape consisted of a conversation in English between the scholar, Igor Sutyagin, and the American, Captain Robert Brannon, accompanied by a voice-over in Russian that was presented as a translation of the conversation. A closer examination of the broadcast Friday revealed that the Russian translation does not comport with the actual conversation broadcast in the news program. Most importantly, the central allegation made in the voice-over cannot be heard on the tape recording.

Americans Ordered Home in Spy Feud

  • 26 March 01
Russia said it was expelling four U.S. diplomats for ""activities incompatible with their status,"" the diplomatic phrase for espionage, and added that it would take ""other measures to halt the unlawful activities"" of official American representatives, but did not elaborate. In a formal statement read Friday to John Ordway, the second-ranking U.S. diplomat in Moscow, a Foreign Ministry official did not identify the diplomats to be expelled in the next few days and did not state that Russia would fully retaliate for the U.S. administration's decision to expel a total of 50 Russian diplomats between now and July. But State Department officials in Washington said that based on the public remarks of senior Russian officials, they expected Moscow to make a fully proportional response by expelling 46 more Americans from Russia. Both U.S. President George W.

U.S. Divided Over Russian Tests

  • 05 March 01
For half a decade, Russia has conducted what it says are nonnuclear tests under the ground of an Arctic island, as the United States says it does beneath the Nevada desert. But the tests have caused bitter divisions among intelligence officials and nuclear analysts in Washington. Some have concluded that Russia is lying and is instead detonating small nuclear blasts; other experts say that charge is reckless and probably wrong. ""This question,"" one intelligence analyst said, ""is tearing the community into pieces."" Beyond the dispute is the question of what, if anything, to do if Russia is lying. Led by Republicans, the Senate rejected the global ban on nuclear explosions, and it is unclear whether the United States would now accuse Russia of violating it. Paradoxically, the rejected test-ban treaty had provisions for inspections by which the United States could have sought to examine the Russian test site.

Ukraine Whistle-Blower Seeks to Root Out Graft

  • 27 February 01
The security officer who released secret recordings from the office of the president of Ukraine says he is on a one-man quest ""to stop all the corruption and all the nastiness'' that have followed the Soviet collapse. In his first meeting with a journalist since he went into hiding three months ago, Mykola Melnichenko, whose recordings have stoked protests against the government of President Leonid Kuchma, said that when he is finished transcribing hundreds of hours of tapes spirited out of Ukraine last fall, he will be able to trace virtually all high-level corruption, repression and even some acts of violence back to Kuchma. ""My goal is to totally expose the level of corruption in Ukraine as an independent Don Quixote and ensure that thieves will never come to power again in Ukraine,'' Melnichenko said. On Saturday, the 34-year-old Ukrainian arrived at a clandestine rendezvous in a Central European country wearing a pageboy wig and a heavy winter coat to disguise his identity.

New Tapes Appear With Threats By Kuchma

  • 20 February 01
A newly released secret recording of Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma indicates that in the fall of 1999, he ordered his police and tax authorities to undertake a broad campaign of threats and intimidation to ensure that he would win election to a second term as president. In conversations with his chief of intelligence and the head of Ukraine's tax administration, Kuchma is heard on the recording instructing them to threaten local officials all over the country with imprisonment and loss of employment if they failed to deliver the required number of votes for Kuchma to win by a ""comfortable'' margin. ""You have to sit down with every head and tell him that he will go to jail, or you have to provide votes -- yes or no?'' Kuchma is reported to have said. The recording also indicates that Ukraine's intelligence services maintain dossiers on local officials to be used as blackmail material to enforce discipline and loyalty to Kuchma.

Lenin Is a Soviet Symbol That Refuses to Die

  • 19 January 01
A blizzard was blowing across Red Square one day last week, and the wet snow was turning hairdos into spaghetti curls while putting a white veneer on the mountains of dirty snow that line the streets of the capital this time of year. Nonetheless, Vladimir Barinov and his wife and son persevered against the weather, along with about 1,000 other people, and lined up to see the preserved body of Vladimir Lenin. The family was visiting from Vladivostok, nine time zones to the east. Because Barinov, a 50-year-old railway worker, had never looked upon the face that launched the Bolshevik revolution, he said, and because his 13-year-old son, Peter, soon to enter high school, had never encountered Lenin or Leninism in the new Russian school system, ""I thought we would just stop by and see him."" The family has no political obsessions about Lenin, or really about anything. ""Our political feelings have atrophied,"" interjected Barinov's wife, who pulled tight the fur-lined hood of her jacket against the driving snow.

Behind Sable Coat Stands a Siberian

  • 04 January 01
ARZOMA KLYUCH, Western Siberia Ч Wearing a hat made from pelts of hunting dogs that had disappointed him, Valery Karnilov, a strapping former cattleman, had been stalking the foothills of the Sayan Mountains for only two weeks this winter when his huskies treed the first trophy of the season, a growling Barguzin sable with creamy golden fur and black tail. Under a canopy of cedars and fir trees in the middle of the Siberian taiga, Karnilov took careful aim with his small-caliber carbine. As the dogs bayed to keep the sable frozen in fear with dagger teeth bared against the human predator, the hunter felled the animal with a single shot to the head. The best marksmen aim for the eyes to avoid damaging the fur. ""I knew he was mine as soon as I saw him,"" Karnilov said as he showed off his prize to visitors who reached this one-hut camp in mid-November on the banks of the Oka River about 350 kilometers west of Lake Baikal. By that time he had already bagged a second sable.

Trapped Between War and Peace in Grozny

  • 25 October 00
GROZNY Ч Zura Uzuyeva was cleaning up the dishes in the courtyard of her small brick home in the Oktyabrsky district of the Chechen capital last week when the staccato drone of an attack helicopter permeated the neighborhood, the volume rising as it approached. ""My wife had called us to dinner, and we had been sitting at the table, all four of us,"" said her husband, Shamsudin Uzuyev, a former high school principal and teacher of chemistry and biology. ""My sons and I then went inside, and she stayed there in the courtyard to wash. I had hardly opened the door when the missile struck."" From his crouched position, Uzuyev turned and through the smoke saw his wife lying motionless on the bricks in the shade of an apricot tree. Blood was flowing from her head wounds, caused by the blast, which also ripped a hole in the kitchen roof. Zura Uzuyeva died as her sons, Adam, 25, and Bislan, 21, both college students, knelt beside her.

Odd Alliances Bind Together Tajikistan

  • 21 October 00
KAFIRNAGANSKY REGION, Tajikistan Ч The winding road from the capital ends here, for anyone who would not like to risk becoming the hostage of a warlord named Umar. Barely 30 kilometers from Dushanbe, four young mujahedeen fighters brandish Kalashnikov rifles at a checkpoint a few hundred meters from Umar's base, in a former auto-repair factory surrounded by cotton fields and persimmon orchards. Umar, they say, is not receiving guests today. Besides, one advised, he is an unpredictable man and it is ""not recommended"" that visitors call on him lest he decide to rob them, or shoot them, as one warlord is suspected of doing to four UN workers killed on this road two years ago. Umar's deployment of Islamic fighters on the only route out of Dushanbe to the rebellious Karategin Valley underscores the lawlessness in Tajikistan. Two years after a reconciliation that followed a civil war, Tajikistan is still a land of clan-based paramilitary forces, Islamic revivalism and regional enmities.

Army Steps Up Watch Of Tajikistan Border

  • 04 October 00
Russia is laying antipersonnel mines and reinforcing its defensive positions along the border between Tajikistan and Afghanistan, as Taliban fighters have brought their forces within artillery range of the Russian army, which protects the gateway to Central Asia. Sergei Ivanov, secretary of the Security Council, said Moscow did not believe the Taliban army was preparing an attack across Tajikistan's border. But the Taliban military campaign has scored a series of victories in recent weeks, prompting a strong expression of concern from Central Asia governments, whose national security advisers met in Moscow during the weekend. Ivanov said that ""from the point of view of the national security of Russia,"" the Taliban offensive in Afghanistan was of greater concern to Moscow than the current instability in Yugoslavia following presidential elections.

Duma Members Press Belarus To Hold Democratic Elections

Europe Anxious About Belarus