In a televised address broadcast live on Russian TV on September 4, Putin said, “we have to admit that we showed no understanding of the processes occurring in our country and the world at large. We failed to act appropriately, and instead, displayed weakness. And the weak are beaten.” This is worrying as it signals a repetition, perhaps in amplified form, of the counterproductive iron-fist policies that have led to up to half of Chechnya’s population leaving and over 200,000 fatalities — according to the most reliable estimates — since the first Chechen war in 1994-96.
DERRY — One of Northern Ireland’s most controversial political assassinations reached a conclusion of sorts on Thursday with the jailing of a former loyalist paramilitary. Ken Barrett, 41, admitted to being one a group of masked gunmen who in February 1989 shot prominent Catholic solicitor Pat Finucane 14 times as he ate a Sunday meal with his family. Finucane was a high-profile lawyer who represented republican clients – but also worked with Protestants. Barrett, then a member the loyalist paramilitary group, the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), was given a minimum 22 year sentence.