Zaindi Choltaev Receives Galina Starovoitova Fellowship

News Release August 22, 2002 CONTACT: Sharon Coleman, (202) 691-4016

Aug 22, 2002

WASHINGTON—The Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has awarded Zaindi Choltaev the Galina Starovoitova Fellowship on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution for the 2002-2003 program year. During this time, Choltaev will conduct research on alternative concepts for peaceful resolution of the Chechen conflict.


Choltaev is a member of the Parliamentary Assembly Council of Europe (PACE) - State Duma Joint Working Group for Chechen Settlement, and assists with the coordinating council of the Peace Mission in the Northern Caucasus. In 1992, he served as the Deputy Foreign Minister of the Chechen Republic, and from 1994-1995, was the Chair of the Administration in the Provisional State Council of the Chechen Republic. In 1996, he resigned from the Chechen government, citing his disagreement with its domestic and foreign policies involving human rights violations, and refused to participate in the elections of that year. Choltaev later rejected an offer to join the Administration of the Chechen Republic created by the Russian government in 2000.

The Galina Starovoitova Fellowship on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution was established following a speech given by U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in Moscow in January 1999. During that speech, Albright announced funding for a memorial fellowship in memory of Galina Starovoitova, who had once been a scholar at the Kennan Institute. "Galya personified the connection between the world of public affairs and the world of ideas that lies at the heart of the Wilson Center mission," said Blair Ruble, director of the Kennan Institute.

Starovoitova was one of the Soviet Union's leading specialists on ethnicity. She served in the Congress of the Peoples' Deputies from 1989-1991 and was a presidential advisor on ethnic relations until 1992. She was co-founder of the Democratic Russia movement and was a candidate in Russia's 1996 presidential elections. Starovoitova was murdered in St. Petersburg on November 20, 1998 by two unknown assassins.

The Kennan Institute awards The Starovoitova Fellowship each program year via a competitive selection process. It is available to prominent scholars and policymakers from the Russian Federation who have successfully bridged the world of ideas and the world of public affairs in order to advance human rights and conflict resolution. The Fellowship is funded and administered in cooperation with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. Continuation of the Starovoitova Fellowship Program in 2003-2004 is contingent on receipt of future funds.

For further information please contact the Kennan Institute in Washington, (202) 691-4100, or the Kennan Moscow Project, P.O. Box 90, 103001 Moscow Russia; Tel: (095) 203-9676; kennan@online.ru.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living, national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Center establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open, and informed dialogue. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds and engaged in the study of national and world affairs.

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