Caucasus region

Russian-backed enclave plans referendum about naming itself after medieval tribe

by | February 13, 2017

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russian-backed separatists who have ruled a region of Georgia since the early 1990s plan to name their self-declared republic after a nomadic tribe that conquered swaths of Europe and North Africa in the Middle Ages. If the 50,000 population approves

Caucasus region

Militants release all hostages in Yerevan, but stand-off continues

by | July 24, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--A group of up to 25 armed militants occupying a police building in Yerevan released all their hostages Saturday but refused to surrender, demanding the president's resignation and the formation of an interim government.

Caucasus region

Azerbaijani Insiders Benefited from Currency Collapse

by | June 8, 2016

by Dave Bloss, Miranda Patrucic, Khadija Ismayilova and OCCRP Azerbaijan 06 June 2016 The First Family of Azerbaijan and a close business partner made a series of financial transactions in the days and weeks before a crippling 2015 devaluation of the national currency that eventually earned them at least 100 million manat (US$ 64 million) in just two deals while additionally protecting their banks and companies.

Caucasus region

Azeri activist tortured, humiliated for drawign graffiti on Haydar Alyev’s statue

by | May 23, 2016

Tbilisi, DFWatch - On evening of May 10 two activists disappeared in Baku, Meydan TV reported. Then on May 12, the Khatai District Court placed Bayram Mammadov and Qiyas Ibrahimov under a four-month arrest for drug-related charges.

Caucasus region, News

Six Russian soldiers die, 16 injured in South Ossetia

by | May 19, 2016

Tbilisi, DFWatch - Six Russian military personnel were killed and further sixteen suffered injuries in a bus accident in South Ossetia, Sputnik Ossetia reported. The accident happened today near the village of Kanchaeti on the

Caucasus region

The Azerbaijan Crackdown: An Update

by | April 25, 2016

by OCCRP Soon, it will have been a year since reporters for OCCRP and other organizations took a long, hard look at what is going on inside Azerbaijan’s prison system. Last June, journalists from the US joined colleagues from the Caucasus region and eastern

Caucasus region

Abkhazia’s parliament: MP’s car explosion was an ‘act of terrorism’

by | April 18, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--The opposition suggests that the explosion could be connected to the government’s plans to allow foreign nationals to buy property in Abkhazia, while major political actors call for cross-political solidarity. Members of Abkhazia’s de facto parliament,

Caucasus region

Putin gives yellow light to South Ossetian unification project

by | April 15, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia accuses Russia of instrumental use of a South Ossetian initiative to conduct a referendum on joining Russia, while Russia continues sending mixed signals to the Tskhinvali leadership. South Ossetian hopes for unification with the Russian Federation

Caucasus region

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: Georgia may offer to host negotiations

by | April 4, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgia is considering offering Azerbaijan and Armenia to negotiate about the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, where at least 33 people have died and more than 200 have been injured during the last few days, according to the United Nations.

Caucasus region

One more human rights activist released from Azerbaijan prison

by | March 28, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--Azerbaijani authorities released from prison Intigam Aliyev, a lawyer and human rights activist, on March 28, as the court in Baku commuted his 7.5 years-long term to a suspended 5 year sentence, Radio Liberty Azerbaijan reported.

Caucasus region

MP criticizes Georgia’s support for ‘anti-Armenian’ water resolution in CoE

by | February 18, 2016

TBILISI, DFWatch--An ethnic Armenian member of the Georgian parliament criticized some of his colleagues on Wednesday for voting for a controversial Council of Europe resolution regarding access to water in Nagorno-Karabakh. Samvel Petrosyan,

Caucasus region

Armenian democracy in freefall after fraudulent referendum

by | December 9, 2015

Widespread electoral fraud allegations and the growing gap between the political élites and the society confirm worrying trends in Armenia’s democratic development. On Sunday, 6 December a nationwide constitutional referendum was held in Armenia.

Caucasus region

Support and resistance for Svan language activism

by | November 2, 2015

Mestia, DFWatch - Svan language activists explain why it’s necessary to stop the decline of the language amidst reluctance on behalf of the authorities and the Church.  ‘A language is a dialect with an army and navy’,

Caucasus region

‘Radicalisation’ obscures core issues faced by Pankisi inhabitants

by | October 21, 2015

Duisi, DFWatch - Counterextremism efforts in the Pankisi Valley fall short as they fail to address root causes of radicalisation processes in the region. Following the reporting on Georgian citizens leaving the country to join the ranks of foreign fighters in the civil war in Syria and Iraq, the question of religious radicalisation in the Pankisi Valley has become one of the most debated security issues in Georgia.

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Watch (19 September – 1 October 2015)

by | October 8, 2015

Daghestan Bodies of five residents of Suleyman-Stalskiy district were found in local forests by power agents. According to the official information, the men had their hands tied and were killed by the insurgents as a retaliation for cooperating with the police. Authorities also announced that a

Caucasus region, News

North Caucasus Watch (5–18 September 2015)

by | September 22, 2015

DFWatch (5–18 September 2015) Daghestan On September 13 local elections took place in the republic. The Party of Russia’s Veterans earned 69% of votes in the city of Buynaksk, while United Russia earned 66%

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Watch (29 August–4 September 2015)

by | September 7, 2015

DFWatch (29 August–4 September 2015) Daghestan Two suspected militants were killed in Magaramkent district of Daghestan on August 29. According to the law enforcement officials,

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Watch (22–28 August 2015)

by | August 31, 2015

DFWatch (22–28 August 2015) Daghestan Former mayor of Makhachkala, Said Amirov, was sentenced to life by a court in Rostov-on-Don on 27 August. His relative Yusup Dzhaparov was sentenced to 18 years in penal colony.

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Watch (15–21 August 2015)

by | August 24, 2015

DFWatch (15–21 August 2015) Dagestan According to National Antiterrorist Committee of Russia, the leader of the Vilayyat Daghestan Mountainous Sector of the Caucasian Emirate, Gadzhi Abdullayev (known as Abu Dujana), was killed in course of the

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Watch (8–14 August 2015)

by | August 16, 2015

DFWatch (8–14 August 2015) Daghestan According to the Russian Investigative Committee, leader of the Caucasian Emirate, Magomed Suleymanov (A.K.A. Abu Usman Gimrinskiy),

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Watch 1–7 August 2015

by | August 10, 2015

DFWatch - (1–7 August 2015) Daghestan Two men were killed by security forces in Suleyman Stalskiy region in the south of Daghestan on 6 August.

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Watch 25–31 July 2015

by | August 1, 2015

DFWatch - 25-31 July, 2015 Daghestan The head of the Daghestani branch of the Russian Pension Fund Sagid Murtazaliyev is suspected of involvement in assassinations and financing terrorism.

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Watch 18–24 July 2015

by | July 25, 2015

DFWatch (18–24 July 2015) Daghestan A policeman and a suspected militant were killed in a shootout in the Tabasaran district on 19 July. A group of unidentified people opened fire to a group of policemen in the forest near the village of Akka.

Caucasus region

North Caucasus Review 23–30 June 2015

by | July 4, 2015

DFWatch (23–30 June 2015) Daghestan President Ramazan Abdulatipov expressed his ‘complete loss of confidence’ in the acting mayor of Makhachkala Magomed Suleymanov. According to Abdulatipov, 148 houses are being built in the capital without proper

Caucasus region

Chechen leader proposes building road and railway to Georgia

by | December 29, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov proposes building a new railway as well as a new road connecting the Russian republic with Georgia, which still has tense relations with Russia. Kadyrov's provocative plan was launched at a press conference in Grozny.

Caucasus region, News

South Ossetia parliament to discuss joining Russia

by | June 24, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The de facto parliament in South Ossetia plans to start discussing the issue of joining Russia. It was the parliament’s speaker who said this on Monday, as quoted by Itar-Tass. “We do not renounce our slogans, there will be no two-pronged

Caucasus region, News

Georgian, Turkish and Azerbaijani presidents meet in Tbilisi

by | May 7, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey met in Tbilisi on Tuesday and celebrated the cooperation between their countries. The summit was initiated by the Turkish president and the main topic was three joint projects. Two of them are already

Caucasus region, News

Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan foreign ministers meet

by | February 20, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The foreign ministers of Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey met on Wednesday in Azerbaijan’s second largest city Ganja to discuss regional cooperation. Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze said they talked about the 2013-15 action plan, which

Caucasus region, News

Naturalized Chechen refugee not allowed to leave Georgia

by | February 17, 2014

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Public Defender's Office in Georgia calls on the Interior Ministry to react to the violation of the rights of a Georgian citizen who last month was prohibited three times from leaving Georgia. Saikhan Muzayev complained to the office on January 20

Caucasus region, News

Russia’s South Ossetia fences now stretch 35 km

by | October 10, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The length of barbed wire and fences along the delineation line with the breakaway region South Ossetia is now 35 kilometers. Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze says 65 Georgian families have been affected as result of the installation of barbed wire

Caucasus region, News

NATO and EU concerned about Russian borderization

by | October 2, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton express concern about the recent actions by Russian soldiers who are expanding the de facto border around the breakaway region South Ossetia and installing

Caucasus region, News

Russia was asked about Georgian occupation at PACE

by | October 2, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Russia avoided questions about the occupation of Georgian territory during a debate of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Georgia's delegation was not given an opportunity to ask questions. Speaker for the Russian

Caucasus region, News

Saakashvili warns against Russian moves to take lands in west

by | October 2, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--President Mikheil Saakashvili claims Russia is planning to put the Baku-Supsa pipeline, Ganmukhuri and other territories in the Samegerelo region behind barbed wire. Saakashvili said Tuesday that he believes the moving of barbed wires and fences

Caucasus region, News

EUMM concerned about South Ossetia borderization

by | October 1, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The EU Monitoring Mission to Georgia Tuesday expressed concern about the installation of barbed wire by Russian soldiers in the villages Dvani and Ditsi at the border line around the breakaway region South Ossetia. Toivo Klaar, the new head of EUMM,

Caucasus region, News

Georgian journalists rally at border village

by | September 29, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Georgian journalists Saturday rallied in Dvani against the newly restarted work by Russian soldiers to reinforce a de facto border with the breakaway region South Ossetia. Locals say the Russian soldiers are going to move the razor wire perimeter 50

Caucasus region, News

Ivanishvili: border reinforcement has to do with Olympics

by | September 27, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili says the moving of the border line near the villages Ditsi and Dvani is connected to security around the upcoming Sochi Winter Olympics. His comments were made on Wednesday while meeting economic analysts at his business

Caucasus region, News

Russia asks Georgia to extradite suspect in diplomat’s murder

by | September 21, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A Russian citizen from Chechnya who was recently detained for a shooting in Batumi is a suspect in the murder of a Russian diplomat in Abkhazia. The information comes from the de facto General Prosecutor of Abkhazia. According to Russian media, the

Caucasus region, News

Georgia opens new customs facility on border with Russia

by | September 10, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The customs checkpoint at Kazbegi, on the border between Russia and Georgia, was opened on Tuesday after a year of construction work. Finance Minister Nodar Khaduri told journalists that new checkpoint help boost Georgia’s export.

Caucasus region, News

New oil refinery planned on Georgia’s Black Sea coast

by | September 9, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--A new oil refinery will be constructed on the Black Sea coast with Azerbaijani money, according to Georgia's Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. Mr Ivanishvili was speaking during a visit to Riga, where he attended Riga Conference 2013. Government

Caucasus region, News

Georgia denies report that it agreed to open Abkhazia railway

by | September 8, 2013

TBILISI, DFWatch--The Georgian government denies information from Armenia's Secretary of National Security Council Artur Baghdasaryan that Georgia has agreed to open the railway through Abkhazia. Baghdasaryan said Georgia, Russia and Abkhazia had all

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