Caucasus region

North Caucasus Watch 18–24 July 2015

by | Jul 25, 2015

DFWatch (18–24 July 2015)


  1. 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.

Based on reporting by

  1. Three inhabitants of the Tabasaran district were sentenced by the North Caucasian District Military Court to between 10 and 15 years of prison for preparation of the bomb attack near a police station in the village of Khuchni in September 2013. Two members of security structures died in the attack.

Based on reporting by

  1. An inhabitant of Makhachkala Rustam Kurbanov was sentenced to 2.5 years of penal colony for publishing online an article called Jihad — a pillar of Islam and its apex which according to the court contained phrases calling people to participate in terrorism.

Based on reporting by

  1. Mothers of men who went to Syria called for closing of a Salafi mosque in Derbent where supposedly ‘brainwashing of youth’ and recruitment of fighters was taking place. The mosque’s imam denied the allegations and said that the mosque was ‘anyway under constant observation of behalf of security structures’.

Based on reporting by



  1. The new report by the International Crisis Group titled Chechnya: The Inner Abroad questions the official success story of Chechnya’s stability. The report discusses the fragility of peace based on personalised governance reliant on repression and arbitrariness with Moscow’s support, economic inequality, poor social infrastructure, lack of genuine reconciliation, religious repression, and almost full impunity for abuses. The report calls the government of the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic to improve political pluralism, increase freedoms of expression and assembly, facilitate authentic reconciliation within the society as well as between Chechens and Russians, ensure freedom of religion and separation of religion and state in Chechnya, stop the territorial dispute between Chechnya and Ingushetia, inspect the federal funding in the republic, combat corruption and nepotism, and strengthen the rule of law.


  1. Ramzan Kadyrov called the authorities of the Russian Federation to deprive people suspected of fighting in the ranks of the Islamic State of their Russian citizenship. Ramzan Kadyrov’s approach to handling the armed insurgency in the North Caucasus has been incessantly hard-line, in contradiction to the neighbouring republic of Ingushetia where the authorities have experimented with more conciliatory approaches.

Based on reporting by

  1. The Investigative Committee of Russia ruled that the actions of Stavropol policemen in Chechnya in spring this year were justified. The policemen entered Chechnya and killed local resident Dzhambulat Dadayev who had been included in the federal wanted list. Following the incident, Ramzan Kadyrov ordered the Chechen law enforcement agencies to shoot at all security forces who conduct special operations in the republic without a prior agreement.

Based on reporting by

  1. A minibus carrying seventeen residents of Daghestan fell down a cliff in Chechnya’s Vedeno district after being hit by a rockfall. Eleven people died in the accident, all of them being women. 22 June was announced by president Ramazan Abdulatipov as the day of mourning in the republic. Families of the victims are going to receive financial assistance from Chechnya’s government amounting to 100,000 ₽, while injured people will receive 50,000 ₽. The accident attracted condolences and expressions of solidarity from the heads of Chechnya and Ingushetia as well as Vladimir Putin.

Based on reporting by



  1. A counterterrorist operation launched in Nalchik on 23 July ended in an armed clash between the security structures and suspected militants. According to a Russian power agent, six militants were killed during the operation. One of the killed militants was Sultan Abshayev, suspected leader of the group. The militants are suspected of having had connections to the Islamic State and having planned assassinations of members of the local government during the Day of the Republic on 1 September.

Based on reporting by,, and

  1. A graduate student of the State University of Kabarda–Balkaria was confirmed as one of the victims of the terror acts in Suruç in Turkey. Nartan Kylych was an ethnic Circassian. His mother also fell victim to the suicide bombing, while his sister was wounded.

Based on reporting by



  1. The Extraordinary Conference of Circassian People to resume its work in autumn is likely to demand the return of the Circassian autonomous oblast. The territorial unit was dissolved in 1957 and united with the Karachay autonomous oblast into Karachay–Circassia. Circassians are a minority in the republic and inhabit compactly only the northwest districts of Adyge-Khabl and Khabez as well as the capital city of Cherkessk. The demands of the Circassian minority are consistent with the dissatisfaction of other minorities (Abaza, Nogay, and Russians) on how the funds and resources are distributed, which might be seen as a source of ethnic tensions in the republic.

Based on reporting by and

  1. On 21 July the High Court of Karachay–Circassia sentenced five residents of the republic to between four and five years of penal colony for preparing to seize power in the republic. The men were convicted of organising and participating in an ‘extremist organisation’, creating and participating in armed formations, as well as illicit trafficking of arms and ammunition.

Based on reporting by

  1. The Day of the Culture of the Abaza nation was celebrated for the second time in the republic on 23 July. The festival was held on the same day as the Day of the Flag of Abkhazia widely celebrated in the breakaway republic. The organisers of the festival described the aims of the event as attracting media attention to the culture of the Abaza nation as well as preserving the dialogue between Karachay–Circassia’s nationalities and Abkhazia. The Abaza language is closely related to Abkhaz and the two nations widely recognise their shared cultural heritage.

Based on reporting by



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