Caucasus region

North Caucasus Watch (29 August–4 September 2015)

by | Sep 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, the suspects opened fire to policemen after they attempted to stop their vehicle. The men were allegedly killed by return fire and their car burnt down as the result of the shooting.

Based on reporting by kavkaz-uzel.ru.

Participants of the August 25 protest in Buynaksk by the Party of Russia’s Veterans demanded to move the city mayor election. The election is planned for September 8, while Daghestani municipal elections are set for September 13. The protesters argue that if the city mayor vote happens before the municipal elections, incumbent mayor Bayginat Abdusalamov will stay in power due to support on behalf of current municipal authorities.

Based on reporting by chernovik.net and kavkaz-uzel.ru.

Two Daghestani policemen who published a compromising video of an intoxicated Chechen policeman defecating on a beach in Makhachkala were dismissed for ‘discrediting a law enforcer’. The event was widely discussed in social media and provoked numerous reactions from analysts pointing out a growing tension between Daghestani and Chechen security structures.

Based on reporting by kavkaz-uzel.ru. 

Magomedsaidov Akayev, Inhabitant of Izberbash, was sentenced to four years in penal colony for ‘public justification of terrorism’. According to the court, in July 2014 Mr Akayev shared online a ‘publication’ which contained calls for terrorist activity and justifications for terrorism.

Based on reporting by kavkaz-uzel.ru and kavkazpress.ru.

Chechnya

Russian deputy minister for internal affairs, Viktor Zolotov, visited Chechnya on August 31. According to Ramzan Kadyrov’s VKontakte account, Mr Zolotov requested an unscheduled visit to an OMON (Special Purpose Mobility Unit) base in Grozny in order to ‘check its combat readiness’. Some Russian analysts point out that the purpose of the check was to send a message to Mr Kadyrov that he isn’t ‘omnipotent’, confirming at the same time that he enjoys a ‘special status’ among the North Caucasian leaders.

Based on reporting by kavkaz-uzel.ru and onkavkaz.com.

Political analyst Stanislav Belkovskiy electrified Russian expert community with his calls to separate Chechnya from Russia. Mr Belkovskiy said that Chechnya de facto won the war with Russia and imposed a yoke on Russia, demanding periodical tribute, just like Golden Horde did for centuries. According to him, in fact Chechnya is an independent state which is only ‘pretending’ to be a part of Russia. He calls for an official recognition of the Chechen independence.

Based on reporting by onkavkaz.com.

Six inhabitants of Shelkovskiy district of Chechnya were arrested under suspicion of attempting to join jihadists in Syria. According to the local law enforcers, all arrested are aged 20–25 and come from the village of Kargalinskaya and include two women, one of them pregnant. They were allegedly planning to fight alongside the Islamic State. According to a representative of the Chechen Ministry of Internal Affairs, brother of one of the arrested has been participating in the war in Syria for past eight months and it was him who convinced his younger sibling to join the terrorist group. Adam, local NGO, as well as relatives of the arrested point out that under the current legislation it is not illegal to travel to Syria and the arrested might now be tried for a crime they haven’t committed.

Based on reporting by kavkaz-uzel.ru.

The Chechen government confirmed that it stopped paying child benefits and compensations for victims of political repressions — for an undisclosed reason. A child benefit in Chechnya amounts to 130 roubles (1.70 €) a month per child, while compensations amount to 390 roubles (5.20 €) a month. According to the local Ministry of Labour, 400,000 inhabitants of Chechnya receive child benefits and another 174,000 receive compensations. In this case, political repressions refer to the deportation of the entire Chechen nation (among others) to Central Asia in 1944. In 2004 the deportation was described as an act of genocide by the European Parliament.

Based on reporting by kavkaz-uzel.ru.

North Ossetia

Approximately 5 thousand people took part in commemorative events for the 11th anniversary of the Beslan hostage crisis. On September 1, 2004 fighters from neighbouring North Caucasian republics took 1128 hostages in a school in the city of Beslan. The security operation lasted until 3 September and ended in death of 334 people, among them 186 children. Members of The Voice of Beslan, a local NGO, issued a statement in which they accuse the government of trying to cover up details of the tragedy and refuse to properly investigate the events. The allegations are connected to the use of force by the Russian military during the security operation. A poster saying ‘Putin — the butcher of Beslan’ appeared in the school building during the commemorative events, but the activists were forced to take it down by a ‘group of unknown young people’. According to committee Mothers of Beslan the central authorities refuse to acknowledge their share of blame for the tragic outcome of the crisis. The NGO called the European Court for Human Rights to declare Russian authorities guilty in an appeal that was put forward in July.

Based on reporting by kavkaz-uzel.ru.

Members of the criminal group headed by Aslan Gagiyev were sentenced to 16–22 years in prison. According to the investigators, the group is responsible for 40 murders in North Ossetia, Moscow, and its suburbs. Artur Tibilov, Valeriy Pliyev, Oleg Khamitsev, Chermen Sugarov, Azamat Sidakov, and Tamerlan Kozyrev were concluded to having been members of the group. Aslan Gagiyev was arrested in Vienna on 17 January, but he hasn’t been extradited to Russia as it is argued that he might face human rights violations and torture.

Based on reporting by kavkaz-uzel.ru.



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