07 October 2019, 14:49

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events from September 30 to October 6, 2019

Search of the Dagestan weekly "Chernovik"; exacerbation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border; bold escape of prisoner in Ingushetia, – read about these and other events in a September 30-October 6, 2019, weekly review of main events in the Caucasus prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Election of Kazbek Kokov as KBR head

On October 3, MPs of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR) unanimously voted for the appointment of the acting republic's head, Kazbek Kokov, to the major post of the region. Mr Kokov has been acting head of the KBR since September 2018. The experts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" experts in advance had assessed the chances of Kokov's competitors as very low.

Armed attack on factory in Krasnodar Territory

On October 4, armed men captured employees of the "Kuban Delicacies" Factory in the city of Slavyansk-on-Kuban, and wounded securities. Later, the attackers released the hostages, but barricaded themselves inside the factory. Then, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) reported that all the seven attackers were detained. During the shootout, three persons were wounded. According to a factory source, some 20-30 people participated in the attack. According to the police, the conflict broke out among "pretenders to manage the factory." Roman Sinyagovsky, the head of the Slavyansk District, said that the two "quarrelling" founders were trying to divide the factory.

Search of Dagestani "Chernovik"

On October 2, masked law enforcers arrived at the editorial office of the "Chernovik" (Draft) weekly in Makhachkala and spent more than seven hours there. With their departure, office equipment and documents disappeared. The staff of the edition linked the search with the case of the journalist, Abdulmumin Gadjiev, who was arrested on June 18, within the case of financing terrorism. The search disrupted the work of the staff and jeopardized the printing of the next issue of the weekly. As stated by Arsen Shabanov, a lawyer, law enforcers seized the items that had nothing to do with the aim of the search, said lawyer. The search was inspired by law enforcers' desire to show that work was ongoing within Gadjiev's case, editors-in-chief of Dagestan media has stated. According to Magdi Kamalov, the founder of the weekly, Gadjiev had suffered because of his articles on Islamic topics. Human rights defenders have treated Gadjiev's case as a threat to all journalists in Russia.

Aggravation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border

Last week, another exacerbation occurred on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. On October 1, Azerbaijani law enforcers reported that in the Gazakh District they stopped attempts of sabotage groups to penetrate into Azerbaijan. The Armenian Ministry of Defence (MoD) refuted this statement. On October 2, the Armenian MoD announced the wounding of a contract soldier under fire on the Azerbaijani border in the Tavush Region; and on the following day, another soldier was killed in the same region. In another border section – in the Noyemberyan District – a tractor driver was wounded, as the MoD reported. According to Azerbaijan, on October 2, in a shootout in the Gazakh District, an excavator operator, who worked on laying a road in the troops contact line, was killed. On October 5, the Armenian MoD reported a new wounding of an Armenian military in the Tavush District by a shot made from the Azerbaijani side.

"Kunaki" Film Festival in Nalchik

The "Kunaki" (Friends) North-Caucasian Cinema and TV Festival opened in Nalchik on October 5. This year's festival is dedicated to the memory of its founder, Sulieta Kusova-Chukho, who died on November 12, 2018. 56 films were selected to participate in the contest, including four films made by directors from Kabardino-Balkaria. On October 6, two films from Dagestan, "Parable of Lame Ram" and "Zada's Children", were screened. The former tells about an incorruptible police officer named Magomed Shamilov, who was fired from law enforcement bodies; the latter is about a resident of Dagestan, Zada Maksudova, who has raised about 100 adopted children. Let us remind you that the "Kunaki" Festival was founded in 2007. It was named after the ancient Caucasian tradition of friendship, when people reveal the "kunak" features – hospitality and friendship to various nationals and religions.

Impudent escape of prisoner in Ingushetia

A resident of Ekazhevo, arrested within the case of extorting money under the threat of spreading compromising materials, has ran away from policemen on the way from the Nazran District Court. According to law enforcers, his relative helped him to escape. The relative was detained, but the defendant disappeared. Investigators reported that the convoy guards failed to close a prison truck compartment and left it unattended. However, Evgeny Chernousov and Amir Kolov, MIA veterans, believe, that the inmate, who is a member of an influential Ingush clan, could not have made such a daring escape without law enforcers' help.

Investigators treat the escapee as a member of a criminal grouping that extorted money. According to sources, the members seduced married women, shot erotic videos with them, and then threatened with exposure, forcing the women into intimate relationships with other men.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 7, 2019 at 09:15 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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