23 May 2022, 18:59

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of May 16-22, 2022

CTO in Dagestan; events dedicated to the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Caucasian War; protests in Armenia demanding the resignation of Nikol Pashinyan, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of May 16-22, 2022, prepared by the “Caucasian Knot”.

CTO in Dagestan

On May 18, a counterterrorist operation (CTO) legal regime was introduced in the Leninsky District of Makhachkala, two persons were killed. The National Antiterrorist Committee (NAC) reported about the prevention of a terror act at a power facility. Two armed men who were mounting an explosive device near an electrical substation in Makhachkala at night opened fire on law enforcers and were killed by return fire, the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) reported. The CTO in Makhachkala became the first in Dagestan within eight months, after a special operation conducted in the Buynaksk District on September 10, 2021. The special operation confirmed the analysts’ theory who assumed that in Dagestan, the armed underground transformed into the format of conspiratorial units.

Events dedicated to Day of Remembrance for Victims of Caucasian War

On May 21, the day marking the 158th anniversary of the end of the Caucasian War, a mourning rally was held at the Tree of Life monument in Nalchik. Several dozen young people held a procession in memory of the victims of the Caucasian War, despite the ban on the event. On May 15, it became known that the authorities of Kabardino-Balkaria refused the initiative group to hold a mourning procession. The activists called the authorities’ refusal the interference in the traditions of the Adyg people. On May 20, participants of the events in Nalchik lit 101 candles. On May 21, Cherkessk hosted a procession and a rally with the participation of more than 500 people. Religious figures prayed in memory of those who died during the Caucasian War, and activists called on to prevent any repetition of the tragedy and pointed out to the people’s unity in the republic on the Adygs’ Memory Day.

Let us remind you that the Caucasian War, which lasted from 1763 to 1864, brought the Adyg peoples to the brink of extinction.

Arrest of a Ukrainian combatant in Rostov-on-Don

Some of “Azov” regiment soldiers and marines of the Ukrainian armed forces who surrendered to the Russian troops in Mariupol were taken to Taganrog, and some were brought to a SIZO (pre-trial prison) of Rostov-on-Don, media reported with reference to a source from the law enforcement bodies. It was reported about several dozen people. On May 19, it became known that in Rostov-on-Don, a court received a motion for an arrest of Denis Muryga, suspected of participating in an illegal armed formation (IAF). Denis Muryga, a deputy commander of the Ukrainian “Aidar” battalion, was detained on the border with Ukraine in the Rostov Region, a source reported. In a video with confession, Denis Muryga said that in March 2015, on the order of the “Aidar” battalion commander, he took part in blowing up a bridge in the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR).

Persecution of pacifists in Southern Russia

In Southern Russia, the persecution of residents who oppose the special military operation in Ukraine and related events continues. So, Elena Chulanova, a resident of Volgograd, was fined under the article on discrediting the Russian army. For two months, in the Volgograd Region, courts pronounced 17 decisions under the above-mentioned article. On May 16, activist Marina Zakharchenko was detained in Krasnodar, and the police drew up a protocol against her under the article on discrediting the Russian army. Earlier, Marina Zakharchenko held a pacifist picket. On May 17, human rights defenders reported about the detention of Yevgeny Bukhantsev, who held a pacifist picket near the administration building of the Krasnodar Territory. On May 19, In Sochi, a court fined Vladimir Atamanchuk, a coordinator of the “Civil Initiative” movement, for distributing pacifist leaflets. In addition, residents of Kabardino-Balkaria and Ingushetia were among those accused of discrediting the Russian army this week.

Beginning of a trail in Nalchik on a lawsuit filed by dismissed fighters of National Guard of Russia

On May 19, in Nalchik, a court held a preliminary hearing on a lawsuit filed by 115 fighters of the National Guard of Russia who were dismissed after leaving the special military operation zone in Ukraine. The plaintiffs demand to declare their dismissal illegal. Similar lawsuits were filed by other 24 people. According to fighters of the National Guard of Russia, their return to the place of permanent deployment was agreed with their commanders and they did not violate the terms of their contracts, since the commanders did not give the order to continue hostilities.

Protests in Armenia demanding resignation of Nikol Pashinyan

Starting from April 25, in Yerevan, mass protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan have been accompanied by the detention of activists. On May 18, after opposition supporters blocked the streets and temporarily paralyzed the metro, 364 activists were detained on the charge of failure to obey lawful demands of the police. On May 17, 414 people were detained. Analysts explain the detentions of hundreds of activists in Yerevan by the authorities’ desire to prevent a rise in the number of protesters. Earlier, experts have noted that the likelihood of a change of power in the country is minimal, since the Armenian opposition is fragmented and has no alternatives to the figure of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

Public outcry after verdict to Nika Gvaramiya, director of a Georgian TV Company 

On May 16, in Tbilisi, a court sentenced Nika Gvaramiya, the director of the “Mtavari Arkhi” TV Company, the former head of the “Rustavi-2” TV Channel, to 3 years and 6 months of imprisonment in a case on embezzlement. According to the investigators’ version, as a result of the abuse of the Nika Gvaramiya’s powers, the “Rustavi-2” TV Channel did not receive about 6.8 million laris (about 2.3 million US dollars). Human rights defenders and associates of Nika Gvaramiya considered the sentence too harsh. The case on embezzlement in the “Rustavi-2” TV Channel is politically motivated, and the authorities want to prevent Nika Gvaramiya from creating a new TV Channel and are taking revenge for criticism, Georgian oppositionists state. Nine MEPs have signed a declaration on the Nika Gvaramiya’s case, stating that they see the verdict as a threat to the Georgia’s future in Europe.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 23, 2022 at 10:10 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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ДАННОЕ СООБЩЕНИЕ (МАТЕРИАЛ) СОЗДАНО И (ИЛИ) РАСПРОСТРАНЕНО ИНОСТРАННЫМ СРЕДСТВОМ МАССОВОЙ ИНФОРМАЦИИ, ВЫПОЛНЯЮЩИМ ФУНКЦИИ ИНОСТРАННОГО АГЕНТА, И (ИЛИ) РОССИЙСКИМ ЮРИДИЧЕСКИМ ЛИЦОМ, ВЫПОЛНЯЮЩИМ ФУНКЦИИ ИНОСТРАННОГО АГЕНТА.

July 05, 2022 07:18

  • Failures of protest movement aggravate crisis of political institutions in Armenia

    Arthur Gazinyan, an MP from the "Aiastan" oppositional faction, has announced refusal of his mandate. The faction has excluded any political disagreements, treating Gazinyan's decision as a tactical step. Suren Surenyants, a political analyst, believes that the failures of the protest movement have led to an institutional crisis of political blocs and formats.

July 05, 2022 07:04

July 04, 2022 23:35

July 04, 2022 23:11

  • Azerbaijani MoD announces a shelling attack on border with Armenia

    Today, the positions of the Azerbaijani army in the Kelbadjar District have been shelled from large-calibre weapons, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of Azerbaijan reports. The information about a shelling attack on the positions of the Azerbaijani army does not correspond to reality, the Armenia reports.

July 04, 2022 22:54

  • In Tbilisi, protesters disrupt government meeting

    A protest action held by supporters of European integration in front of the government building lasted for several hours. The activists were making noise and whistling to attract the attention of Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. The participants of the action left the place only after it became known that the government meeting had not taken place.

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