01 August 2022, 18:54

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of July 25-31, 2022

Persecution of pacifists in Southern Russia; casualties in a rescue helicopter crash in Georgia; public outcry after a debauch in Nizhnevartovsk by a native of Dagestan who called himself a Chechen, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of July 25-31, 2022, prepared by the “Caucasian Knot”.

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, on July 25, human rights defenders reported that in Rostov-on-Don, a court imposed a fine on local resident Oleg Popovkin, finding him guilty of discrediting the Russian Armed Forces by posting a comment about Chechens in Ukraine on the “VKontakte” social media outlet. This is the second administrative case against Oleg Popovkin instituted because of his post on a social media outlet. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) also reported that a woman from Vladikavkaz was fined under the article on discrediting the Russian Armed Forces. On July 27, the press service for the Kislovodsk court reported that a local resident had been fined. The court found her post on a social media outlet discrediting the Russian Armed Forces and the entire Russian people. On July 28, it became known about the second protocol drawn up under the article on discrediting the Russian Armed Forces against Vitaly Nemtsev, a coordinator of the “Citizen Observer” movement in Kuban. The reason for the institution of the administrative case was an activist’s pacifist post in a social media outlet. Human rights defenders also reported that the law enforcement bodies had drawn up a protocol against Gennady Vladimirov, a resident of the Krasnodar Territory, under the article on discrediting the Russian Armed Forces. On July 28, the press service for the courts of the Volgograd Region reported that the third protocol had been drawn up against artist Philip Kozlov under the article on discrediting the Russian Armed Forces because of his posts on social media. On July 29, it became known that Yuri Osokin and Ilya Palchik, two residents of Kuban, were fined on the charge of discrediting the Russian Armed Forces for pacifist inscriptions on their helmets.

On July 28, in Elista, a court began considering a case against Altan Ochirov, a former employee of the City Mayoralty, accused of publishing fake posts about the Russian Armed Forces.

Casualties in a rescue helicopter crash in Georgia

On July 29, a paraglider crashed into a rock in the high-mountain resort of Gudauri. The paragliding tourist died. A helicopter flew to provide help to the victims and crashed. There were two rescuers and two paramedics on board, and all of them died. The Georgian authorities declared July 30 a day of mourning for the dead. The rules for paragliding in Georgia need to be greatly tightened, the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia states. The Georgian Paragliding Federation had long developed the rules for paragliding, but the authorities did not respond to requests to legalize those rules, emphasizes Mariam Babunashvili, the spokesperson for the federation.

Preparations for September elections in Southern Russia

On September 10-11, Russia will hold the voting within the local and regional election campaigns. In the south of the country, residents of North Ossetia and Kuban will elect members of regional parliaments, and elections will also be held in Karachay-Cherkessia. On July 27, the filing of documents for the registration of candidates for the elections of members to the Parliament of North Ossetia expired. Analysts point out that the parliamentary elections in North Ossetia will be almost uncontested. In the Krasnodar Territory, several candidates from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) were denied registration, but that fact did not affect the party’s position in the election race, political analyst Andrei Gusiy notes. In Karachay-Cherkessia, candidates from ten parties were registered for the elections. Analysts expect no surprises during the elections and believe that everything will be under the control of the authorities.

Activist’s hunger strike in Gelendzhik

On July 27, Marina Antipina, a resident of Gelendzhik, began a hunger strike. The activist demands from officials to solve the problem of land tenants in the Pushkinsky Dol cottage settlement. Marina Antipina and four other activists who were picketing in front of the City Mayoralty complained that the authorities were ignoring their demands. On July 28, the administration of Gelendzhik promised to provide Marina Antipina with the assistance in solving problems. The activist demanded from the officials to issue a document in which their promises would be recorded. Marina Antipina decided to interrupt her protest, threatening to resume the hunger strike and pickets if the tenants’ problems were not resolved. Let us remind you that after transactions for the sale of houses in the Pushkinsky Dol cottage settlement in Gelendzhik, the land of the village was returned to the category of forest land and courts began to pronounce decisions on the demolition of houses and the seizure of land. That happened because the construction organizer was found guilty of fraud. The village is home for 230 people, including 70 children, 11 disabled people, labour veterans and combatants, large families, and most of them have the only housing.

Public outcry after a debauch in Nizhnevartovsk by a native of Dagestan who called himself a Chechen

On July 23, in Nizhnevartovsk, Arthur Ilyaskhanov, a 37-year-old resident of Khasavyurt, broke two bottles belonging to a store in protest that he was not sold alcohol. The man called himself a Chechen, threatened to resort to his “connections,” and insulted a Russian employee of the store. Arthur Ilyaskhanov also questioned the effectiveness of the actions of the Russian troops in Ukraine. Members of the Chechen community reacted to his statements and met Arthur Ilyaskhanov on July 25, said Abbaz Abdulkhazhiev, the spokesperson for the Chechen authorities. On July 25, a video of the Arthur Ilyaskhanov’s apology was posted on the Internet. A court arrested the man for 15 days, finding him guilty of inciting hatred or enmity. Earlier, the man was fined under the articles on petty hooliganism and discrediting the Russian Armed Forces. Arthur Ilyaskhanov himself said that he wanted to return to Khasavyurt, but feared that he would be taken to Chechnya. The man explained that he got threats from members of the Chechen community. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced that natives of Chechnya who discredited the Chechen people with their behaviour would be returned to the republic and forced to wash floors. Adam Delimkhanov, the advisor to the leader of Chechnya, confirmed his readiness to fulfil the Ramzan Kadyrov’s instructions.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 1, 2022 at 09:40 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: Caucasian Knot

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