26 September 2022, 23:00
Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of September 19-25, 2022
Mobilization and lines on the southern borders of Russia; protest actions in Southern Russia against mobilization; verdict of guilty pronounced by the jury in a case against Rauf and Raul Arashukov, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of September 19-25, 2022, prepared by the “Caucasian Knot”.
Mobilization and lines on southern borders of Russia
On September 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization in the country. According to Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu, it is planned to call on 300,000 reservists within the mobilization “to protect the liberated territories of Ukraine.” Already on September 22, the first groups of mobilized reservists were sent to Ukraine, including from Makhachkala, Kaspiysk, and Krasnodar.
Mobilization events are accompanied by scandals. So, on September 21, in the Yeisk and Shcherbinovsky Districts of Kuban, it was forbidden for those liable for military service to leave their place of residence. On the other day, the military registration and enlistment office of the Krasnodar Territory announced that no restrictions on movement had been imposed in the region. On September 24, a woman from Kuban reported about mobilization of her 59-year-old husband who never served in the army. In the Volgograd Region, despite his age and illness, 63-year-old reserve Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Ermolaev was sent to a training ground. After a publication in the media, the man was sent home. Sergey Melikov, the leader of Dagestan, admitted mistakes during the mobilization and placed personal responsibility for the mistakes on the heads of cities and districts of the region.
Amid the partial mobilization, air tickets for the nearest direct flights from Moscow to Baku and Yerevan were sold out already on September 21. In North Ossetia, a multi-kilometre traffic jam formed at the exit from Russia to Georgia. People have to wait for hours to leave through the “Verkhny Lars” border checkpoint, and border guards began to check men from Russia more carefully, social media users complain. According to the information of September 25, hundreds of cars also accumulated at border checkpoints in the Volgograd and Astrakhan Regions. Those wishing to get to Kazakhstan reported that they spend up to 15 hours in line.
Ramzan Kadyrov announced that no partial mobilization would take place in Chechnya, since, according to him, during the special military operation, the region exceeded by three times the plan for sending fighters to Ukraine. According to lawyers, the leader of Chechnya did not violate the presidential decree, since the partial mobilization does not provide for the call-up of all those liable for the military service, and Ramzan Kadyrov regularly reported about sending fighters to Ukraine. At the same time, Ramzan Kadyrov called opponents of mobilization the enemies of the people.
Protest actions in Southern Russia against mobilization
Protest actions began from the first day after the announcement in Russia of partial mobilization in different regions of the country, including in the southern regions.
On September 21, actions of protest were held in Krasnodar and Volgograd. According to human rights defenders, in Krasnodar, 14 protesters were detained. In Volgograd, the police detained eight persons. Participants of the protest actions said that they did not voice slogans and demonstrate posters, as they were afraid to openly express their opinion.
In Grozny, about 30-40 women came to a rally against the mobilization of their relatives, but the police stopped the rally and took away its participants. Eight more women who responded to a call to gather for a rally in Grozny were forced to delay on their way and could not take part in the protest action. Ramzan Kadyrov reported that “15-20 women came out to the rally in Grozny.” The cancellation of mobilization in Chechnya was a reaction to the protest action of mothers in Grozny, social media users believe.
On September 22, residents of the Babayurt District of Dagestan blocked the federal highway in protest against the partial mobilization. On the same day, women from Kabardino-Balkaria took to a protest action in Baksan.
On September 24, the police detained at least 11 persons at a protest action against the mobilization in Volgograd, but some were released almost immediately. On the same day, two protest actions against the mobilization were held in Krasnodar, and at least two persons were detained.
On September 24, journalist and human rights defender Valery Badmaev called on the leader of the republic to stop the mobilization in Kalmykia. According to Valery Badmaev, the partial mobilization can undermine the gene pool of the Kalmyk people. The human rights defender noted that ten more local activists signed his appeal.
On September 25, at a protest action in Nalchik, women from Kabardino-Balkaria demanded not mobilize their relatives. The women expressed the fear for their husbands and sons and said that it was impossible to allow men without professional skills in military affairs to be sent to the special military operation zone.
On the same day, in Makhachkala, the police violently dispersed the protest action against the mobilization. The number of protesters amounted to about 100 people. The police also detained a “Caucasian Knot” correspondent.
Besides, on September 25, a mass protest action against mobilization took place in the village of Endirei in the Khasavyurt District of Dagestan. According to eyewitnesses, at least several dozen people came to the protest action. Law enforcers were firing into the air from submachine guns in attempts to disperse the protesters. Earlier, residents of Dagestan, who received summons from the military registration and enlistment offices, said that they were worried about their wives and children, who would be left without their support.
Verdict of guilty pronounced by jury in case against Rauf and Raul Arashukov
On September 23, the jury of the Moscow City Court found Rauf Arashukov, a former senator from Karachay-Cherkessia, and his father Raul Arashukov, the former adviser to the general director of the “Gazprom Mezhregiongaz” LLC, guilty of organizing two contract killings in 2010. According to the investigators’ version, at the direction of his father, Rauf Arashukov organized the murders of Aslan Zhukov, the deputy chair of the “Adyge Khase” youth movement of the Karachay-Cherkessian Republic (KChR), and Fral Shebzukhov, the adviser to the leader of the republic, as well as beating of a witness to the murder of Aslan Zhukov. The jury came to the conclusion that the involvement of the Arashukov father and son in the murders of Aslan Zhukov and Fral Shebzukhov had been proven. The victims interfered with the activities of the criminal community of the Arashukov father and son, and that became the motive for the murders. Furthermore, the jury found Raul Arashukov guilty of embezzling more than 4.4 billion roubles from the “Gazprom” bodies in Southern Russia. The Arashukov father and son deny the accusations.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on September 25, 2022 at 11:59 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.
Source: Caucasian Knot