06 November 2023, 22:37
Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of October 30-November 5, 2023
Anti-Semitism in Northern Caucasus, persecution of pacifists and activists in Southern Russia, Azerbaijan against the opposition and Armenia, “benefit performance” of the Kadyrov clan, and official data on the natives of Southern Russia who perished in Ukraine, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of October 30-November 5, 2023, prepared by the “Caucasian Knot”.
Anti-Semitism in Northern Caucasus
Neither the authorities nor the religious leaders of Northern Caucasus condemned the riots at an airport in Makhachkala and other anti-Semitic protests in the region, notes Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar. He has expressed his fears for the fate of his fellow believers in the south of the country and noted that “something has changed, not for the better” in Northern Caucasus.
From October 26 to 29, mass anti-Semitic actions took place in the cities of three republics of the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD). In Cherkessk, protesters demanded not to let visitors from Israel enter the republic, and in Nalchik, a Jewish cultural centre under construction was burned. In Dagestan, hundreds of people gathered in front of a hotel in Khasavyurt after messages on social media reporting that refugees from Israel were allegedly staying at the hotel. The most large-scale action was the unrest at Makhachkala airport amid the reports that a plane from Israel had arrived there. More than 20 people were injured in the riots, including nine police officers. Law enforcers identified more than 150 riot participants and detained 83 of them.
Passengers on the plane from Israel have not been injured during the unrest and have already left the city, the Israeli Ambassador has announced. The head of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia has called on the country’s authorities to punish participants in anti-Semitic actions in Dagestan, Kabardino-Balkaria, and Karachay-Cherkessia.
After arrests and preventive conversations with the police, participants of an anti-Israeli rally in Cherkessk abandoned the plans to hold a similar rally. Local Jews have encountered manifestations of anti-Semitic sentiments for the first time, reports the leader of the Jewish community in Cherkessk.
On October 30, the National Security Council and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) raised to the maximum the danger level for citizens of the country in Southern Russia, including the Krasnodar Territory and Adygea, and recommended to avoid traveling to those regions or leave them as soon as possible. The spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in Russia has announced the readiness of the diplomatic mission to help Dagestani Jews move to Israel.
Persecution of pacifists and activists in Southern Russia
Oleg Reshetin, a resident of Volgograd, was fined twice: for reposting a Ukrainian video and for publishing a pacifist post. The man admitted his guilt and declared repentance. The court fined the resident of Volgograd for a total amount of 60,000 roubles.
The police drew up protocols on discrediting the Russian Armed Forces against residents of Dagestan Isa Kaplanov and Asiyat Magomedova.
The Leninsky District Court of Krasnodar fined local resident Anzor Kvashilava 30,000 roubles, finding him guilty of discrediting the Russian Armed Forces. According to the court, in June, the local resident posted on social media the photographs of his solo picket with a pacifist poster.
In the village of Pavlovskaya, a court fined local resident Dmitry Tertitsa 40,000 roubles, recognizing that the slogan he wrote on a stele monument in support of Ukraine discredited the Russian Armed Forces.
The Pavlovsky District Court of the Krasnodar Territory fined local resident Alexei Lesnev 40,000 roubles, finding him guilty of discrediting the Russian Armed Forces. The court’s official website reports that the man posted on the “VKontakte” social network a pacifist comment under the news about the attack on the Crimean Bridge.
Azerbaijan against opposition and Armenia
The Baku Court of Appeal (BCA) dismissed an appeal against the refusal to release opposition politician Gubad Ibadoglu on property bail. His colleagues held a protest in front of the court building with the demand to release the politician. A brother of Gubad Ibadoglu claimed the risks to the politician’s health were increasing.
Afiyaddin Mamedov, the head of the “Working Platform” independent Confederation of Trade Unions, is illegally deprived of the right to make phone calls from a SIZO (pre-trial prison), and medical workers of the Penitentiary Service ignore his health problems.
In Baku, a court arrested for two months Orkhan Gadjily, a son of Arif Gadjily, the head of the “Musavat” opposition party. Orkhan Gadjily is accused of committing a road traffic accident. The defence pointed out that the criminal prosecution of the oppositionist’s son was unfounded. The father of the arrested man called the case “political.”
The arrest period of businessman Nazim Beidemirli, a former member of the Azerbaijani parliament, has been extended by three months. The defence considered the court’s decision unfounded.
On October 30, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced that Yerevan and Baku had agreed on three basic principles for signing a peace treaty: the recognition of territorial integrity, the issue of delimitation and demarcation of borders, and the opening of regional communications. According to the Armenian Prime Minister, the above principles will help establish peace and regulate relations with Azerbaijan.
The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention considers it likely that Azerbaijan will invade the Armenian territory in the coming weeks. The US Department of State reiterated its strong support for the Armenia’s territorial integrity and threatened “severe consequences” for any violation of its sovereignty.
According to Baku analysts, any allegations about the threat of the Azerbaijan’s military invasion of Armenia are unfounded. Those allegations are only attempts by Armenia to discredit Azerbaijan, the analysts suggest.
“Benefit performance” of Kadyrov clan
Adam Kadyrov, a 15-year-old son of the leader of Chechnya, has been appointed the head of the security department for the leader of the republic.
On September 25, Ramzan Kadyrov posted a video of his son Adam beating in a SIZO (pre-trial prison) Volgograd resident Nikita Zhuravel, accused in a case on burning the Koran. Ramzan Kadyrov praised his son for the beating. On October 6, Russian State Duma member Adam Delimkhanov announced that Adam Kadyrov had been awarded the title of Hero of Chechnya. Later, Adam Kadyrov was awarded the Orders of Tatarstan and Karachay-Cherkessia.
Isa Tumkhadjiev, the first deputy chair of the Chechen government and a relative of Ramzan Kadyrov, was appointed the Minister of Motorways of the republic. His father Abubakar Tumkhadjiev, who held the above post for almost 16 years, will become an aide to the leader of Chechnya
Meanwhile, Aslan Iraskhanov, a native of the ancestral village of the leader of Chechnya, was appointed the Minister of Internal Affairs (MIA) of the republic. Deni Aidamirov, a nephew of the Ramzan Kadyrov’s spouse, who previously headed the MIA’s department for Grozny, became the First Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Chechnya.
The US Department of Treasury has imposed sanctions against several dozen Russian companies and citizens, including Salman Zakriev, the first deputy chair of the Chechen parliament, and his son Yakub (Ibragim), who headed the nationalized “Danone Russia” Company. Salman and Yakub Zakriev are a Ramzan Kadyrov’s brother-in-law (a sister’s husband) and a nephew, respectively.
On October 30, Ramzan Kadyrov himself announced the prevention of mass unrest in Chechnya, similar to the events in Makhachkala. According to the leader of Chechnya’s report, anti-Semitic actions were prevented with the help of the media, which “warned residents.” On October 31, Ramzan Kadyrov ordered the law enforcement bodies to detain instigators of the riots. If a man ignores a police order, he may be killed after “three warning shots in the air,” the leader of the republic has instructed the law enforcement bodies.
Official data on natives of Southern Russia perished in Ukraine
By November 5, the authorities and the law enforcement bodies reported about at least 2837 residents of Southern Russia perished in Ukraine, including 1401 residents of the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD) and 1436 residents of the Southern Federal District (SFD).
In Dagestan, the authorities reported about 658 local residents perished in Ukraine, in the Volgograd Region – 583, in the Rostov Region – 316, in the Krasnodar Territory – 238, in North Ossetia – 225, in the Astrakhan Region – 217, in Stavropol Territory – 202, in Chechnya – 138, in Kabardino-Balkaria – 110, in Kalmykia – 46, in Ingushetia – 44, in Adygea – 36, and in Karachay-Cherkessia – 24.