A horse ride in Sochi, photo courtesy of Salbiy Gerbo

29 April 2024, 23:09

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of April 22-28, 2024

Attack on policemen in Karachaevsk, protests in Georgia, persecution of pacifists and activists in Southern Russia, Inal Djabiev’s case, Circassian Flag Day, 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 April 22-28, 2024, prepared by the “Caucasian Knot”.

Attack on policemen in Karachaevsk

On night of April 22, in Karachaevsk, a squad of the patrol-and-post police service (known as PPS) was attacked. As a result, two law enforcers were killed, and another was wounded.

The law enforcement bodies put on the wanted list the residents of Karachay-Cherkessia, who are considered involved in the attack on the policemen. The Investigating Department for Karachay-Cherkessia of the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) posted a video from the scene of the attack on its official Telegram channel.

Murat Kalakhanov and Roman Guschin, the policemen perished in the attack, were buried in the village of Kumysh and the village of Ordjonikidzevsky. Analysts do not associate the attack on the policemen in Karachaevsk with the armed underground, as they believe it has been practically eliminated in Northern Caucasus. The attackers may have a criminal background, and they even may be former contract soldiers from a private military company (PMC), as may be concluded from the level of their training, analysts note.

Protests in Georgia

By initiating the draft law “On Transparency of Foreign Influence”, the authorities of Georgia are trying to split society, six opposition parties claim in their joint statement. The opposition has called on concerned citizens to join the protest actions.

On April 28, the action “Yes to Europe, no to Russian Law” was launched in Tbilisi. It was initiated by more than 150 public organizations and supported by seven opposition parties. “Today, scientists, students, doctors, cultural and sports figures, winemakers, entrepreneurs, farmers, and other groups stand together on the right side of history,” the Georgian NGO claim in their statement.

Special forces fighters arrived to the parliament building. The law enforcers are armed with rubber bullet weapons, and water cannons have been deployed. The police used pepper spray against the protesters. The Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) announced that the processes at the protests had become of violent nature.

Persecution of pacifists and activists in Southern Russia

Details of the administrative case instituted against Alexander Trushnikov, a resident of Krasnodar, for his post on the “VKontakte” social network have become reported. The court found Alexander Trushnikov guilty of discrediting the Russian Armed Forces. The Sovetsky District Court of Krasnodar imposed a fine on Alexander Trushnikov in the amount of 30,000 roubles. The man filed an appeal against the court’s decision, but the court of appeal upheld the court’s decision. The police found that Alexander Trushnikov posted on the social network “a photograph of a woman with her head wrapped in a white cloth with traces of red-brown colour,” with a pacifist inscription in the upper and lower parts of the photograph.

The Armavir City Court imposed a fine amounting to 30,000 roubles on Marina Melikhova. The woman has already been placed to a SIZO (pre-trial prison) in a criminal case on discrediting the Russian Armed Forces. The criminal case was instituted for a video in which the activist called herself a pacifist.

Sergey Kaplienko, a resident of Rostov-on-Don, was fined under the article on discrediting the Russian Armed Forces. The decision in the case was pronounced by the Proletarsky District Court.

Igor Listopadov, a resident of the city of Semikarakorsk in the Rostov Region, was fined under the article about discrediting the Russian Armed Forces for his post on the “Odnoklassniki” social network. The subject of the proceedings was a repost on the “Odnoklassniki” social network of a publication about the death of Lieutenant General Oleg Tsokov, Deputy Commander of the Southern Military District, in Berdyansk.

Inal Djabiev’s case

At a court hearing in the case on the death of Inal Djabiev, emergency doctor Natalia Gergaulova testified. The doctor told the court how she was trying to resuscitate Inal Djabiev for about half an hour, and she also noted that at a hospital, her colleagues found a large bruise on the deceased man’s chest. The court extended the arrest of five defendants for a month.

On April 25, in the Tskhinvali City Court in the case on the death of Inal Djabiev, a public prosecutor read out the testimony of victim Gersan Kulumbegov, who in August 2020 was suspected of involvement in the assassination attempt on Igor Naniev, Minister of Internal Affairs of South Ossetia.

After an interrogation at home, Gersan Kulumbegov was taken to an IVS (temporary detention facility). On the other day, uniformed officers unknown to him put a mask on his head, drove him to some unknown destination, took him into a building, and began beating him. Gersan Kulumbegov fell down from the blows. He was hit on the floor with his face several times, causing him to bleed. The testimony contains the names of the defendants, including Irbeg Slanov, Alan Bagaev, and Andrei Djioev.

Circassian Flag Day

On April 25, Circassians around the world celebrate the Circassian Flag Day. Karachay-Cherkessia, Adygea, and Kabardino-Balkaria organize horse rides, car races, dance games, sports competitions, and other events.

The Circassian Flag Day consolidates the Circassian people in Southern Russia and abroad, but this is primarily a merit of public organizations, not the local authorities, note Circassian activists who left Russia.

In Sochi, about 200 people celebrated the Circassian Flag Day. Activists performed a horse ride, and the village of Kalezh hosted sports competitions and a concert. The Circassian Flag Day unites Circassians by helping to preserve their identity, activists say. They have also mentioned that the main problems of Circassians in Sochi are difficulties with teaching children in their native language, as well as land issues.

In Nalchik, the Circassian Flag Day was celebrated with a concert with the participation of the dance ensemble “Dawns of the Caucasus” and performers of songs in the Kabardian language. The green flag with arrows and stars symbolizes the entire combination of national cultural values for the Circassians and gives hope for the future, emphasize participants of the celebration.

In Cherkessk, a concert, according to its organizers, gathered at least 1000 people, while they abandoned traditional processions and runs citing the “political situation” in the country. Every year, the celebration of the Circassian Flag Day attracts more and more young people, including teenagers, event participants believe.

Official data on natives of Southern Russia perished in Ukraine

By April 28, the authorities and the law enforcement bodies reported about at least 3822 residents of Southern Russia perished in Ukraine, including 1888 residents of the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD) and 1934 residents of the Southern Federal District (SFD).

In Dagestan, the authorities reported about 829 local residents perished in Ukraine, in the Volgograd Region – 728, in the Rostov Region – 419, in the Krasnodar Territory – 366, in Stavropol Territory – 352, in the Astrakhan Region – 298, in North Ossetia – 274, in Chechnya – 189, in Kabardino-Balkaria – 140, in Kalmykia – 70, in Ingushetia – 56, in Adygea – 53, and in Karachay-Cherkessia – 48.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 29, 2024 at 09:10 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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