27 July 2010, 23:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of July 19-25

Explosion at Baksan HPP; severe beating of oppositionist in South Ossetia; loud statements of Balkar hunger-strikers, - look these and other events in the review of the week of July 19-25, 2010, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Diversion at the HPP in Kabardino-Balkaria

At night of July 21, militants attacked the Baksan Hydraulic Power Plant (HPP) in Kabardino-Balkaria. Having shot dead two security guards, they entered the machine hall and captured the employees of the HPP, who worked there. Then, in the machine hall of the plant they triggered several bombs and started a fire. The premise was strongly damaged.

On July 22, Alexander Bastrykin, head of the ICPO (Investigatory Committee at the Prosecutor's Office of Russia), said that indirect reasons of an attack on the HPP were in insufficient protection of the object and the forthcoming reassignment of the president of the republic.

According to the inquiry held by the investigation, at the moment of the crime the Baksan HPP was not equipped with technical control means, and both militiamen-securities were sleeping - one in his car, and the other - right at the post. On the basis of the established facts, the head of the Proceeding from established facts, the chief of the non-departmental security agency of Kabardino-Balkaria was dismissed.

As stated by Ali Sottaev, head of the Kabardino-Balkarian Branch of the Open Joint-Stock Company (OJSC) "RusHydro", the explosion at the Baksan HPP had no serious problems in electricity supplies, since "operative reconnections" were made. In his opinion, the terrorists' attack "pursued the moral aim".

Law enforcement bodies believe that the explosions at the Baksan HPP in Kabardino-Balkaria could be organized by the local leader of militants Kazbek Tashuev. As reported by a source in power agencies of the NCFD (North-Caucasian Federal District), the members of his grouping were recognized by employees of the HPP. Also, a version was put forward that the terror act could be committed under the order of Abdullah, who came instead of recently killed Anzor Astemirov to take the position of militants' leader of Kabardino-Balkaria. Involvement in this action of Dokku Umarov, leader of the Imarat Kavkaz, is not excluded: earlier he had announced a diversion war deep in Russia's regions as a revenge for actions of Russian servicemen in Northern Caucasus.

Already on July 25 special agencies reported that in the course of a special operation two supposed members of IAFs (illegal armed formations) were liquidated - R. Orshokdugov and R. Seyunov, who could be involved in the explosions.

Beating of civil activist in South Ossetia

On July 24 Timur Tskhovrebov, a civil activist and initiator of the "Republican Party - Iron" was beaten in South Ossetia. It is supposed that the attackers were about 10 in number. Tskhovrebov had his arm broken and his neck cut; at hospital, his arm was plastered and his neck was stitched.

Tskhovrebov asserts that he recognized three deputies of the parliament of South Ossetia among the attackers - Kazimir Pliev, Dmitri Vaneev and Alan Khasiev. The victim said that on the eve of the attack Pliev had threatened him by telephone, which confirms the information of Alan Tskhurbaev, a blogger of the "Caucasian Knot".

The attack was committed in Isak Street in Tskhinvali, in the eyes at a militia unit, who preferred not to interfere, reports Varvara Pakhomenko with reference to the victim.

Tskhovrebov links his beating with his participation in the "Georgian-Ossetian Civil Forum", held on July 16 in the Dutch city of Leiden. The forum passed an appeal to the parties of the Geneva Consultations, asking to address the problems of the peaceful population of Georgia and South Ossetia.

Hunger strikes in Astrakhan and Kabardino-Balkaria

On July 20, in Astrakhan, the teachers of the Astrakhan Regional "Centre of Children's Scientific and Technical Creativity" stopped their hunger strike. The protest action started on July 18 and was aimed against closing free-of-charge circles for children due to transformation of the budget-funded Centre into an "independent" one. The teachers said that they stopped their hunger strike from fear to lose jobs and their salaries for two months.

At the same time, two actions of Balkars continue: since July 7, they hold their hunger strike in Moscow, and since July 11 - in Essentuki. The protesters demand enforcement of Federal Law No. 131 "On Organization of Local Self-Government in the Russian Federation" and the decision of the Constitutional Court, in particular, delivery of distant pastures to mountain settlements, mainly Balkar ones.

According to Moscow hunger-strikers, they eat bread and drink water. They report that so far nobody from the authorities came to meet them and declare their intention "to fight to the end and die for the sake of the future of their children and grandchildren".

The hunger-strikers in Essentuki are periodically communicating with the officials of the NCFD. "They promise to consider our demands and settle them," said Tamara Gerieva, one of the protesters.

In particular, the protesters received an official answer from Yuri Oleinikov, Deputy Plenipotentiary of Russian President, running that "the appeal of the Balkar public was taken to consideration, and currently the work is underway to settle the land problems," Oleinikov reported.

At the same time, in Kabardino-Balkaria about a dozen residents of Khasanya village are holding an action in support of the Moscow hunger-strikers.

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