17 November 2010, 23:00
Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of November 8-14
Fire burns down forests and pastures of Georgia and southern regions of Russia; lists of observers over observance of human rights in prisons and colonies of the SFD and NCFD have been updated; local criminal gang is accused of massacre in Kuschevskaya village, Krasnodar Territory, - look these and other events in the review of the week of November 8-14, 2010, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".
Strained situation in Dagestan
Tensions remain in Northern Caucasus. Lat week was especially "hot" in Dagestan - only in the territory of this republic, on November 8-14, several special operations were conducted; three explosions were triggered; two bombs were neutralized; and eight law enforcers were killed.
Besides, in the afternoon on November 13 in Buinaksk a special operation was conducted aimed to liquidate suspected militants; the counterterrorist operation (CTO) regime was introduced there. Power agents managed to kill three suspected militants there, involved in murdering militiamen, armed attacks on civilians and extorting money from businessmen. According to preliminary data, the commander, suspected of organizing the terror act at the military training ground in Dagestan, was identified among the liquidated militants.
Fires in the Caucasus
Last week, wildfires kept storming the territories of both southern Russia and Southern Caucasus. In particular, the fire-danger situation sharply worsened in Georgia. Dozens of forest-fire centres were registered in the end of last week throughout the country. Especially complex situation is in Western Georgia, where fire destroyed dozens of hectares of pastures and forests.
Last week, fire centres were also extinguished in forest areas of five districts of the Krasnodar Territory. According to the Ministry for Emergencies (MfE), forest fires in the Kuban River region began on November 10. Altogether, 20 fires in an area of 200 hectares were registered. Fires raged in forests of the Apsheron, Tuapse and Seversky Districts and near the cities of Goryachi Klyuch and Gelendzhik. According to MfE experts, the fires occurred after the long November weekend: for four days local residents actively visited forest, where they left smouldering fire and threw cigarettes, which overlapped the warm and dry weather.
A large forest fire occurred in the Stavropol Territory. In the afternoon on November 11, the southern slope of Mount Beshtau caught fire. By the evening of the same day fire-fighters managed to extinguish it, but within this time period more than 100 hectares of forest were damaged by the fire.
At the same time, 15 hectares of forest were burnt down in Dagestan. On November 11, a forest fire was reported in the Akushin District of the republic; it was completely suppressed only by the following evening.
Massacre in Krasnodar Territory solved
This week the Investigatory Committee of Russia has reported that the massacre committed in Kuschevskaya village, Krasnodar Territory is fully solved.
12 dead bodies were found during extinguishing a fire in a private house in the village of Kuschevskaya. The house belonged to the family of the farmer Server Ametov. The casualties were all his family and their guests. Most of them died from stab and cut wounds. The investigation revealed that the house was set on fire. The authorities of the Krasnodar Territory announced a 1-million-rouble remuneration for any information that could help to solve the murder.
At the moment, four suspects of the crime are arrested. Detentions of Alexei Gurov, his brother Evgeniy, Vyacheslav Skachedub and Igor Maidanyuk were made on November 10 and 11. The suspects are 16-24 years of age. Three of them are graduates of one and the same school; lately none of them worked and lived, under operative data on revenues from their criminal activities.
On November 12, the court sanctioned arrest of three figurants in the criminal case dealing with the massacre in Kuschevskaya - freedom was restricted by placing behind bars for Evgeniy and Alexei Gurov and Vyacheslav Skachedub. Later on the same day the court satisfied inspectors' petition to arrest the fourth suspect - Igor Maidanyuk. All of the arrested persons are members of the criminal grouping involved in robberies in the Rostov Region and Krasnodar Territory.
Staff of PMCs updated in Southern Russia
On November 10, the Working Group of the Russian Public Chamber compiled new lists of Public Monitoring Commissions (PMCs) in 50 Russian regions, including several Northern and Southern Caucasian ones and those of Southern Russia. Initially, the lists were discussed openly with participation of experts and chairs of some of the regional PMCs. The final decision on those recommended into the staff of PMCs was made by four members of the Public Chamber - the working group chaired by Sergey Katyrin, Deputy Secretary of the Public Chamber.
Currently, PMCs operate in 12 regions of the Southern and North-Caucasian Federal District (SFD and NCFD): in Adygea; Kalmykia; the Volgograd, Astrakhan and Rostov Regions; the Krasnodar Territory; in Dagestan, Ingushetia, Karachay-Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Chechnya and North Ossetia. The second staff of commissions was elected in Adygea, Krasnodar Territory, Rostov Region, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Chechnya and Kabardino-Balkaria.
In general for Northern Caucasus, an increased number of candidates to PMCs was noted. The discussion was held around the regions where the number of nominees to commissions exceeded the upper limit established by the law - 20 persons. In particular, such were the PMCs of the Rostov Region and Krasnodar Territory.
According to experts, during formation of PMCs, whose duties include monitoring of places of detention, increased number of employees from power agents in the staff of PMCs was registered, while NGO activists saw their decreased presentation there.