16 March 2011, 23:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of March 7-13

Preliminary election outcomes in Southern Russia: opposition's complaints against satisfaction of election commissions; Manege Square in Moscow becomes again a "rendezvous" of nationalists; UN Security Council could see a dangerous terrorist in Dokku Umarov; protest actions in Azerbaijan again turn into clashes and arrests, - look these and other events in the review of the week of March 7-13, 2011, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

United Voting Day

On Sunday, March 13, Southern Russia, same as the rest of the country, held the United Voting Day. The electorate of Adygea, Krasnodar Territory, Rostov and Volgograd Regions, Stavropol Territory and Dagestan took part in several campaigns aimed to elect local self-governments of different levels.

The highest-level elections were held in Dagestan, where they elected deputies of the Republic's People's Assembly, in Adygea - elections to the State Council-Khasse of the Republic, and in the Stavropol Territory - elections to the Stavropol City Duma.

However, the total outcome of election campaigns is approximately the same: as a result of voting, nominees from the "Edinaya Rossiya" (United Russia) Party, oppositional representatives and observers complain of violations, while local election commissions, administrations and law enforcement bodies state that the elections had passed peacefully.

Moscow: nationalists in Manege Square again

Last week the story of investigation into the murder of the fan of the "Spartak" Moscow Football Club Yegor Sviridov received its continuation; his murder led to massive protest actions of nationalists and unrests in Manege Square in Moscow in December 2010.

Last week - on March 9 - investigatory bodies presented charges to Ramzan Utarbiev, one of the alleged participants of the fight in December 2010 in Moscow, who had earlier posted a video message, where he told about the details of the fight and claimed that he was slandered, together with his comrades, while "Spartak" fans were real instigators of the fight.

On March 11, in Manege Square in Moscow, units of Moscow police and Interior Troops of the MIA stopped another action of nationalists within the "Strategy 11". At 6:50 p.m. Moscow time, the time fixed on nationalist websites as the gathering time, the central section of the Okhotny Ryad metro station was controlled by reinforced police units and a special-purpose detachment. About 10 persons were detained. In Manege Square, about 20 persons were present - supporters of the arrested GRU Colonel Kvachkov and members of various nationalist-patriotic organizations. Policemen took no action against these people; they just warned them about the inadmissibility of violating the law.

Nevertheless, the nationalist forums have treated this action in Manege Square as successful and noted that it was attended by several hundreds of people. Let us note here that on the eve of the action additional MIA units were brought to Moscow.

UN labels Umarov as dangerous terrorist

Last week the committee under the UN Security Council on sanctions against Al-Qaeda, Taliban and associated individuals and entities included Dokku Umarov, leader of North-Caucasian militants and head of the "Imarat Kavkaz" forbidden in Russia, into the committee's consolidated list of dangerous terrorists.

According to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in accordance with this decision of the Security Council, "the UN member states shall immediately enforce, in relation to Umarov, the sanctions regime, which assumes freezing of all financial assets belonging to him, ban on his movement and any activities or assistance, including deliveries of arms and financial resources."

Umarov had repeatedly taken responsibility for terror acts in Russian territory. Another acknowledgement of this sort was made by him last week - he stated his involvement in the explosion that went off on March 9 at the bus stop at the FSB Academy in Michurin Avenue in Moscow.

Baku: actions, collisions, arrests

On March 11, in Baku, the police stopped the attempts of young people to hold protest actions under the call of the group on the Facebook "Great People's Day". 43 participants were detained. The cases of 20 protesters were delivered to the courts for consideration within the administrative legislation.

In the afternoon on March 12 clashes burst out in Baku between participants of a non-sanctioned action of the opposition, organized by the "Musavat" Party, and the police forces. The action was several hundreds of persons strong, not only from the "Musavat" Party, but also from the Popular Front Party and other oppositional organizations, as well as from women's and youth associations. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 50 persons were detained; while the organizers speak about more than 100 detainees.

On that very day, ten March 12 protesters at the action, organized by the "Musavat" Party, were sentenced to 6-8 days of administrative arrest.

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