06 April 2011, 23:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of March 28 to April 3


Power agents hope to identify Dokku Umarov among those liquidated in Ingushetia; while the former Mayor of Volgograd is seeking his reinstatement, it was decided to liquidate the post of Mayor whatsoever - in favour of the post of City Manager; Azerbaijani authorities respond by mass arrests to mass protests, - look these and other events in the review of the week of March 28 to April 3, 2011, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Ingushetia: operation with 17 unknowns

On March 28, a special operation was conducted in the Sunzha District of Ingushetia, which resulted in killing 17 persons declared as militants and arrest of Islam and Ilez Yandiev, accused of organizing the terror act in "Domodedovo" Airport.

After the operation, power agents supposed that Dokku Umarov, Amir of the "Imarat Kavkaz" founded by militants, and Amir Khamzat could be among the casualties. However, on March 31, it became known that law enforcers had identified Yusup Buzurtanov, Dokku Umarov's personal physician, among the casualties. A high-ranking source from a power agency told that Umarov was not found among the remains of liquidated militants. However, his wife, Aslan Byutukaev (Amir Khamzat) and Supyan Abdullaev (Red-Haired Supyan) are also named among the identified casualties. Abdullaev's death was also confirmed by militants themselves on one of their websites.

At the same time, according to power agents, the probability that Dokku Umarov was killed in the operation is rather high; however, it could be stated for sure only after a genetic examination of the remains of three bodies. Earlier, it was planned that the examination would be conducted by one of the Moscow-based FSB laboratories; later it was reported that the remains would be examined in Rostov-on-Don. Little remained from the bodies, since the militants' camp was attacked with the bombs having total power of three tons of TNT (trotyl) equivalent.

At a press conference in Moscow, President of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Evkurov announced the names of two other casualties of the special operation: "Out of the six identified ones, four are our locals, including two - Ganizhev and Evloev, who went to the forest with Magomed Evloev, who had been identified as the suicide bomber who triggered the explosive device at the 'Domodedovo' Airport."

Volgograd: Mayor's issue

On March 29, the Tsentralny District Court of Volgograd ruled to uphold the governor's decision to impeach Roman Grebennikov from the post of the Mayor of Volgograd. However, the ex-Mayor Grebennikov intends to appeal against this ruling at the Volgograd Regional Court.

Meanwhile, in the evening on Friday, April 1, the House of Trade Unions, located in central Volgograd, hosted public hearings on the choice of a city management system. As a result of the voting on the draft decision of the Volgograd City Duma "On Amending the Charter of City-Hero Volgograd", 199 participants of the public hearings voted in favour of approval of the draft decision of the City Duma with account of approved and rejected proposals. 52 persons voted against. This is the official version of results of the hearings. According to organizers, in total 379 persons had been registered at the hearings; 251 of them expressed their opinions, while 128 more got "dissolved" in debates.

However, according to activists of the opposition, preparation for the hearings had shown that the authorities are not interested to know the true opinion of townspeople.

In parallel with the public hearings, a protest rally was held in Sovietskaya Street. About three hundred persons gathered near the House of Trade Unions; they advocated election of the Mayor by universal vote.

Azerbaijan: opposition would not calm down

In the morning on April 2, the police cordoned off the access roads to the central streets of Baku in preparation for the unsanctioned rally of the opposition, pre-planned by the public movement for democracy named "Public Chamber" for 2:00 p.m. in Fountain Square. Prior to the event, it already became known about detention of some 10 oppositionists. Several other activists who managed to get into Fountain Square were also detained.

In total, according to Ministry of Internal Affairs and the General Prosecutor's Office of Azerbaijan, in the course of the Saturday's rally in downtown Baku, 5 persons were detained as suspects of committing criminal offences, and 70 more were administratively punished. As a result of the unlawful actions of the opposition 25 police cars were damaged, show-windows of 17 shops and one bank were broken; and one ATM (automated teller machine) was destroyed. It was further reported that protesters rendered physical resistance to the police; and 13 policemen received various injuries.

The Baku City Prosecutor's Office has initiated criminal cases under Articles 233 (organization of actions that violate the public order; or participation therein) and 315 (causing resistance or use of force against representatives of the authorities). A special investigatory team comprising police officers and prosecutors was set up to conduct a full and comprehensive inquiry into the accident.

According to the opposition, over 100 persons were detained, including activists of political parties, youth organizations, journalists and human rights defenders.

Nagorno-Karabakh: behind the OSCE

The next regular monitoring session of the OSCE mission on the contact line of the armed forces of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan was held last week in the Gadrut direction.

Earlier, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Nagorno-Karabakh, Azerbaijan had refused to monitor the contact line of the armed forces. According to the above MFA, the OSCE mission headed by Ambassador Andrzej Kasprzyk, personal representative of the OSCE Chair, had to investigate the incident in unilateral manner.

A few minutes after the departure of the OSCE mission, the point where the inquiry was held, was shelled by a sniper from the Azerbaijani party.


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