07 September 2011, 23:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of August 29-September 4


Start of construction of "Arkhyz" Resort in the mountains of Karachay-Cherkessia and crash of helicopter with officials; a triple terror act in Grozny on the eve of Eid al-Fitr, committed by suicide bombers; mourning events in memory of the victims of the 2004 Beslan tragedy; first nominee for presidency in South Ossetia, - look these and other events in the Caucasus in the review of the week of August 29-September 4, 2011, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Karachay-Cherkessia: start of "Arkhyz" Resort and drop of helicopter with state commission

On August 29, the first post of the first ropeway of the North-Caucasian tourism cluster, to be built within the next 10 years, was erected in the Arkhyz Gorge in Karachay-Cherkessia. The cluster will include five modern European-class ski resorts. To create these tourist sites, it is planned to spend almost 500 billion roubles, almost twice of what has been invested into construction of Olympic facilities in Sochi.

The project of the all-season mountain "Arkhyz" Resort assumes construction of four complex tourist villages. By 2014, the resort will have 11 hotels and 9 ropeways; and by 2020, the hotels will be able to accommodate 25,000 tourists at a time. By then, the resort will operate 69 ropeways and ski courses of the total length of 270 km. According to preliminary estimates, the flow of tourists will exceed 500,000 persons per year. Investments in construction of the first phase of the "Arkhyz" Resort make more than 5 billion roubles.

The solemn ceremony of the ropeway construction start of the ropeway was gloomed by an accident: a helicopter Mi-8 crashed down at landing in the mountains of Karachay-Cherkessia. It was carrying a VIP delegation of high-ranking officials. According to the local Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), a pilot's error was the main reason; this version is supported by Maxim Bystrov, Deputy Plenipotentiary of Russian President in the North Caucasus Federal District (NCFD), who also suffered in the accident. Initially it was reported that 13 persons were injured. Later, it was reported that four persons received traumas; two of them are under intensive medical care.

Chechnya: three suicide bombers blow themselves up in Grozny on the eve of Eid al-Fitr

On August 30, Grozny saw three explosions committed by suicide bombers. The first explosion occurred when employees of the patrol-post service tried to detain a suspicious man. The other two suicide bombers blew themselves up, when law enforcers arrived at the place of the first incident, and passers-by gathered around. The total power of the bombs, according to the investigation, was about three kilograms of TNT (trotyl) equivalent. The explosions took away nine human lives, apart from bombers themselves; more than twenty persons were injured.

Chechen power agents believe that the acts of suicide bombers in Grozny were backed up by the militants' field commander Muslim Gakaev and the leader of North-Caucasian militants Dokku Umarov. The investigation has identified two suicide bombers as Magomed Dashaev, 22, a native of Urus-Martan, and Adlan Khamidov, 21, a native of the village of Starye Atagi and a student of the Oil Institute. The case about the blasts in Grozny was qualified as a terror act.

The explosions took place on the day, when Muslims around the world celebrated one of the major Islamic holidays - the Eid al-Fitr. In Chechnya, local clergymen appointed the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, as well as its start, one day later. Residents of the Republic assert that the terror act did not affect their plans in connection with the holiday and that there was no panic caused by the explosions.

It is worth noting that before the suicide bombings on August 30, this year Chechnya had two cases of suicide bombing with participation of four terrorists (two in each case), committed at attempts to detain them. Both self-blasts (on February 15 and on April 25) took place in Grozny; no power agents or civilians were hurt.

North Ossetia: Russian citizens commemorate victims of terror act in Beslan

On September 1, the city of Beslan in North Ossetia started a series of commemorations on the Remembrance Day of the victims of the terror act committed on September 1-3, 2004, in the secondary school No. 1 of the city of Beslan. Let us remind you that the terror act killed 186 children and 148 adults; 728 Beslan residents and 55 law enforcers were injured. In total, terrorists took 1128 hostages. In the context of commemorations, increased security measures were introduced. Psychologists were present in the territory of the Beslan school, and doctors were on duty ready to render emergency medical care.

On September 2, Beslan opened an architectural and sculptural composition named "Kind Angel of Peace". The 3-meter-high monument is crowned with a white pillar with an angel keeping a dove in hands. The commemoration actions were held on September 2 and 3 in other regions of Russia, including Moscow, Karachay-Cherkessia, Krasnodar Territory, and Rostov Region.

The school, which was destroyed by the terror act, will be turned into a memorial complex, designed by the German company "Knauf Kassel", specializing in preservation of historical buildings.

South Ossetia: first nomination for republic's presidency

On September 2, the Central Election Commission (CEC) of South Ossetia received the first package of documents on nomination of a presidential candidate. It was submitted by supporters of Alan Kochiev, the leader of the South-Ossetian socio-political movement "Rukhs Fidan" (Bright Future). The piquancy of the situation is that Alan Kochiev is suspected of beating Alik Pliev, a member of the Parliament of South Ossetia from the People's Party, and since August 19 is under arrest.

Also on September 2, the President of South Ossetia Eduard Kokoity said that at the presidential elections to be held on November 13 he will support the General Public Prosecutor of the Republic Taimuraz Khugaev and the local Minister for Emergencies Anatoly Bibilov as presidential candidates.

Let us remind you that this autumn Eduard Kokoity's second presidential term in office expires. During the presidential election, the voters will also hold a referendum on the status of the Russian language.


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