30 July 2012, 08:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of July 23-29

Participation of athletes from the Caucasus in the London Olympics; outbreak of ASF and sending the case on Kuschevskaya massacre to the court in the Krasnodar Territory; successful start of "Anji" in UEFA Europa League tournament and a special operation in Makhachkala with a self-explosion; consideration of Mirzaev's case on the merits and sending the case on terror act at Moscow Domodedovo Airport to the court; skirmishes in the Karabakh conflict zone and capture of Azerbaijani soldier by Armenia, – look these and other events in the Caucasus in the review of the week of July 23-29, 2012, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

London: 141 Caucasian athletes take part in the 30th Summer Olympics

On July 27, the UK capital opened the 30th Summer Olympic Games, where athletes from the countries of Southern Caucasus and North-Caucasian regions of Russia take part in almost all the sports. Traditionally for the Caucasus, many of them will perform in so-called "power sports" and all types of wrestling. Thus, according to the "Caucasian Knot ", 80 athletes (out of 141 who went to the Olympics from the Caucasus) will fight for medals in Greco-Roman, freestyle and women's wrestling, judo, taekwondo and boxing; and 20 more – in weightlifting.

Already, there are first winners. On July 28, Arsen Galstyan from Adygea was the first Russian athlete to win an Olympic medal – he won a gold medal in judo in the 60 kg weight category. Galstyan's victory is a milestone in the history of Russian judo – never before has a Russian judoist stepped on the top place of the podium. On July 29, Lasha Shavdatuashvili was the first of the Georgian national team to win a medal at the Olympics in London. He became Olympic Champion in judo in the weight category of 66 kg.

Krasnodar Territory: ASF outbreak and delivery of the Kuschevskaya massacre case to the court

On July 23, the Investigatory Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) reported about the direction of the case about the mass murder committed in the village of Kuschevskaya to the court; while officials of the Russian General Prosecutor's Office in the Southern Federal District (SFD) said at a press conference in Rostov-on-Don that the case will be considered by the Krasnodar Territorial Court with participation of a jury. Six defendants figure in the case; and only one of them has admitted his guilt in full.

On July 27, it became known that two outbreaks of the African Swine Fever (ASF) were registered in the Ust-Labinsk and Krasnoarmeisk Districts. The outbreaks occurred on the farms of the JSC "Kuban" and LLC "Krasnodar Fattening Complex". The first in 2012 and the largest outbreak was detected back on January 8 at the "Industrialny" pedigree farm of the Timashevsk District. Two weeks later an ASF outbreak occurred at the enterprise "Kolos" in the Krasnoarmeisk District. Then, the disease was revealed in one of the farms of the district and in wild boars inhabiting the Eisk flooded areas. To prevent the spread of the fever, over 40,000 pigs – half the number of all the swine liquidated in Russia because of ASF in 2011 – were killed.

Dagestan: successful performance of "Anji" at UEFA Europa League and special operation in Makhachkala with self-explosion

On July 26 in Budapest, the local "Honved" Football Club (FC) played the second leg of the Europa League match against "Anji " FC from Makhachkala. The latter won the right to play in the second qualifying round of Europa League after taking the fifth place in the 2011/2012 Russian championship. The Dagestani club won 4-0 and passed into the next stage of the tournament. The first match, which was played on July 20 in Ramenskoe near Moscow, ended 1-0 in favour of "Anji" as well.

On July 26, in the township of Alburikent in Makhachkala, in a private house, agents of the local FSB department and MIA blocked suspected militants. A skirmish burst out; and the counterterrorist operation (CTO) regime was introduced. As a result of negotiations with the blocked militants, in the morning on July 27, power agents managed to bring two girls, aged three and eleven, out of the house; and later – two more children. The Russian National Antiterrorist Committee (NAC) said that during the armed clash six militants were killed; one of the women – Saidat Yusupova – triggered a self-explosion. As stated by Shamil Mutaev, the head of the Dagestani militants' adaptation commission, its members were not informed about the special operation.

Moscow: Mirzaev's case is considered on the merits; and the Domodedovo Airport terror act case gets to the court

The first session on the merits of the case of Rasul Mirzaev at the Zamoskvoretsky District Court in Moscow took place on July 25. The prosecutor announced the indictment; and then the victims –Tatiana Agafonova and Alexander Agafonov and their daughter Olga Agafonova – were questioned. Rasul Mirzaev, accused of killing Ivan Agafonov, a Moscow student, refused to plead guilty. At the session on July 27, employees of the First City Hospital and defendant's friends were questioned. Mirzayev's girlfriend stated, in particular, that Rasul just slapped Agafonov, who had verbally offended him.

On July 26, the Russian General Prosecutor's Office reported that they had sent to the court the case of four residents of Ingushetia – brothers Islam and Ilez Yandiev, Akhmed Evloev and Bashir Khamkhoev, accused of organizing on January 24, 2011, a terror act at the Moscow Domodedovo International Airport. The terror act, which the North-Caucasian militants' leader Dokku Umarov took the responsible for, killed 37 people.

Southern Caucasus: shooting in Karabakh conflict zone and capture of Azerbaijani soldier by Armenia

On July 28, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence (MoD) accused the units of the Armed Forces of Armenia of breaking the ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area. On July 23, Azerbaijan accused Armenia of the death of the serviceman Teimur Abdullaev; while the Armenian party rejected the accusations.

On July 26, at the north-eastern section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, an Azerbaijani soldier Firuz Farazov, born in 1992, crossed the border and voluntarily surrendered to the Armenian party, said the press service of the Armenian MoD. The Azerbaijani party has confirmed the capture of the soldier, but said that "being at the Tovuz section of the contact line, Firuz Farazov got lost and accidentally fell into captivity."

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