17 September 2012, 23:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of September 10-16

Actions within "March of Millions" in cities of Southern Russia; celebration of Unity Day of Nations of Dagestan at the background of ongoing conflict in the region; counterterrorist operation in North Ossetia; preparation for parliamentary elections in Georgia; championships of the Russian Federation in sporting and caving tourism in Adygea, - look these and other events in the Caucasus in the review of the week of September 10-16, 2012, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Actions within "March of Millions" in Southern Russia

On September 15, Krasnodar hosted - within the all-Russian campaign "March of Millions" - a meeting of the candidates for the Krasnodar Territorial Legislative Assembly from the "Yabloko" Party with voters, which was attended by 30 people. The main idea of the speakers was a call to the residents of the region to come to a vote on October 14 and to participate in the elections as observers. The organizers of the action had planned to make it crowded, but they failed to coordinate it with the city administration and decided to hold it as a meeting with voters.

The rally held in Stavropol within the "March of Millions" was attended by about 120 people, who demanded to cancel the law on assemblies, set up a public organization to oversee the security services, liberalize the electoral legislation and reduce housing utility rates.

In Volgograd, the action within the all-Russian "March of Millions" was agreed for the audience of 300 persons. The organized column that marched from Port Said Street to Lenin Square was 70 persons strong; and about 100 more joined them in the square. The participants of the rally that finalized the march demanded resignation of President Putin and Governor Bozhenov, deputies of the city and regional assemblies and early elections of all the branches of power.

Civil society activists of Rostov-on-Don had also planned holding an action within the "March of Millions" on September 15. The city administration proposed the oppositionists to start marching at 8:00 a.m., and hold the rally at 9:30-10:30 a.m. Moscow time. In response, oppositional activists announced their intention to hold solo pickets. As a result, on September 15 the police detained four oppositionists for an attempt, as law enforcement officials assert, to organize an unsanctioned rally in the central part of the city. In Novocherkassk, on the eve of the "March of Millions" in Rostov-on-Don, Oleg Prudnikov, an activist of the "Left-Wing Front" was arrested for five days. Oppositionists of Taganrog also reported that they had been visited by policemen who warned them about the illegality of the rally.

Dagestan marks Unity Day at the background of ongoing conflict

On September 15, Dagestan marked the Unity Day of all its nations. Representatives of all the local nationalities acquainted residents and guests with their culture, traditions and cuisine and crowned the holiday with a concert and fireworks. Due to the holiday events, security measures were strengthened; and on the eve and on the holiday there were several armed incidents, indicating that the situation in the republic is still unstable.

Thus, on September 15, in the village of Khutrakh, Tsuntin District, a fight burst out, during which five suspected militants and one power agent were killed. On the same day, a contractor-soldier of the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) blew himself up on a mine-stretcher in the wooded area in the Tsumadin District. On September 14, in the city of Derbent, unidentified persons shot a businessman dead; another local entrepreneur was killed on September 13 in the city of Izberbash. Also on September 13, in the Kizlyar District two suspected militants were killed; in an armed clash a soldier was wounded; and in the Khasavyurt District, in the gunfire unidentified persons killed a policeman of the road-and-post service (RPS) unit; two others were wounded.

Power agents conduct counterterrorist operation in North Ossetia

On September 11, in order to search for members of illegal armed formations (IAFs), the counterterrorist operation (CTO) regime was introduced in the Prigorodny District of North Ossetia. The republic's operative headquarters received information that a group members of the armed underground, involved in terrorist activities, was detected in the wooded area to the south of the dwelling settlement Komgaron near the border with Ingushetia.

During the special operation, two suspected militants were killed, and one soldier was wounded. On September 12, the CTO regime was cancelled.

International observers call participants of parliamentary elections in Georgia to be honest

Georgia continues preparing for the elections to the Parliament of Georgia and the Supreme Council of the Adzhar Autonomy, scheduled for October 1. Candidates for the post of Prime Minister have already held their debates. On September 14, the Central Election Commission (CEC) reported that 45 polling stations would be opened overseas, where, according to the lists of consulates, 42,613 voters could participate. Earlier, the CEC had informed that for the upcoming elections Georgia created 84 electoral constituencies; however, polling stations would be opened only in 73 of them, since 11 constituencies located in Abkhazia and South Ossetia are not covered by the Georgian jurisdiction. In total, 3,621,256 voters have been registered; of them, about 200,000 people were removed from the voter list at applications of apartment owners and during the update of the list carried out by the CEC.

On September 12, the interagency US delegation and the delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) announced the outcomes of their review of the progress of the campaign and the election environment. The international observers noted that Georgia had created a competitive environment and urged the political forces to run the campaign in compliance with the legislation and not to challenge in advance the election totals. On September 12, the representatives of the international nongovernmental organization "Transparency International" also presented their report "Analysis of Pre-Election Situation" for the period from October 1, 2011, to August 1, 2012, and said that they had found a number of disturbing trends, including the use of state resources, intimidation of oppositional activists and cases of bribing voters.

Adygea welcomes participants of Russian championships in sporting and caving tourism

On September 11, the car camp "Tourist" in Adygea opened the 14th all-Russian championship in sporting tourism, which brought together over 100 athletes from 16 regions of 7 Russian federal districts - the strongest sportspersons, including more than 30 masters of sports. For five days the contests were refereed by the jury combined of experts from 10 Russian regions - from the Khabarovsk Territory to Adygea.

In the morning on September 14, the Khadzhokh Gorge of the Maikop District of Adygea became the venue of the open championship of Russia in caving tourism. It was attended by 34 strongest athletes from different regions of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. Adygea welcomed this year's contest for the first time ever. Earlier, this sort of events took place in the Urals and in the Leningrad Region, which had sent, according to the referees, the most competitive athletes. The closing of the championship will be held on September 18.

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