08 December 2014, 09:10
Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of December 1-7
Attack of militants on Grozny; opening of traffic through Gimry Tunnel in Dagestan; verdict on December 2013 terror acts in Volgograd, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of December 1-7, 2014, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".
Militants' attacks on law enforcers in Grozny
At night on December 4 in Grozny, policemen were attacked by members of illegal armed formations (IAFs). After that, a large-scale special operation was launched in the city. According to power agents, the attackers took refuge in the buildings of the House of Press and local school. According to latest data, 14 law enforcers were killed and 36 others were wounded. The authorities reported the death of one civilian; however, residents of Grozny claim that several civilians were lost. By the outcomes of the special operation, it was announced that 11 militants had been liquidated. Kadyrov said that militants' families should be evicted outside Chechnya; and their households should be demolished.
The republic's authorities have promised to restore the damaged school building in the coming weeks, while the House of Press will be built anew.
The December 4 armed action was the fifth major attack of the armed underground on dwelling settlements of Northern Caucasus since 2004. The attack on Grozny indicates the capacity of Chechen militants, said the experts questioned by the "Caucasian Knot".
Gimry Tunnel reopened in Dagestan after two-month closure
In Dagestan, on December 1, the Gimry Tunnel that connects the village of Gimry, Untsukul District, with the cities of Buynaksk and Makhachkala was opened for motor traffic; it was closed on September 18 in connection with the blockage by power agencies of the settlement of Vremenny. The date of reopening the tunnel was repeatedly postponed, but on November 26 the counterterrorist operation (CTO) regime, which was in force for eight months, was lifted from the Untsukul District; and it was decided to open the tunnel. Locals called it a great event, which makes people's life much easier. After the opening of the Gimri Tunnel, power agents cancelled the CTO regime in the Buynaksk District, which had been in force for 75 days.
Armenian MPs ratify country's accession to EAEU
On December 4, the Armenian Parliament ratified the treaty of Armenia's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which had been initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The hearings on the accession were held by the MPs since November 25 at the background of protest actions, during which activists urged MPs to vote against the treaty. It should be noted here that some experts see disputable points in the above treaty, while the authorities claim that Armenia's accession to the EAEU will have a positive impact on its economy.
Verdict for terror acts committed in December 2013 passed in Volgograd
On December 5, the Dzerzhinsky District Court of Volgograd passed a sentence to four natives of Dagestan, accused of involvement in the terror acts committed at the railway station and in a city bus of Volgograd on December 29 and 30, 2013, which killed 34 people, apart from two suicide bombers. Alautdin Dadaev and Ibragim Magomedov were found guilty of participating in an illegal armed formation (IAF) and facilitating the terrorist activities, and were sentenced to 19 years in a high-security colony each. The brothers Magomednabi and Tagir Batirov were sentenced to 3 years and 10 months in a high-security colony each, with a further freedom restriction for 2 years, on charges of aiding and abetting IAF members.
Azerbaijan puts well-known investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova behind bars
On December 5, Khadija Ismayilova, the author of journalistic investigations of corruption offenses in the top echelons of power in Azerbaijan, was summoned to the Baku City Prosecutor's Office. Later, the Sabail District Court of Baku ruled to put her into custody on charges of incitement to a suicide attempt of her former colleague Tural Mustafaev. Independent lawyers cast doubts on investigators' version. Let us note here that recently Ismayilova began running a talk show at the Azerbaijani Service of Radio Liberty, and joined the human rights activities – on behalf of the working group consisting of activists of more than 10 NGOs, on August 8 she released a list of country's political prisoners, containing 100 names.
Increase of refugees from Ukraine in Rostov Region
Last week, the authorities of the Rostov Region reported that refugees from Eastern Ukraine began returning to the Rostov Region. This summer they came en masse to Russia after the start by Ukrainian power agents of the antiterrorist operation (ATO) against supporters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics; but after signing the Minsk armistice agreement of the parties in conflict on September 5, refugees began returning home. Now, they have to move to the Rostov Region again, since there are no due conditions in Donbas for living with children, said Vadim Artyomov, the Deputy Governor of the Rostov Region. According to his story, four children's health centres located in the Rostov Region, which had been converted into temporary accommodation centres (TACs), are again accepting refugees. Now, the region shelters over 39,000 citizens of Ukraine.