27 July 2015, 09:00
Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of July 20-26
Special operation in Nalchik, resulting in killing six alleged militants; terrible road accident in mountains of Chechnya with 11 casualties; sentencing of Ilya Goryachev in the BORN case, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of July 20-26, 2015, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".
Six persons killed in special operation in Nalchik
On July 23, part of the city of Nalchik was put under the counterterrorist operation (CTO) regime; and in one of high-rise buildings power agents killed six people, who were later identified as Sultan Abshaev, Marat Dotkulov, Amir Kazgeriev, Murat and Aslan Bogotov, and the owner of the blocked apartment. According to power agents, the apartment housed a laboratory for manufacturing bombs, while the killed persons themselves had planned to commit terror acts. According to a law enforcement source, the slain militants were linked with the terrorist organization "Islamic State" (IS). The apartment, where, according to law enforcers, the militants were hiding, belonged to Murat Misrokov, a doctor of City Hospital No. 2, local residents have reported.
Armenian authorities begin paying debts to workers of "Nairit" Factory
On July 24, the Government of Armenia began transferring money as repayment of salary debts to former and current employees of the Yerevan "Nairit" Factory, who sought the debt repayment since 2012 and held protests this year. As reported by the press service of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Armenia, the debts will be completely repaid until the end of July. The money is paid to those employees of the factory, who have signed a refusal from claiming through the court of payment of also the accrued fines and penalties.
Traffic accident in mountains of Chechnya, which killed 11 residents of Dagestan
On July 21, a terrible accident occurred in the mountainous Vedeno District of Chechnya: a Gazel van fell down into the abyss. It was carrying 17 residents of the Botlikh District of Dagestan, most of whom were returning from the funeral that took place in the village of Aksay, Khasavyurt District. Nine persons died on the spot; two others later died in hospital. In memory of the casualties, on July 23, Dagestan and Chechnya announced a mourning day.
Law enforcers suspect that the driver of the Gazel van had flagrantly violated the rules of transporting passengers: the van has 13 seats, but there were 17 passengers in it. The Russian Ministry for Emergencies (MfE) stated that a rock fall was the cause of the fall of the van into the abyss.
MCC sentences Ilya Goryachev to life imprisonment in BORN case
On July 24, the Moscow City Court (MCC) found Ilya Goryachev guilty of creating the "Combat Organization of Russian Nationalists" (known as BORN) and organizing five murders, including the killings of the lawyer Stanislav Markelov and antifascists Ilya Djaparidze and Fyodor Filatov, and sentenced him to life imprisonment. The court's sentence was based on the guilty verdict rendered by the jury on July 14. The Goryachev's trial caused a public resonance – the courtroom was full of media people, and activists of human rights and civil society organizations. Goryachev himself refused to plead guilty; his advocates have treated the trial as illegitimate.
Heat and drought caused introduction of emergency regime in several regions of Southern Russia
A strong heat has caused an introduction of state of emergency in several regions of Southern Russia. On July 23, this regime began operating in the entire territory of Kalmykia. In this republic, the soil drought has resulted in the loss of crops in the area of 33,559 hectares, and the loss of natural pastures in the area of 400,000 hectares. According to preliminary estimates, the damage caused by drought in the region exceeds 300 million roubles. Since July 21, the emergency mode is also acting in 19 districts of the Volgograd Region, where, according to Regional Committee for Agriculture, crops were lost in the area of 210,000 hectares; and the damage reaches 900 million roubles. In the context of the drought, the Russian MfE for the Rostov Region has announced an extreme threat of fire danger in a number of districts in the northeast of the region.
Retired major gives up hunger strike in Stavropol after health deterioration
Gennady Vorabyov, a Retired Police Major, who had held a hunger strike in the centre of Stavropol since July 14 demanding to provide him with housing, stopped his action on July 24, saying that it was caused by his health deterioration. Vorabyov has noted that his 10-day-long protest action was enough to draw the attention of police bosses to housing problems, which concern not only his family. Major Vorabyov, who worked for the patrol-and-post service (known as PPS) of the Stavropol GUVD (Chief Interior Department), has been on the housing waiting list from 1996 till his retirement in 2013, but never received an apartment. On July 21, the current living conditions of the Vorabyov family were inspected by employees of the prosecutor's office.