10 August 2015, 09:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of August 3-9

Commemorative events in Georgia and South Ossetia on the seventh anniversary of the events of August 2008; emergency power outages in Southern Russia with the onset of hot weather; eight killed suspected militants within a week in KBR; nomination of candidates for the head of North Ossetia; end of judicial inquiry in case of Yunus spouses in Azerbaijan; registration of candidates for the heads of Rostov Region and Krasnodar Territory, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of August 3-9, 2015, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Residents of Georgia and South Ossetia pay tribute to victims of 2008 conflict

On August 7 and 8, Georgia and South Ossetia held commemorations on the seventh anniversary of the events in August 2008. The mourning rally held in central Tskhinvali was 700 people strong. In the course of a funeral procession, pupils carried photos of peaceful residents, who perished in the events; and in Theatre Square they installed nameplates of the Ossetian villages completely destroyed or burned down in the period from 1991 to 2008. Leonid Tibilov, the republic's leader, said in his speech that in 2016 they would start erecting a memorial complex, which will contain monuments to the Russian and South-Ossetian servicemen. Near the burned down building of the peacemaking battalion, the military sentry shot a triple salvo in memory of perished Russian peacekeepers. In Tbilisi, the Georgian president and governmental officials visited the cemetery, where the militaries, who perished in August 2008, are buried, and laid down wreaths at the memorial. In their speeches, leaders of Georgia stated that the country should restore its territorial integrity through negotiations.

Emergency power outages become more frequent in Southern of Russia with onset of heat

As reported by power professionals, hot weather has caused last week's frequent outages of electricity supplies in Southern Russia. They even provoked protests. Thus, on August 4, residents of several houses in Krasnodar, indignant with power outages in the Komsomolskiy District of the city, blocked the intersection of Sormovskaya and 30th Irkutsk Division Streets. On the same day, residents of central Makhachkala went out into the streets stating that they had no electricity in their homes for several days. According to statements of power engineers of Krasnodar, the city grids failed to cope with the hot weather. According to their version, the increased load was associated with the use of air conditioners by the population, and the work of developers, who are building objects in protected areas of cable networks. Similar explanations were voiced out by Dagestani power engineers, who referred to abnormal heat in the region and increased level of electricity consumption. Also, on August 4-6, power outages, associated with hot weather, were reported from Stavropol.

Eight killed suspected militants this week in KBR

Over the past week, eight militants were killed in the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR), law enforcement bodies have reported. Six of them were killed in a special operation in Nalchik on August 3, where the counterterrorist operation (CTO) regime was introduced. The CTO was conducted in a nine-storey apartment building in the micro-district "Aleksandrovka". Those killed were members of the central sector of militants and were involved in a number of crimes, including the attack on July 31 on Police Colonel Takhir Guziev, power agents report. According to preliminary information, the casualties were pre-identified as Bolat Likhov, Anzor Tengizov, Adam Shogenov, Muayed Tyazhgov, Adam Nogerov and his wife Zukhra. During the CTO. 10 apartments were severely damaged.

On August 6, in Nalchik, in "Dubki"micro-district, a man was killed, who opened fire on power agents. He was identified as Azamat Indreev, who was convicted in 2012 and after release from prison was engaged in recruiting people for the "Islamic State" (IS), said a local law enforcement source. On August 8, in Nalchik, during a shootout another local resident was killed, later identified as Inoyat Tabukhov. He had been on the wanted list and was suspected of several high-profile murders.

Parties define their candidates for the post of head of North Ossetia

On August 4, North Ossetia finished nomination of candidates for the post of the head of the republic, who will be elected by the republic's parliament on September 13. In total, the "Edinaya Rossiya" (United Russia) Party; the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF); "Patriots of Russia", the "Spravedlivaya Rossiya" (Fair Russia) Party; and the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) offered 10 candidates to Russian President, of whom he should select three by August 24 and submit to the Legislative Assembly (Parliament) of North Ossetia. The currently acting head Tamerlan Aguzarov has been nominated by all the parties, except for the "Patriots of Russia". The issue of electing the head of North Ossetia has no intrigue; and Aguzarov has in fact no rivals, local political analysts believe.

Azerbaijan: prosecutor demands 11 and 9 years in prison for Yunus spouses

Azerbaijan has finalized the judicial investigation into the case of Leyla Yunus, Director of the Institute of Peace and Democracy (IPD) and her husband Arif Yunus, who are accused of economic crimes and treason, and who were treated by the Amnesty International as "prisoners of conscience". The consideration of the case on the merits by the Baku Court of Grave Crimes was conducted since July 27. On August 6, the state prosecutor offered to find Leyla and Arif Yunus guilty on all points of indictment and sentence them to 11 and 9 years in prison, respectively. Their advocates expressed disagreement with the prosecutor's speech, noting that the prosecution had failed to submit evidence against the defendants. The Human Rights Watch has demanded from Azerbaijani authorities to release the Yunus spouses, recalling that on August 3 Arif Yunus fainted in the courtroom because a jump of his arterial tension. On that day the session was postponed. The fainting of Arif Yunus also happened on August 6, but the judge decided not to interrupt the trial for the reason.

Five candidates registered for each leader's post in Rostov Region and Krasnodar Territory

Last week, the Election Commission of the Rostov Region was busy checking the documents submitted by candidates for the governor of the region, who will be elected on the united voting day – September 13. All the five applicants were registered as candidates, namely: Nikolai Kolomeitsev (CPRF); Vasily Golubev ("Edinaya Rossiya"); Mikhail Emelyanov ("Spravedlivaya Rossiya"); Ivan Novikov (LDPR) and Ivan Kolesnikov ("Party of Russian Pensioners"). Also, five candidates will compete for the post of the governor of the Krasnodar Territory, where the Election Commission has also finalized registration of candidates for the election scheduled for September 13, namely: Veniamin Kondratiev ("Edinaya Rossiya"); Nikolai Osadchiy (CPRF); Andrei Rudenko ("Spravedlivaya Rossiya"); Sergey Fisyuk (LDPR) and Victor Ponomaryov ("Social Security" Party).

However, earlier, Rostov political analysts stated the absence of intrigue at the gubernatorial race, where, in their opinion, the current acting leader of the region Vasily Golubev is the undisputed leader. In Krasnodar also, local observers stated back after the appointment of Kondratiev to be the acting head of the region, said that he would likely become a full-fledged governor after the September election; and the election will have no intrigue whatsoever.

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