19 October 2015, 09:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of October 12-18

Detention in Moscow of persons suspected of plotting a terror act, including residents of Chechnya; mourning events in Nalchik marking the tenth anniversary of the militants' attack on the city; three special operations in Dagestan, see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of October 12-18, 2015, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Three residents of Chechnya detained and arrested by court in Moscow on suspicion of plotting terror act

On October 11, in Moscow, FSB agents detained 10 people, suspected of plotting a terror act. According to law enforcers, the detainees were trained in Syria in camps of the "Islamic State" (IS), prohibited in Russia and recognized as a terrorist organization. On October 13, the court pronounced the decision to take into custody three suspects, namely, Chechen residents Aslan Baisultanov, Mokhmad Mezhidov, and Ilman (Elman) Ashaevw. Investigators suggest that Aslan Baisultanov got a detonator and an improvised explosive device (IED) for commission of a terror act from the man named Shamil Chergizov, who, according to the Chechen Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), recently returned to Chechnya from Syria.

Aslan Baisultanov, a member of the grouping "Sunzha Jamaat", was considered killed after the special operation held on October 8 in Grozny; however, his family members did not identify the body. According to the police, his relatives explained that he and his friend went to Moscow on October 3, where he was then detained by law enforcers. On October 13, the "Interfax" also reported that Elbrus Bittirov, a native of Kabardino-Balkaria, was put on the wanted list on suspicion of plotting a terror act.

In Russia, the main methods of ideological struggle against the "Islamic State" (IS) should be open support demonstrated by the authorities to followers of traditional Islam, development of Islamic education, and anti-extremist propaganda in educational institutions. These proposals were made in the report "Islamic State": nature and confrontation" submitted by the authors from the Caucasian Geopolitical Club in Vladikavkaz on October 13.

Prosecutor of Hague Court stands for detailed investigation into 2008 August conflict in South Ossetia

On October 15, Fatou Bensouda, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, went to Georgia. On October 8, she decided to appeal to the judges of the ICC for permission to conduct a detailed investigation into the 2008 August conflict in South Ossetia. Fatou Bensouda has stated that she suspects the South Ossetian authorities of the organization of ethnic cleansing against the Georgian population. During her visit to Georgia, Fatou Bensouda has announced that Georgia residents affected by the conflict are provided with the opportunity to file complaints about violations of their rights until November 13.

In Armenia, prisoners serving their life sentences hold hunger strike demanding to review their cases

On October 12, the Armenian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) announced that 45 prisoners serving their life sentences in the penitentiary institution "Nubarashen" declared a hunger strike and demanded to review their criminal cases. On October 14, the protesters declared an indefinite hunger strike. As on October 15, the number of the hunger-strikers increased from 50 up to 57 people. On October 16, the protesters suspended their hunger strike waiting for the response from the presidential administration to the letters with the requests to review the criminal cases. According to relatives of the prisoners on the hunger strike, in case if no response is received until October 22, the prisoners will resume their hunger strike.

Nalchik marks tenth anniversary of October militants' attack on city

On October 13, Kabardino-Balkaria held the events to pay tribute to the memory of the people who fell victim to the attack on Nalchik in 2005. The capital of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR) held a mourning rally, and people laid flowers to the monument in honour of the deceased law enforcers. On the same day, the Kabardino-Balkarian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) awarded policemen. Some of them were honoured posthumously. According to experts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot", during 10 years passed since the militants' attack on Nalchik in 2005, the state did not eliminate the factors contributing to the radicalization of young people.

In Dagestan, law enforcers report on three CTOs

Law enforcers reported on the introduction of the counterterrorist operation (CTO) legal regime in three districts of Dagestan.

On October 13, the CTO legal regime was introduced within the entire territory of the Tsumada District. The introduction of the CTO legal regime was preceded by an attack on policemen committed in the village of Kvanada on October 8. On October 13, local residents reported that law enforcers carried out special measures mainly in the village of Kvanada. On October 15, according to local residents, law enforcers started to search for militants in the forest. During the special operation, a hiding with munitions was discovered in the village of Agvali. The CTO legal regime was cancelled on October 17.

On October 15, the CTO legal regime was introduced within the administrative borders of the Derbent District. According to a source from the law enforcement bodies, law enforces are searching for militants, involved in the murder of a fortune-teller, her husband, and their relative, who were killed in September. On the day of the beginning of the special operation, local residents reported that they felt no restrictions in the area of the special operations.

On October 17, the CTO legal regime was introduced in the Khasavyurt District. In the course of the special operation, law enforcers killed four persons in the territory between the villages of Kurush and Sadovoe. According to investigators, the killed men were identified as Rasul and Alkhas Sardarov, wanted on suspicion of killing the Imam of the mosque in the village of Novy Kurush on September 9, Yasim Batraev and Djumart Shikhragimov. During the armed clash, a Russian FSB fighter was wounded.

Astrakhan dissolves passenger wagon depot

Last week, it became known that Astrakhan will dissolve the passenger wagon depot, which employs about one thousand workers. The "RZhD" (Russian Railways Company) has explained the liquidation of the passenger wagon depot by the "optimization of the route network." The decision was made in spite of the appeal filed by the Governor and deputies with a request to maintain the passenger wagon depot. On October 13, workers of the "Federal Passenger Company" held 12 solo pickets in Astrakhan.

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