29 February 2016, 09:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of February 22-28

Actions in Boris Nemtsov's memory in cities of Southern Russia; meeting of delegates from Georgia and South Ossetia in Ergneti; publication of the report on the Chechen leader prepared by oppositionist Ilya Yashin, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of February 22-28, 2016, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Actions in Boris Nemtsov's memory held in cities of Southern Russia

On February 27, many Russian cities, including in the south, hosted actions in memory of Boris Nemtsov, co-Chair of the "PARNAS" Party, who was killed in the centre of Moscow one year ago.

In Volgograd, 43 people gathered for a picket in Lenin Square. They demanded to carry out a fair investigation into the assassination of the politician. In Rostov-on-Don, the rally in Boris Nemtsov's memory was held in Builders' Park, and it was attended by about 100 people, who demanded to ensure the freedom of assembly. In Sochi, the action was attended by more than 20 people, who voiced the need to open in the city a memorial plaque in memory of the killed politician.

In Moscow, according to the organization "White Counter", the rally-march in memory of Boris Nemtsov was attended by more than 24,000 people. One of the main slogans of the rally-march was "Kadyrov is the shame of Russia!" In Saint Petersburg, 3000 people came to the action in memory of Boris Nemtsov.

Delegates of Georgia and South Ossetia discuss detentions at border and operation of irrigation canal

On February 24, in the framework of the Mechanisms for preventing and responding to incidents (MPRI), the Georgian border village of Ergneti hosted the 63rd meeting with the participation of delegates of South Ossetia, Georgia, the Russian Federation, as well as officials from the representative offices of the EU Monitoring Mission and the OSCE. Delegates of South Ossetia reported on eight cases of violations of the border with Georgia since the last meeting of similar format. All the detainees were released. Georgian officials have claimed that 10 persons were detained at the border, and two of them are still kept in SIZO (pre-trial prison) in Tskhinvali. The Georgian side raised the question of their release. Besides, the participants of the meeting have also discussed the possibility of the resumption of the operation of the irrigation canal along the border villages between Georgia and South Ossetia, since local residents need water for the harvest.

Intigam Aliev's sentence upheld by Azerbaijani SC

On February 24, the Azerbaijani Supreme Court (SC) considered the appeal filed by Intigam Aliev, the leader of the organization "Legal Education Society", against the verdict of guilty pronounced against him on April 22, 2014. The SC has dismissed the appeal of the human rights defender, who was accused of economic crimes. The advocate of Intigam Aliev has stated that the SC failed to correct errors of the courts of first instance and announced the intention to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

Oppositionist Ilya Yashin presents report about Chechen leader

On February 23, the Moscow office of the "PARNAS" Party hosted the presentation of the report "Threat to National Security" prepared by Ilya Yashin, co-Chairman of the Party, and devoted to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. The presentation was interrupted by a report about a bomb in the building, and after that, journalists were evacuated, and Ilya Yashin completed the presentation without the majority of the media agents. The report itself is based on the information from open sources, and during its preparation, the author himself was collecting the information in Chechnya. According to him, Ilya Yashin has prepared his report in order to "open the eyes of the Russian society" to the fact that with the connivance of the Kremlin, Ramzan Kadyrov commits actions that pose a threat to national security of Russia. Ilya Yashin has announced his intention to seek the resignation of Ramzan Kadyrov. The report was not accidentally presented on the date of the anniversary of the deportation of the Chechen and Ingush peoples. It is an attempt to emphasize solidarity with the Chechen people, who first feel the effects of the Ramzan Kadyrov's power, Ilya Yashin notes.

The Chechen leader himself has said that the report "contains nothing but the idle talk." It should be noted that on February 23, Ramzan Kadyrov, whose term of office at the post of the leader of Chechnya expires in the spring, announced that he had no desire to continue leading the republic. Earlier, experts have called such statements made by Ramzan Kadyrov as "a grandstand play".

Dagestan adopts new anthem

On February 25, the Dagestani Parliament approved the new national anthem of the Republic of Dagestan, which is based on the poem "The Oath" written by poet Rasul Gamzatov. The change of the anthem, initiated by Dagestani leader Ramazan Abdullatipov in June 2014, has given rise to unambiguous reaction. Composers and musicologists, and intellectuals supported the old version of the anthem. The Dagestani leader himself has called the old anthem a "memorial service". Larisa Gadjieva, a People's Artist of Dagestan, and advocate Rasul Kadiev have stated that the new national anthem has been approved with the neglect of the public opinion.

Rashid Temrezov appointed acting head of Karachay-Cherkessia

On February 27, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to appoint Rashid Temrezov the acting head of Karachay-Cherkessia in connection with the expiration of the term of office. Rashid Temrezov will lead the republic "until the person elected the leader of the Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia will take the office." It should be noted that Rashid Temrezov was approved at the post of the leader of Karachay-Cherkessia by the Parliament of the Republic on March 1, 2011. In anticipation of the end of his term of office, the experts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" have noted the intensification of the political and social activities in the republic.

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