04 July 2016, 09:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of June 27-July 3

Direction to court of the case on the murder of Boris Nemtsov; flooding in Rostov-on-Don; assistance to the people stuck on the Georgian Military Road, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of June 27-July 3, 2016, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Investigators send case on Boris Nemtsov's murder to court

On June 29, Alexander Kurennoy, the spokesman of the Russian General Prosecutor's Office, reported that the criminal case on the murder of politician Boris Nemtsov had been sent to the Moscow District Military Court for consideration on the merits. In the criminal case of the murder, five natives of Chechnya and Ingushetia are detained and being kept in custody. Their number includes Zaur Dadaev, treated by the investigators as a direct perpetrator of the murder, Anzor Gubashev, Khamzat Bakhaev, Tamerlan Eskerkhanov, and Shagid Gubashev. Besides, Chechen officer Ruslan Mukhudinov was included in the Interpol wanted list. According to the advocates of the Nemtsov family, Ruslan Mukhudinov is not a key figure, and the investigators should look for Ruslan Geremeev, another Chechen officer.

After flooding in Rostov-on-Don, activists call for dismissal of City Mayor

The south of Russia was affected by downpours, after which the roads were covered by and mud flows. Houses were flooded. The city of Rostov-on-Don suffered most of all: on June 30, strong streams of water scattered parked cars. As a result of the natural disaster, a 14-year-old girl was killed, and eight people were injured. Some areas of the city were flooded, and electricity supply was partially disrupted. Besides, a two-storey house in Bratsky Lane partially collapsed. After the flooding, officials from the Rostov administration were suspected of negligence, which resulted in the death of the teenager and inflicted significant damage to the population and organizations of the city. On the website Change.org, activists posted a petition demanding the dismissal of City Mayor Sergey Gorban. As of 2:40 p.m. Moscow time of July 3, the petition was signed by more than 6000 people.

Rescue team uses aircrafts to transport Armenian citizens stuck on Georgian Military Road

The bad weather resulted in the hard work of the rescue team in North Ossetia, where a traffic jam occurred as a result of the suspension of traffic on the section of Vladikavkaz-Lars of the Georgian Military Road because of a landslide occurring in the territory of Georgia on June 23. On June 28, 240 cars were stuck at the checkpoint of Verkhny Lars. At the outskirts of the checkpoint, the rescue team deployed three life-supporting camps, in the territory of which the rescuers opened meal tents, shower tents, tents for recreation with sleeping accommodations, tents for reception of citizens, and a station of psychological and medical assistance. Under the agreement with Armenia, the Ministry for Emergencies (MfE) of Russia started to evacuate Armenian citizens stuck at the checkpoint of Verkhny Lars. In total, as of July 1, the aircraft made six flights and brought 288 Armenian citizens from North Ossetia to Yerevan, and in the opposite direction, 13 Russian citizens were evacuated by a special flight. Georgian officials have noted they hope to open the blocked section of the Georgian Military Road within two weeks.

Parties launch process of nomination of their candidates for elections to Russian State Duma

In Russia, the political parties are engaged in preparations for the elections to the State Duma of the seventh convocation. The voting on the elections is scheduled for September 18, 2016, a single day of voting. The elections will be held on a mixed system: out of 450 deputies, half will be elected from the party lists, and the other half – from single-mandate districts. At present, names of some candidates for deputy mandates, including those from the southern regions of Russia, are made public. In particular, on June 27, the Supreme Council and the General Council of the "Edinaya Rossiya" (United Russia) Party supported the proposal to include in the pre-election list of the Party the leaders of Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Adygea, and the Governor of the Rostov Region, as well as the acting leaders of Karachay-Cherkessia and Chechnya. In the near future, Ramzan Kadyrov will not change the post of the leader of the Chechen republic for a mandate of a deputy. This opinion was voiced by the experts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot". On July 2, Ramzan Kadyrov himself reported that he had submitted documents for his nomination for the post of the leader of Chechnya.

Armenian MPs ratify agreement on air defence with Russia

On June 30, MPs of the Armenian Parliament ratified the Armenian-Russian agreement on establishment of a unified regional air defence system in the Caucasus. Starting from June 28, the discussion of the document was held against the background of the protests of the activists who disagreed with the Armenian authorities' opinion that the ratification of the document would strengthen the country's defence potential. Independent MPs claimed the formal nature of military cooperation between the two countries and expressed their doubts about the Yerevan's ability to maintain the control over the armed forces. However, the majority of the parliamentary factions have welcomed the prospect of the unified air defence system and emphasized that the country is in need of additional means of defence.

In Astrakhan Region, court finds Minister Ekaterina Lukyanenko guilty

On June 30, the Privolzhsk District Court of the Astrakhan Region pronounced the verdict against Ekaterina Lukyanenko, regional Minister of Labour and Social Development, who was accused of receiving bribes. The total amount of bribes amounted to 2,882,500 roubles, while the money was taken "for protection and connivance during the service" from the heads of the institutions controlled by the Ministry led by Ekaterina Lukyanenko. The official is sentenced to four years of imprisonment in a common-security colony and a fine amounting to 52,065,500 roubles, and she is forbidden to assume leading positions during two years. In her final speech, Ekaterina Lukyanenko claimed being defamed.

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