08 August 2016, 08:30

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of August 1-7

The first gold medal at the Olympic Games, won for Russia by a native of Kabardino-Balkaria; flooding in Sukhumi caused by heavy rain; motion for Dmitry Medvedev's resignation after his response to a question of a Dagestani teacher concerning teachers' salaries; earthquake in Azerbaijan which damaged old buildings; gas explosion in a banquet hall in Makhachkala, which injured 27 people, see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of August 1-7, 2016, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

First Olympic gold medal won for Russia by native of Kabardino-Balkaria

On August 5, Rio de Janeiro opened the Summer Olympic Games. On August 6, the winners were announced in judo competitions in the weight category of up to 60 kg. The first place went to Beslan Mudranov, a native of Kabardino-Balkaria, trained in the Krasnodar Territory. In the final of the Olympic tournament, Beslan Mudranov defeated Eldos Smetov from Kazakhstan.

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games held in Brazil are attended by athletes from the countries of South Caucasus. Thus, the Azerbaijani team is represented by 56 athletes to compete in 18 sports. Georgia sent 39 athletes to the Olympic Games. 33 athletes came to the Olympic Games from Armenia.

Sukhumi flooded because of heavy rain

On August 4, a heavy rain hit Sukhumi, and the Garikvara, Sukhumka, Adzapsh, and Baslav Rivers overflew their banks. In the city, mountain roads in Circassian and Dagestani Streets were partially washed away. As a result of the heavy rain, the capital of Abkhazia was partially de-energized, and in the area of the Sukhumi station, rescue teams had to evacuate people from roofs of flooded cars. The public transport routes in the city have been changed because of the natural disaster. Besides, as a result of the heavy rain, farms in the Sukhumi District and the town of New Athos were flooded. The railway embankment was flooded in two railway road sections in the village of Nizhnyaya Eshera in the Sukhumi District, and in some other railway road sections, trees fell straight on the rails. However, on the same day, the leaders of the "Abkhazian Railway" reported on the restoration of train traffic after the heavy rain. Besides, on August 4, staff members of the "Chernomorenergo" and water channel carried out repairs and restored the water and electricity supply.

Dmitry Medvedev's response to question of Dagestani teacher provokes petition for his resignation

On August 2, at the All-Russian youth educational forum, Gadji Kurbanov, a teacher of the Dagestani State University, complained to Dmitry Medvedev, Russian Prime Minister, about the low salaries of teachers. In response, Dmitry Medvedev said that low incomes of Dagestani teachers result from their personal choices. Moreover, the Russian Prime Minister has added that in case if the Dagestani teachers "want to earn money, then there are lots of wonderful places where they can do that faster and more effective." According to the Dagestani teachers, interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot", the teachers have to work extra hours and look for additional sources of income, including illegal ones. The Dagestani teachers treated the response of the Russian Prime Minister concerning low salaries of employees of the educational sphere as shocking. Following the reports in the media about the question voiced by a Dagestani teacher and the Dmitry Medvedev's response, an activist posted a petition at the platform "Change.org" calling for resignation of the Russian Prime Minister. As at 8:25 a.m. Moscow time of August 8, the petition was signed by 246,909 people.

In Azerbaijan, earthquake damages old buildings

On August 1, an earthquake occurred in the vicinity of the Azerbaijani town of Imishli. According to the National Centre of Seismic Service of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, the earthquake magnitude reached 5.6. Three minutes later, the second earthquake with magnitude 3.9 was also registered in the vicinity of Imishli. The earthquake shocks were felt by residents of Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenia, and Iran. As a result of the earthquake in the Imishli District of Azerbaijan, cracks appeared in old buildings, reports the administration of the Imishli District.

27 people injured in gas explosion at banquet hall in Makhachkala

On August 1, a gas cylinder blew up at the banquet hall "Laili" in the village of Reduktorny in Makhachkala. As a result of the gas explosion, 27 people suffered, including two minor girls. 20 victims were hospitalized. On August 2, eight victims were brought to medical centres in Moscow. The condition of five victims was assessed by physicians as critical. On August 5, one of the hospitalized teenager girls died. She was diagnosed with burns to her whole body and damage to her internal organs, reports the Dagestani Ministry of Health. The explosion could occur because of corrosion on the gas cylinder body, report experts from Joint-Stock Company (JSC) "Gazprom Gas Distribution Makhachkala".

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