15 August 2016, 08:30

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of August 8-14

Successes of natives of the Caucasus at Olympics in Brazil; registration of candidates for the State Duma in Southern Russia; two special operations in districts of Dagestan, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of August 8-14, 2016, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Natives of the Caucasus have won at least 14 medals at the Olympic Games-2016

Natives of Northern and Southern Caucasus, which represent various countries at the Olympic Games-2016 in Brazil, have shown themselves quite well. By the morning of August 15, they had won at least 14 medals.

The golden medallists include Beslan Mudranov, a native of Kabardino-Balkaria, the Olympic champion in judo wrestling in the weight category of 60 kg, who is training in the Krasnodar Territory. Gold was also won by Khasan Khalmurzaev, a native of Ingushetia, who won the judo tournament in the weight category of 81 kg; an Azerbaijani weightlifter Nidjat Ragimov, who performs for Kazakhstan; and a Russian tennis player Elena Vesnina from Sochi, who played in a double with a Muscovite Ekaterina Makarova. Besides, the women's team sabre fencing was won by Yana Egoryan, a native of Yerevan, who was representing Moscow.

Also, natives of the Caucasus have won seven silver medals: Yulia Efimova, a native of Chechnya (twice – in breaststroke swimming at the distances of 100 and 200 meters); artistic gymnasts Nikita Nagorny (born in Rostov-on-Don) and Seda Tutkhalyan (a native of the Armenian city of Gyumri); Azerbaijani judoists Rustam Orudjev and Elmar Gasymov (who won silver medals in the weight categories of 73 kg and 100 kg, respectively); and a Georgian judoist Varlam Liparteliani (silver medal in the weight category of 90 kg).

The list of bronze Olympic medallists include Lasha Shavdatuashvili, a Georgian judoist, and Stefania Elfutina, a native of the city of Yeisk, Krasnodar Territory.

Southern Russia is completing registration of State Duma candidates

During the last week, most regions of Russia, including Southern Russia, defined their candidates for the Russian State Duma in single-mandate constituencies. Thus, the election commissions of the Astrakhan Region and Kabardino-Balkaria have registered eight candidates each. By August 11, North Ossetia has registered 10 candidates; the Stavropol Territory – 39 candidates (the Territory will form four single-mandate constituencies); the Krasnodar Territory – 58 candidates (the Territory has formed 8 constituencies).

Among those potential candidates, who were denied registration, are Aliy Totorkulov, the Chairman of the Russian Congress of Caucasian Nations (he was nominated in Karachay-Cherkessia); Evgeny Ischenko, a former Mayor of Volgograd; and Maxim Shevchenko, a member of the Human Rights Council under the Russian President (he was nominated in one of the Dagestani single-mandate constituencies).

There were some incidents and scandals. Thus, on August 10, in Stavropol, Mikhail Kasyanov, the leader of the PARNAS Party, who arrived in the city as part of his election campaign, was attacked twice.

In Dagestan, on August 9, law enforcers disseminated a briefing concerning Djamal Kasumov, an MP and a world champion in kickboxing, suspected of beating up a policeman. However, the decision to institute a criminal case against him is still pending. Investigators are waiting for a permit of the Chairman of the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF), since Kasumov is a candidate for an MP, the lawyer Ruslan Magomedov believes.

Two CTOs in Dagestani districts within one week

Two counterterrorist operations (CTOs) were held in Dagestan within one week.

On August 11, power agents reported about four militants killed in a CTO, conducted in the village of Andi, Botlikh District. The list of casualties included Shamil Gadjiev, the head of the "mountain sector" of the armed underground. At night on August 14, in the village of Tagirkent-Kazmalyar, Magaramkent District, Alikber Aliskerov, earlier announced wanted, was killed. The village was put under the CTO regime, which was cancelled in the evening of the same day.

In Gyumri, court heard prosecutor's opinion on Permyakov's punishment for massacre

The trial of Valery Permyakov, a Russian soldier, accused of a massacre in the Armenian city of Gyumri on January 12, 2015, is nearing its end. On August 12, Prosecutor Gevorg Gevorkyan demanded to sentence Permyakov, who pleaded guilty, to life imprisonment. The prosecutor spoke after the representatives of successors of the slain Avetisyan family left the courtroom, because of the judge's refusal to interrupt the trial for the period of considering the civil action initiated against Russia. Also on August 5, the court dismissed the petition to appoint an investigative experiment in the house of the Avetisyan family, since Permyakov did not agree to participate in it. The next court session is scheduled for August 19; it is expected to listen to Permyakov's advocate at it.

Residents of South Ossetia and Georgia commemorate victims of August 2008 conflict

On August 8, it is eight years after the start of hostilities between Georgia and South Ossetia, which are called "a five-day war" and "the August conflict". Commemorative actions took place in North and South Ossetia. Residents of Vladikavkaz lit candles at the Saint George Cathedral. The actions held in Tskhinvali were attended by relatives of perished Russian soldiers. Georgia held morning ceremonies, organized by both the authorities and public organizations.

Georgian villagers who had fled from the conflict in August 2008, state that they still cannot return to their homes; they also talk about the difficulties with employment in their residences. Tskhinvali residents note that the city still has traces of the war; and after the war help from the authorities was not provided to everybody in need.

Khadija Ismayilova has her conditional term reduced

On August 8, a court in Baku cut the conditional sentence of the Azerbaijani journalist Khadija Ismayilova, who was accused of illegal entrepreneurship, from 3.5 years down to 2 years and 3 months. This decision was made in response of Ismayilova's request to completely lift the charge. The journalist, originally sentenced to 7.5 years in prison, but then released after replacement of her real term for conditional one, said that she did not agree with the court judgement, and would appeal against it.


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