17 October 2016, 09:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of October 10-16

Preliminary results of the voting at the parliamentary elections in Georgia; sentencing in the case against Kuban MP Sergey Zirinov; road traffic accident involving a bus on route from Moscow to Yerevan in North Ossetia; special operations carried out by law enforcers in Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria; revocation of the banking licence of the "Razvitie" Bank in Karachay-Cherkessia; granting of refugee status to Mikhail Savva in Ukraine and the USA, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of October 10-16, 2016, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Georgia announces preliminary results of voting at parliamentary elections

On October 11, the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Georgiaannounced the preliminary results of the voting at the parliamentary elections held on October 8. According to those data, the "Georgian Dream" Party gained 48.67% of votes, the "United National Movement" (UNM) Party 27.11%, and the rest 5.01% of the voters supported the "Alliance of Patriots of Georgia" Party. According to the results of the voting at the elections to the Georgian Parliament under the proportional system, the "Georgian Dream" Party will get 44 mandates, the "UNM" Party 27, and the "Alliance of Patriots" 6 mandates. At the elections, the first round didn’t determine the winner at 50 out of the 73 electoral districts. On October 16, the CEC of Georgia announced that the voting in the second round of the parliamentary elections of Georgia by majority system is scheduled for October 30 and the re-voting at four polling stations in Zugdidi and Marneuli for October 22.

Court pronounces verdict in Sergey Zirinov's case

On October 11, in Rostov-on-Don, on the basis of the jury's verdict, the North-Caucasian District Military Court pronounced the verdict in the case against of Sergey Zirinov, a former deputy of the Legislative Assembly of the KrasnodarTerritory, who together with four other defendants was accused of banditry, killings and arms trafficking. Sergey Zirinov was sentenced to 22 years of imprisonment in a high-security penal colony, and three other defendants in the case were sentenced to 15 and 16 years of imprisonment. Advocates of the convicted persons have voiced their disagreement with the verdict and intention to challenge it at the Supreme Court (SC) of the Russian Federation.

In North Ossetia, five persons killed in road traffic accident involving bus Moscow-Yerevan

On October 14, a bus on route from Moscow to Yerevan collided with a car transporter at the eighth kilometre of the road Beslan-Vladikavkaz. At the place of the road traffic accident, five persons were killed, and other 27, including four children, were injured. In total, there were 52 passengers in the bus, who were citizens of Armenia and Russia. In the evening of October 14, 29 passengers of the bus involved in the road traffic accident were brought to Yerevan by a plane of the Russian Ministry for Emergencies (MfE). Of them, eleven victims appealed to the Medical Centre "Surb Grigor Lusavorich". Three victims of the road traffic accident receive medical treatment in hospitals of Vladikavkaz. According to the preliminary information of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) for North Ossetia, a bus driver, a 62-year-old resident of the Lipetsk Region, lost control over the bus. On the fact of the road traffic accident, a criminal case was instituted on violation of traffic rules and operation of vehicles.

Law enforcers carry out special operations in Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria

During the past week, several special operations were carried out in Northern Caucasus.

In the morning of October 12, the counterterrorist operation (CTO) legal regime was introduced in the village of Gubden. There, law enforcers cordoned off a house with suspected militants, and a shootout occurred. During the armed clash, law enforcers killed Abubakar Udziev, suspected of leading the militant grouping, who, according to the law enforcement bodies, was involved in bombing a motor convoy with soldiers of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 2013. In the evening of October 12, the law enforcement authorities lifted the CTO legal regime in the village of Gubden, as well as the CTO legal regime, earlier introduced in the Suleiman-Stalsky and Magaramkent Districts. In the Suleiman-Stalsky District, the CTO legal regime was introduced at 9:45 p.m. Moscow time of October 9. In the course of a shootout in the area of the village of Tsmur, law enforcers killed three suspected militants, and a special forces soldier was wounded in the shootout. According to the law enforcement authorities, the killed suspects were members of the "Southern" grouping of militants.

On October 13, the CTO legal regime was introduced in the Shamil District of Dagestan. According to local residents, law enforcers are primarily searching for suspected militants in the vicinity of villages of Teletl and Gogotl.

In the evening of October 13, the CTO legal regime was introduced within territories of four villages in the Chegem District of Kabardino-Balkaria. On the same day, a source from the law enforcement bodies reported that on October 13, four suspects were killed in the vicinity of the village of Yanikoi, who might have been involved in the attack on inspectors of the road-and-patrol service (known as DPS) in the town of Prokhladny on October 9. One more suspect is wanted. Besides, the law enforcement authorities published a bulletin with information about the suspected killers of the policemen in the town of Prokhladny. Later, the National Antiterrorist Committee (NAC) reported on three suspects Murat Kaufov, Aslanbek Nakhushev, and Islam Nagoev killed in a special operation in the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR). The CTO legal regime was lifted at 11:40 a.m. of October 14.

In the evening of October 16, the CTO legal regime in the Shamil District of Dagestan was lifted, but introduced in the city of Derbent. A source from the law enforcement bodies of the republic reported on two militants killed in Derbent.

In Karachay-Cherkessia, baking licence of "Razvitie" Bank revoked

On October 10, the "Razvitie" (Development) Bank of Karachay-Cherkessia was included in the list of the Russian banks deprived of banking licences. When explaining the reasons for the decision to revoke the banking licence of the "Razvitie" Bank, the Central Bank of Russia mentioned the fact that the "Razvitie" Bank adhered to high-risk lending policy related to placement of funds in low-quality assets, while top managers and owners of the bank failed to take effective measures to normalize its activity. An interim administration was appointed to the "Razvitie" Bank. The Deposit Insurance Agency (DIA) promised to select agent banks until October 14 and to start paying through them no later than on October 24 the insurance compensation to depositors of the bank deprived of the banking licence.

Mikhail Savva reports on getting refugee status

On October 11, Mikhail Savva, Professor of the KubanStateUniversity and the director of the grant programmes of the Southern Regional Resource Centre, reported that Ukraine and the United States granted him refugee status. Mikhail Savva, who was sentenced to a suspended sentence on the charge of fraud and who pleaded not guilty, fled Russia for fear to be prosecuted in a new criminal case. His fear arose from his questioning on December 25, 2014, at the police of the KrasnodarTerritory as a witness in the case against Elena Shablo, the director of the Centre "Levados". According to Mikhail Savva, he became a member of the board of the Ukrainian association for assessment of policies, programmes, and projects, and in 2016, together with his colleagues, he registered and led the NGO "Expert Group 'Sova'".

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