08 May 2017, 09:00

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

May Day actions in the southern regions of Russia and Transcaucasia; new personnel decisions with regard to chiefs of law enforcement and investigating agencies in the south of Russia; fights of football fans in Kuban, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of May 1-7, 2017, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

May Day actions in southern regions of Russia and Transcaucasia

On May 1, rallies and marches in honour of the Day of Spring and Labour were organized in all regions of Russia, including in the south.

Thus, about 7000 people took part in the march in Vladikavkaz. The authorities of Grozny reported about the rally with 100,000 participants, while Grozny residents themselves claimed being obliged to come to the event. In Sochi, according to the Mayoralty, the May Day demonstration was attended by more than 20,000 people, while local Communists complained about the officials' attempts to disrupt their rally. In Volgograd, the regional council of trade unions refused truck drivers in participation in the May Day march, and then the truck drivers on strike against the "Platon" system brought toy cars, tied ropes to them, and arranged a symbolic motor rally.

In Tbilisi, about 500 people went to a rally. They demanded to introduce in Georgia the institute of labour inspection, comply with security requirements and arrange a dialogue between the government and the society. In Yerevan, the march dedicated to the Labour Day was held by the Communists. Besides, on the same day, Yerevan also hosted an "anti-demonstration of May Day" with the major slogans in the protection of women's rights and the support of housewives.

New personnel decisions with regard to chiefs of law enforcement and investigating agencies in south of Russia

Last week, a number of chiefs of the regional law enforcement and investigating departments were dismissed from the posts by the decrees issued by the President of Russia. New appointments also took place. Yuri Popov, the chief of the Investigating Department for the Rostov Region of the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF), was dismissed from his position. Ingushetia got the new Minister of the Internal Affairs (MIA): Police Major General Alexander Trofimov, who worked in the region since 2011, was replaced by Major General Dmitry Kava, who earlier held the position of the deputy chief of the MIA's Department for the Stavropol Territory. In Dagestan, Lieutenant General Sergey Dubrovin was appointed the chief of the ICRF's Department for the republic. Prior to his appointment, Sergey Dubrovin worked as the chief of the ICRF's Department for the Tula Region, and earlier, he held the position of the ICRF's Department for the Stavropol Territory. The position occupied by Sergey Dubrovin was vacant since March 9, when Eduard Kaburneyev, the chief of the ICRF's Department for Dagestan, was appointed the head of the ICRF's Chief Investigating Department. Journalists treated the appointment of Sergey Dubrovin the chief investigator of Dagestan as a non-trivial step.

Fights of football fans in Kuban

In the Krasnodar Territory, two fights of football fans occurred. The first fight took place on May 1 before the match between the teams of the "Anji" and "Krasnodar" FCs. The police detained 19 people, and 17 of them were sentenced by the court to five days of arrest for disorderly conduct. Fans of both football teams accuse each other of provoking the conflict. On May 2, another mass fight occurred in the stands of the Sochi "Fisht" Stadium. As a result, 64 football fans were detained. The incident involved the fans of the teams of the "Locomotive" and "Ural" FCs. Besides, four football players of those FCs fought in the field at the end of the football match, and they face the disqualification for up to six matches.

Flooding of Vladikavkaz after heavy rain

On May 3, the streets of Vladikavkaz were flooded after a heavy rain. According to local residents, as a result of the downpour, some areas of the city went under the water by almost a meter, and the traffic on roads was paralyzed. After the downpour, car owners started to appeal to insuring companies for compensation. Residents of Vladikavkaz believe that the flooding was caused by the absence of storm sewer system outlets. According to City Mayor Boris Albegov, one of the districts of Vladikavkaz was flooded because of untimely cleaning of storm sewer system, and officials threatened contractors with fines for the failure to construct a complex of storm sewer system outlets in Vladivostokskaya Street, where a particularly severe flooding occurred.

Acquittal of Rostov entrepreneur Alexander Khurudji

On May 3, the trial in the case against Rostov entrepreneur Alexander Khurudji considered by the Voroshilov District court of Rostov-on-Don ended with the verdict of acquittal. Alexander Khurudji, who held the position of the chief of the Agency for Strategic Initiatives of the Southern Federal District (SFD), the owner of the company "Energia" and its General Director Sergey Konopsky were accused of embezzling 478 million roubles from the company "MRSK Yuga" and illegal entrepreneurship. The defence insisted that the case was not about the damage inflicted to the "MRSK Yuga", but about the lost revenue which could be compensated. The company "MRSK Yuga" is preparing a complaint to be filed against the verdict, and Alexander Khurudji has announced his intention to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for illegal criminal prosecution. The trial was started in June 2016, and the entrepreneurs involved in the case as defendants were supported by Boris Titov, authorized under the President of Russia to protect the rights of entrepreneurs.

Start of trial in case against Archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze in Tbilisi

On May 5, Tbilisi started a trial in the case against Archpriest Giorgi Mamaladze, accused of an assassination attempt on Shoren Tetruashvili, Secretary of the Georgian Patriarch. Giorgi Mamaladze has pleaded not guilty. The court has granted the prosecutors' request to hold the trial behind closed doors and agreed that the disclosed information could damage the image of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The arrest of Giorgi Mamaladze, the former head of the property management administration of the Patriarchate of Georgia, was reported on February 12. Law enforcers found poison at the Giorgi Mamaladze's place. There were versions that Giorgi Mamaladze was plotting an assassination attempt on Patriarch Elias II. After his detention, Giorgi Mamaladze went on hunger strike with the demand to meet the Patriarch.

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