19 June 2017, 09:05

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of June 12-18

"Direct Line" of Vladimir Putin, during which the Russian President answered some questions voiced by residents of Southern Russia; actions of Alexei Navalny's supporters held in the southern cities of the country on June 12; Nogai People's Congress in Dagestan, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of June 12-18, 2017, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

During "Direct Line", Vladimir Putin answers some questions from residents of Southern Russia

On June 15, the number of questions voiced during the "Direct Line" with Vladimir Putin included the questions from residents of regions of Southern Russia.

In particular, a woman from the Stavropol Territory complained about the lack of material assistance to victims of flooding. The President answered that the federal centre had transferred money to the region and instructed the General Prosecutor's Office to investigate the situation. Later, the Stavropol Governor said that the compensation to the woman who asked the question during the "Direct Line" had already been paid, but the money allocated for that purpose had not yet been received from the federal budget. On June 16, it became known that after the complaint to Vladimir Putin, 1469 victims of the flooding received compensation. While responding to the complaint of a resident of Krasnodar concerning the state of city roads, the President promised to increase road financing.

Besides, family members of Ramazan Djalaldinov, a resident of the Chechen village of Kenkhi, who criticized local officials and who was hiding because of threats, also addressed the President on the air. The women asked Vladimir Putin to help returning home their breadwinner. However, the President did not respond to the appeal. Ramazan Djalaldinov himself has said that he is still too scared to return to Chechnya.

Participants of actions held by Alexei Navalny's supporters in Southern Russia on June 12 demand resignation of Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin

On June 12, many cities of Russia, including Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Maikop, Krasnodar, Makhachkala, and Stavropol, hosted actions of oppositionist Alexei Navalny's supporters. The participants of the actions demanded to ensure the replacement of power and the resignation of President Putin. In the cities of Yeisk, Sochi, Stavropol, and Makhachkala, the rallies were accompanied by detentions. In the capital of Dagestan, the City Mayor's Office refused to sanction the rally, but its organizer Marat Ismailov decided to hold the event without the authorities' sanction. Eight persons were detained at the place of the action. Several provocateurs attacked journalists, including the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent. The activists detained at the rallies were fined for violating the procedure for holding a public event.

In Dagestan, delegates of Nogai People's Congress announce aggravation of land problem

On June 14, the Dagestani village of Terekli-Mekteb hosted the Nogai People's Congress, which gathered about 6000 delegates from Russia, including from the Stavropol Territory, Karachay-Cherkessia, and the Astrakhan Region. Organizers of the Congress claimed the aggravation of the land problem connected with the Dagestani authorities' plans to assign the status of towns and villages to settlements on the lands of distant-pasture cattle tending. According to residents of the Nogai District, this is the way to attack the territory of the compact residence of the Nogai people. Participants of the Nogai People's Congress interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" claimed that the unreasoned policy of the authorities regarding the land can result in conflicts and that the solution of the land problem will be of great political importance.

Lom-Ali Gaitukaev, sentenced in case of Anna Politkovskaya's murder, deceased in penal colony and buried in Chechnya

On June 10, Lom-Ali Gaitukaev, a native of Chechnya, sentenced for life imprisonment for organizing the journalist Anna Politkovskaya's murder, died in the Vologda penal colony. According to his advocate Elena Kharionovskaya, doctors diagnosed him with cirrhosis of liver and recognized him as a disabled person, and the defence prepared a motion for release of the prisoner. A nephew of Lom-Ali Gaitukaev reported about the beating of his uncle at the colony. He explained that during his visits to his uncle, he had seen hematomas on his body. On June 14, the funeral took place at the cemetery in Achkhoi-Martan, and the mourning ceremony was attended by about 1000 people. Villagers do not believe that Lom-Ali Gaitukaev was an organizer of the Anna Politkovskaya's murder, a local woman reported.

Ingushetia hosts Russian Wrestling Championship

In the period of June 12-14, Nazran hosted the Russian Freestyle Wrestling Championship. Gold medals were won by Dagestani athletes Gadjimurad Rashidov, Magomedkhabib Kadimagomedov, Zaur Uguev, and Abdulrashid Sadulaev, as well as North-Ossetian athletes Vladislav Valiev, Alan Gogaev, and Khetik Tsabolov. Coaches rated the teams from Dagestan and North Ossetia as of equivalent force. According to Vyacheslav Bagaev, a coach from North Ossetia, a healthy competition between wrestlers from the above republics contributes to their victories at international competitions.

On the first day of the tournament, a fight between fans occurred. During a battle between Sidakov and Kadimagomedov, the fans who disagreed with the referee's decision jumped out onto the carpet and started a fight. It took several minutes from security guards to part fighters. On June 14, the fans, being dissatisfied with the result of a battle between Tsabolov and Shapiev, again tried to run out onto the carpet. After that, Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Evkurov instructed his subordinates to create a base of fans, noticed in violation of the rules of conduct at the Championship.

In Yerevan, court starts trying oppositionist Zhirair Sefilyan

On June 13, the Yerevan court started hearings in the case against Zhirair Sefilyan, the leader of the Armenian movement "100 Years Without Regime", accused of organizing illegal transportation and storage of weapons and plotting mass riots. The case involves six other persons. The release of Zhirair Sefilyan was one of the demands voiced by members of the unit "Sasna Tsrer" (Daredevils of Sassoun), which captured and held a building of the police regiment for two weeks in Yerevan in last July. An advocate of Zhirair Sefilyan treated the case against his client as politically motivated. The next court hearing will be held on June 27.

In Sochi, films "Hostages" and "Squeeze" awarded "Kinotavr" film festival prizes

On June 14, in Sochi, the 28th Russian "Kinotavr" film festival ended. The main prize went to the film "Arrhythmia" directed by Boris Khlebnikov. The prize "To the Best Film Director" was awarded to Rezo Gigineishvili, a director of Georgian origin, for his film "Hostages". Vladislav Opeliyants, a cameraman of the film, was awarded the prize "To the Best Cameraman". The award "The Best Debut" went to Kantemir Balagov from Nalchik, a director of the film "Squeeze" (Tesnota).

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