11 September 2017, 09:00
Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of September 4-10
Special operation near Vladikavkaz; mass rallies of North-Caucasians in support of Myanmar Muslims; major NATO exercises in Georgia, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of September 4-10, 2017, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".
Residents of Southern Russia vote at local and parliamentary elections in North Ossetia and Krasnodar Territory
On September 10, the unified Russia’s voting day, Southern of Russia voted for local self-governments; and in North Ossetia and the Krasnodar Territory, they also elected their regional parliaments.
The voting passed not without violation claims; thus, Sochi voters complained about illegal campaigning; an election commission member in Krasnodar has stated a ballot throw-in at one of polling stations; and in Astrakhan, members of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) and the “Spravedlivaya Rossiya” (Fair Russia) Party reported that members of precinct election commissions (PECs) with the right of decisive vote were not admitted to work before the opening of four polling stations. In Volgograd, observers fixed a massive voting of militaries; while 50 ballot papers disappeared from one of the station in the Kirov District of North Ossetia.
Most votes at elections to the Legislative Assembly (Parliament) of the Krasnodar Territory were won by the "Edinaya Rossiya" (United Russia) Party (71.43%). In North Ossetia, the same party wins the parliamentary elections with 60.56% of all the votes.
Murat Kumpilov elected head of Adygea
On September 10, Adygea’s MPs unanimously elected Murat Kumpilov to head the republic. On the same day, he formally took office. The two other candidates – Alexander Loboda, the chairman of the parliamentary committee on legislation, legality and local self-government issues; and Shamsudin Pshizov, Director General director of the Open Joint-Stock Company (OJSC) “Zarem”, – created just the visibility of rivalry, activists of local NGOs told the "Caucasian Knot".
In the course of North-Ossetia CTO, four alleged militants were killed
On September 6, in the vicinity of the village of Chmi, Zaterechny District of Vladikavkaz, power agents killed three men and put the village under the counterterrorist operation (CTO) regime, which was cancelled in the same evening. Later, in Vladikavkaz, another man was killed. According to law enforcers, he was a native of Dagestan, involved in the terrorist organization "Islamic State" (IS), banned in Russia. Later, in the vicinity of Chmi, they found a hideout with ammunition, built by the slain militants, who, as law enforcers assert, had planned a terror act, possibly, outside Russia. The CTO was the second one in the republic since August 2015.
Gukovo miners are on march to Rostov-on-Don to meet Governor
On September 4, miners from the city of Gukovo, who demand repayment of their wage debts, began their march to Rostov-on-Don, where they intend to meet Vasily Golubev, the region’s Governor. The march will take about 15 days, the coordinators have explained. Four days before the action, miners complained about law enforcers’ pressure. On September 6, policemen stopped the march several times, after which they were accompanied by two police cars.
Northern-Caucasians support Myanmar Muslims
Several regions of Southern Russia, rallies were held in support of Muslims of Myanmar, where in late August clashes broke out of Buddhists and Muslims of the Rohingya nation.
On September 4, the rally in Grozny was 1.1 million strong, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) of Chechnya reported. State servants, students and ordinary residents were urged to take part in the rally. Law enforcers did not allow them to leave the square before the end, eyewitnesses reported. On September 5, over a thousand citizens came to a rally in support of Rohingya people in the capital of Karachay-Cherkessia. On September 3, similar actions were held in Makhachkala and Nazran. Participants thereof criticized the lack of reaction to persecutions of Muslims in Myanmar. However, according to the “Novaya Gazeta”, the rally in Grozny was mostly praising the head of Chechnya and his father; and it was no more than 100,000 people strong.
Major NATO exercises take place in Georgia
On September 3-11, the Georgia’s Orfolo training ground, located in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, is hosting the Agile Spirit-2017 multinational NATO military exercise with the participation of 1515 servicemen from Georgia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Latvia, Romania, USA and Ukraine. The aim of the exercise is to get ready to react to crisis situations, conduct unified operations, and improve tactical-level interactions. The militaries are mastering offensive and defensive operations. The exercise improves the Georgia-NATO army coordination and strengthens the country's defence capacity, said the Georgian experts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot". In the opinion of Irakli Aladashvili, the editor of the “Arsenali” military magazine, the most interesting episode of the exercises was the Armenia's application to take part, and its refusal made on the eve thereof. He supposes that Moscow was dissatisfied with the involvement of Armenia, the Russia's main partner in Southern Caucasus under the "Collective Security Treaty Organization" (know as ODKB), in NATO’s military exercise.
"Kinoshock" Film Festival held in Anapa
On September 9, the city of Anapa hosted the closing ceremony of the 26th “Kinoshock” Open Film Festival, held since September 3, and announced the winners. The main prize – the "Golden Vine" – for the best feature film was awarded to the Yakut movie "Karel – Invisible Beauty". This year, the organizers decided to focus on Russia’s national and regional cinematography, whereas earlier films from CIS and Baltic countries took part in the main contest. The aim of the contest was to promote Russian cinematography. Films from Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Latvia were also screened.