19 February 2018, 09:05
Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of February 12-18
Investment Forum in Sochi; law enforcers' CTO and shooting of holidaymakers in Dagestan; Saakashvili's deportation from Ukraine to Poland; celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Karabakh liberation movement, – read the review of these events in the Caucasus that happened during the week of February 12-18, 2018, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".
Authorities of Southern Russia report on major agreements achieved at Sochi Investment Forum
On February 15-16, Sochi hosted the 17th Russian Investment Forum that presented also projects from all regions of Southern Russia. As a result, the authorities of Ingushetia, Chechnya, Karachay-Cherkessia and Stavropol Territory reported about signing the investment agreements totalling 54.5 billion roubles. The Ingush authorities signed a total of 10 agreements worth more than 8 billion roubles, the largest being the construction agreement of the second phase of the greenhouse complex in Sunzha for 4.8 billion roubles. The Chechen Govt and bosses of the "Rosselkhozbank" signed an agreement on the construction of a greenhouse complex in Chechnya worth 2.5 billion roubles. The authorities of the Stavropol Territory reported about the signing of 12 agreements at the Forum for the total amount of over 42 billion roubles; some of them relate to the creation of new industrial facilities in the region, in particular, a corrugated board factory. The leaders of Southern Russia by the investments attracted at the Sochi Forum were Kuban (Krasnodar Territory) and the Rostov region: the former expects investments of 242 billion roubles, while the latter reported the signing of agreements worth 106.6 billion roubles. It should be noted, however, that unlike investment contracts that contain specific liabilities, preliminary agreements and letters of intent often fail to lead to real investments. Natalia Zubarevich, Associate Professor of the Higher School of Economics (HSE), explained earlier to the "Caucasian Knot" that "there is much more PR-promotion in such agreements than actions."
Law enforcers' CTO and shooting of holidaymakers in Dagestan
On February 15, the Untsukul District of Dagestan was put under the counterterrorist operation (CTO) regime. In a shootout that occurred in the gorge near the village of Kharachi, a law enforcer and one militant were killed, the Russian National Antiterrorist Committee (NAC) has stated. According to law enforcers, the killed militant was identified as the head of the "Kharachi" grouping, and was suspected, among other things, of involvement in blowing up a motor convoy of internal troops on the Vremenny-Shamilkala highway in December 2014. There were wounded law enforcers, a NAC source reported immediately after the end of the CTO's active phase, without specifying, however, how many of them were wounded. On the same day, the CTO regime was lifted.
On February 18, in a square of the city of Kizlyar, a man opened fire in a crowd of people, who were celebrating the "Maslenitsa" (Shrovetide). Four people were killed on the spot; five others were wounded and hospitalized. Later, one woman died at hospital. The shooter was killed by law enforcers. Two policemen are among the wounded ones. According to investigators, they were wounded, when they tried to detain the gunman, who, according to some sources, was a member of the so-called "sleeping unit" of the "Islamic State" (IS), a terrorist organization, banned in Russia by the court. Father Pavel, Rector of the Saint George the Victorious Church in Kizlyar, said that the shooting occurred after the end of the service; and the shooter ran to the church shouting "Allah Akbar". Later it became known that before the attack the Kizlyar shooter recorded a video, in which he called on supporters to commit terror acts around the world.
Saakashvili deported from Ukraine to Poland
On February 12, supporters of Mikhail Saakashvili, a former Georgian President, reported his detention by law enforcers in Kiev; and in the evening, the State Frontier Service (SFS) of Ukraine stated that Saakashvili had been extradited to Poland. On that very day, Mr Saakashvili, who had been deprived of Ukrainian citizenship and became an apatride (stateless person), reported that he was in Warsaw. He was returned to the country, from where he broke into Ukraine in violation of the law, the SFS has reported. Saakashvili was adopted in Poland under the readmission procedure, since his wife is a citizen of one of the EU countries, the Polish Frontier Service explained. The advocates of Mikhail Saakashvili, who is accused in Georgia of a number of crimes, have appealed against his deportation at the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The authorities of Ukraine had deported the ex-president of Georgia without waiting for the end of the asylum-granting procedure, initiated by Saakashvili's application in Ukraine, said Ruslan Chernolutsky, one of his advocates.
NKR residents celebrate 30th anniversary of Karabakh liberation movement
Last week, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) marked the 30th anniversary of the start of the national liberation movement. Initial events took place on February 12 in the cities of Martuni and Gadrut; and the educational establishments of the non-recognized republic held open lessons. On February 14, Stepanakert hosted a march and a rally, which was attended by over 15,000 people. The participants of the rally, interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot", stated that it is necessary to achieve the complete international recognition of the NKR, and then join Armenia.