08 October 2018, 16:27
Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of October 1-7, 2018
Protests in Ingushetia against the agreement on the borders with Chechnya; "counter-revolution" in Armenia, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of October 1-7, 2018, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".
Protest rally in Magas against agreement on borders with Chechnya
On October 4, in Magas, activists started a mass protest demanding the referendum on the border issue and the resignation of Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Evkurov, who signed the agreement with Chechnya. On the same day, a meeting of the Ingush parliament took place, at which MPs considered the question on the agreement ratification. According to the authorities, at the parliament session, out of 25 MPs, 17 supported the agreement on the borders. However, the MPs themselves said that only five of their colleagues voted in favour of the agreement. An attempt to organize the second voting on October 5 failed due to the lack of a quorum. On October 6, the MPs reported the breakdown of the parliament session for the same reason.
Despite the cold weather, the action goes around the clock. At night, protesters warm themselves by the fire. Residents of Magas provided the protesters with food, clothes, necessary equipment, and Internet access. There are dozens of women in the square, some of them with children.
On October 5, activists met officials and agreed that law enforcers would not take any action against the protesters until the other week. On October 6, the Ingush government announced that the protest action would be considered as sanctioned for the period from October 8 to 15, but only during the daytime. On October 7, Ruslan Aushev, the first president of the republic, arrived at the rally. He stated that the authorities of Ingushetia made a mistake when they resolved the issue of the border with Chechnya without discussion with local residents. He suggested that the protesters should create an organizing committee which representatives would contact the republic's authorities.
It is should be noted that the Constitutional Court of Ingushetia supported the protesters. The parliament was not entitled to consider the agreement on a new border with Chechnya, since such issues should be decided in a referendum, stated Ayub Gagiev, Chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ingushetia. Meanwhile, Yunus-Bek Evkurov and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov signed a law establishing the border.
Start of trial in case against former Makhachkala Mayor Musa Musaev
On October 2, Makhachkala started a trial in the case against Musa Musaev, the former Mayor of the city, accused of abuse of power. According to investigators, he caused damage to the budget of Dagestan in the amount of 48 million roubles. At the first court hearing, Musa Musaev pleaded guilty and explained that, due to his workload, he did not have enough time to check the documents he signed and that he had been also misled. Public prosecutor demanded to sentence Musa Musaev to five years of imprisonment. The defence stated that Musa Musaev did not pursue his own interests and helped the Mayoralty to pay damages. Thus, the advocate requested to sentence the client to a punishment not related to deprivation of liberty.
Victory of Dagestani fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 tournament
On October 7, at the UFC 229 tournament in Las Vegas, Dagestani fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Irish athlete Conor McGregor and thus retained the champion belt in lightweight. The broadcast of the fight in a Makhachkala cinema gathered a full hall, and after the fight, hundreds of people took to the streets to celebrate the triumph of their fellow countryman. Meanwhile, the champion belt was not awarded to Khabib Nurmagomedov after the fight, since immediately after it he provoked a fight between fans. The UFC chair reported that because of the fight at the hall, the Dagestani fighter could be subjected to various sanctions up to deprivation of his champion title. Khabib Nurmagomedov himself apologized for his behaviour. He explained his behaviour by saying that Conor McGregor "insulted me, my father, and our religion."
"Counter-revolution" in Armenia
On October 2, Armenian MPs adopted a bill on amendments to the law on the regulations of the National Assembly to let the parliament continue its work after resignation of the Prime Minister. Members of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) voted for the bill. That fact aroused the indignation of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who declared a counter-revolution. Supporters of Nikol Pashinyan listened to his call and blocked the parliament building. The Prime Minister announced his resignation and called on his supporters to seek early parliamentary elections. However, at night, after negotiations with parliamentary factions, Nikol Pashinyan said that the early elections would be held in December and asked his supporters to unblock the parliament building. On the same day, the Prime Minister signed a decree to dismiss three ministers from the "Prosperous Armenia" and "Dashnaktsutyun" Parties, who supported the amendments to the law. On October 4, six governors representing the above parties were dismissed. The political analysts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" called the elections in Armenia the last stage of the "velvet revolution," as a result of which Nikol Pashinyan came to power.
This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 8, 2018 at 09:10 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.