Law enforcer, Ingushetia. Photo: REUTERS/Kazbek Basayev

14 March 2018, 08:37

In 2017, number of victims to armed conflict in Northern Caucasus decreased by 39%

In 2017, as compared to 2016, the number of victims to the armed conflict in Northern Caucasus decreased by 39%, from 287 to 175 people. The number of armed incidents and the number of bombings also decreased, but the number of civilian casualties significantly increased by 63%. To a greater extent, the above can be explained by the events in Chechnya, which for the first time in many years moved Dagestan to the second place in the number of victims. Last year, out of all the regions in the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD), Chechnya registered the highest number of killed and wounded.

In 2017, compared with 2016, the number of victims to the armed conflict increased in Chechnya and Ingushetia. In 2017, after a year of calm, new victims to the armed conflict were registered in Karachay-Cherkessia, while North Ossetia registered victims to the armed conflict for the first time over three years. The number of armed incidents increased in Ingushetia, Chechnya, and the Stavropol Territory.

As a rule, the main indicator of the intensity of an armed conflict is the number of victims killed and wounded people during armed clashes and armed incidents, as well as bombings and terror acts. However, the very number of such cases is no less important and informative.

In the past year, the number of armed incidents in Northern Caucasus decreased. In 2017, 51 armed incidents were registered, while in 2016 84. The fall amounted to 39%.

According to the updated information, the number of bombings decreased from 22 cases in 2016 to 14 in 2017 (by 36%). The number of terror acts decreased from 6 to 2, or by almost 67%. The total number of victims to the armed conflict decreased from 287 people in 2016 to 175 in 2017 (by 39%).

Meanwhile, in 2016, 202 people were killed, and in 2017 134. Thus, the number of killed people decreased in a year by almost 34%, while the number of wounded people decreased from 85 in 2016 to 41 in 2017, or almost by 52%).

In 2017, the total number of civilian casualties in the NCFD was 39 people. Of them, 30 were killed and 9 others were wounded.

The above number includes 25 killed civilians, about whom the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta" reported on July 9, 2017. According to the newspaper, at night on January 26, in the republic, at least 27 people were executed, detained in connection with an attack on policemen in Grozny in December 2016. The authorities of the republic called the information a lie. According to HRC "Memorial", the number of whose 27 people included Ismali Bergoev and Askhab Yusupov, who were wounded, detained in Grozny on December 17, 2016, and placed to the 9th city hospital. In late December 2016, the "Caucasian Knot" made public the information that Ismali Bergoev and Askhab Yusupov were killed. Along with Madina Shakhbieva, detained together with them, both men were included in the number of victims to the armed conflict (in the category of killed militants) in 2016.

The total number of civilian victims is 62.5% higher than in 2016, when 24 civilians fell victim, including 8 killed and 16 wounded.

In 2017, the number of victims to the armed conflict among law enforcers was 53 people, including 22 killed and 31 wounded. In 2016, the number of victims among law enforcers amounted to 97 people, including 32 killed and 65 wounded. Thus, compared with 2016, the total losses decreased by 45%.

The total number of victims among suspected militants, which amounted to 166 people in 2016, decreased by exactly two times, or by 50% to 83 people, including 82 killed and one wounded.

In a number of cases, reports prepared by the law enforcement bodies are questionable and arouse reasonable suspicion of falsification of charges. One of the clearest examples was a murder of shepherds in Dagestan. In that regard, the "Caucasian Knot" seeks to verify data from the law enforcement bodies, although that was not always possible.

Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia: leaders in number of victims

Last year, in Chechnya, the number of victims increased significantly: at least 75 people fell victim, including at least 59 killed and 16 wounded. In comparison with 2016 (when there were 43 victims), the total number of victims increased by 74.4%.

In Dagestan, at least 55 people fell victim to the armed conflict, including 47 killed and 8 wounded. In 2017, the most casualties were among militants (38 killed and 1 wounded). The total number of victims to the armed conflict decreased by 73% compared with 2016 (204 victims).

In 2017, in Ingushetia, at least 24 people fell victim to the armed conflict. Of them, 11 were killed and 13 others were wounded. In comparison with 2016, when at least 19 people fell victim, including 15 killed and 4 wounded, the total number of victims increased by 26%, while the number of victims among law enforcers increased significantly.

In 2017, in North Ossetia, 9 people fell victim to the ongoing armed conflict in Northern Caucasus, while in 2016, no victims to the armed conflict were registered in the republic.

In 2017, in the Stavropol Territory, at least 6 people were killed in the armed confrontation. The number of victims was the same as in 2016.

Last year, in Karachay-Cherkessia, 5 people fell victim to the armed conflict (all were killed). Meanwhile, in 2016, no victims to the armed conflict were registered in the republic.

Kabardino-Balkaria was the safest republic on this list. In 2017, only one person fell victim to the armed conflict: a suspected militant was killed. In 2016, at least 15 people fell victim to the armed conflict, including 14 killed and one wounded. That is, the number of victims decreased by 93% over the year.

Armed incidents: in NCFD, number of cases decreased by 39%, number of victims by 45%

According to the "Caucasian Knot", an armed incident is any event involving the presence of two sides (militants, law enforcers) at the same time, in which one or both sides use aiming combat weapons, regardless of its type. Armed incidents also include all cases of the use of grenades and grenade launchers, as well as all car bombings.

In 2017, the regions of Northern Caucasus registered 51 armed incidents with at least 130 victims, including 101 killed and 29 wounded.

The death toll included 80 suspected members of illegal armed formations (IAFs), 19 law enforcers, and two civilians. The number of wounded people included 20 law enforcers, a suspected IAF member, and 8 civilians.

Meanwhile, in 2016, 84 armed incidents were registered in the regions of Northern Caucasus with at least 236 victims, including 182 killed and 54 wounded. The death toll included 152 suspected IAF members, 28 law enforcers, and two civilians. The number of wounded people included 47 law enforcers, 4 suspected IAF members, and 3 civilians.

In 2017, as compared to 2016, the number of armed incidents decreased by 39.3% in the NCFD, and the number of victims decreased by 44.9%. The number of armed incidents decreased in Kabardino-Balkaria and Dagestan.

The situation with armed incidents in 2017 and 2016, as well as in 2015 and 2014, was noticeably different not only from region to region, but also within a region, as it could be seen from the graphics "Armed incidents and victims in Northern Caucasus".

Kabardino-Balkaria: number of victims to armed incidents decreased by 93%

In 2017, Kabardino-Balkaria registered one armed incident with a killed person (a suspected militant).

In 2016, 7 armed incidents were reported in the republic with 14 victims, including 13 killed and one wounded. The death toll included 11 militants and 2 law enforcers. Another law enforcer was wounded.

Therefore, in 2017, as compared to 2016, the number of armed incidents in Kabardino-Balkaria decreased by 85.7%, and the number of victims in them decreased by almost 92.9%.

Karachay-Cherkessia: new victims after a calm year

In 2017, one armed incident was registered in Karachay-Cherkessia, in which 5 people were killed. All the killed people were suspected IAF members.

Meanwhile, according to the calculations run by the "Caucasian Knot", over the past 10 years, at least 70 people were sentenced in the republic for attempting to seize power in Karachay-Cherkessia. Defendants often claimed that charges against them had been fabricated.

In 2016, in Karachay-Cherkessia, no armed incidents were reported in Karachay-Cherkessia.

Stavropol: instability comes to capital of the region

In 2017, the Stavropol Territory registered 3 armed incidents, in which 6 suspected IAF members were killed. No wounded were reported.

In 2016, in the Stavropol Territory, 2 armed incidents were registered, in which 5 suspected IAF members were killed. No wounded were reported.

It can be concluded that in 2017, the number of armed incidents in the Stavropol Territory as compared to 2016 increased by 1.5 times, i.e. by 50% (from 2 armed incidents in 2016 to 3 in 2017), and the number of victims in those incidents also increased by 20%.

North Ossetia: new victims for the first time in three years

In 2017, in North Ossetia, 4 armed incidents were registered with 9 victims, including 5 killed and 4 wounded. The death toll included 4 suspected IAF members and a law enforcer. The number of wounded included 3 law enforcers and a civilian.

In 2016, like in 2015, no armed incidents were reported in North Ossetia.

Chechnya: number of victims of armed incidents increased by 29%

In 2017, in Chechnya, 8 armed incidents were registered with at least 40 victims, including 31 killed and 9 wounded. The death toll included 19 suspected IAF members, 11 law enforcers, and a civilian. The number of wounded included 7 law enforcers and 2 civilians.

In 2016, in the Chechen Republic, 6 armed incidents were registered with at least 31 victims, including 23 killed and 8 wounded. The death toll included 18 suspected IAF members and 5 law enforcers. The number of wounded included 5 law enforcers, 2 suspected militants, and a civilian.

In 2017, in Chechnya, the number of armed incidents increased by 33% compared with 2016 (from 6 armed incidents in 2016 up to 8 in 2017), while the number of victims increased by 29%.

Ingushetia: number of armed incidents and victims increased

In 2017, in Ingushetia, 10 armed incidents were registered with 18 victims, including 9 killed and 9 wounded. The death toll included 2 law enforcers and 7 militants. The number of wounded included 5 law enforcers and 4 civilians.

In 2016, Ingushetia registered 5 armed incidents, in which 15 people were killed. No wounded were reported. The death toll included 2 law enforcers and 13 militants.

It follows in 2017, in Ingushetia, the number of armed incidents doubled, i.e. increased by 100% compared with 2016, and the number of victims increased by 20%.

Dagestan: victims of armed incidents decreased by 70%

Last year, Dagestan remained the leader among the regions of the NCFD by the number of armed incidents: in 2017, 24 armed incidents were registered in the republic with 51 victims, including 44 killed and 7 wounded.

The death toll included 38 suspected IAF members, 5 law enforcers, and a civilian. The number of wounded included 5 law enforcers, a civilian, and a militant.

In 2016, in Dagestan, 64 armed incidents were registered with 171 victims, including 126 killed and 45 wounded. The death toll included 105 suspected IAF members, 19 law enforcers, and 2 civilians. The number of wounded included 41 law enforcers, 2 civilians, and 2 militants.

Thus, in 2017, in Dagestan, the number of armed incidents decreased by 63% compared with 2016, and the number of victims decreased by 70%.

Explosions: in NCFD, number of bombings decreased by 36%, while number of victims decreased by 55%

In 2017, 14 bombings were registered in the NCFD regions with 20 victims, including 8 killed and 12 wounded. The "explosions" category includes all cases of the use of explosive devices, with the exception of car bombings, use of grenades in combat actions or during an attack.

The death toll included 3 militants, 3 law enforcers, 2 civilians. 11 law enforcers and a civilian were wounded. Of all the explosions, 2 were terror acts. 6 people fell victim to terror acts, including 2 killed and 4 injured. The death toll included a law enforcer and a militant. The number of wounded included 4 law enforcers.

The "terror acts" category implies a bombing, an armed attack and other events in the residential/public sector or a specific strategic object, organized with the aim of violating public safety, intimidating the population or influencing decision-making by the authorities. The number of terror acts includes all cases of suicide bombings, while targeted and untargeted explosions in the forest and other non-public areas and all car bombings are excluded.

In 2016, according to the updated information, the NCFD regions registered 22 bombings with 44 victims, including 16 killed and 28 injured. The death toll included 12 militants and 4 law enforcers. 11 civilians and 17 law enforcers were injured. Of 22 bombings, 6 were terror acts with 29 victims, including 5 killed and 24 injured. The death toll included 3 militants and 2 law enforcers. The number of wounded people included 10 civilians and 14 law enforcers.

Thus, in 2017, as compared to 2016, the number of explosions in the territory of the NCFD decreased by 36%, and the number of terror acts decreased by almost 66.7%. In 2017, as compared to 2016, the total number of victims to the explosions decreased by almost 55%.

Dagestan: decrease in number of explosions by 54% and number of victims by 88%

In 2017, in Dagestan, 6 explosions occurred with 3 victims, including 2 killed and one injured. 2 civilians were killed and another was injured. One of the explosions was classified as a terror act. No one fell victim to it.

In 2016, 13 explosions occurred in Dagestan, including a terror act with 26 victims, including 10 killed 16 injured. The death toll included 7 militants and 3 law enforcers. 10 law enforcers and 6 civilians were injured.

Thus, in 2017, compared with 2016, the number of explosions on the territory of the republic decreased by almost 53.9% (from 13 explosions in 2016 to 6 in 2017), while the number of terror acts remained the same. In 2017, the total number of victims to the explosions decreased by 88.5% compared with 2016.

Chechnya: number of explosions increased by 33% and number of victims fell by 9%

In 2017, in Chechnya, at least 4 explosions were registered. However, none of them was classified as a terror act. 10 people fell victim to the bombings, including 3 killed: 2 law enforcers and a suspected IAF member. 7 law enforcers were injured.

In 2016, in Chechnya, at least 3 cases of bombings were registered, including a terror act. 11 people fell victim, including 3 killed: a law enforcer and 2 suspected IAF members. 8 people, included 7 law enforcers and a civilian, were injured. Of them, 6 law enforcers were injured as a result of the terror act, and 2 suspected members of the armed underground were killed.

Thus, in 2017, the number of explosions in the territory of the republic increased by 33% compared with 2016 (from 3 explosions in 2016 to 4 in 2017). The total number of victims to the explosions decreased by 9%, although the number of killed remained the same.

Ingushetia: threefold reduction in number of explosions, while number of victims remained the same

In 2017, Ingushetia registered 2 explosions with 6 victims, including 2 killed and 4 injured. One of those explosions was classified as a terror act. The death toll included a law enforcer and a militant. All the wounded people were law enforcers.

In 2016, in Ingushetia, at least 5 explosions were reported with 6 victims, including 2 militants killed and 4 civilians injured. Out of those explosions, four can be classifies as terror acts, including 3 directed against religious leaders and one against an official.

In 2017, compared with 2016, the number of explosions in the territory of the republic decreased by 60% (from 5 explosions in 2016 to 2 in 2017). The number of terror acts decreased by 75%, and the total number of victims to the explosions remained the same. Meanwhile, in 2017, no civilians fell victim to the explosions and terror acts, whereas in 2016, their number amounted to 67% of the total number of victims to the explosions and terror acts.

Kabardino-Balkaria: no explosions or terror acts

In 2017, no explosions were reported in Kabardino-Balkaria.

In 2016, a bombing was registered in Kabardino-Balkaria, in which a suspected IAF member was killed.

Stavropol Territory: 2 explosions and one killed person after two calm years

In 2017, 2 explosions were registered in the Stavropol Territory, and a suspected IAF member was killed.

In 2016 and in 2015, no explosions were registered in the region.

Karachay-Cherkessia and North Ossetia: no explosions or terror acts

In Karachay-Cherkessia and North Ossetia, no explosions and terror acts were registered in 2017, 2016, and 2015.

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