11 March 2019, 23:15

Week in the Caucasus: review of the main events of March 4-10, 2019

An action commemorating the victims of Balkars' deportation in Nalchik; the celebration of March 8 in the countries of the South Caucasus and the republics of the North Caucasus; the verdict on the preparation of the terrorist attack in Nalchik - see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of March 4-10, 2019, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

An action commemorating the victims of Balkars' deportation in Nalchik

On March 8, a memorial event was held in Nalchik on the 75th anniversary of Balkars' deportation. The acting head of the republic Kazbek Kokov came to the memorial to the victims of the repressions of the Balkar people. Some locals found it inappropriate to celebrate International Women's Day on a tragic date. The operation to evict the Balkars on March 8, 1944, lasted only two hours. More than 37,000 Balkarians, mostly women and children, were resettled from Kabardino-Balkaria to Kazakhstan and Central Asia. During 18 days, 562 people died. Only in 1957, the Balkars were allowed to return to their homeland.

Celebration of March 8 in the countries of the South Caucasus and the republics of the North Caucasus

International Women's Day was celebrated in all the republics of the North-Caucasian Federal District, but some residents of Chechnya and Dagestan refused to celebrate it for religious reasons. According to the Makhachkala residents, young people in Dagestan perceive March 8 as a common day, while older people are used to treat it as a holiday. The Chechen Muftiate noted that this year, March 8 is the first day of the Muslim month of Rajab, in the first days of which it is recommended to fast. Residents of the North Caucasus, who commemorate the victims of deportation on March 8, would like to celebrate the holiday on another day.

In Tbilisi, members of the Women's Movement held a rally and said that the security forces do not want to investigate cases of sexual violence, while Georgian legislation does not meet international standards. In Baku, eight women marched to protest against violence, and about fifty women came with posters. The organizers called on women to unite in order to “free society from patriarchy and escape from the hegemony of men.” The police interrupted the rally and claimed that it had not been sanctioned.

The scandalous statement of the Volgograd deputy about low-income pensioners

On March 6, when discussing the bill on additional payments to unemployed pensioners, whose income is below the subsistence minimum, Deputy of the Volgograd Regional Duma Hasan Nabiyev said that only "drunkards and idlers receive a minimum pension." Later, he apologized for his words. In the opinion of local residents interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot", the statement of the deputy undermines the credibility of the authorities. On March 10, seven activists held pickets, stating that the deputy insulted thousands of Russians and had to resign.

Return of ex-prime minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili to politics

Former Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili will take the post of secretary and member of the political council of the ruling party "Georgian Dream - Democratic Movement". Garibashvili will make "important changes" in strengthening the party, its general secretary Kakha Kaladze said. Garibashvili’s return to the “Georgian Dream” is associated with a shortage of personnel in the party, political scientists explained. After the return of Garibashvili, the party will start preparing for the 2020 parliamentary elections.

Garibashvili was the prime minister in 2013-2015. He returned to the “Georgian Dream” after five deputies had disagreed on several draft laws and left the party. After that, the ruling party lost the constitutional majority in parliament.

Court verdict on the preparation of the terrorist attack in Nalchik

On March 5, the North-Caucasian District Military Court sentenced Vladislav Khokhlachev to 18 years in prison in the case of a terrorist attack. The investigation considered him to be a member of the United Vilayat Kabardy, Balkaria and Karachai terrorist organization banned in Russia. According to investigators, in 2011, Khokhlachev and other members of the organization made nine bombs to be blown up on February 23, 2012 near the buildings of the security forces. The attack did not happen since Khokhlachev was wounded in a grenade explosion. He himself called the accusation fabricated. The man moves in a wheelchair, lost his eyesight and can hardly speak. Lawyer Tatyana Kravtsova stated that Khokhlachev worked as a taxi driver and did not know about the plans of the passenger who had detonated a grenade.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on March 11, 2019 at 09:05 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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