21 October 2019, 18:19

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of October 14-20, 2019

Denial of information about a conspiracy against Ramzan Kadyrov; unsanctioned protest action in Baku; completion of the protest action of Afghan war veterans in Makhachkala, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of October 14-20, 2019, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Denial of information about conspiracy against Ramzan Kadyrov

Last week, new information was reported concerning an alleged conspiracy against the leader of Chechnya. On October 7, the "SKFO (North-Caucasian Federal District) Telegraph" channel on Telegram reported about an attempt to poison Ramzan Kadyrov. According to the Telegram channel, two former mayors of Chechen cities and a top-ranking law enforcer are suspected of plotting the attempt of poisoning. On October 8, Apti Alaudinov, the chief of the Chechen Police, and Valid Abdureshidov, the head of the Urus-Martan District, publicly swore allegiance to Ramzan Kadyrov. After a long pause, the leader of Chechnya himself did not appear in public until October 14. The silence about the Ramzan Kadyrov's health state fuelled interest in the version on the conspiracy, noted Caucasian experts.

On October 14, Elena Milashina, a correspondent of the newspaper "Novaya Gazeta", announced a "massive clean-up" among top-ranking Chechen officials suspected of disloyalty to Ramzan Kadyrov. According to the "Novaya Gazeta", Apti Alaudinov fell into disgrace because of a comic slap to a portrait of Ramzan Kadyrov. Apti Alaudinov himself denied the above version. Djambulat Umarov, Chechen Minister of National Policy, called the article a "fake," and that caused distrust among users of social networks. After that, Ramzan Kadyrov stated that some media were trying to create a "negative image of Chechnya and its leaders." Local officials may be really dissatisfied with the Ramzan Kadyrov's policy, but any opposition to him is possible only with support from Moscow, political analysts note.

Unsanctioned protest action in Baku

The authorities allowed the National Council of Democratic Forces (NCDF) to hold a rally in a suburb of Baku on October 19. However, activists decided to gather in a square in the city centre. The police warned that they would disperse the protesters. On October 17, the opposition reported about the detentions of the rally organizers, and on October 19, six activists were arrested before the rally. At the rally, law enforcers conducted mass detentions. According to the opposition, about 100 people were detained. Ali Kerimli, the leader of the Popular Front Party of Azerbaijan (PFPA), complained that after his detention, law enforcers beat him and demanded from him to speak in front of a video camera with a statement about stopping the struggle with the authorities.

Detention of policeman with trotyl in Novorossiysk

On October 14, in Novorossiysk, former Police Major Alexei Dymovsky, who reported about abuses committed by his colleagues, was detained on the charge of storing explosives. On October 17, the court pronounced a decision to arrest him until November 15. Before his detention, Alexei Dymovsky recorded a video in which he stated that he wanted to give out trotyl to the law enforcement bodies. "I want to voluntarily give out trotyl, with which I planned to bring people to power," Alexei Dymovsky says on his video posted on YouTube. According to Anna Zakharova, a wife of Alexei Dymovsky, her husband was intentionally detained when he was carrying trotyl to a police station to ensure law enforcers would not be held responsible for leaving dangerous substances in a public place. Alexei Dymovsky became well known after reporting about abuses in the police in 2009. After that, he was dismissed from the police "for libel" and created the movement "White Ribbon". For the past two years, Alexei Dymovsky has been a member of the city public commission for monitoring the police activities.

Completion of protest action of Afghan war veterans in Makhachkala

On October 19, a picket held by several dozens of Dagestani Afghan war veterans in Makhachkala for more than three weeks was finished after they secured promises from the authorities to solve their problems. The Afghan war veterans claim that they were deprived of the opportunity to be included in the preferential line for housing. In the period from September 17 to 25, they continued a hunger strike, which they then replaced with a round-the-clock picket with the demand for a meeting with Vladimir Vasiliev, the leader of Dagestan. It was not until October 17 when Vladimir Vasiliev met the Afghan war veterans. However, the protesters were not satisfied with the results of the meeting. On October 18, the protesters were invited to the administration of the leader of Dagestan. By an agreement with the authorities, the problems of Afghan war veterans who are most in need of help should be resolved this year, reports Gasaini Gasainiev, the head of the initiative group of the Afghan war veterans.

Sentence in case on brutal murder in Psebay

On October 15, the Krasnodar Court found two local residents guilty of raping and murdering a mother of many children in the village of Psebay in the Mostovsky District. On May 14, 2018, Natalia Dmitrieva was killed in Psebay. According to investigators, the woman was raped and strangled. The brutal murder provoked rallies of local residents who demanded to punish the criminals. After the protest actions, Pavel Zharkov, the head of the Psebay urban settlement, resigned. During the investigation, it turned out that one of the accused was caught stealing a jacket, but no criminal proceedings were instituted against him then. The court sentenced defendant Savely Nikiforov to 19 years of imprisonment; and the minor defendant was sentenced to nine years and 11 months of imprisonment, almost a maximum sentence for a minor.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 21, 2019 at 09:15 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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