20 July 2020, 14:38

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of July 13-19, 2020

Spread of the coronavirus infection in the Caucasus; aggravation on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan; law enforcers' report about prevented terror acts in the Rostov Region, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of July 13-19, 2020, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Spread of coronavirus infection in Caucasus

Over the past week, Armenia still leads in Southern Caucasus in both the number of coronavirus-infected patients and the COVID-19 death toll. By July 19, the number of coronavirus-infected people in Armenia reached 34,877, in Azerbaijan – 27,521, in Georgia – 1028, in Nagorno-Karabakh – 168, in South Ossetia – 89, and in Abkhazia – 38. Armenia registered 641 deaths from COVID-19, Azerbaijan – 354, Georgia – 15, and Abkhazia – 1.

On July 17, the authorities of Azerbaijan extended the quarantine regime in the country until August 31. Meanwhile, in some districts and cities, the strict quarantine was extended until August 5 with mitigation measures, which became possible due to a decrease in the number of new cases of the coronavirus infection. On July 13, in Armenia, the parliament decided to extend the state of emergency for another month.

The number of coronavirus-infected patients is also increasing in regions of Southern Russia, and by July 19, it reached 70,948. Over the week, the Rostov Region still leads in the number of coronavirus-infected patients, where 11,419 cases were registered. Dagestan still stays at the second place with 8778 coronavirus-infected patients. The Volgograd Region remains on the third place with 8056 coronavirus-infected patients. In the Krasnodar Territory, 7190 patients were diagnosed with the coronavirus infection, in the Stavropol Territory – 6889, in Kabardino-Balkaria – 5791, in North Ossetia – 4353, in Karachay-Cherkessia – 4212, in the Astrakhan Region – 4176, in Ingushetia – 3438, in Adygea – 2364, in Kalmykia – 2363, and in Chechnya – 1919.

Over the week, the coronavirus death toll also increased up to 1226. During the week, according to the sad death toll statistics, Dagestan still leads in the region: the republic has already registered 426 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Dagestan is followed by the Rostov Region where 183 COVID-19 deaths have been already registered, and the Stavropol Territory with 128 COVID-19 deaths stays at the third place in the sad death toll statistics. In the Krasnodar Territory, 96 patients with the diagnosis of the coronavirus infection died, in Ingushetia – 71, in North Ossetia – 67, in Kabardino-Balkaria – 64, in the Volgograd Region – 53, in the Astrakhan Region – 39, in Kalmykia – 34, in Chechnya – 29, in Karachay-Cherkessia – 20, and in Adygea – 16.

In Southern Russia, most regions continue mitigating the restrictions imposed because of the spread of the coronavirus infection. On July 17, in Kabardino-Balkaria, the authorities decided to allow collective prayers in mosques staring from July 18. Meanwhile, on July 14, in Chechnya, amid the quarantine easing, the road police (known as GIBDD) announced a temporary ban on the entry to the republic for residents of other regions.

Aggravation on border between Armenia and Azerbaijan

On July 13, on the border in the Tovuz District of Azerbaijan and the Tavush Region of Armenia, where armed clashed had occurred the day before, the situation deteriorated even more. The parties to the conflict accused each other of shelling attacks on villages and towns and reported about downed UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). Houses of villagers were damaged during the shelling attacks. In Armenia, residents of the villages that came under fire refused to leave their houses. Some residents of Azerbaijani villages were evacuated. On July 15, both parties reported de-escalation of the conflict. However, on July 16, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of Azerbaijan claimed the resumption of hostilities in which a soldier was killed. On the same day, Armenia reported about 39 wounded and 4 killed since the escalation of the conflict. On the other days, Azerbaijan claimed relatively calm situation, and no information about casualties was reported. According to Russian political analysts, in the current conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh has faded into the background. The aggravation of the situation occurred amid an increase in the supply of Azerbaijani gas to Turkey, while the hostilities are taking place in the area where the main energy routes are located, Turkish political analyst Togrul Ismail notes.

Start of trial in case on torture of minor girl in Ingushetia

On July 16, Ingushetia started a trial in a resonant case on torture of a seven-year-old girl. A girl's aunt and her husband are charged of causing grievous harm to the child's health. Let us remind you that on July 4, 2019, the girl was hospitalized in severe condition, and doctors had to amputate a part of her arm. As it turned out, the child lived with her aunt's family and was regularly beaten. The woman pleaded not guilty. The girl now lives with her mother in Magas.

Law enforcers' report about prevented terror acts in Rostov Region

On July 13, the Russian FSB reported that five local residents, natives of Russia and Central Asia, members of a unit of the "Islamic State" (IS), (a terrorist organization, banned in Russia by the court, – note of the "Caucasian Knot"), were detained in Rostov-on-Don. According to the FSB, the detainees were plotting terror acts in medical and educational institutions. The sixth member of the unit group – according to the law enforcement bodies, the leader of the grouping – was killed during the detention. Earlier, on July 7, law enforcers detained a resident of Astrakhan who was allegedly plotting an attack on an administrative building. Two weekly reports on the prevention of terror acts in Southern Russia are intended to present the FSB as an effective institution, analysts note.

Torn off roofs and flooded houses in Georgia and Southern Russia

At night on July 16, in Kakheti, in 10 villages and towns in the Telavi District of Georgia, as well as in the Kvareli District, a heavy storm with hail damaged houses and fields. A special commission counted more than 200 damaged houses.

On July 17, in Rostov-on-Don and Bataysk, more than 20 houses appeared in an area flooded after heavy rains. 210 people were evacuated from the flooding area. Furthermore, more than 60 yards were flooded after heavy rain in the villages of the Stavropol Territory.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 20, 2020 at 09:10 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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