12 October 2020, 15:13

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of October 5-11, 2020

Armistice agreement, failing to stop combat actions in the Karabakh conflict zone; coronavirus infection spread statistics in the Caucasus; CTO in Chechnya, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of October 5-11, 2020, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Armistice agreement, failing to stop combat actions in Karabakh conflict zone

On October 9, Moscow hosted negotiations between the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan on the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. Since September 27, large-scale combat actions have been taking place in the region. The parties to the negotiations agreed on a ceasefire from October 10. After the start of the truce, Armenia and Azerbaijan announced that clashes continued in the Karabakh conflict zone. Azerbaijan announced repulsed attacks on the cities of Hadrut and Jabrayil, while Armenia reported about saboteurs who tried to enter the city and killed two residents of Hadrut. The authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh stated that Azerbaijan used missiles to shell Stepanakert, Shushi, Martuni, and other villages, towns, and cities. After that, Azerbaijan reported about a missile attack on the city of Ganja, as a result of which nine civilians were killed. Nagorno-Karabakh claimed that during the truce, it did not shell the territories of Azerbaijan, including Ganja.

On October 11, in Azerbaijan, the number of civilians killed during the period after the outbreak of hostilities reached 41, while 188 others were wounded. According to the authorities of Nagorno-Karabakh, 339 soldiers of the Defence Army and 25 civilians were killed, and at least 102 civilians were injured.

Since the beginning of the combat actions in the Karabakh conflict zone, Azerbaijan has announced the liberation of 35 villages, towns, and cities, including the strategically important regional centres of Jabrayil and Hadrut. However, there is no confirmation of these statements. Russian experts treat the contradictions in the statements voiced by the parties to the conflict as an element of the information war.

Coronavirus infection spread statistics 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. On October 11, the number of coronavirus-infected people in Armenia reached 56,451, in Azerbaijan – 41,982, in Georgia – 11,794, in Abkhazia – 2257, in Nagorno-Karabakh – 421, and in South Ossetia – 141. Armenia registered 1020 deaths from COVID-19, Azerbaijan – 609, Georgia – 85, Abkhazia – 21, and Nagorno-Karabakh – 2.

Over the past week, in Southern Russia, the Rostov Region still leads in the number of coronavirus-infected patients, where 24,624 cases were registered. The Stavropol Territory, where 17,748 coronavirus-infected patients were detected, took the second place. The Volgograd Region with 16,629 coronavirus-infected patients found itself at the third place. In the Krasnodar Territory, 15,085 patients were diagnosed with the coronavirus infection, in Dagestan – 14,345, in Kabardino-Balkaria – 8336, in Karachay-Cherkessia – 7921, in the Astrakhan Region – 7684, in Kalmykia – 7279, in Ingushetia – 6246, in North Ossetia – 6220, in Adygea – 4513, and in Chechnya – 2491.

Over the week, the coronavirus death toll also increased to 2674. During the week, according to the sad death toll statistics, Dagestan has already registered 681 COVID-19 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. The republic is followed by the Rostov Region where 587 COVID-19 deaths have been already registered, and the Stavropol Territory with 348 COVID-19 deaths stays at the third place in the sad death toll statistics. In the Krasnodar Territory, 318 patients diagnosed with the coronavirus infection died, in the Volgograd Region – 161, in the Astrakhan Region – 129, in Kabardino-Balkaria – 105, in Ingushetia – 86, in Kalmykia – 79, in North Ossetia – 70, in Chechnya – 42, in Adygea– 38, and in Karachay-Cherkessia – 30.

Resignation of Vladimir Vasiliev from post of Dagestani leader

On October 5, Russian President Vladimir Putin accepted the resignation of Vladimir Vasiliev from the post of the leader of Dagestan. Vladimir Vasiliev was appointed an adviser to the President of Russia. Sergey Melikov became the acting leader of the republic. Let us remind you that Vladimir Vasiliev headed Dagestan since October 2017. After being appointed to the post of the acting head of Dagestan, Sergey Melikov announced his priorities as the fight against coronavirus and the establishment of the contact between the authorities and the society. Journalist Maksim Shevchenko called the release of political prisoners a priority for the new leader of Dagestan. According to Makhachkala residents, the acting leader of Dagestan should focus his activities on the solution of social problems and the fight against corruption, since the former leader of the republic failed to solve the mentioned problems.

CTO in Chechnya

On October 11, in Chechnya, a counterterrorist operation (CTO) was introduced during which, according to the National Antiterrorist Committee (NAC), two militants were killed. A shootout took place near the Ingush border after suspected militants opened fire in response to a law enforcers' request to surrender. In connection with the special operation, law enforcers have strengthened their checkpoints in the Sunzha District of Ingushetia, residents of the village of Berd-Yurt report. The CTO became the first special operation in Chechnya since November 2018, when a man and a teenager responded with shooting to a law enforcers' request to surrender and were killed.

Mass poisoning of children in Makhachkala

On October 9, in Makhachkala, children from various kindergartens were hospitalized with signs of poisoning. According to the Ministry for Public Health of Dagestan, 54 children were brought to a hospital with symptoms of acute intestinal infection. According to their parents, the children were likely poisoned by poor-quality dairy products, the press service of the Dagestani government reported.

Withdrawal of two banking licences in Kabardino-Balkaria

On October 9, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (Bank of Russia) withdrew the licences of the "Prokhladny" and "Maisky" Banks. According to the Bank of Russia, the "Prokhladny" Bank "used to underestimate the amount of funds necessary for the formation of reserves for possible losses." Over the past year, in connection with the above mentioned violation, the bank was banned from attracting funds from individual clients. Over 70% of the "Prokhladny" Bank's loan portfolio is represented by problem loans, the Bank of Russia reports. The "Maisky" Bank also used to underestimate its reserves and "broke the law in the field of combating money laundering and terrorist financing."

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 12, 2020 at 09:16 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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