14 November 2016, 09:00

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of November 7-13

Start of considering the appeal in Permyakov's case in Armenia; special operations in KBR and Dagestan; military exercises in Georgia and Azerbaijan, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of November 7-13, 2016, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Armenian court starts considering appeal in Permyakov's case

On November 10, the Criminal Court of Appeal of Armenia began considering the complaints lodged against the life-imprisonment verdict passed to Valery Permyakov, a soldier of the 102nd Russian Military Base, stationed in Gyumri, for massacring seven members of the Avetisyan family. The injured party demands to establish the guilt of those who had admitted the sending of Permyakov for his military service to Gyumri. The defence also lodged a complaint concerning the Permyakov's attempt to illegally cross the Armenian-Turkish border. However, on November 8 it became known that Permyakov had recalled the complaint, lodged by his advocate. The above court decided to hold session without Permyakov, but his advocate said that he doubted Permyakov's voluntary decision to recall the complaint; and the judge asked him to personally meet Permyakov.

Power agents hold CTO in KBR and search for militants in Dagestan

On November 10, a counterterrorist operation (CTO) was held in the city of Baksan, the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR). Power agents blocked a private house and killed the man inside. He was pre-identified as Akhmed Shevkhuzhev – one of the suspects in the attack on employees of the road-and-post service (PPS) in the town of Prokhladny at night on October 9. According to investigators, Shevkhuzhev took refuge in the house where two schoolgirls – aged 15 and 16 – lived; and that no one knew about the hiding of the searched person, the girls kicked their mother out of the house. Now, investigators are considering bringing them to justice as accomplices of members of the armed underground.

On November 11, the CTO regime was announced by power agents in the Shamil District of Dagestan. They stated a search of militants and their accomplices. Because of the CTO, they cancelled a meeting of residents of the villages of Verkhni Kolob, Kakhib and Goor-Khindakh, dedicated to the inquiry into the murder of Gasanguseinov brothers, scheduled for November 13. According to Gasanguseinov-Senior and his advocate, there is no progress in the case of the incident on August 23.

Georgia and Azerbaijan start military exercises

On November 10, joint NATO-Georgian exercises began on the "Vaziani" base near Tbilisi, involving 250 militaries from 14 countries. For the first time, the exercises are commanded by the Georgian General Staff. They are important, since they confirm the NATO's support for Georgia's aspirations for the Euro-Atlantic structures, said Lela Chikovani, First Deputy Minister of Defence of Georgia. According to Giorgi Tevzadze, Professor at the Ilya Chavchavadze University, the command of the exercises by the Georgian side indicates that NATO considers Georgia as the country in need of protection.

The large-scale exercises of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence (MoD) began on November 12 with the aim to check the command and control systems and weapons in the field conditions. They will last till November 18. The exercises involve up to 60,000 servicemen; over 50 aircrafts and helicopter; 150 tanks and armoured vehicles, as well as up to 700 missile and artillery systems. On November 4, the Armenia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) treated the Azeri exercises as a provocation and "a flagrant violation of international obligations." The authorities of Stepanakert have also expressed their concern about the exercises, saying that they are held near the borders of Nagorno-Karabakh.

Rostov-on-Don elects new Mayor

On November 7, the Deputies of the City Duma supported, by the majority of votes, the candidacy of Vitaly Kushnaryov for the post of the City Manager (Mayor) of Rostov-on-Don, who had earlier worked as the transport minister of the Rostov Region. The contest for the post was declared, since the two-year contract with Sergey Gorban is nearing its end. It is noteworthy that the Gorban's work at this post had been criticized by local residents.

Decision to transfer kindergarten catering in Volgograd to outsourcing angered parents

On November 9, the Deputies of the City Duma of Volgograd approved the transfer of kindergarten catering to outsourcing (provision by third parties). According to the authorities, it will improve the quality of kindergarten food and optimize the kitchen expenses. However, residents of Volgograd opposed it, and November 7 began collecting signatures against the outsourcing. On November 11, 30 activists of the movement "Volgograd Parents for Children's Rights" held a picket, stating that the provision of kindergarten catering by third party would worsen its quality and increase parental fees.

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