23 April 2018, 09:15
Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of April 16-22, 2018
Mass protests in Yerevan in connection with the election of Serzh Sargsyan as the Prime Minister of Armenia; formation of the new government of Azerbaijan; special operation in Dagestan, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of April 16-22 2018, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".
Opposition brings to streets of Yerevan crowds of people dissatisfied with Serzh Sargsyan's election the Prime Minister of Armenia
On April 17, Serzh Sargsyan, the former President of Armenia, was elected the Prime Minister of the country. Armenian MPs voted against the background of protests, participants of which were dissatisfied with the fact that Serzh Sargsyan again headed the state. Opposition MP Nikol Pashinyan announced a "peaceful revolution" in the country. His supporters marched through the capital, blocked streets and entrances to government buildings. The police detained activists and announced the possibility of dispersal of the protesters.
On April 21, Armenian President Armen Sargsyan came to the square where the protesters gathered. The President came to talk to Nikol Pashinyan. The leader of the protests voiced his intention to talk only about Serzh Sargsyan's resignation. On April 22, Nikol Pashinyan met Serzh Sargsyan. The Prime Minister of Armenia almost immediately accused the opposition leader of blackmailing. Nikol Pashinyan called on his supporters to intensify their protests.
After the failure of the talks, the police began dispersing the demonstrators. Nikol Pashinyan and several dozen protesters were detained in Yerevan. The activists complained of provocations and claimed they had been attacked by people in masks. At least 10 people were hospitalized. The number of the detained demonstrators rose to 277.
President takes office in Azerbaijan, a new government formed
In Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliev, who was elected to the post of the President at the elections held on April 11, took office on April 18. In accordance with the Constitution, the government resigned. On April 21, the Parliament approved the appointment of Novruz Mamedov, whose candidacy was proposed by Ilham Aliev, the chair of the government. Novruz Mamedov replaced 83-year-old Arthur Rasizade, who chaired the government since 1996. On April 21, Ilham Aliev also signed a decree on the new composition of the Cabinet of Ministers. Out of 21 members of the government, only five are new. The political analysts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" expressed their scepticism about the potential of the new Cabinet of Ministers. Novruz Mamedov has got no experience necessary to work as the chair of the government, opposition politicians stated.
Special operations against militants conducted in three regions of Southern Russia
On April 21, a counterterrorist operation (CTO) legal regime was introduced in Derbent and the Derbent District of Dagestan. In the CTO area, law enforcers cordoned off a house with militants. The National Antiterrorist Committee (NAC) announced nine killed suspects. According to the NAC, they were plotting a terror act to be committed on the May holidays. A special troop fighter was also wounded. Besides, law enforcers also conducted a special operation in the Matseevka village in the Kizilyurt District of Dagestan. They visited houses with inspections and searched cars.
Besides, on April 17, the FSB reported the detention of three men suspected of plotting a terror act in the Rostov Region. One more suspect, a leader of a local unit of the terrorist organization "Islamic State" (IS) banned in Russia, committed suicide bombing.
On April 16, a 21-year-old native of Karachay-Cherkessia was detained in Stavropol. He admitted plotting a terror act to be committed in a kindergarten and a school, reported a source from the law enforcement bodies. On April 21, the FSB reported that in the Stavropol Territory, a IS militant, who was also plotting a terror act, rendered resistance during his detention and was killed.
Top-ranking officials detained in Kuban
On April 19, the Russian General Prosecutor's Office reported that on April 17-18, in Krasnodar and Sochi, law enforcers detained 15 developers and officials in cases involving violations of the rights of real estate investors. The number of the detainees includes Igor Mazurok, the chief architect of Krasnodar, and Yuri Palamarchuk, Deputy Mayor of Sochi. Yuri Palamarchuk is detained in the case on infliction of damage for 115 million roubles. Monuments of archaeology were destroyed in the course of the construction, the permits for which were supposedly issued by Igor Mazurok. On April 18, Mugdin Chermit, First Deputy Mayor of Sochi, was detained. According to sources, the official exceeded his power when he issued documents for a residential building constructed without permit. Real estate investors of the residential complex, which construction was sanctioned by Mugdin Chermit, lost more than 400 million roubles.
In Nalchik, fire occurs at market, goods of 427 entrepreneurs destroyed
On April 16, a major fire broke out in the central market in Nalchik. The fire destroyed a confectionary pavilion, shops, tents and cafes. 427 entrepreneurs suffered material damage. Investigators consider several versions of the fire, including short circuit, arson and careless handling of fire. The authorities of Kabardino-Balkaria promised to restore the market. Sellers complained that the market administration had refused to compensate for the damage from the fire and referred to the terms of the lease. Kabardino-Balkarian leader Yuri Kokov promised to restore shopping places and offered entrepreneurs the material assistance of 30,000 roubles, saying that no compensation was stipulated by the law. The entrepreneurs aggrieved by the fire met the above statement with indignation and noted that they had lost much more than 30,000 roubles.