12 November 2018, 15:41

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of November 5-11, 2018

Detention of the acting head of Makhachkala; aggravation of the land conflict in the Nartan village in the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic; actions in Southern Russia for the anniversary of the October Revolution; confrontation between the police and supporters of Zaza Saralidze on protest in Tbilisi; "Kunaki" Film Festival in Dagestan; recognition of a large Volgograd enterprise as bankrupt, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of November 5-11, 2018, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Detention of acting head of Makhachkala

In the morning on November 7, law enforcers conducted searches at the office of Abusupyan Gasanov, the acting head of Makhachkala. After the searches, the official was detained. On the same day, the Russian FSB Department for Dagestan announced the institution of a criminal case against Abusupyan Gasanov under Part 2 of Article 286 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (abuse of office) and noted that the official had caused significant harm to the state's interests by his illegal actions during an auction to select a contractor for road and construction works. On November 9, the court released Abusupyan Gasanov under house arrest. The official acknowledged that he had exceeded his authority during the auction and offered to compensate for the damage caused to the budget. At trial, it turned out that, according to investigators, Abusupyan Gasanov inflicted damage on the budget of more than 34 million roubles by instructing to prefer a particular company when holding an auction to select a contractor for road construction.

Aggravation of land conflict in KBR's village of Nartan

On November 7, in the village of Nartan in the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (KBR), three men in masks beat local resident Adam Medaliev, and at night on November 8, unidentified persons burned down his car. Activist Ibragim Yaganov and Valery Khatazhukov, the head of the Kabardino-Balkarian Human Rights Centre, associated those incidents with the public activities of Adam Medaliev, who defended in court the rights of Nartan residents to the land plots. Adam Medaliev himself noted that several hours before the attack on him, he had filed a claim to the Arbitration Court of Kabardino-Balkaria, directly affecting the interests of a tenant of a land plot in the Nartan village. On November 9, a press conference was held in Nalchik, and its participants declared that the land conflict in Nartan drew attention to the problem of many villages in Kabardino-Balkaria. The problem is that large tenants own all farmland, and local people have no place to farm. The problem has already led to a series of acute conflicts and it cannot be ignored further, since it threatens the republic with a social explosion, the participants of the press conference note. The essence of the land conflict in Nartan is in the fact that the local residents have for several years been demanding the transfer of land, which formerly belonged to a collective farm and then passed into the hands of commercial tenants.

Actions in Southern Russia to mark anniversary of October Revolution

On November 7, in the cities of Southern Russia, Communists celebrated the 101st anniversary of the October Revolution. The celebration mainly involved rallies and laying flowers at the monuments to Lenin, and a procession was also organized in Volgograd. In some cities, particularly in Astrakhan, members of the "Left-Wing Front" and the "Spravedlivaya Rossiya" (Fair Russia) Party joined the actions organized by the Communists. The anniversary of the October Revolution, widely celebrated in the USSR, remains a holiday only for staunch supporters of left-wing political forces, but its ideas remain a reason for discussion, believe residents of Krasnodar, Nalchik, Volgograd, and Rostov-on-Don interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot".

Confrontation of policemen with Zaza Saralidze's supporters in Tbilisi

In the evening on November 10, in Tbilisi, members of public organizations came to the parliament of Georgia to set up tents at the place where Zaza Saralidze was holding his protest action with the demand to carry out a fair investigation into the murder of his son, who was a schoolboy. At the place of the protest, a clash occurred between protestors and policemen, who forbade setting up tents. Zaza Saralidze wanted to set up tents for holding a rally during bad weather. As a result of the clashes, Zaza Saralidze himself and his mother Marina Begadze were hospitalized, but later, they were discharged from the hospital and returned to the square. Among the protesters, there were politicians from the "United National Movement" (UNM), the "European Georgia", and other political parties. In the morning on November 11, the protestors announced their intention to hold a protest action in front of the central office of the ruling "Georgian Dream-Democratic Movement" Party. The aggravation of the situation in front of the parliament was caused by the fact that on November 9, the Tbilisi City Mayoralty demanded from Zaza Saralidze to stop his protest action. Officials said that a Christmas tree should be installed at the place where the protest action took place. Supporters of Zaza Saralidze also wrote a petition calling on the Georgian authorities to allow the father of the killed schoolboy to hold a protest action in front of the parliament building. In less than 24 hours, 6000 people signed the petition.

"Kunaki" Film Festival in Dagestan

On November 4-10, Makhachkala hosted the 12th North-Caucasian Open Film and TV Festival "Kunaki". The festival is named after the old Caucasian idea of the "Kunaki spirit": hospitality and friendship between people of different nationalities and religions. In total, the film festival received 314 applications. Of them, 50 films were selected, including about ten shot by natives of the Caucasus. Among the films, the festival presented movies about the Caucasus. The viewers interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" said they would like to welcome the film festival in Dagestan also in the future. On November 8, during the festival, 23 trees were planted in the capital of Dagestan, each of which was dedicated to the memory of one of the Russian journalists associated with Northern Caucasus, including Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev, a correspondent of the "Caucasian Knot".

Bankruptcy of a large Volgograd enterprise

On November 8, the Arbitration Court in Volgograd declared bankrupt the metallurgical plant "Krasny Oktiabr", which employed about 3000 people. In the evening on November 8, the plant production was stopped. Despite that, workers came to the plant on November 9. They voiced their hope to get wage arrears paid. On the same day, the Governor of the Volgograd Region declared that the wages due to the workers of the metallurgical plant, which was a city-forming one, should be paid before November 20. The official also noted the need for "improve undertakings" within the bankruptcy proceedings.

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