12 August 2019, 15:32

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of August 5-11, 2019

Celebration of Kurban Bayram (Eid al-Adha) in Southern Russia; CTO in Ingushetia; 20 years after militants' invasion into Dagestan and Ramzan Kadyrov's resonant statements on this occasion, – read about these and other events that happened in the Caucasus during the week of August 5-11, 2019, in the review prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Celebration of Eid al-Adha in Southern Russia

On August 11, Muslims of most republics of Northern Caucasus began celebrating Kurban Bayram (Eid al-Adha), one of the main Islamic holidays - the feast of sacrifice. This year, only the Dagestani Muftiate has appointed the start of Eid al-Adha for on August 12, which caused discontent among some republic's residents. The holiday usually begins with prayers in mosques. It turned out they have not enough room to house everyone who wants to administer the holiday namaz (prayer). Thus, not all the believers managed to get for their prayer on August 11 in the Cathedral Mosque of Nalchik; many had to pray in the mosque yard. For absence of a mosque in Krasnodar, believers cannot fully perform the sacrifice ceremony on Kurban Bayram, since the nearest mosque located in Adygea cannot house all the believers, local Muslims have complained.

On the eve of the holiday, lamb and beef have risen in price in many regions of Southern Russia; therefore, some residents of Kabardino-Balkaria refused to buy the sacrificial meat. Meanwhile, as Orientalists asset, the Islam forbids to artificially raise prices before the holiday. Let us note here that usually Kurban Bayram is celebrated for three days in a row. This year, August 12 was declared a day off in almost all the republics of Northern Caucasus, and August 13 was declared a day off in Chechnya only.

CTO in Ingushetia

On August 7, the counterterrorist operation (CTO) regime was introduced in the village of Voznesenskoye of the Malgobek District of Ingushetia. Law enforcers reported that they had blocked a militant in a private house. The man was offered to lay down his arms and surrender, but he opened fire and was shot dead. According to the Russian National Antiterrorist Committee (NAC), the man had recruited residents of Ingushetia aiming to commit a terror act and then to go to Syria and fight for militants there. This CTO was the first in Ingushetia since this January.

Actions in support of Moscow opposition in Southern Russia

On August 10, several cities of Southern Russia held actions in support of the Moscow independent candidates, who were denied registration for local elections. In Rostov-on-Don, authorities refused to sanction on a picket; and 13 people were detained. 35 solo pickets were held in Volgograd demanding fair elections.

20 years after militants' invasion into Dagestan and Kadyrov's resonant statements in this regard

August 7 marks the 20th anniversary of the militants' invasion from Chechnya into Dagestan. Then, in 1999, during six weeks of warfare, 275 Russian soldiers were killed, and militants' losses amounted to about 2500 people. The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, called the thesis that "Chechen terrorists attacked Dagestan" false. He compared the 1999 events with the Caucasian War of the 19th century and blamed Imam Shamil for repressions against Chechens for their unwillingness to confront Russia.

Kadyrov's words about Imam Shamil caused a great resonance. The Dagestani Muftiate has condemned them, while residents of Dagestan expressed their respect to the Imam in social networks. Kadyrov fuelled tensions between Chechnya and Dagestan, placing all responsibility for the events of 1999 on Dagestan, analysts regard. The editors-in-chief of Dagestan editions believe that the head of Chechnya decided once again to demonstrate his loyalty to the Kremlin.

Start of consultations on amending electoral legislation in Georgia

In Georgia, consultations have been launched on amending the electoral legislation, initiated by the opposition. The main issue is the transition from the proportional-majority system to the proportional one. This was one of the main demands during protests in Tbilisi after the scandal with the Russian delegation on June 20.

The ruling "Georgian Dream" Party and the opposition agreed to switchover to the proportional system at parliamentary elections. However, they failed to reach consensus on the participation of electoral blocs, and the procedure of forming electoral administrations. The NGOs has assessed the consultations as constructive.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 12, 2019 at 09:16 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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