16 December 2019, 18:35

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of December 9-15, 2019

25th anniversary of the outbreak of war in Chechnya; adoption by the US of a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide; fundraising for Azerbaijani human rights defender Ogtai Gyulyalyev, who still stays in a coma, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of December 9-15, 2019, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

25th anniversary of outbreak of war in Chechnya

The day of December 11, 2019, marked the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the Russian federal troops' entry into Chechnya. The first military campaign in Chechnya was imminent since 1990, and it was carried out without taking into account expert estimates, and that resulted in tens of thousands of casualties, noted the analysts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot". The entry of the Russian federal troops into Chechnya did not look like the beginning of a full-scale war, and people expected the conflict to end with a peace agreement, said residents of the Chechen republic, while they spoke of their deceased relatives and destroyed houses.

Adoption by US of resolution recognizing Armenian Genocide

On December 12, the US Senate passed a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan responded to the decision of the US Senate with a statement of gratitude, while the Azerbaijani authorities condemned the adoption of the US resolution. Let us remind you that on October 29, the resolution on the Armenian Genocide was approved by the US House of Representatives. Congressmen decided to strengthen the US influence in the Middle East amid Turkish military operations in Syria, political analysts and journalists suggested.

New forms of activists' protest in Elista

On December 12, in Elista, opponents of the appointment of Dmitry Trapeznikov the acting City Mayor held a series of pickets with the demand of his resignation and the resignation of Batu Khasikov, the leader of Kalmykia. Besides, the protesters demanded to return direct mayoral elections. The pickets passed without any incidents, but after the protest actions were finished, the activists were informed about the termination of the office lease. The activists believe that the owner of the premises was subjected to pressure by the authorities. A new form of protest was the manifestation of solidarity with Batyr Boromangnaev, the leader of the "Yabloko" Party branch, who was sentenced to cleaning up garbage in the streets of Elista by a court's resolution for participating in rallies. Only on December 9 and 10, 19 people joined his cleaning activities.

Fundraising for Azerbaijani human rights defender Ogtai Gyulyalyev, who still stays in coma

On December 13, the office of the "Musavat" Party in Baku held a marathon to raise funds to help Ogtai Gyulyalyev, the coordinator of the Committee against Repression and Torture, who was severely injured in a road traffic accident. About 13,000 manats (8000 US dollars) were raised, and the money will be transferred to the activist's family members. Let us remind you that on October 29, after a press conference at which Ogtai Gyulyalyev spoke about a campaign against torture, he was hit by a car. Oppositionists, human rights defenders, and advocates suggested that a car driver had intentionally hit Ogtai Gyulyalyev. On November 6, Ogtai Gyulyalyev was transported to a clinic in Istanbul. His medical treatment is financed by the Geidar Aliev Fund. On December 12, a spouse of Ogtai Gyulyalyev reported that doctors noticed a positive trend in his condition.

Film director Alexander Sokurov's proposal to review status of Hero of Russia title and Chechen reaction to his statement

Film director Alexander Sokurov requested the President of Russia "to review the status of the title of Hero of Russia." "How can it be that the killed soldiers of the Pskov division were awarded the same status as the Kadyrovs who fought against them?" said Alexander Sokurov. Vladimir Putin ]. Ramzan Kadyrov, who was awarded the title of Hero of Russia in 2004, like his father Akhmat Kadyrov, accused Alexander Sokurov of nationalism and requested to punish the film director. Magomed Daudov, the speaker of the Chechen parliament, another former militant, also awarded the title of Hero of Russia, declared the film director's statement "a primitive provocation." Alexander Sokurov admitted that he was upset about the President Putin's response. According to the film director, Chechnya adopts laws that contradict the Constitution, and residents of the Caucasus need to learn self-criticism.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 16, 2019 at 09:15 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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