A resident of the Sovkhoznoye village. Photo by Lyudmila Maratova for the "Caucasian Knot"

18 May 2020, 22:30

In Kabardino-Balkaria, villagers complain about officials' indifference

In Kabardino-Balkaria, officials ignore complaints from residents of the Sovkhoznoye village about harsh living conditions, high unemployment, and absence of possibilities for leasing of land plots. This was claimed by the villagers in their appeal to Yuri Chaika, the presidential envoy to the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD).

On March 14, it was reported that Zaurbek Makhov, the head of the Sovkhoznoye village administration, resigned after the villagers had supported the demand of detained activist Islam Kumyshev to allocate land plots to them without bidding. The dismissal of the official was preceded by inspections launched by the Prosecutor's Office to verify complaints filed by the local residents.

The Prosecutor's Office for the Zolsky District also revealed violations in housing construction. The new houses to which people from dilapidated housing are resettled have no sinks and cold water meters, while in some apartments, walls are covered with mold.

Authors of the appeal posted on the website of the Kabardino-Balkarian Regional Human Rights Centre complain that their problems "have not been resolved for years." "The problems are associated with harsh social conditions, high unemployment, and absence of possibilities for leasing a small land plot to literally feed families. The problems with dilapidated housing have not been resolved for decades," the authors of the appeal claim.

The residents of the Sovkhoznoye village also reported about the detention of Islam Kumyshev, who demanded from the officials to let the villagers lease land plots for farming. On February 14, the activist was detained on suspicion of storing firearm rounds. His fellow villagers believe that the rounds had been planted to Islam Kumyshev. According to the Kabardino-Balkarian Regional Human Rights Centre, law enforcers have threatened that "the turn will also reach other activists demanding a fair allocation of land if they do not keep silence."

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 18, 2020 at 12:47 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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