12 July 2021, 13:44

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of July 5-11, 2021

Disrupted “March of Dignity” in Tbilisi; flooding in Kuban; attack on policemen in Grozny; protests against the construction of a road in the Volga-Akhtuba floodplain, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of July 5-11, 2021, prepared by the “Caucasian Knot”.

Disrupted “March of Dignity” in Tbilisi

From July 1 to 5, Tbilisi hosted the LGBT Week, which was planned to end with the “March of Dignity”. On July 5, opponents of the gay pride parade blocked Rustaveli Avenue and attacked journalists. As a result, 53 reporters got injuries. Finally, organizers of the “March of Dignity” refused to hold it. On the evening of July 6, a rally in support of victims of the July 5 violence was held in Tbilisi, while an action of LGBT opponents took place nearby. The actions also escalated into clashes. On July 6, in Tbilisi, the police detained more than 100 people for administrative offenses during an action held by opponents of the gay pride parade. Twenty-five people were recognized as victims, including 19 journalists. One foreign tourist was also injured: according to media reports, he was attacked because he had an earring in his ear. The foreigner was stabbed in his chest and abdomen. On July 11, relatives found Lekso Lashkarava, a cameraman of the “TV-Pirveli” TV Company, dead at home. He was beaten during the riots at the protests against the gay pride parade in Tbilisi.

The Georgia’s tourism industry reports that foreign tourists are cancelling booking of rooms and tours after the riots during the LGBT action in Tbilisi. According to Roman Gotsiridze, the general secretary for the opposition “United National Movement” (UNM) Party, the clashes and events of July 5-6 in Tbilisi are the fault of the authorities, so the Georgian Prime Minister and the Minister of Internal Affairs must resign. Vakhtang Gomelauri, Minister of Internal Affairs, refused to leave his post and explained that the police were doing everything they could.

Flooding in Kuban

On July 6, in connection with the floods after the downpours that took place on July 5, Tuapse, the Slavyansky and Seversky Districts of the Krasnodar Territory, as well as Tuapse, Sochi, and Gelendzhik, introduced an emergency situation regime. The flooding killed at least eight persons. Residents of the flooded areas reported that the water damaged their houses and cars and complained that the authorities were not quick enough in eliminating the consequences of the disaster. Officials reported that volunteers were helping residents of Kuban to cope with the consequences of the flooding. The delivery of drinking water and the collection of necessary items for the victims of the flooding have been organized. According to the local residents, the compensation promised by the authorities for the loss of property would not cover the damage.

Attack on policemen in Grozny

On the evening of July 9, in Grozny, a man attacked policemen with a knife, the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) reported. The incident took place at the entrance to the Visaitovsky District of Grozny. The policemen wounded the attacker from a service weapon. He was taken to a hospital, where he later died. According to the investigators, the attacker was identified as a 28-year-old local resident. No policemen were injured. The attack by the man with a knife on the policemen in Grozny became the second armed incident in Chechnya since the early 2021.

Protests against construction of road in Volga-Akhtuba floodplain

In June, it became known that the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia had issued a permit for the construction of a road across the Volga-Akhtuba floodplain and allowed cutting down part of the grove for the construction. On July 6, Volgograd officials reported that the construction of the road had begun despite protests of activists. On the same day, about 50 residents of the Volgograd Region gathered at the construction site and requested the Prosecutor’s Office and the police to conduct an inspection in connection with the planned cutting down of oaks. On the other day, the activists held five solo pickets in Volgograd with the demand to stop the construction of the road and consider alternative projects that would not affect green spaces. According to the local officials, the road, which is opposed by the activists and local residents, will connect two bridges across the Volga and Akhtuba Rivers and will bring the transit flow outside villages and towns of the Sredneakhtubinsky District, increase safety, and reduce the burden on the environment.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 12, 2021 at 08:54 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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