18 April 2022, 16:27

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of April 11-17, 2022

Results of the presidential election in South Ossetia; arrival of refugees in Southern Russia, death in Ukraine of military personnel from the southern regions of Russia, persecution of pacifists; mitigation of the sentence in the case on the Tskaev’s death at the Vladikavkaz police department; return of children of natives of Adygea and Dagestan from Syria to Russia; FSB’s report about the prevention of a terror act in Stavropol, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of April 11-17, 2022, prepared by the “Caucasian Knot”.

Results of presidential election in South Ossetia

On April 14, the Central Election Commission (CEC) of South Ossetia announced the results of the first round of the voting in the presidential election in South Ossetia, which took place on April 10. According to the South-Ossetian CEC, Alan Gagloev, the leader of the “Nykhas” Party, won 38.55%, the largest number of the votes, while 34.95% of voters supported incumbent President of South Ossetia Anatoly Bibilov. The opposition announced its support for Alan Gagloev. The second round of the presidential election will be held on Thursday, April 28. This has been announced by the head of the CEC, who proposes to announce April 28 as a day off.

Arrival of refugees in Southern Russia; death in Ukraine of military personnel from southern regions of Russia, persecution of pacifists

Refugees continue to arrive from the zone of the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, launched on February 24. Only on April 16 alone, more than 16,000 residents of Donbass arrived in the Rostov Region. As of April 15, since the beginning of the special military operation, the number of people who arrived in Russia from the territory of Ukraine and Donbass has exceeded 800,000 people. Refugees are also arriving in other regions. So, on March 16, 49 forced migrants from Ukraine and Donbass arrived in the city of Nevinnomyssk by train.

Almost every day, the authorities of the regions, districts, and cities of Southern Russia report about the death in Ukraine of compatriots from among the military personnel. The “Caucasian Knotruns a list of names of natives of Southern Russia who perished in Ukraine. The list was compiled on the basis of the data officially confirmed by the authorities. By April 18, the information about at least 217 natives of Southern Russia, including 153 natives of the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD), including 84 residents of Dagestan, was officially confirmed.

In Southern Russia, activists hold actions, mostly in the form of solo pickets, to protest against the special military operation in Ukraine. The police detain participants of those protest actions and draw up administrative protocols against them. On April 16, it was reported about the detention at a pacifist picket of a resident of the city of Goryachiy Klyuch and Yevgeny Bukhantsev, a resident of Krasnodar. On April 12, also in Krasnodar, the police detained activist Alexei Kulik, who was holding a pacifist picket near the City Mayoralty. All of them were accused of discrediting the Russian army. On April 13, a court in the city of Zheleznovodsk fined a student of a local technical school 40,000 roubles because of a poster he held up during a lecture. The 18-year-old young man was found guilty under an article about discrediting the Russian armed forces.

The number of residents of Southern Russia, brought to justice under the article about discrediting the Russian armed forces because of their posts in social media, is also growing. Among those charged or fined last week are Mikhail Solomonov, a defender of the Volga-Akhtuba floodplain, a 55-year-old resident of the North-Ossetian village of Nogir, Vakha Kartoev, the head of the Ingush regional branch of the “Civil Initiative” Party, and a 37-year-old resident of the Kagalnitsky District of the Rostov Region. In Kalmykia, a court arrested an employee of the Elista administration for two months under the new criminal article on the dissemination of false information about the Russian armed forces. According to the investigators’ version, Ochirov used his office PC to run a Telegram channel, in which he criticized the actions of the Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine.

Mitigation of sentence in case on Tskaev’s death at Vladikavkaz police department

On April 13, the Supreme Court (SC) of North Ossetia released four persons convicted in a case on the death of Vladimir Tskaev, a resident of Vladikavkaz, at the police department, reduced the terms of imprisonment for two convicts, and upheld the sentences of four more convicts. Zemfira Tskaeva, a widow of Vladimir Tskaev, stated that such a decision was expected. She also announced the intention to appeal against the court’s decision. A blogger and a journalist interviewed by the “Caucasian Knot” noted that the decision of the court was outrageous, especially given the fact that other persons were punished with longer sentences for less serious crimes. Let us remind you that Vladimir Tskaev, an exemplary family man and a father of two children, died after an interrogation at the police department of the city of Vladikavkaz in 2015. Ten policemen ended in a prisoners’ dock. On July 28, 2021, the court sentenced them to terms of imprisonment ranging from two to ten and a half years, although a public prosecutor requested the court to sentence them to six to thirteen years of imprisonment.

Return of children of natives of Adygea and Dagestan from Syria to Russia

On the night of April 15, ten children aged five to seventeen who stayed in the Roj refugee camp in Syria were returned to Russia. Among them are children of natives of Adygea and Dagestan. The children have been sent to a Moscow clinic for a full medical examination, and then they will be handed over to their relatives, the press service for the presidential commissioner for children’s rights reports. Let us remind you that in the period from 2017 to 2021, 242 children were returned to Dagestan from the zones of military conflicts, the “Caucasian Knot” correspondent was informed by Marina Yezhova, the republic’s commissioner for children’s rights, in late December 2021.

FSB’s report about prevention of a terror act in Stavropol

On April 13, the Russian FSB reported about the detention in Stavropol of a local resident, a supporter of the “Islamic State”, (a terrorist organization, banned in Russia by the court, – note of the "Caucasian Knot"). According to the FSB, the detainee was plotting a terror act at a railway station, and elements of an explosive device were seized from him. According to a video of the detainee’s interrogation, at the insistence of the amir (leader) of a terrorist grouping, the detainee bought everything necessary for a terror act and was to leave a bomb at the railway station, but there he was detained by the FSB.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 18, 2022 at 09:45 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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