Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of June 29-July 6

Caucasian Knot | 07 July 2014

Call of the leader of "Imarat Kavkaz" to militants to refuse from terror acts against civilians; suspension because of shelling of operation of checkpoint in Russian-Ukrainian border in the Rostov Region; CTO and detentions of parishioners in Dagestan mosques, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of June 29-July 6, 2014, prepared by the "Caucasian Knot".

Leader of "Imarat Kavkaz" urged militants to abandon suicide bombings and terror acts against civilians

On June 28, a video clip appeared on the YouTube, in which Ali Abu Mukhammad Kebekov, the leader of the "Imarat Kavkaz" – the organization recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation, said that causing harm and damage to life and property of the civil population is unacceptable. He also forbade women to blow themselves up. Kebekov’s statement may indicate his desire to improve the image of Imarat Kavkaz" in the eyes of the population; however, it is too early talking about any tactical changes in militants’ actions, the experts, questioned by the "Caucasian Knot", believe.

Russian-Ukrainian border checkpoints in the Rostov Region suspend operation because of shelling

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that three checkpoints on the Russian-Ukrainian border are in the warfare zone in Eastern Ukraine. During the week they were periodically closed due to shelling. Thus, on June 28, a number of shells got into the Rostov Region from Ukraine; one of them damaged the building of the automobile checkpoint "Gukovo". After the shelling, the checkpoints "Donetsk", "Gukovo" and "Novoshakhtinsk" were temporarily closed and re-opened on July 5. On the same day, border guards reported shelling of the checkpoint "Donetsk" from the side of Ukraine.

Meanwhile, refugees from Ukraine continue arriving to the territory of the Southern Federal District (SFD). On July 1, the Volgograd Region was put under the state of emergency due to the inflow of Ukrainian citizens from the warfare zone.

Nikolai Parshin, State Duma MP from Volgograd Region, deprived of immunity

Nikolai Parshin was nominated by the Stalingrad Regional Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation (CPRF) as a candidate for the governor of the Volgograd Region. However, against the background of the procedure initiated by the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) for obtaining the State Duma’s consent to open a criminal case against Parshin suspected of committing a fraud, the MP said on July 3 that he refused to run for the governor. On July 4, the State Duma deprived Parshin of his parliamentarian immunity. Volgograd Communists declared that they would not nominate another candidate for the governor instead of Parshin, as they lack time to submit the required documents.

In Georgia, court arrests ex-Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava for the period of inquiry

Gigi (Georgy) Ugulava, the former Mayor of the capital of Georgia, accused of embezzlement of budget funds, fictitious hiring to work for the Mayoralty of activists of the "United National Movement" (UNM), money laundering at one of offshore companies and organizations of a group pressure on the chairman of the Marneuli district election commission during the election campaign in 2014, was detained on July 3 in Tbilisi airport. Ugulava, who is now the head of the electoral office of the oppositional UNM, on July 4, was placed into custody as a preventive freedom restriction measure. According to the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), eight persons were detained at the building of the Tbilisi City Court, where they organized a scuffle with policemen after the court issued an arrest warrant for Ugulava. The ex-Mayor asserts that the cases initiated against him are politically motivated.

Suspected attacker on policeman in Grozny shot dead at detention in Chechnya

On July 3, the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov reported the murder during detention of a suspect of attacking and killing on June 22 a patrol policeman Akhmed Dopaev. The policeman was shot dead when trying to check a bag of a suspicious male. The republic’s authorities regarded the crime as a political murder. On the same day the alleged killer was identified as Khusein Dakhtaev, 27, a native of the Urus-Martan District of the republic, who had been wanted for involvement in illegal armed formations (IAFs).

Start of Ramadan fasting for Muslims of Southern Russia, CTO and detentions of Dagestani mosque-goers

The Muslim fast of Ramadan, which will last for 30 days, began on June 29 in most of the Russia’s southern regions, including Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Chechnya.

On July 4, in Dagestan, at several mosques law enforcers conducted mass detentions of believers. The detainees reported that they were fingerprinted.

Mass checks and detentions were also reported by villagers of Maidanskoe and Balakhani in the Untsukul District of Dagestan. The territory of the district was put under the counterterrorist operation (CTO) regime. According to law enforcement sources, on July 6, one person was killed and at least two others were wounded in a shootout.



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