The village of Tekh. Screenshot of the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBEoSfDtbSc

17 April 2023, 23:51

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of April 10-16, 2023

Armed conflict in Northern Caucasus, persecution of pacifists and activists in Southern Russia, continuation of the blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh, public activity of Ramzan Kadyrov, official data on the natives of Southern Russia who perished in Ukraine, – see the review of these and other events in the Caucasus during the week of April 10-16, 2023, prepared by the “Caucasian Knot”.

Activation of armed underground in Ingushetia

On April 12, Ramzan Kadyrov announced that a participant of attacks on law enforcers in Ingushetia was detained during a special operation in Chechnya. The detainee is resident of Ingushetia Ramazan Babuev, who helped the suspects put on the wanted list to escape, sources report.

On April 3, at a farm in Malgobek, law enforcers discovered a grouping of alleged participants of an attack on a road-and-patrol police service (known as DPS) checkpoint. However, the suspects opened fire on the law enforcers, wounded one of them, and fled. The armed clash in the village of Zyazikov-Yurt on April 5 became the second incident after August 2012, when during one day, the losses among the law enforcers amounted to eleven persons, follows from the chronicle of armed incidents in Ingushetia, run by the “Caucasian Knot” since 2006, based on the official information and the data from open sources.

On April 15, the leader of Ingushetia announced that four militants were killed and two others were detained during the counterterrorist operation (CTO) carried out in the Malgobek District. The authorities also reported about the detention of nine residents of Ingushetia and Chechnya, suspected of aiding and abetting the militants.

Persecution of pacifists and activists in Southern Russia

Last week, in Southern Russia, courts continued to fine local residents for discrediting the Russian Armed Forces. On April 12, Alan Khasiev, a blogger from North Ossetia, was fined for a video posted on the social media. Aslbek Aitakov from the Astrakhan Region was fined for posting a comment on the social media with criticism of the special military operation in Ukraine. The Buynaksk City Court imposed a fine on Magomed Saidbekov, finding him guilty of discrediting the Russian Armed Forces.

However, courts do not always follow the lead of the law enforcers who draw up protocols against citizens. So, the Kizilyurt District Court found that a comment posted on the social media by Shamil Bayazitov, a resident of Dagestan, contained no discrediting of the Russian Armed Forces, and closed the case. According to the police version, in January, Shamil Bayazitov posted a comment on a Telegram channel under a video of a shelling attack on the Russian positions in Ukraine.

Blockade of road to Nagorno-Karabakh and continuation of conflict

The Lachin Corridor linking Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and the outside world has been blocked by Azerbaijani activists since December 12, 2022. The activists demand from Russian peacekeepers to provide them with access to the “Gyzylbulag” and “Demirli” mining deposits. As a result, the unrecognized republic suffers from a shortage of medicines, and the gas and electricity supply is turned off regularly. On April 13, Ombudsman of Nagorno-Karabakh Gegam Stepanyan noted that the decision of the International Court of Justice on the de-blockade of the Lachin Corridor has been ignored by the authorities of Azerbaijan for 50 days already.

On April 11, a shootout took place near the village of Tekh near the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) of Armenia reported about four killed and six wounded militaries. From the Azerbaijani side, three militaries were killed, and four others were wounded.

On April 14 and 15, the fire came from Azerbaijan in the direction of the Sotsky mine, reported Ruzanna Grigoryan, the spokesperson for the “GeoProMining Gold” Mining Company. According to Ruzanna Grigoryan, none of the company’s employees were injured. After the incident, the situation stays calm, but the operation of the mine has been suspended.

On April 15, other 12 patients in need of specialist assistance were taken from Stepanakert to the medical centres in Armenia. Due to the blockade of the Lachin Corridor, 1080 residents of Nagorno-Karabakh cannot undergo surgeries at local hospitals, the authorities of the unrecognized republic reported.

Anger and joy of Ramzan Kadyrov

On April 15, the leader of Chechnya announced that five Chechen fighters earlier captured by the Ukrainian armed forces returned to Grozny. At the same time, Ramzan Kadyrov refused to meet them, stating that “there should be no reason for a Chechen soldier to be captured” and suggesting that they should return to the front line. When criticizing those who was captured, Ramzan Kadyrov admitted that an hour before their capture, the fighters reported that they were running out of ammunition. “But a soldier must not just shoot randomly, but think over each shot,” the leader of Chechnya pointed out.

Meanwhile, Magomed Daudov, the chair of the Chechen parliament, said that “even being in the hands of the enemy, the fighters demonstrated an example of courage and loyalty to the Motherland, like true Chechens.”

On April 10, the leader of Chechnya called on sellers not to raise prices for goods before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. Ramzan Kadyrov compared to drug dealers the entrepreneurs who raised the prices. However, according to local residents, the prices for a number of food products continue to rise.

On April 11, Ramzan Kadyrov boasted of the victory of his daughter, second-grade student Eset Kadyrova, in the all-Russian competition “Language is the Soul of the People”.

Official data on natives of Southern Russia perished in Ukraine

On April 16, in its Telegram channel, the administration of the Ketchenerovsky District announced that Oleg Sandjiev, a commander of a military department, perished in the special military operation in Ukraine. He was 30 years old and died in April 2022. When reporting on the opening of the hero’s desk in memory of the dead fighters, the administration of the Priyutnensky District reported on its Telegram channel that Erdni Olchanov, a native of Elista, perished in Ukraine on September 30, 2022. In total, since the beginning of the special military operation, the information about at least 20 residents of Kalmykia perished in Ukraine has been officially confirmed. In total, as on April 9, the authorities and the law enforcement bodies reported about at least 1739 residents of Southern Russia perished in Ukraine, including 964 residents of the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD) and 775 residents of the Southern Federal District (SFD).

In Dagestan, the authorities reported about 428 local residents perished in Ukraine, in the Stavropol Territory – 133, the Volgograd Region – 314, in the Krasnodar Territory – 127, in North Ossetia – 163, in the Rostov Region – 168, in the Astrakhan Region – 119, in Chechnya – 102, in Kabardino-Balkaria – 86, in Ingushetia – 32, in Adygea – 27, and in Karachay-Cherkessia – 20.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on April 17, 2023 at 08:08 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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