People at a polling station.  Tskhinvali, June 9, 2024. Photo by Anna Djioyeva for the "Caucasian Knot"

10 June 2024, 23:10

Week in the Caucasus: review of main events of June 3-June 9, 2024

Parliamentary elections in South Ossetia, persecution of pacifists and activists in Southern Russia, drones in the Caucasus, and 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 June 3-June 9, 2024, prepared by the “Caucasian Knot”.

Parliamentary elections in South Ossetia

On June 9, South Ossetia opened 71 polling stations for voting in the parliamentary elections, and two more polling stations were opened in Vladikavkaz and Moscow. The voter turnout reached 54.86%, and the elections have been considered as taking place, the Central Election Commission of South Ossetia has announced. The prosecutor’s office reported receiving no complaints about violations committed during the voting.

The Central Election Commission (CEC) of South Ossetia registered 112 candidates in single-mandate constituencies and lists of seven political parties, including the “United Ossetia” Party with 16 candidates nominated, the “People's Party” –12 candidates, the “Unity of the People” Party – seven, the “Nykhas” Party – 16, the “Communist Party” – six, the “Unity” Party – nine, and the “Ira Farn” Party – with seven candidates nominated.

Azerbaijan does not recognize the parliamentary elections in the Tskhinvali region (the Georgian name for South Ossetia, – note of the “Caucasian Knot”) and confirms support for the territorial integrity of Georgia.

The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released a statement on its official website condemning the parliamentary elections in the Tskhinvali region (the Georgian name for South Ossetia, – note of the “Caucasian Knot”). “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia condemns the so-called parliamentary elections in the Russian-occupied Tskhinvali region, which grossly violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia,” the publication states.

When commenting on social networks on the parliamentary elections, local residents noted that the authorities of South Ossetia do not have any specific vision of how to develop the republic and that the ruling party has not realized its previously set goals, including political and economic ones. Some of the social media users reminded the authorities of its failures, including the Inal Djabiev’s case.

Persecution of pacifists and activists in Southern Russia

A case instituted against a pensioner from Gelendzhik, accused under the criminal article on discrediting the Russian Armed Forces, has been brought to court. According to the investigators’ version, in the period from December 2022 to March 2023, the elderly man used his social network account to post information and repost publications of other users containing the information discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, which was available for public viewing to a wide range of people. Moreover, in October 2022, the pensioner was already brought to administrative responsibility for a similar act, the Investigating Department for the Krasnodar Territory of the Investigating Committee of the Russian Federation (ICRF) reports on its official website.

The court fined Pavel Prokudin, a blogger from Volgograd, 60,000 roubles under the administrative articles on discrediting the Russian Army and petty hooliganism.

In Krasnodar, the police drew up a protocol under the article on discrediting the Russian Armed Forces against a man detained at a picket near the administration building. An eyewitness said that the man was standing with a poster in his hands containing a pacifist appeal. After drawing up the protocol, the police set the detainee free.

Yevgeny Omelchenko, a 24-year-old resident of the Gorodischensky District, was fined, the joint press service for the courts of the Volgograd Region reported. According to the court’s information, in September 2022, Yevgeny Omelchenko posted on his page on the “VKontakte” social network “the information aimed at discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation”.

The Adler District Court sentenced to a fine Sergey Libin, a resident of the “Sirius” federal territory. According to the court’s information, the man painted a pacifist slogan in a parking lot and “publicly expressed his disagreement with the decision to conduct the special military operation (SMO) in Ukraine.”

During one single day, the Akhtubinsky District Court issued two rulings against local resident Alexander Kuznetsov, both under the article on discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Meanwhile, it is not reported what exactly became the reason for institution of the administrative cases against Alexander Kuznetsov.

Drones in the Caucasus

On June 7, seven drones were shot down over the territories of the Krasnodar Territory and the Rostov Region. On June 6, a fire occurred at the Novoshakhtinsky refinery after it was attacked by drones.

According to the preliminary information, the fire covered 50 square metres. The operation of the refinery was suspended because of a repeated drone attack, the Governor of the Rostov Region wrote in his Telegram channel.

On June 8, the air defence forces destroyed over the territory of North Ossetia a drone launched from the direction of Ukraine, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) reported in its Telegram channel. Sergey Menyailo, the leader of North Ossetia, announced that several drones arriving from the direction of Ukraine were destroyed; their target was a military airfield. There were no casualties or destruction, Sergey Menyailo added.

On the same night, in the Astrakhan Region, the Krasnodar Territory, and the Rostov Region, the Russian air defence forces neutralized eleven drones launched from the direction of Ukraine, the Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) reported.

Official data on natives of Southern Russia perished in Ukraine

By June 9, the authorities and the law enforcement bodies reported about at least 4175 residents of Southern Russia perished in Ukraine, including 2058 residents of the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD) and 2117 residents of the Southern Federal District (SFD).

In Dagestan, the authorities reported about 913 local residents perished in Ukraine, in the Volgograd Region – 773, in the Rostov Region – 447, in the Krasnodar Territory – 437, in the Stavropol Territory – 396, in the Astrakhan Region – 324, in North Ossetia – 289, in Chechnya – 191, in Kabardino-Balkaria – 145, in Kalmykia – 79, in Ingushetia – 63, in Karachay-Cherkessia – 61, and in Adygea – 57.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on June 10, 2024 at 09:14 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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