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Russia/North Caucasus

CrisisWatch Russia/North Caucasus

Unchanged Situation

Novaya Gazeta newspaper 1 April broke story on organised detentions, torture and killings of gay men by authorities in Chechnya in recent weeks, producing international outcry. At least three gay men reported killed in round-up and up to 200 suffered abuse, torture and illegal detention; dozens still being held in illegal detention facilities throughout republic. Republic President Kadyrov’s press secretary called report “absolute lie”, claiming gay people “do not exist in the republic”, if there were any “their family would handle the issue themselves by sending them to a place from where no one comes back”. Kadyrov complained to Putin about “media provocation”; during 19 April meeting, Putin reportedly called on Kadyrov to stop persecution. Novaya Gazeta appealed to authorities for protection and investigation into death threats it received over reports. Chechen authorities 25 March sent demolition equipment accompanied by armed police to Davydenko village, Achkhoy-Martan district, aimed at destroying houses after locals reportedly refused to pay authorities bribes; officials claimed buildings illegally constructed. Police reportedly beat villagers and fired into air; one woman suffered gunshot wound. Around twenty people detained, charges filed against three for attempts on policeman’s life. Chechen state TV 29 March broadcast meeting between Chechen parliament speaker and outspoken protester who was forced to rescind criticisms and apologise. Conflict-related violence in NC continued, including death of Makhachkala group leader Ilyas Khalilov and two other suspected fighters at police/Special Forces checkpoint 11 April; two police shot dead in Malgobek, Ingushetia 8 April. Russian investigators identified ethnic Uzbek Kyrgyz national as suicide bomber who killed fourteen and injured 60 in attack on St. Petersburg metro 3 April (see Kyrgyzstan).

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

9 Feb 2017
[Local barons in Russia's republics often] consolidate their positions in ministries, place their friends and relations in important posts and use various corrupt practices to siphon off resources. Open Democracy

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus
2 Nov 2016
[The Kremlin hopes] to promote Kadyrov as a brand, as someone who turned the war-torn republic into a peaceful and affluent place, who is loyal to the Putin regime and who promotes conservative values. Slate

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus
30 Jul 2016
They have a reputation for being pretty fearless fighters, which is why they move quite quickly up the hierarchy The Telegraph

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus

Latest Updates

Women in the North Caucasus Conflicts: An Under-reported Plight

Women in the Russian republic of Chechnya have never been under such pressure as they are today. Yet not much has been written about their role, their place in society, and their rights in Chechnya and in other North Caucasus conflicts.

Our People

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia

Project Director, Russia & North Caucasus