On 16 February, Pyatigorsk City Court ordered the arrest of Ingushetia’s Construction Minister, Mustafa Buruzhev, who is suspected of embezzling over ₽54 million ($940,000) from the state treasury.
Georgia ranks 13th in the world in economic freedom, according to the Index of Economic Freedom, an annual guide published by conservative American think-tank the Heritage Foundation. Meanwhile, Armenia came 33rd, Azerbaijan 68th, with Russia lagging behind at 113th, the third worst in Europe. Countries were scored from 0 to 100 in 12 components of economic freedom, with the average scores making up the country’s final ‘economic freedom score’.
The chairman of the Russia’s Central Election Commission (CIKRF), Ella Pamfilova, recently visited Daghestan on a work inspection. However, independent journalists, social activists, and representatives of several political parties were refused permission to meet with the CIKRF head.
On 15 February, the North Caucasus District Military Court convicted an Ingush man of public calls to terrorist activity. He was sentenced to two years and two months in prison.
The archpriest detained for allegedly attempting to poison a ‘high ranking cleric’, Giorgi Mamaladze, has denied the accusation, and has invoked the right to remain silent under questioning. Meanwhile, prominent religious figures have suggested that his detention is an attempt to distract people from corruption within the Church.
Chechnya and Ingushetia recorded the highest fertility rates in Russia, according to research conducted by the Civic Chamber of Russia, a government formed consultative civil society institution, and the Sober Russia social movement. The three Russian regions with the lowest fertility were identified as Leningrad, Pskov, and Magadan oblasts.
Daghestani man Kheyrullakh Shakhbanov, from Khunzakh District, was sentenced to 10 months in a penal colony for aiding members of an illegal armed formation.
Amnesty International has called on the authorities of Azerbaijan to immediately release popular blogger Aleksandr Lapshin. In a statement released by the rights group on 10 February, they claim that he faces ‘torture’ and an ‘unfair trial’, and has been refused permission to contact his wife.
Daghestan’s Interior Ministry Migration Service detained about 200 Azerbaijani nationals in the city of Derbent on 9 February, in order to inspect their work permits.