With between 60–80 road deaths recorded every year, Abkhazia has one of the highest traffic-related mortality rates in the world. Repeated government promises year on year to tackle the problem have come to nothing, and the death toll continues to rise.
Inhabitants of Kabardino-Balkaria who were subjected to political repressions in 1930s and 1940s believe that Russia is returning to Stalin’s era.
There are 56,000 children in Russia’s federal database of orphans. This large number is a drop on previous years, with the number of orphans in the whole country declining. In Daghestan, orphans are increasingly being taken in by new families.
Ingushetia remains one of Russia’s most troubled and impoverished republics, one rattled by Islamic insurgency, corruption, and a sluggish economy. However, with the president’s indirect use of mixed martial arts to enhance his republic’s image, two brothers have emerged to spearhead the movement for the betterment of Ingush society.
Officially sanctioned organisations in what was once historical Circassia work almost exclusively to promote Circassian language and culture. Beneath the surface, however, young people espouse more radical ambitions — recognition of the Circassian Genocide, and creation of a united Circassia.
Azerbaijan’s ongoing crackdown against journalists and activists critical of the government has seen scores of critics imprisoned. Less well known are the stories of those who escape jail, but are still subjected to tremendous pressure — including restriction of their ability to travel abroad. [Read more…]
It is no secret that the courts in Russia fail to maintain their independence from the government. This is perhaps most acute of all if Chechnya, where the republic’s leadership have waged a war on the judiciary, and trumped-up cases are brought against anyone who says or does ‘the wrong thing’ in public.
The post-war recovery has been slow to come to eastern Abkhazia, particularly Tkuarchal District. More than 20 years have passed since the end of the Georgian–Abkhaz war, but so far, development in this part of the republic has remained all talk, and little substance.
In the North Caucasus, queer people often feel the need to hide their sexual orientation, even fearing for their lives. Many move to other parts of Russia, to avoid the pressures of society and to live in relative freedom. OC Media spoke to three queer Daghestanis about life as a queer person from Daghestan, and coming out to friends and family. Their names have been changed.
Khadija Ismayilova is not only Azerbaijan’s most famous journalist, but the country’s most famous woman. Her loud and persistent investigations of corrupt dealings in the country, and her publications, in which she names president Ilham Aliyev, members of his family, and other high-ranking officials in connection to those dealings, have not endeared her to the authorities.