On 5 March, about 50 people staged a protest against construction projects on beach in the Daghestani city of Kaspiysk. The activists doubt the city authorities’ assurances that the beach will be improved.
Seventeen non-governmental organisations in Georgia have issued a joint statement criticising the Supreme Court’s decision to transfer ownership of TV channel Rustavi 2’s to former owner Kibar Khalvashi. They state that the decision damages not only Georgia’s democratic development, but limits freedom of the media, a pluralistic media environment, and threatens the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration.
On 1 March, Georgian police conducted a mass inspection of Tbilisi’s pawnshops, which resulted in the confiscation of mobile phones, TV sets, and other electronic equipment. According to an official statement from the Interior Ministry, the confiscated items had been accepted by the pawnshops without the necessary documentation.
A memorial to Russian paratroopers killed 17 years ago in a battle with Chechen militants during the Second Chechen War has been erected near the village of Ulus-Kert, in Chechnya. The official opening ceremony was conducted in a solemn atmosphere, with the attendance of the leaders of Chechnya and Pskov Oblast, from where the fallen paratroopers came from.
The central food market in the Daghestani capital of Makhachkala has been temporarily closed by the authorities, as police conduct an inspection to find illegal workers.
Chechnya’s gas providers have intensified their efforts to collect debts from people who persistently avoid paying for municipal services. During inspections, new cases of illegal use of gas were found.
A lack of running water, electricity, heating, or a sewage system has been blamed for a recent medical emergency involving a newborn in an Abkhazian IDP family. OC Media investigated the living conditions in the settlement.
Controversy surrounding commemorations for the 1992 Khojaly Massacre, which took place during the Nagorno-Karabakh War, has crept its way into Georgia. Despite a long record of peaceful coexistence between Georgia’s Armenian and Azerbaijani communities, a campaign calling for recognition of the tragedy as genocide has provoked indignation from activists.
Rosneft — the majority state-owned Russian oil company — will sell its Chechen subsidiary, Grozneftegaz, to Chechnya. According to Russian daily Kommersant, the value of the transaction is estimated at ₽12.5 billion ($370 million). Under the agreement, Chechnya will receive a majority 51% of shares in the company, which focuses on oil and gas extraction in Chechnya.
A Makhachkala court has imposed a fine of ₽10,000 ($170) on Makhachkalavodokanal, a joint-stock company, for polluting the Caspian Sea. The court ruled that the company disposed of raw sewage into the sea.