On Friday, former employees of Ingushetia’s Centre for Countering Extremism were sentenced by a court in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria. Neither the prosecution nor the defence was satisfied with the verdict, although many activists maintained that sentencing was ‘a huge achievement for human right defenders in the North Caucasus’.
The media in Kabardino-Balkaria parrots an extremely rosy picture of the republic. However, journalists and activists almost all admit privately — that with an eye towards the Kremlin (and Kadyrov’s growing army next door in Chechnya) — freedom of speech has been utterly decimated, and controversial topics go completely unreported.
On 5 June, North Caucasian media outlet Caucasian Knot published a story of a young Daghestani man, who claims that Russian security forces, through blackmail, tried to recruit him to work for them in Syria.
On the night of 16–17 March, the Federal Security Service (FSB) building in Ingushetia’s Malgobek District came under fire from a rocket propelled grenade. The corner of the building was hit, damaging the exterior. No-one was injured in the incident.
After Mikael fled the guerrilla war in Chechnya to Norway, he was contacted and asked to come to the Russian embassy. One email reads: ‘Work with us and you and your family will be safe. If not, it will be cold and wet for you’. [Read more…]