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.
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.
On 25–26 February, Chechen authorities conducted raids on bookshops in the Chechen capital, Grozny, to search for banned Islamic literature. The Chechen Department for Relations with Religious and Community Organisations, together with the Muftiate and the Prosecutor’s Office, searched for banned Islamic literature in order to ‘protect readers from the influence of extremist ideas’.
A group of residents from the village of Kirnati in Georgia’s Adjara region staged a protest on 24 February against construction projects implemented by the Adjara Energy 2007 company.
Legislators in Georgia are discussing proposals to a ban smoking in public spaces. The changes would include all kinds of buildings, with the exception of private homes and correctional facilities. If passed, it will prohibit smoking in secondary schools, universities, educational facilities, libraries, all kinds of public transport, stadiums, as well as private businesses.