With their new peace initiative, ‘A Step to a Better Future’, Georgia’s government hopes to tempt students from Abkhazia and South Ossetia to enrol in Georgian universities by letting them sit entrance exams in their ‘native language’. But for Abkhazia’s ethnic Georgians in Gali, banned from studying in Georgian there and whose Abkhaz language skills are far from native, the initiative does little to help.
Having swept to power in a landslide electoral victory, the new government of revolutionary leader Nikol Pashinyan is now laying out its vision for a ‘New Armenia’ — with ambitious plans for peace and reform.
Many families in Chechnya tell of young male relatives who have either disappeared without trace or are being held in detention, suggesting such cases are not rare.
In August, Abkhazia marked ten years since Russian recognition. Despite only four other states having followed suit, Abkhazians remain optimistic and blame Georgia for impeding their aspirations.
The authorities in Nagorno-Karabakh are hoping to incentivise more people to settle in the sparsely populated areas of Nagorno-Karabakh to encourage economic growth and strengthen its sense of security. However, the unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan casts shadow on these plans.
The Nagorno-Karabakh war left thousands in Azerbaijan with lasting scars — both physical and psychological. For many of the loved ones of disabled veterans, being a carer is a full-time task. But carers say they receive little support, and they must get by on the small disability benefits available.
For several years, young Daghestani men have been disappearing, reported missing by their families only later to be declared ‘destroyed in counterterrorism operations’. Evidence from the families of many of these men as well as local rights groups and experts, suggest they may have been kidnapped by the authorities, and that faking the war on terror is just another face of Daghestan’s raging corruption.
The Commission on adaptation of militants coming back from Syria to peaceful life has functioned in Kabardino-Balkaria for over 6 years. Despite its mandate to reintegrate former militants into society, a number of high-profile prosecutions has raised doubts over the authorities’ true commitment to peacefully returning them to civilian life.
On 3 August, Yusup Temirkhanov, a Chechen convicted of killing an ex–Russian soldier, died in a Russian prison in Siberia. Tens of thousands of people including the head of Chechnya attended Temirkhanov’s funeral, raising questions over Russia’s position in Chechnya, and how Chechens are treated in Russian prisons.
Two years on from the April 2016 war, which caused the deaths of hundreds and a loss of territory, Nagorno-Karabakh’s youth are more determined than ever to stay in their homeland and build a future there. Galvanised by their recent experience of war, young men living close to the frontline talk of what the April events meant for them and how they remain ever vigilant of another outbreak of fighting.