On 24 July, police in Kabardino-Balkaria launched Operation Weapons, to identify and shut down channels of illegal arms, ammunition, and explosives, the Interior Ministry of Kabardino-Balkaria announced. The operation is set to last a week.
Following a wave of criticism, Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision in Education and Science (Rosobrnadzor) in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay–Cherkessia and the republics’ ministries of education will recheck the results of school leaving exams for graduates who received gold medals, as a disproportionate number were awarded there. The results will be announced by the end of this month, state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported.
Law enforcement agencies in Kabardino-Balkaria have uncovered the theft of money from the federal budget allocated for construction of facilities for the republic’s prison system. A criminal case has been initiated against one of the heads of the local Federal Penitentiary Service and the deputy director of a construction company.
Kabardino-Balkaria’s Interior Ministry is investigating a criminal case for illegally obtaining bank loans. According to investigators, scammers defrauded more than ₽18 million ($300,000) from credit institutions. [Read more…]
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.
Inhabitants of Kabardino-Balkaria who were subjected to political repressions in 1930s and 1940s believe that Russia is returning to Stalin’s era.
The pressure exerted on journalists and human rights activists in the North Caucasus is the most severe in Russia, according to experts speaking at the Free Speech conference on 23 May in Moscow. The comments came at the presentation of a report on media freedom by the association of writers, journalists, and bloggers.
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.
The twenty-first May marked the anniversary of the symbolic end of the 1817–1864 Russian conquest of the Caucasus, which resulted in the Russian annexation of the North Caucasus and the ethnic cleansing of Circassians, the majority of whom were either killed or deported to the Ottoman Empire.