Police in southern Russia raided the homes and office of activists who provide legal and psychological assistance to survivors of human rights abuses and domestic violence, Human Rights Watch reports. The raids took place in Makhachkala and Khasavyurt, two cities in Dagestan, a republic in Russia’s Northern Caucasus region. The activists targeted are members of the Stichting Justice Initiative, a nongovernmental organization representing victims of rights abuses in the North Caucasus and survivors of domestic violence. Police seized computers and electronics containing documentation pertaining to their work. The court order sanctioning the search and seizure contained no information about any specific alleged offense that would have justified the action. “These outrageous police raids show the poisonous climate for NGOs in Russia, and particularly in the North Caucasus,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. (Map: Wikitravel)
Russia’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee announced that security forces killed three militants who had sworn allegiance to ISIS in a shoot-out in Dagestan. (Map via La Croix International)
With the Winter Olympics underway in Sochi, Russian special forces troops have killed several suspected militants in a series of raids in Dagestan, just across the Caucasus. (Map: Wikitravel)
In the wake of the Volgograd terror blasts, Putin is preparing a new offensive against Chechen insurgents seeking to rebuild the 19th century "Caucasus Emirate."
The Kavkaz Center, voice of the Chechen mujahedeen, issued a statement suggesting that the suspects in the Boston attacks were framed in a plot to discredit their struggle.