More bad news from Russia’s southern republics.

On Friday, Oleg Orlov, head of Russia’s leading human rights NGO Memorial, was abducted, along with three journalists, from a hotel in Igushetia. The men who abducted Orlov and the journalists drove them to the Ingush-Chechen border, beat them, and told them to not return to Ingushetia. Memorial staff were in Ingushetia to monitor a demonstration by residents of the republic angry at authorities for not stopping a wave of abductions, murders, and disappearances.

At the demonstration, police beat demonstrators and attacked them with electroshock weapons, according to monitors on the scene.

Human Rights Watch has more.

One day later, in neighboring Dagestan, Farid Babayev, a prominent Dagestani member of Russia’s Liberal Yabloko party succumbed to gunshot wounds inflicted by an unknown attacker four days earlier.

According to the Moscow Times:

Babayev had spoken out about human rights abuses,
organized protests and criticized regional authorities, Yavlinsky said
in a statement issued Saturday. He had investigated the shooting of a
peaceful demonstrator, the abductions of civilians and the use of
excessive force in special police operations, the statement said.

Today, another prominent political figure in Dagestan and his wife were found killed in their home.

None of this bodes well for stability in Southern Russia or the entire Caucasus area.