Source description last updated: 20 January 2021

In brief: Caucasian Knot is an online media outlet with a focus on human rights issues in the Caucasus region. It was founded in 2001 by the Russian human rights organisation Memorial.

Coverage on ecoi.net:

Weekly, monthly and quarterly English language summary articles and statistics, as well as articles tagged “conflicts” or “human rights”.

Covered weekly on ecoi.net, for the Russian Federation.

Mission/Mandate/Objectives:

“The main goals set by the ‘CAUCASIAN KNOT’ are: ensuring freedom of access to the truthful and unbiased information about the events in the Caucasus; informing the Russian and world public about the cases of human rights violations and the situation in the area of armed conflicts, nationality-based or political discrimination, and refugees' problems; and rendering informational support to the development of civil initiatives and independent mass media.” (Caucasian Knot website: About us, undated)

Materials made available on the Caucasian Knot website are “structured into 7 main sections and 20 subsections, the most dynamic of which is the ‘News’ section. Daily, the pages of the ‘CAUCASIAN KNOT’ publish from 70 to 100 materials and messages. [...] Since 2010, the ‘CAUCASIAN KNOT’ is running the statistics of victims of the armed conflict in Northern Caucasus. The statistics is published in the textual format, as infographics, and is also presented in an interactive circular diagram.” (Caucasian Knot website: About us, undated)

Funding:

According to its own statements, Caucasian Knot is “financed by various charitable foundations.” (Caucasian Knot: About us, undated)

Scope of reporting:

Geographic focus: “Abkhazia, Adjara, Adygea, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Astrakhan and Volgograd Regions, Georgia, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Kalmykia, Karachay-Cherkessia, Krasnodar Territory, Nagorno-Karabakh, Rostov Region, North Ossetia-Alania, Stavropol Territory, Chechnya and South Ossetia” (Caucasian Knot: About us, undated)

Thematic focus: human rights issues, conflict, discrimination, legislation as well as “background (reference) information on the history, ethnic groups, religious and cultural traditions of the region, scientific literature, analytical reviews and comments, information on non-governmental organizations (NGOs), political and public figures, and regional mass media.” (Caucasian Knot: About us, undated)

Methodology:

“[N]ews and reference materials [are] prepared by the [Caucasian Knot’s] own correspondents working in 20 regions of the North-Caucasian Federal District (NCFD), the Southern Federal District (SFD) and the Southern Caucasus.” (Caucasian Knot: About us, 22 June 2009)

Caucasian Knot’s Ethical Code, issued in August 2005, sets out rules of conduct for its journalists, including the following:

“Every journalist shall use all his or her efforts towards avoiding causing damage to anybody through incompleteness or incorrectness of his or her information, by any deliberate concealment of socially relevant information, or through dissemination of knowingly false data. [...]

Journalists and editors of the ‘CAUCASIAN KNOT’ shall defend the principles of impartiality. [...] A journalist shall make a clear border between the news and his or her comments. News reports (items) shall not contain any opinions or reflect any prejudice of the journalist; [...] [t]hey should present the topic from all viewpoints. [...]

While performing his or her professional duties, a journalist shall not resort to illegal and immoral ways of obtaining information. [...] A journalist shall respect the honour and dignity of the persons who come into the focus of his or her professional attention. He or she shall abstain from any scornful hints or comments concerning one's race, nationality, skin colour, religion, social origin or sex, as well as one's physical disabilities or illnesses. He or she shall abstain from publishing such data, unless these circumstances are directly connected with the content of the published material. [...]

Wherever obviously possible, a journalist shall disclose the sources of information. [...] A journalist shall keep professional secrecy in relation to the source of the information obtained in the confidential way.” (Caucasian Knot: Ethical Code of Internet Medium "CAUCASIAN KNOT", 19 August 2005)

Languages of publication:

English and Russian

Further reading / links:

OMCT – World Organisation Against Torture: Russian Federation: Threats against Caucasian Knot Editor by Chechnya's Parliament Speaker Must Be Investigated, 13 January 2017
https://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/russia/2017/01/d24164/

Kommersant: «Кавказский узел» затянулся в Ростове-на-Дону, 10 January 2017
https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3188104

The Nation: A Brave and Independent Russian Editor, 9 April 2012
https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/brave-and-independent-russian-editor/

 

All links accessed 20 January 2021.