Their suspicions have been aroused by the timing of her hospitalization – less than 24 hours before her planned (and unauthorised) inauguration ceremony, and almost immediately after South Ossetia’s acting President Vadim Brovtsev announced that he would take immediate and necessary steps to prevent a coup.
One of her advisors claimed that she was hit with a rifle butt as prosecutors tried to take her into custody. Violetta Dasaeva, an assistant, told Komsomolskaya Pravda that “special police forces in masks broke in. They started kicking Alla Alekseevna [Dzhioyeva], hitting her with a rifle butt… They grabbed her like a cat, tied her feet and arms and threw her into the car.”
Others have claimed that she suffered a stroke after a telephone conversation with Dzhambolat Tedeyev, former Russian wrestling champion and potential future contender for the South Ossetian Presidency, in which he advised her to abandon her plans to hold her unauthorised inauguration tomorrow.
South Ossetian officials have quickly denied the reports. Valery Valiev, head of South Ossetia’s Interior Ministry released a statement saying “We categorically refute rumors circulated that Dzhioeva was allegedly hit on the head with a rifle butt, which allegedly caused the internal bleeding.” Other officials added that Dzhioyeva had, in fact, suffered a stroke while being questioned (or, depending on the source, being taken in for questioning).
Dzhioyeva has now reportedly regained consciousness but remains in intensive care. RIA Novosti quotes a doctor as saying “Her condition is grave, but she is conscious”, and adding that she did not appear to have any visible injuries. She has reportedly refused an offer to transport her to a larger hospital in Vladikavkaz, inside Russia.
Update, 5pm GMT: More on this story from Eurasia.net who report that Violetta Dasaeva, the aide quoted above, told Echo Moscow that 100 armed riot police stormed Dzhioyeva’s offices before arresting her, and that other South Ossetian opposition members are also reporting being searched by the local FSB.