Thursday, October 11, 2018

As Ingush Protests Continue, Parliament Blocked from Considering Border Accord and Yevkurov Meets Kadyrov

 Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 10 – As Ingush protests continue unabated and around the clock for the sixth day and the second in the place the demonstrators agreed with the authorities, Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov blocked the republic parliament from having the quorum it needed to take up the issue of the border accord behind the protests (

            That followed the release of a new document by the All-Citizens Forum of Ingushetia demanding such a meeting and saying Yevkurov had failed to follow the laws and the constitution governing such accords and expressing the hope that the parliament could assemble, the accord be discussed and rejected, and the crisis solved (

            The Ingush head also met with Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov in the village of Arshty after making a visit to some of the areas that are to be transferred to Chechnya. There, Yevkurov reaffirmed the border accord, saying that it will “only strengthen our fraternal relations and increase stability and security in our regions” (

            Other developments of note came from within and without the republic and in two interviews Magomed Mutsolgov, head of the Mashr Human Rights Organization and one of the leaders of the protest, gave. These include:

·         Ingush writer Issa Kodzoyev released a powerful YouTube clip describing how Ingushetia has been carved up and reduced since the deportation of 1944, arguing that ‘”the recent agreement about the establishment of borders with Chechnya continue this tendency” and thus threaten the survival of the republic and the nation (

·         Another video clip appeared showing Ingush protesters engaging in a Zikr, the ritual many Sufi Muslims engage in and the appearance of which will likely bring some other Muslims in the North Caucasus, especially in Daghestan to their side (

·         Chechens for their part criticized Ingush objections, pointing out that the Chechens hadn’t protested “when Dudayev and Aushev decided the question in 1992.”  They added that they didn’t attach great importance to the new agreement; in the words of one, “any power comes and goes, but peoples remain” (

·         Circassian activists not only came out in support of the Ingush protesters’ demands but said that what was going on in Ingushetia was attracting the attention of the entire North Caucasus and that they were coming to Magas to show their support.  They added that the discipline of the Ingush people gave everyone confidence that they would win out (

·         In his first interview, to Ekho Moskvy, Mutsogolov said that “as soon as we find out that the federal center recognizes that this issue of the revision of borders is closed, that the deputies don’t support it, and the head of the region withdraws his signature, then we will know that this protest action ahs achieved all that it wanted” and the protest will end.  But if that doesn’t happen, then things could go off in many directions. Yevkurov will probably try to wait out the protests in the hope that people will disperse. But that isn’t going to happen. And Ingush won’t accept half a loaf: if Kadyrov offers to return part of the territory, they will reject that because he does not own it or have the right to do so (

·         In his second to Radio Liberty’s Ekho Kavkaza portal, Mutsogolov stressed that “everything is continuing as it began: those protesting condemn as one man the adopted [border] law, call upon the authorities to show wisdom and listen to the population and do what is necessary to annul this law. The situation is peaceful; there are no excesses.  About 5,000 people are in the square at any one time, he says; but they come and go and the total number who have taken part is “about 10,000.”  Yevkurov would likely prefer to end everything quickly, but he can’t do that without provoking the situation.  Instead, he’ll wait and try to offer something to deceive the population.  That is perhaps the most likely outcome. But “it is possible that Yevkurov has been told to continue until the end at any price” (

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