Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Hardly an Equal Swap: Chechnya Received More than 25 Times as Much Land as Ingushetia Got in Border Deal

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 9 – As demonstrations continued in Magas, cartographers released a map showing that the recent border agreement between Ingushetia’s Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov was not the equal swap Yevkurov has insisted but rather a transfer of more than 25 times as much land to Chechnya as was given to Ingushetia.

            The Kavkaz-Uzel news agency asked geographers to come up with a map on the basis of the information that officials have released. They found that Chechnya had been given 26,800 hectares of land that had been part of Ingushetia, while Ingushetia had been given only about 1,000 hectares of formerly Chechen territory (

            Not only does that show that Yevkurov and his officials lied, but it guarantees that the protests will continue and be increasingly about demanding his removal as well as the denunciation of the border agreement.  And it also explains why the protesters aren’t eager to talk with him even though former Ingush president Ruslan Aushev is urging them to ( and

            In other developments over the last 24 hours, the protesters remained in the streets long after the times the officials had demanded they go home. They collected more signatures on their petition to have the parliament cancel the accord, but as a result of the work of the republic government, the parliament couldn’t assemble a quorum to do so, although there is growing evidence that many deputies favor voting the deal down (

            The demonstrators also made clear that they have no confidence in any representations from the Chechen side – and especially with the speaker of the Chechen parliament -- and are unhappy that Russian officials are trying to force them to speak with such people rather than allow them to act on their own (

                As the demonstrations went into their fifth day, shopkeepers and restauranteurs in Magas supplemented the efforts of the Ingush population to feed and clothe the protesters and to communicate with outsiders, something that has become increasingly difficult given the disruptions in the city.

            A reported plan by pro-Yevkurov forces to stage a counter-demonstration in support of the border agreement reportedly collapsed before it could even begin, with suggestions circulating that the entire project was a case of government “disinformation” ( Yevkurov did denounce the demonstration as the work of provocateurs rather than real Ingush (

                Official Moscow remained largely silent on the protests, with no coverage in the government media; but ever more commentators have been weighing in on the meaning and consequences of the Ingush demonstrations with ever more apocalyptic predictions about them, including suggestions that the Kremlin wants them so that it can split the Vaynakh peoples and move to abolish the non-Russian republics (,,, and

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