Friday, October 5, 2018

Ingush Protesting Border Agreement with Chechnya Spending Second Night in Magas Square

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 5 – Despite bad weather, hundreds and then thousands of Ingush came into the streets of Magas today to continue their protest against Yunuz-Bek Yevkurov’s border agreement with Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov. Many have announced that they will remain in the square for another night and are being fed by Ingush living nearby (, and

            Their demands remain what they were yesterday: the rejection of the accord and the resignation of Yevkurov and his government and demands that a new government be formed in Ingushetia not by Moscow but in response to the will of the people, who appear to enjoy overwhelming support, including from local siloviki and officials and from Ingush elsewhere (

            According to several reports, some in the local force structures have gone over to the demonstrators and even blocked the entrance of Russian forces. Not surprisingly, the authorities reportedly are threatening a purge of all who did so; but it is not clear whether this can happen (, and

            The Ingush community in Moscow, for example, hoped to send an automobile column south to Magas to support the demonstrators but was talked out of it by officials. However, again according to media accounts, groups of Ingush from the Russian capital and elsewhere are heading south on their own ( and

            Meanwhile, Yevkurov and the authorities are taking a hard line. His operatives kept the republic parliament from having a quorum today. Had the deputies been able to assemble, they say, they would have again voted to reject the deal that Yevkurov, Kadyrov and Moscow have insisted was already approved (

            There is no sign that either side is prepared to back down, setting the stage for more serious confrontations in the near future. But the demonstrations have already had one major effect: While Moscow isn’t reporting them very much, media and bloggers elsewhere in the North Caucasus are – and asking the same questions the Ingush are in the streets demanding answers for (

            That may prove to be the most important consequence of the Ingush protests regardless of what happens in the next few days – and unlike the suppression by force of the protesters, the only way they are likely to disperse if their demands are not met, these questions are likely to echo and cause Moscow far more problems in the region than it has had in years.

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