Thursday, September 5, 2019

Kalimatov Talks about a Non-Economic Issue but Not One Ingush Care Most About

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 3 – Since Vladimir Putin named him to head Ingushetia, Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov has talked almost exclusively about economic issues even those are not the ones that are agitating the residents of that North Caucasus republic. Now, five days before the elections, he is talking about one but again not those Ingush are most upset about.

            On the 15th anniversary of the Beslan tragedy which gave rise to today’s Day of Solidarity in the Struggle with Terrorism, Kalimatov stressed that the Ingush people share in grief of those who survived and are committed to preventing anything similar from occurring ( olidarnosti_v_borbe_s_terrorizmom/).

            That is certainly true, but – and this must not be forgotten either – Beslan is located in North Ossetia, a republic with which Ingushetia fought a war in the early 1990s over the Prigorodny district and still does not have a border demarcation agreement. Indeed, in the wake of Yevkurov’s giveaway to Chechnya, many Ingush want the status of Prigorodny reopened. 

            Consequently, while many Ingush undoubtedly share the sentiments Kalimatov expressed, it is also true that at least some of them will wonder why their new head chose in the first instance to talk about victims among a neighboring people many of whom view as their enemy.

            Two other developments in Ingushetia over the last 24 hours also deserve mention:  On the one hand, the Magas mayor began distributing his brochure specifying how Ingush people should behave in public places ( And on the other, the opposition website Zamanho appears to have been blocked (

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