Staunton, October 6 – A protest by almost the entire staff of the Sunzhe district police against the announcement that their previous head, a local man, would be replaced by an ethnic Russian from Stavropol with no connection to the republic generated enormous support in the republic blogosphere and achieved its goal: the outsider will not get the job.
The Ingush policemen posted a video online of their action, and dozens of bloggers expressed their support for the officers, with many saying that their move was an exact analogy to the refusal of Ingush police to obey orders to disperse a crowd of protesters against Yunus-Bek Yevkurov last year (kavkazr.com/a/30200441.html).
But even more significant, Mikhail Korobkin, the new Ingushetia minister of the interior who also comes from Stavoropl, met with the strikers and agreed to their demands. He said that the new commander of the district police will be a local Ingush, Colonel Amirkhan Kostyev rather than the outsider. Having achieved their goal, the strikers returned to work.
An Ingush activist who had earlier worked in the police said that such an actin was unprecedented. Not only are the police trained to obey orders, but because they are well paid in a republic with high unemployment, they have “something to lose” and thus avoid any risk to their jobs. This action, he said, highlights just how tense the situation in the republic now is.
The website of the Ingush police has not reported either the strike or its resolution, preferring instead to feature a big story about a recent athletic competition. That approach was echoed in Moscow where the authorities have mounted a major photo exhibition on contemporary Ingushetia with no references to the recent protests (zamanho.com/?p=13440).