Staunton, December 9 – For most of the last year, Ingush activists and their lawyers blamed former republic head Yunus-Bek Yevkurov for the repressions against them; but as time has dragged on, ever more of them say that Moscow not Magas is responsible for the crackdown, a shift in focus that changes the dynamic in the republic.
In the past, Moscow could home to ease the situation by replacing the republic head. Thus, when it replaced Yevkurov with Makhmud-Ali Kalimatoov, the latter initially enjoyed a certain honeymoon with the population. But when he continued the same repressive approach, that ended – and ever more Ingush concluded that the problem they face comes from Moscow.
Consequently, what had been a fight between the Ingush people and their regional government has been transformed into one between the Ingush people and even the Ingush republic, on the one hand, and Moscow and to a lesser extent the presidential plenipotentiary for the North Caucasus FD.
The comments of three leading Ingush activists on this change are reported by Izabella Yeloyeva in a lengthy article about the current state of Ingush attitudes on the Fortanga portal (fortanga.org/2019/12/markery-neponimaniya-vlasti-i-obshhestva-otvet-na-intervyu-issy-kostoeva/).
First, Ingush activist Abdul-Khamid Yevloyev says that “the Kremlin sent Yevkurov into retirement in order to calm the population possibly knock the ground out from under the activists. Yevkurov was removed but the accord on new borders which was the chief cause behind the meetings wasn’t. This showed that the entire adventure with the transfer of land was pushed by the federal center.”
Second, Oleg Orlov of Memorial said he was certain that the persecution of Ingush activists after the March 27 meeting was the direct result of interference by the federal center rather than a response by the republic government (golos-ameriki.ru/a/vv-orlov-nterview-ingushetia/5179203.html)
“For me it is obvious,” he said. “Either the Kremlin or the leadership of the North Caucasus FD took a decision about the impossibility of tolerating such a territory of freedom albeit relative within Russia [especially because] both the republic authorities and the oppositions displayed restraint and neither had turned to force.”
This “infuriated the federal authorities, Orlov continued.”
And third, lawyer Magomed Abubakarov argued that what had happened was a political decision from Moscow rather than a decision by the republic authorities to apply the law (youtube.com/watch?v=_yvp7FRf1YE). That is the kind of decision the center but not the republics regularly makes.