Staunton, January 15—The Russian-installed authorities of Ingushetia are preparing to mark with much pomp the 250th anniversary of the inclusion of Ingush territory in the Russian Empire, Akhmed Buzurtanov says, an event that is already backfiring on them because it is calling attention to Russian repression of the Ingush past and present.
That is all the more so because this event is going to take place even as more Ingush land has been taken from them, the national elite has been repressed, the last independent Ingush institutions have been repressed, and other anniversaries important to the Ingush are ignored, the Portal Six commentator says (6portal.ru/posts/репрессии-длиной-в-250-лет/#more-930).
Buzurtanov’s essay focuses on the long history of the repression of the Ingush elite going back to the killing of many leaders by Russian forces during the conquest of Ingush lands and the expulsion of thousands of Ingush at the end of the Caucasus war. The portal promises his essay is the first in a series on all aspects of the 250 years of Russian repression of the Ingush people.
Not part of this series but an important contribution to understanding the problems of Ingushetia today is an article by Anton Chablin which documents the sad fact that the Ingush government is dead last among all federal subjects in terms of internet openness (6portal.ru/posts/ингушетия-самый-информационно-закры/).
Many ministries do not have sites at all; others have ones that are rarely updated; and almost none have interactive capabilities. The situation with regard to the republic parliament is a little better: Ingushetia is not dead last, Chablin says, but it is in the bottom ten. And this despite the fact that Magas has published enormous sums on developing this capability.
An especially awful aspect of the general problem is that Ingushetia lacks exact satellite photographic maps of its territory, a shortcoming that perhaps will surprise no one given efforts of Chechnya and other neighboring republics to take Ingush lands for its own. But it has serious consequences, undermining public confidence in the regime and making business harder to do.
In the last few days, Chablin says, a scandal has broken out because a Russian government portal showed part of Ingushetia’s territory within Chechnya and North Ossetia. Not surprisingly, some are convinced that this was not simply an error as Moscow claimed but a conspiracy with far-reaching and negative consequences for the Ingush.