Sunday, February 16, 2020

In Ingushetia, Moscow is Transforming Apolitical Citizens into ‘a Radical Political Opposition,’ Sidorov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 11 – In Ingushetia as in Bashkortostan and in other places as well, Vadim Sidorov says, the Russian authorities are showing that they have no interest in “constructive cooperation” with society and with repression are unwittingly transforming apolitical activists into “a radical political opposition.”

            This is especially true in the non-Russian republics where the authorities believe that “everything national must be limited to folklore and the names of their colonial overseers.” Consequently, Moscow and its representatives lash out even at those who only want to discuss what is best for their peoples and regions (

            “When the Ingush and Bashkir activists began their protests in defense not even of political freedoms but of territory which the authorities were disposing of in ways they oppose,” the authorities responded not with conversations but by declaring all those involved as “’extremists’” and arresting them, according to the Russian commentator.

            “Do those who put outside the law forces which initially did not want a confrontation with the authorities understand that by acting in this way they are unleashing the processes of their radicalization” and that they are converting “moderate national social leaders” into “a radical political opposition?” Sidorov asks rhetorically. 

            Meanwhile, the courts continue to process those whom Magas has decided are extremists. In Stavropol, lawyers for Ibragim Dugiyev said that the words of the judges and prosecutors about the case suggested they saw no basis for going forward but they are doing so anyway (

            At a hearing for Aslan Aushev, another protester, three facts surfaced: first, Aushev did not act from political motives, his mother is suffering because while he is detained, she cannot be taken to doctors she needs to see, and witnesses noted that when the FSB came to arrest him they had unnecessarily broken windows and doors apparently to make the point that they could ( and

            And in another courtroom, lawyers for three Magas demonstrators, Amirkhan Bekov, Isropil Nalgiyev and Mukharbek Mamatov, told the judge that prosecutors had failed to present evidence of their guilt and that the three should be released from detention pending their exoneration (

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