Saturday, February 1, 2020

Magas Demands Closure of Ingush Committee for National Unity

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 27 – The Ingush procurator has called on the republic Supreme Court to ban the Ingush Committee for National Unity nominally for failing to meet reporting deadlines but in fact because Magas wants to make the ICNU the face of the supposed extremist body it has charged eight protest leaders with being members of.

            The ICNU is a useful target for such charges because it has never been a formal group but rather a congeries of like-minded people. Consequently, Moscow and Magas can impute to it whatever its members have said (, and

            Meanwhile, the prosecution in the case against Ingush demonstrator Rezvan Ozdoyev failed to produce what it said was a secret witness who could testify that Ozdoyev had urged Ingush to attack the authorities. In the absence of that testimony, Ozdoyev’s brother testified that Rezvan was innocent of the charges (

            But certainly the most interesting Ingush development of the day was that republic head Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov for the second time in less than five months fired his government and began replacing its members ( and

            Observers suggested he had taken this step in the wake of the dismissal of presidential plenipotentiary Aleksandr Matovnikov who had played a key role in the formation of a new Ingush government following the dismissal of Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and on the occasion of the appointment of Kalimatov.  This second, new government is expected to bear his personal mark.

            But Ingushetia’s problems are so great – the highest unemployment rate of any federal subject, an economy which is actually contracting even according to official figures, and a serious budget deficit, not to mention the continuing, even mounting tensions between the authorities and Ingush society – that there could be many reasons for this move.

            The opposition, in the form of the banned but still functioning Council of Teips of the Ingush People, says it will meet this week to discuss how to respond to the new regime.

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