Staunton, March 17 – Two more teips, the Torshkhoyevs and the Aushevs, have joined four others in calling for a boycott of the April 22 referendum on the constitutional amendments Vladimir Putin is pushing. But one activist, Alikhan Akhildov, who supports a boycott, says it may lead Moscow to disband the Ingush Republic and recombine it with Chechnya.
The head of the Foundation for Assistance to Formerly Deported Peoples says that there is no reason to change the constitution and that all the amendments do is strengthen the power of Putin and undermine the basic principles of federalism in the country (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/347199/).
Akhildov adds that if the amendments are approved, Moscow will continue its policy of amalgamating regions and republics and deprive them of the possibility of preserving their national cultures and languages. In that event, he warns, there will be “a growth of separatism in the country” and “the split between power and society will deepen.”
The federal subjects will lose their few remaining powers, he says, noting that “talk about the revival of the Chechen-Ingush autonomous republic from time to time occurs in Moscow offices. Who knows whether this will arise in connection with these amendments which give Putin unlimited power?”
“If that happens,” he says, “Ingushetia will lose its statehood.”
Others agree. Musa Abadiyev, president of the Association of Muslims of Ingushetia, says that the amendments are “directed at the destruction of the Russian Federation as a federative state.” He says that the Ingush are “shocked” that most Russians are taking this so “passively.”
He too opposes taking part in the referendum because there is no chance that the votes will be counted honestly. “Analysis of numerous elections has convinced us that there is no sense of taking part in elections and referenda. The results are always crudely falsified and it is impossible to challenge these results as there is no independence judiciary.”