Staunton, March 14 – Following the decisions of the Odoyevs, the Bekovs and the Gagiyevs, Khulkhoy teip became the fourth Ingush clan to call for a boycott of the April 22 referendum on the amendments to the Russian Constitution (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/347090/ and kavkazr.com/a/30487868.html).
Moscow and Magas are clearly alarmed, and their siloviki have launched new attacks on these basic units of Ingush society, opening an administrative case against Murad Daskiyev, the vice president of the banned Council of Teips, to try to force them to reverse themselves on this issue (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/347074/).
The authorities moved against him when he posted the appeals of the four teips on the website of the Council. Individual members of these teips had already been called in by the force organs for “conversations” in which they were warned that if they did not change their position, they would face dire consequences.
Some of them said that not all of the members of these teips would take part in the boycott at least in part because if they work for the government or for firms that depend on the government, they would be at risk of losing their jobs. In a republic with the highest unemployment rate in Russia, that is a real threat.
Magomed Mutsolgov, the head of the Mashr human rights organization, says that he does not expect all members of the four teips to take part. Voting or not is for members of the teips a personal matter. But it was important for the groups to declare a position given the problems Ingushetia faces and the objections its people have to some of the amendments.
The one many have singled out is the declaration that the Russians are the state-forming people, an especially offensive position given that Ingushetia is in the process of preparing to mark the 250th anniversary of the “voluntary” inclusion of Ingushetia into the Russian Empire (serdalo.ru/v-ingushetii-gotovyatsya-k-prazdnovaniyu-250-letiya-dobrovolnogo-vhozhdeniya-v-sostav-rossii/).
That may now be postponed in any case because all public meetings are being cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Some but perhaps not all will be rescheduled at a later date (ingushetia.ru/news/v_ingushetii_pereneseny_vse_massovye_meropriyatiya_v_tselyakh_preduprezhdeniya_koronavirusa/).