Sunday, March 15, 2020

Ingush Officials Using ‘Moral Terror’ to Convinced Young People Not to Protest

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 10 – The Ingush authorities have launched “a so-called prophylactic action ‘Dislike Extremism and Terrorism’ that in fact is intended to dissuade young people in the republic from taking part in any protest action, according to Akhmed Buzurtanov of Portal Six (сотрудник-в-маске-рассказал-ингушски/).

            He reports that last week, a group of officials in uniform and one with a mask covering his face came to a local college to warn young people about the risks they face if they take part in demonstrations. That this was their primary mission, Buzurtanov says, was made clear in their statements and in the coverage the event received in the official press.

            Thus, the briefing was part of “the moral terror” the authorities are seeking to use to keep Ingush from defending their rights. The authorities want to wrap together protests and terrorism so that people will view any “unofficial activity” as a threat to themselves because it is equivalent to “extremism and terrorism.”

            Magas and Moscow have not been able to suppress Ingush protests by arrests, false charges, and ever longer detentions and they have not been able to block the consolidation of Ingush society in defense not only of its national interests but in solidarity with those of its leaders who have been unjustly detained.

            The siloviki are increasingly frustrated because even with all the means at their disposal, they do not have “any real cards to play against Ingush society. And they are attempting to compensate for that with bluffing and intimidation.” But even these things aren’t working, Buzurtanov says. Indeed, they are backfiring.

            “Dreaming about the mass repressions of Stalinist dimensions but not having the chance for that, now, the siloviki and the powers that be are reproducing the atmosphere and methods of the last years of the USSR. But just as with its repressions within the country and confrontation with the outside world then, they destroyed their system, so too they are doing so again now.”

            “But the Ingush people has already demonstrated more than once that it is in a state to survive difficult times by maintaining firmness of spirit and outliving its oppressors,” the Portal Six commentator says.   

                Meanwhile, in another attempt at intimidation, the siloviki in Ingushetia changed their tactics in the course of arresting Zaurbek Dzaurov on charges of illegal actions in the March 2019 demonstrations. Instead, of sending two or three officers to bring him in, they sent a large squad that filled the yard of his apartment block (

            Dzaurov faces charges that could lead to his incarceration for up to ten years. His lawyer says that there is no evidence behind the official claims and that the manner of his arrest violated the law. He is lodging an appeal.

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