Friday, October 26, 2018

Kadyrov’s Shariat Challenge, Yevkurov’s Efforts to Explain Himself Seen Exacerbating the Situation

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 26 – Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s call for an Ingush elder to defend himself in a shariat court is likely to further enflame the situation in Ingushetia, regional experts say, because the two sides do not agree on the legitimacy of any particular shariat body to decide the case ( and

            And Ingushetia’s Yunus-Bek Yevkurov’s efforts to win support from the population for his border accord with Chechnya by organizing public meetings are having exactly the opposite effect, highlighting just how angry Ingush are about the republic head’s decision to ignore them until they went into the streets to protest (

            But the Ingush are angry not only at their own leader and at Kadyrov but also at Moscow, not only because the Kremlin has done nothing to help resolve the crisis but also because  commentators in the region are pointing to the fact that the dispute between the two Vaynakh republics has its roots in Moscow’s divide-and-rule policies (

                In other developments during the last 24 hours,

·         Ingushetia’s Constitutional Court said that it won’t reach a decision before October 30, the day on which protests are scheduled to resume and an all-Ingush congress to consider what to do next is scheduled to open (

·         Ramzan Kadyrov apologized to former Ingush interior minister Akhmed Pogorov for the Chechen leader’s criticism of the Ingush official’s comments (

·         A Russian Duma deputy expressed his view that the agreement between Kadyrov and Yevkurov was entirely legitimate and need not be subject to any referendum (, a position Yana Asafova, a legal specialist on the North Caucasus seconded (

Asafova’s position is especially important primarily because of the basis of her argument. She says that as there was no officially recognized border between the two republics, the accord Kadyrov and Yevkurov signed was not about changing an existing border but rather about establishing a border in the first place, something the Russian political system requires.

If it were otherwise, she suggests, referenda and other forms of consultation would be necessary; but as it is, they aren’t.  It is unclear whether this will satisfy anyone in Ingushetia who is not already on Yevkurov’s side; but it almost certainly is going to be a central theme of Russian commentary going forward.    

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