Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Kremlin May Sacrifice Yevkurov to Regain Initiative in Ingush Crisis, Grishin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 20 – The situation in Ingushetia which began with what appeared to be a minor issue has grown in “unpredictable” ways into something “extremely dangerous for the entire system of the government structure of Russia, according to Aleksey Grishin, an influential specialist on Islam and head of the Religion and Society Information and Analysis Center.

            In a two-part, 5,000-word article, he suggests that the Kremlin may decide to sacrifice Yunus-Bek Yevkurov in order to regain the initiative and that such a move could come with dramatic suddenness. But some in Moscow are worried about the impact of that on other regions (islamio.ru/news/policy/ingushskiy_gambit_pozhertvuet_li_moskva_yu_evkurovym/ and islamio.ru/news/policy/ingushskiy_gambit_pozhertvuet_li_moskva_yu_evkurovym_2/).

            Meanwhile, the crisis continued to bubble in Ingushetia itself. Residents of the village of Ekazhevo held a meeting at the mosque there to protest Chechen online taunts against Ingush including suggestions that the latter are fit only to take out the Chechens’ trash (charter97.org/ru/news/2018/11/20/313490/, mbk.news/news/v-ingushetii-proxodit/ and og.ru/society/2018/11/20/100534).

            It appears that the residents of that village and the elders of the dominant taip there worked to keep the situation from getting out of hand after one Ingush man said he would go to Chechnya – which he did – and challenge the Chechens to fight like men – which apparently he was dissuaded from doing.

            Other news from Ingushetia today includes:

·         It appears that the efforts of the Ingush authorities to prevent the subbotnik-demonstration on Saturday may have prevented a major clash, as the Kavkaz-Uzel news agency is now saying that some 600 heavily armed Chechens were nearby, nominally to conduct an exercise but quite possibly to respond to any Ingush moves to cross the new border (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/328117/).

·         Lawyers for the Amnesty International staffer who was detained by Ingush siloviki last month say that officials are dragging their heels as far as the investigation of that incident is concerned (kavkazr.com/a/29610514.html).

·         The Russian government announced that it would not bring charges against Ingush cellphone operators for turning off the network during the October protests in Ingushetia (gazetaingush.ru/news/roskomnadzor-ne-budet-nakazyvat-operatorov-za-otklyuchenie-interneta-v-ingushetii).

·         A young Ingush man telephoned the police there to say that he had planted a bomb in an internet salon. The report turned out to be false but represents an extension of the tactic some dissidents were using earlier this year elsewhere in Russia (iz.ru/814391/2018-11-20/ingushskii-shkolnik-soobshchil-v-politciiu-o-minirovanii-salona-sviazi).

·         Preparations for the November 27 demonstration are proceeding at full speed, organizers say.  They hope to turn out enough people to have an impact on the Russian Constitutional Court which is hearing on that date Yevkurov’s appeal concerning the border accord (club-rf.ru/06/news/52124).

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