Friday, February 15, 2019

Daghestanis Call on Putin to Immediately Get Involved with Border Demarcation

Paul Goble

            Staunton, February 14 –Daghestani activists met in Makhachkala yesterday to discuss the talks now going on about demarcating the border between their republic and Chechnya. Because these negotiations are taking place behind closed doors, they fear that their interests will be ignored. To prevent that, they are calling on Vladimir Putin to personally intervene.

            The meeting attracted a large number of people and a great deal of media attention ( and  Its findings are summarized in the appeal to Putin and to Daghestan head Vladimir Vasiliyev (

            They called on Putin to immediately get involved and open up the process. At present, they said, the “closed” character of the negotiations and the absence of reliable information about what is going on raises suspicions that Daghestan may be forced to give up its lands in much the same way Ingushetia was in September.

            The declaration also noted that journalists attempting to break through this information blockade have been subject to pressure as have people in the border regions who are naturally concerned, and they pointedly noted that “protest activity in regions bordering the Chechen republic and in Daghestani society more generally is growing.”

            Moscow has not responded to what must be for it a most inconvenient demand. But one person has offered to help. Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, the Ingushetia head whose ill-fated agreement with Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov on September 26 sparked protests, has offered to help Daghestan avoid the mistakes he now admits he made (

            If Makhachkala turns to Magas, Yevkurov said, Ingushetia officials stand ready to help and to advice “that more people out to be involved [in discussions about the border] so that the leadership of the region will not commit mistakes.” In short, the Ingushetia leader is now advising Vasiliyev to do exactly the reverse of what he Yevkurov did five months ago.

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