Saturday, March 30, 2019

Kremlin’s Biggest Nightmare Happens in Ingushetia: Police Unit Refuses to Act Against Protesters

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 29 – The greatest fear of an authoritarian regime is that it will give an order to disperse protesters and the police will refuse to act.  That happened in Ingushetia where an entire battalion of police three days ago refused to move against their co-ethnics who were protesting against the border change with Chechnya and the rule of Yunus-Bek Yevkurov.

            Not all the forces of the regime went over to the people on this occasion. Not only were there numerous and likely Russian snipers in nearby buildings (, but the regime has sufficient police power on its side to force the demonstrators to disperse after several clashes between the crowd and the police (

            Ingush officials said they had been forced to use force against the protesters after the latter refused to obey orders to disperse, but the protest organizer said that all responsibility for the use of police power against the people lay with the authorities (, and

            The conflict appeared to be spreading: a federal highway was blocked and there was shooting near the mayor’s office,, although who was responsible for these two events remains uncertain (,

            But because conditions in Ingushetia appeared to be deteriorating, the Russian side introduced a significant but unknown number of military personnel after the demonstration in a show of force intended to subdue the population ( and

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