Sunday, March 31, 2019

Navalny Says He Backs Policemen Fired in Ingushetia for Not Attacking Protesters

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 30 – Opposition leader Aleksey Navalny says on Ekho Moskvy’s “Special Opinion” that he and his organization will support those policemen in Ingushetia who lost their jobs because they refused to attack protesters. These policemen deserve it, he adds, because “they are with the people.”

            He continues that “they must be supported” because while they may “cease to be policemen. at least within themselves they sense that they have remained honest people. And they have very great support from their own friends and acquaintances” (

            “For anyone this is important,” Navalny says but “in the Caucasus, “it is much more important because there all family ties are one hundred times more important.” Unlike many Moscow opposition figures, Navalny has regularly covered the Ingush protests both last fall over the border accord with Chechnya and now over that and Yekurov’s remaining in office.

            Meanwhile, in Ingushetia, those who organized the March 26 demonstration which the authorities forcibly dispersed denounced Yevkurov and by name the various officials who had betrayed the promises of the authorities to allow the meeting to take place, an indication that tensions there remain very high and may be intensifying (

            Among the biggest complaints of the Ingush opposition besides the fact that the authorities have made promises they haven’t kept and refused to take up the issues the opposition raises is that Yevkurov has been inserting provocateurs among the demonstrators hoping to cause trouble ( and

            So far, the opposition has been able to identify and isolate these people; but the fact that the Ingush government (and possibly the Russian government behind it) have taken this step does not bode well for the future. There has already been some violence in Ingushetia but the opposition rejects the notion that it is related to the protests.

            A larger problem on the horizon consists of reports that the Russian Guard, few of whose members are Ingush, are now seeking to confiscate weapons from the Ingush population. The Guard denies this, but the reports continue, a situation that could prove explosive because most Ingush have guns (,  and

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