Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Moscow’s Failure to Demarcate Chechen-Ingush Borders Behind Current Crisis, Kostoyev Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 29 – Under the 1992 Russian law recognizing the creation of the Republic of Ingushetia, Moscow is responsible for demarcating the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia, Isa Kostoyev says; but the center’s failure to act as required has led to the current crisis, one that is already at the boiling point and may soon explode. 

            In a 3,000-word essay for the Zamanho portal, the former Ingush senator says that Moscow’s current unwillingness to live up to its commitments compounds the problems that the Russian government has created in the past by its drawing and redrawing of the borders in the region (zamanho.com/?p=7000).

And the central authorities by refusing to allow an open discussion of the complex issues involved, issues that Kostoyev says mean that Ingushetia should be given far more land than it now has in order to keep the population density of his republic equal to rather than much higher than in Chechnya.

For that to be achieved, Ingushetia would need more than 1200 square kilometers of land now within the borders of Chechnya. 

In the absence of such open and honest discussion, he continues, Ingush and Chechens have turned to the Internet where people on both sides are not so much talking about real history but dreaming up their versions of it to support whatever position they now hold. This is dangerous and can only be ended if the media open up. 

If Moscow continues to impose silence and remains inactive, Kostoyev says, there is one other way out: the convention of a shariat court to do justice.  In short, although he does not mention Vladimir Putin by name, the Putin regime has ensured that there will be an Islamic solution rather than a secular one, exactly the opposite of what Moscow says it wants.

            Meanwhile, the situation in and around Ingushetia continues to deteriorate, with official harassment of the opposition, arrests involving people ever more distant from the top leadership of the protesters, and fines on them increasing in number with each passing day (novayagazeta.ru/news/2019/04/29/151307-v-ingushetii-oshtrafovali-aktivista-priehavshego-na-protestnyy-miting-po-prosbe-vlastey,  kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/334912/, kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/334874/, fortanga.org/2019/04/u-syna-ingushskogo-deputata-prohodyat-obyski/, zamanho.com/?p=7034 and zamanho.com/?p=7010).

            But perhaps the most negative development is that the Yevkurov government and its Moscow allies are sending those it has detained to jail and trial in neighboring republics, a practice that is further exacerbating the situation inside Ingushetia (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/334919/, kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/334900, fortanga.org/2019/04/ahmed-barahoev-i-malsag-uzhahov-nahodyatsya-vo-vladikavkaze/  and zamanho.com/?p=7021).

            Another dangerous development and one that indicates that borders in the Caucasus really matter however much Moscow and some analysts dismiss them as mere administrative conveniences is the fact that now, several Ingush residents living near the Chechen border have been arrested and carried off into Chechnya (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/334882/).

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