Friday, April 19, 2019

Yevkurov Crosses Point of No Return by Detaining Ingush Teip Council Leader

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 19 – This morning at 6:00 am, armed men came to the house of Malsag Uzhakov, the head of the Union of Teips of the Ingush People and carried him off in “an unknown direction” after refusing to provide any identification of who they were. But his lawyer believes that influential figure has been taken to the magistracy in Nalchik.

            Almost certainly, those who carried out this arrest did so, regardless of whether they were Ingush or Russian, did so at the direction of Yunus-Bek Yevkurov; and outrage is spreading (, and

            By taking this action, the Yevkurov regime has crossed a serious red line: Up to now, it has harassed and detained almost exclusively those who organized the protest rather than the organization that underlies the foundations of Ingush society. By attacking the leader of the teips in this way, the authorities almost certainly have made any agreement with society impossible.

            Uzhakov has been supportive of the protests about the border deal with Chechnya and Yevkurov’s efforts to strip the Ingush people of their constitutional right to vote on any such moves, and he has been fined for both. But detaining him in this way, one that seems more the action of a criminal band than a government, will be the last straw for meny.

            One sign of this is that opposition leaders are now saying that in the current environment there is no possibility of negotiating directly with Yevkurov and his regime, even though since the beginning they have called for such talks.  Now, they want them only if Moscow organizes them and if preconditions are met (

            Zakri Mamilov, an opposition member of the republic parliament, says that “under conditions of searches and arrests, there is no point of conducting negotiations with the authorities of Ingushetia;” and opposition activist Andzhela Matiyeva says that it is now clear that the regime would rather arrest than talk.

            There were two other important Ingushetia developments over the last 24 hours.  A police raid on the Rosbalt news agency offices in Moscow prompted the head of that agency to cancel a planned press conference featuring Ingush opposition figures. The head of the news agency says that the raid was not connected to that event and that the press conference will be rescheduled for next week (, and

            Meanwhile, in Paris, 30 Ingush and their supporters held a demonstration to call attention to the repressions in Ingushetia and to demand that those now being held by the authorities – the number has risen to more than 50 – be released immediately (

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