Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Three Developments Raise the Temperature in Ingushetia

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 27 – Three very different developments today raise the political temperature in Ingushetia and point to even more problems ahead: a raid by Yevkurov’s forces on the offices of the Red Cross, his failure to keep a promise on housing for refugees 1992 war, and messages from the jailed showing the collapse of support for him among the siloviki.

            First, the raid on the offices of the International Red Cross has attracted the most attention, not only because it is an international body but because such raids are part of a larger Russian effort to intimidate groups which receive funding from abroad and thus isolate the population from any support.

            Second, Memorial human rights activists reported that Yevkurov has failed to keep his promise to form a commission to find housing for refugees who have been living in barracks since the 1992 Prigorodny Rayon war and whose barracks were slated to be torn down this spring  (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/335985/ and zamanho.com/?p=8334).

            In April, barracks residents told Memorial that they had nowhere to go if their housing was destroyed, and the demolition was stopped. Memorial representatives intervened with Yevkurov who promised to form a commission to figure out where the people could be put. But today, Memorial reported there was no evidence of any activity by any such commission.

            And third, the Paragraphs news portal published excerpts from diaries that have been kept by Barakh Chemurziyev, one of the leaders of the Ingush protest, who has been under arrest since April 3. They show that the opposition is gaining support even from jailors and that the Yevkurov regime has lost control of the situation (paragraphs.online/article/387-zapiski-iz-sizo-1-goroda-nalchik).

                Chemurziyev writes that one of his jailors, an ethnic Ossetin, told him that “after getting acquainted with you, I changed my attitudes about the Ingush for the better” and that when more opposition leaders were brought into the Nalchik detention center, both jailed and jailors treated them almost like heroes.

            And the opposition figure concludes that the events of recent months “clearly show that the head of the Ingush Republic has no command, no strategy and no tactics. He has not been able to overcome the social-political crisis in the course of six months and reach any agreement with the leaders of the protest.

            Yevkurov has thus had to turn to help to the North Caucasus Federal District and to Moscow, an action that shows both that Yevkurov is “hopeless and incompetent. Therefore, the organs of the NCFD, having pushed Yevkurkov aside, have taken the situation under their control and in fact have imposed external rule.”

            “The bankruptcy of the ‘Yevkurov’ project is now only a question of time,” Chemurziyev concludes.

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