Saturday, June 1, 2019

Ingushetia Close to Explosive ‘Point of No Return, Matiyeva Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 1 – Anzhela Matiyeva, a member of the Ingush Committee of National Unity, says that if Moscow does not intervene very soon and remove the corrupt, irresponsible and increasingly repressive Yunus-Bek Yevkurov as Ingushetia’s head “tomorrow the point of no return will have been passed” and she can’t predict what might happen.

            The political analyst and activist’s conclusion comes at the end of a long interview she gave to Anna Veber, a Paragraphs journalist, in which Matiyeva outlined the way in which things have been deteriorating in Ingushetia because of Yevkurov’s actions over the last two years (

            She suggests that the situation now is especially dire because the more moderate older leaders are now in jail, younger people have been radicalized, and Yevkurov himself, having successfully called in 700 siloviki from beyond the borders of Ingushetia is more than ready to stage provocations in order to justify the massive use of force.

            Indeed, Matiyeva continues, her organization has documents which show that Yevkurov prepared for arrests before the protests in March, evidence that the Ingush head planned to provoke things so that he could arrest more of his opponents. Given that there were clashes and then arrests, that is exactly what happened.

            She makes one especially intriguing point: the Ingush activist says she believes that Vladimir Putin is not fully aware of what is going on in Ingushetia because his staff isn’t providing him with accurate information. When the head of Daghestan broke through that barrier regarding that republic’s border disputes with Chechnya, Putin intervened quickly.

            “In the current situation, which came into existence not because of the population’s protest but because of the anti-people decisions of the regional authorities, it is necessary to search for a way out of the crisis,” Matiyeva says. Otherwise Ingushetia may very well spiral out of control.

            Meanwhile, there were three other developments over the last 24 hours concerning the protests in Ingushetia: First, the Kavkaz-Uzel news agency reported that between March 27 and May 31, siloviki in the republic detained “new fewer than 96 people,” a figure roughly equal to the one after last fall’s protests (

            Second, the authorities arrested the wife and daughter of Akhmed Pogorov, the Ingush activist police have been seeking for some weeks in large part because he continues his efforts via online posts and videos attacking the Yevkurov regime (

            And third, the Russian Red Cross rejected accusations by Ingush officials that it was a foreign agent, accusations that have been driven by the fact that Ingush activist Musa Malsagov, now under arrest, has worked closely with the group and for whose help the Red Cross has expressed its gratitude (

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