Friday, June 28, 2019

Putin’s New Man in Ingushetia has Spent Most of His Career Outside of That Republic

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 26 – Vladimir Putin’s prompt acceptance of Yunus-Bek Yevkurov’s resignation and his equally prompt appointment of Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov as acting head of Ingushetia ( – formally, the latter must be approved by the republic parliament – suggests this change had been in the works for some time.

            Moreover, it shows that Putin is continuing the same approach he generally has used in non-Russian republics earlier, appointing someone who is a member of the titular nationality but who has spent almost all of his career outside the republic and thus is likely to be more responsive to Moscow than to the people he is supposed to represent. 

            Kalimatov is 60. After serving in the Soviet army and graduating from Kuybyshev State University, he worked first in the Komsomol and then in the CPSU. In 1990, he transferred to the procuracy in Samara Oblast, returning to his native Ingushetia as chief prosecutor there from 2004 to 2007.

            He then went back to Samara where he headed the regional department of state control and worked as an advisor to the governor there.  And in 2015, he was selected to be head of the Federal Service for the Management of Natural Resources, the position he has been in since (

            Most Ingush seem to be so pleased with the departure of Yevkurov that they are prepared to give the new man the benefit of the doubt, although some have indicated concerns that Kalimatov was brought back to Ingushetia before by Yevkurov’s discredited predecessor, Murat Zyazikov, and therefore is not to be trusted (

            Despite the fact that this leadership change eclipsed all other stories in and about Ingushetia, there were three developments in the last 24 hours that point to problems ahead. First, North Ossetian officials said they were not open to any discussion of a change in the border with Ingushetia (  andминистр-из-северной-осетии-мы-не-приз/).

            Second, more information came out about the close relationship between Yevkurov and Mikhail Babich, the man Putin has put in charge of regional integration and who became notorious for his highly offensive behavior while Russian ambassador in Minsk ( and

            And third, prominent Moscow lawyers who have been examining the incarceration of political opponents of Yevkurov announced their conclusion that the now-former Ingush head had committed crude violations of Russian law and the Russian constitution (московские-адвокаты-заявили-о-грубом/).

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