Staunton, July 17 – Issa Khamkoyev, who had been mufti of Ingushetia for three five-year terms, refused to run for re-election and was replaced by Abdurakhman Martazanov, who had been republic kady. Khamkoyev had been in more or less open warfare with former republic head Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, but Martazanov also had problems with the ancien regime.
Relations between Khamkoyev and his muftiate, on the one hand, and Yevkurov, on the other, had become so bad that the republic head earlier called for his removal; and Khamkoyev last year expelled Yevkurov from the community of the faithful for discriminating against the faithful (doshdu.com/2019/07/17/v-ingushetii-izbrali-novogo-muftija-kotoryj-smenil-konfliktovavshego-s-vlastjami-issu-hamhoeva/).
But it is far from clear that this change at the top will lead to an improvement in relations between the religious leaders and the civil authorities. A month ago, Yevkurov’s people raided the residences of both Khamkoyev and Martazanov, and available evidence suggests that the new mufti shares the views of his predecessor with whom he worked for many years.
Meanwhile, court cases concerning those in detention continued, with the government winning or appearing set to win all challenges to its efforts to keep opposition figures under arrest until the end of September (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/337976/, kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/337983/ and kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/337969/).
Perhaps the most serious development concerning the civil opposition was yet another raid by siloviki on the homes of Akhmed Pogorov, vice president of the World Congress of the Ingush People, who remains free despite efforts over the last two months to catch him (doshdu.com/2019/07/17/v-ingushetii-snova-obyskali-doma-rodstvennikov-ahmeda-pogorova/).
Many in Ingushetia are disappointed that Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov has not taken steps to overcome the yawning gap between the powers that be and the population. Timur Uzhakhov of the International Innovation University says that they shouldn’t expect anything like that (capost.media/special/sobytiya/ingushetiyu_snova_raskachivayut/).
According to his sources, Uzhakhov says, Kalimatov is a temporary figure who will not address political questions or interfere with what has been going on but will work to improve living conditions in the republic and thus give Moscow time to decide what to do, ranging from making major concessions to the possible launch of military action against the Ingush.