Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Mixed Signals Today from the Authorities in Ingushetia

Paul Goble

            Staunton, July 21 – Some days, the powers that be in Ingushetia appear to be sending the message that they will not tolerate any dissent and are prepared to become ever more repressive. On others, they appear to be suggesting that they want to calm the situation and find some basis for reaching an agreement with the Ingush people.

            But on a few, Magas is clearly sending mixed messages, either an indication that the powers that be there and behind them in the North Caucasus Federal District and Moscow are in the process of making a change about which not all their subordinates have gotten the message or are involved in a game intended to keep the opposition off balance.

            Today appears to have been one of those days.  On the one hand, the Russian government ended its blocking of the Fortanga portal, an action that had further inflamed passions in the republic without being especially successful given that those behind the portal simply shifted to social media (

            But on the other, the authorities called attention to their own repressive intentions, first of all by suggesting that Bagaudin Myakiyev, a member of the Union of Teips, had not been tortured but rather had slipped in the toilet, something few if anyone believes and a claim that calls attention to what jailors have been doing (

            In addition, the authorities presented their case against Zarifa Zautiyeva, a curator and activist who is the first woman to be arrested as a result of the protests. Her detention has already sparked expressions of support for her; and the obvious false accusations against her are certain to lead even more people to speak out (

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