Staunton, August 26 – The criminal charges that have been brought against 13 Ingush policemen for supposedly disobeying orders to use force to disperse protesters are designed to send a message to siloviki across Russia that the government will not tolerate restraint by the police if commanders order them to attack demonstrators, according to Vladimir Vorontsov, the Police ombudman.
He says disobeying orders, including orders to use force, is typically treated as an administrative offense and that bringing criminal charges is rare. Clearly, orders have from on high to make this case an object lesson for Russian siloviki everywhere (kommersant.ru/doc/4072594 and znak.com/2019-08-26/ombudsmen_policii_delo_na_silovikov_v_ingushetii_zaveli_v_nazidanie_silovikam_v_moskve).
Vorontsov’s words will only add to anger in Ingushetia about the case and may make it more difficult for judges there to send all 13 to prison for a full five-year term as the law allows. Were the authorities to do so, there would likely be a new round of demonstrations of popular anger against not only Magas but Moscow as well.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin formally nominated three candidates t serve as Ingush head fr a five-year term. They are Nazran city deputy Uruskhan Yevlyev, businessman Magomed Zurabov and Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov whom the Kremlin leader earlier installed as head. Kalimatov is expected to win easily in the Popular Assembly vote on September 8 (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/339502/).
In another personnel shift, the current Ingush prime minister Zelimkhan Yevlyev resigned (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/339501/), the seventh minister to leave office since Yunus-Bek Yevkurv was replaced.
And in an indication that support for a boycott of the September election vote for local councils, the Association of Teachers of Ingushetia called n its members not to participate in what it called “a farce” (fortanga.org/2019/08/assotsiatsiya-uchitelej-ingushetii-prisoedinyaetsya-k-bojkotu-vyborov-po-primeru-moskovskih-kolleg/).