Staunton, August 28 – Yabloko President Emiliya Slabunova has sent a letter to Vladimir Putin demanding that the Kremlin leader take a public position on the Chechen-Ingush border dispute, pointing out that the current problems in Ingushetia and throughout the North Caucasus are the product of Soviet mistakes and Moscow’s current silence.
The letter was dispatched five days ago (yabloko.ru/regnews/Ingushetiya/2019/08/23) but has only been published on Ingush news sites today (zamanho.com/?p=12008). In it, Slabunova also calls for Putin to restore the direct election of the leaders of Ingushetia and the other federal subjects.
The September 8 elections remain at the center of discussions in Ingushetia. Experts there say there is little question that Putin’s appointee, Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov will defeat the two alternatives that the Kremlin has offered to create the illusion that the Popular Assembly vote will be a real decision (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/339573/).
But there are growing indications that the Magas authorities are worried that the popular voting for local councils may not go the way they hoped. Not only are they putting pressure on those who have called for a boycott (kavkazr.com/a/30131643.html), but one analyst is suggesting the resignation of Zelimkhan Yevloyev could be the occasion for delaying the vote.
In a commentary for Portal 6, regional specialist Anton Chablin says that Yevloyev may very well have resigned as prime minister because he played a key role in selecting United Russia candidates for the local races and doesn’t want to face the consequences of the defeat of some of them (6portal.ru/posts/уход-евлоева-бегство-от-ответственн/).
Chablin even speculates that this resignation could give Kalimatov the excuse he needs to postpone the vote. If he did so and the chances are still against that, the analyst says, he would be able to come up with a new list of candidates “loyal above all to himself rather than to the old elites” and thus help to “reduce the protest potential in the region.”
Meanwhile, there were two developments concerning the state of Ingush opposition figures under arrest and their relations with their relatives and friends in the population at large. Malsag Uzhakhov, head of the Union of Teips of Ingushetia, has asked for but not received a dictionary of Russian synonyms (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/339586/).
His lawyer, Dzhabrail Kuriyev, says the opposition leader needs that dictionary in order to better understand the charges against him and thus be in a position to defend himself against them.
And because a local official, clearly under pressure from above, backed off from an offer of a meeting room for the lawyers and relatives and friends of those under arrest, a highly offensive act, the latter were forced to meet in the open to discuss what their relatives behind bars need and can expect next (fortanga.org/2019/08/rodstvenniki-politzaklyuchennyh-i-sovet-tejpov-vstretilis-s-advokatami-pryamo-na-prirode/).
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