Monday, September 23, 2019

Chechnya Plans to Rename Border District to Further Distance It from Ingushetia

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 20 – Chechen officials are planning to rename the Sunzhe district on the border with Ingushetia which includes some of the land that Chechnya acquired as part of the controversial deal Ingushetia’s former head Yunus-Bek Yevkurov signed with Ramzan Kadyrov a year ago.

            Changing the name of the Chechen district will eliminate a situation in which there is a Sunzhe district in each of these republics, thereby reinforcing Grozny’s claim to it and add to the difficulties the Ingush nation, most of whose members want the land back, will face in achieving that goal (

            Meanwhile, there is a groundswell of criticism of Magas for seeking to close down the Spiritual Center of Muslims of Ingushetia not only in the republic where many are wondering who will organize the haj or participate in resolving local controversies but also in Moscow where Aleksey Malashenko called the decision “stupid” (

            The Center has announced plans to appeal.

            Meanwhile, there were more moves in the courtrooms: another protest leader, Ismail Nalgiyev, had his detention extended to the end of the year ( and an Ingush blogger was sentenced to three years in the camps for an Internet post (

            And in an indication that the Russian media tend to ignore developments beyond the ring road unless they are discussed in Moscow venues, Ingush developments largely ignored at the center for much of the past year are attracting attention now thanks to the Ingush press conference at the Sakharov Center in Moscow yesterday (e.g., and

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