Friday, September 27, 2019

‘In Ingushetia, Everything is Like in Moscow Only Worse,’ Russian Commentator Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, September 24 – Russians are largely ignoring what is taking place in Ingushetia, Elizaveta Aleksandrova-Zorina says, “not because it is not in Moscow but because it is in the North Caucasus” and  Russians have become accustomed to ignoring almost anything that goes on there – or simply accepting the official line about it.

             Thus, they are not inclined to accept the idea, widespread among Ingush, that what is going on in that North Caucasus republic in terms of protests and repression is “a new Bolotnaya,” the Russian commentator says. Instead, they act as if it applies only to events in Moscow (

            In reality, she says, the sources of the protests in Ingushetia are quite similar to those behind the demonstrations in Moscow; and the level of repression if anything is greater relative to the size and income of the people of Ingushetia. In short, she says, “in Ingushetia, everything is like in Moscow only worse.”

            Corruption both regional and central is a major problem in both places. “In Moscow, people love to shout ‘stop feeding the Caucasus!’ But an Ingush told me, Aleksandrova-Zorina says, “that ‘it would be great if you would shout ‘stop feeding the bosses of the Caucasus!’ We would with pleasure use this slogan alongside you.’”

            The Ingush with whom she spoke during a visit to the republic asked her to write that the problems in Ingushetia are not limited to the land deal. People are furious there as in Moscow about the level of corruption among officials at all levels and at the repression being visited on the best of the Ingush.

            Corruption keeps what money there is from getting through to the population in one of the poorest republics in the country, she continues; and thus “it is no surprise that slogans against corruption, against Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and his team began to be heard from the very first days of the protests.”

            Aleksandrova-Zorina says that she likes the slogan many picketers are now using in Moscow: “I/we are the entire country.” But she says that those who use it should mean it and include not just Muscovites who are being mistreated by the authorities but especially all those in Ingush who are and, in some cases, far worse.

            No one must be forgotten, she argues.

            Meanwhile, there were two other important Ingush developments today. In the first, a court in Essentuki extended the detention of Malsag Uzhakhov, the head of the Union of Teips of the Ingush People, for three months until the end of December, just as it has for a majority of the 33 protest leaders now behind bars (

            And in the second, the Nazran city council confirmed Uruskhan Yevloyev as mayor, who three times ran against and lost to Yunus-Bek Yevkurov for head of the republic but who is more an administrator than a politician and does not have a significant following among the Ingush people, observers say (

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