Staunton, November 20 – Five Uzbek political prisoners – Barakh Chemurziyev, Musa Malsagoov, Bagaudin Khautiyev, Ismail Nalgiyev and Zarifa Sautiyeva have sent an open letter to Ingush head Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov asserting their innocence and asking to be released so as to be able to take part in the development of Ingushetia.
“Unfortunately,” they say, “we are deprived of the physical opportunity to participate in constructive processes and cannot make our contribution since as a result of fabricated charges we have been under detention since April 3 in the investigation isolators of neighboring regions” (mbk.news/news/pyatero-resp/).
“We have not committed crimes, although we are treated as state criminals,” the five say. And they add that “a situation in which dozens of ordinary residents of the republic are charged with crimes and which has sparked broad social resonance in the country” has happened only because they haven’t received “basic legal and information support” from Magas.
This is an “abnormal” situation, the five continue. And if the authorities continue to ignore this situation, that in itself will lead to “a decline in trust by the people and thus to the loss of all hopes for stabilization. We would not want you to become” someone promoting a process of undermining Ingushetia.
Meanwhile, Aslan Khamkhoyev argues in a Portal 6 commentary that the agreement Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov reached in September 2018 about borders was “possibly only part of the Kremlin’s larger plan for the liquidation of republics” (6portal.ru/posts/нет-ничего-страшнее-чем-деятельное-н/#more-684).
Moscow’s policy in this case, he says, is to make it impossible for Ingushetia to develop by depriving it of territory and to divide Ingush society to the point that no one in Magas can control the situation and then invoke these problems to call for the elimination of Ingushetia and other non-Russian republics.
“Now it is important to be vigilant and carefully track the actions of the authorities which may be able to try to lay responsibility on the people for the social-economic failings of their appointees as an argument for the social-economic bankruptcy of the federation subject,” a strategy that Moscow may apply to other republics as well.
Also today, Ingush historian Tanzila Dzaurova says that Chechen historians are wrong to dismiss the arguments of the Council of Teips of Ingushetia by saying that they focus on events too long ago. In fact, she says that the current arrangement of borders in the North Caucasus arises from the course of Russia’s war in the North Caucasus in the 18th and 19th centuries.
She adds that “the Ingush are now in a situation resembling that of the 1930s without an intelligentsia, without real leaders and without their own lobby and resources for advancing their interests. At the same time, the interests of Chechnya again correspond with the interests of the Kremlin” (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/342568/).
And those interests, shared by Moscow and Grozny, include the conviction that Ingushetia should not exist, Dzaurova says.