Thursday, December 26, 2019

Kalimatov’s Replacement of Most Top Ingush Officials Seen Triggering New Protests

Paul Goble

            Staunton, December 25 – Since he became head of the Ingush Republic, Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov ahs replaced 12 ministers and two deputy prime ministers to put his stamp on the government; but republic analysts say his bringing in outsiders and his failure to take into account the balances among the key teips set the stage for a new round of protests early in 2020.

            To forestall that, the analysts suggest, Kalimatov will have to install representatives of various teips in ministerial or sub-ministerial positions in the Magas government, something that may be hard to do given the involvement of the leading teips in the protest movement (

            Meanwhile, a new poll showing that 65 percent of Ingush believe the potential for inter-ethnic conflicts in the republic is close to zero is being trumpeted by Nationalities Minister Ruslan Volkov as evidence that he has been doing his job (

            But just like the decline in xenophobia among Russians in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and Anschluss of Crimea, the Ingush poll more likely shows that at present the Ingush are more focused on the failures of Moscow and their republic government to defend the republic than on other ethnic groups.

            There was yet another development in the North Caucasus which may resonate in Ingushetia. In the course of a five-hour press conference, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said he would give Daghestan the 10 hectares now in dispute if the Daghestanis asked politely rather than going to court (

            There is absolutely no question that the land being disputed is Chechen land, he said; but in the interest of comity, he is prepared to be generous. In other comments, Kadyrov said he approved of the murder of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili in Berlin but insisted that neither Grozny nor Moscow had anything to do with it.

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