Friday, January 17, 2020

Russian Officials Show They Don’t Trust Anyone in Ingushetia, Mutsolgov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 14 – Many of the absurd charges Russian officials have made against Ingush residents reflects the fact, local blogger and Yabloko Party leader Ruslan Mutsolgov says that the representatives of the federal forces in the republic have indicated that they don’t trust anyone in Ingushetia (

            And because they do not understand the nature of Ingush society, they are prepared to bring charges against groups without evidence and that anyone who did know the state of play in the republic would immediately understand are ridiculous. A clear example f this is the investigation of the murder of the former head of the anti-extremism unit there.

            Mutsolgov’s observation, confirmed by others, arises because of the decision of Russian investigators to try to link the murder of Ibragim Eldzharkiyev to members of a Sufi brotherhood and specifically to one of its wirds, the Batalkhadzhintsy, the followers of a sheik who fought alongside Imam Shamil against the Russians in the 19th century.

            According to Ingush Muslim authorities, the Batalkhadzhintsy form “about five percent” of the Ingush population, are extremely well-disciplined and in some cases armed (they were the shock troops in the 1992 war over the Prigorodny district), and today control a significant portion of public life in the republic.

            They thus make a tempting target for Russian investigators, but experts n Ingush life, such as political scientist Galina Khizriyeva say that there is no evidence that this wird would get involved in anything like the blood feud Russian officials are now suggesting is behind the killing. 

            Meanwhile, there were four other developments involving Ingushetia and its protests. First, lawyers for Adam Baliyev argued in court that the March 26 protests were a provocation by the siloviki, a set of actions intended to prompt Ingush to respond with violence in order to justify a Russian crackdown (

            Second, Akhmed Nalgiyev, an Ingush protester who clashed with his jailors over demands he shave his beard, now says that they are denying him medical care. At the same time, he told a court that he categorically denies the charges against him and will not confess to something he didn’t do ( and

            Third, the family of Ingush activist Khazan Zyazikov says that they have been driven into poverty because of the loss of his income, something that has been exacerbated by the birth of his second son and the deaths of two of his brothers. The family is appealing for assistance so that it can afford to live (

            And fourth, in another case in which the actions of one family member are leading to mistreatment of others, Khizar Miziyev has bee forced out as director of the Center for the Cultural Development of Ingushetia after his son was charged with attacking the police post on the edge of Magas on New Year’s eve (

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