Staunton, February 22 – It is sometimes said that a war isn’t over until the last soldier is buried, but given the propensity in the Russian Federation to mark the anniversaries not only of wars but other tragedies, these things can last and even intensify anger about them long after what might seem to be their natural lifespans.
More than that, the commemoration of one tragedy often is the occasion for remembering more recent events, thus making such anniversaries especially explosive. That is what happened in Ingushetia last year when marking the anniversary of the 1944 deportation on February 23 led directly to new protests about the border deal and to the arrests that still echo there.
Something similar appears to be happening again as various Ingush activists and leaders talk about the more recent tragedies in the context of that act of genocide, raising the temperature in the republic (fortanga.org/2020/02/v-chas-lihoj-zakon-prezrev-hronika-deportatsii-1944-goda/, fortanga.org/2020/02/ruslan-aushev-napravil-otkrytoe-pismo-zhitelyam-ingushetii-v-svyazi-s-godovshhinoj-deportatsii/, 6portal.ru/posts/23-февраля-придти-на-митинг-и-продемонс/, and nazaccent.ru/content/32315-pamyat-zhertv-deportacii-ingushskogo-naroda-pochtut.html).
Meanwhile, there were developments in two court cases involving Ingush protesters. In the first, Dzhokhar Aliyev was sentenced to 20 months in jail for using force against officials in last March’s demonstration. He admitted he had but said it was not drive by political considerations (fortanga.org/2020/02/uchastnika-mitinga-v-magase-dzhohara-alieva-prigovorili-k-sroku-v-kolonii-poselenii/ and kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/346198/).
In the second, the Supreme Court of Kabardino-Balkaria rejected the appeal of two Ingush activists, Isropil Nalgiyev and Amirkhan Bekov, who remain incarcerated facing charges that they used force against officials in the same March 2019 protests (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/346186/).
And in another development likely to further alienate Ingush from the authorities, Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov issued a pro forma declaration on the International Day of the Native Language that many will view as yet another case of his tone deafness to issues of concern (ingushetia.ru/news/obrashchenie_glavy_respubliki_ingushetiya_v_svyazi_s_mezhdunarodnym_dnem_rodnogo_yazyka/; cf pravitelstvori.ru/news/detail.php?ID=35809).
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