Staunton, February 25 – The commemoration of the anniversary of the 1944 deportation of the Ingush people was the first public meeting Magas has sanctioned since the March 2019 clashes, but many Ingush are outraged that officials sought to reduce and bureaucratize the event by limiting it to only one hour and ignoring many issues of concern to the Inguush people.
That official approach had three consequences. First, it led some outside experts to suggest that marking this anniversary should not occur at all given that it only deepens divides between peoples (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/346341/). Second, it increased the importance of unofficial gatherings not only in Ingushetia but elsewhere in Russia and abroad.
And third, it prompted Portal Six commentator Akhmed Buzurtanov to urge that Ingush people expand their use of the Internet to ensure that people everywhere and Ingush in the future will know about that tragedy and never allow official versions to overwhelm the suffering of the nation (6portal.ru/posts/депортация-забыть-невозможно-замолч/).
Meanwhile, there were three developments in the court cases involving Ingush detainees, the death of a Russian general who refused to follow Moscow’s orders to crush Ingushetia in 1992, and a major article describing in detail the life and work of Malsag Uzhakhov, the currently detained leader of the Council of Teips of the Ingush People.
One court sentenced Ibragim Dugiyev to 14 months in a prison camp for attacking siloviki in March 2019 (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/346336/). Prosecutors in another case said that Ruslan Dzeytov had attacked officials at the same meeting but he continued to maintain he had no political motives in the case (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/346337/).
And the Memorial human rights organization labelled Ingush detainee Bagaudin Khauiyeva a political prisoner (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/346316/). The leader of the Union of Youth Organizations of Ingushetia was the first prisoner to be charged with using force against siloviki at the March 2019 meeting. He remains in detention.
Word reached Magas that Vasily Savvin, the Russian interior ministry general who refused to carry out orders to “cleanse” Ingushetia in 1992 at the time of the Prigorodny District fighting to allow Moscow to put pressure on neighboring Chechnya, has died in St. Petersburg (fortanga.org/2020/02/skonchalsya-general-otkazavshijsya-provodit-zachistku-protiv-ingushej/).
Savvin refused to do so because he said any use of the army in Ingushetia would lead to horrible bloodshed. His case remains politically sensitive because his orders came from officials who remain prominent, including Sergey Shoygu. (On this case, see voinenet.ru/mneniya-i-otsenki/publitsistika-o-voine/8365.html and fortanga.org/2020/02/pokazaniya-shojgu-filatova-i-savvina-ob-etnicheskoj-chistke-1992-goda-sekretnye-protokoly/.)
Finally, the Fortanga portal carried a major article on the life and activities of Malsag Uzhakhov, who is also recognized by Memorial as a political prisoner, including statements by his family members that once he is released, he will continue his efforts to defend the Ingush people (fortanga.org/2019/12/malsag-uzhahov-lyubov-k-narodu-moemu-menya-pitaet/).