Staunton, March 22 – Ten of the some 40 teips in Ingushetia have called for a boycott of the upcoming referendum on the amendments to the Russian Constitution, but they have done so less because they oppose these changes as such than because they see this as a useful way to attract Moscow’s attention to their anger at the republic leadership, Konstantin Kazenin says.
The Russian Academy of Economics and State Service argues that the statements the ten have released which detail their grievances with former republic leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and current head Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov make this clear (t.me/center_south/688 and kavpolit.com/articles/prichina_vseh_protestov_v_ingushetii_nedovolstvo_r-38514/).
In every case, he says, the teips said they spent more time detailing their anger about the territory Yevkurov gave up to Chechnya, about the number of Ingush activists still in detention and about Kalimatov’s failure to consult with them than about their objections to the constitutional amendments as such.
Thus, the declarations should not be taken as evidence that the Ingush are opposed to the amendments or that they will necessarily vote against them or abstain from voting altogether, Kazenin continues. And it is certainly the case, he suggests, that any opposition to the amendments is far less than opposition to the border change with Chechnya.
At the same time, the teips’ action is important because Moscow removed Yevkurov and installed Kalimatov in order to restore calm in the republic. By protesting in this way, the teips are showing that they want Moscow to pay more attention to the situation and that the new man has not achieved that goal, at least not yet, and could be replaced sooner rather than later.