Staunton, January 9 – Two senior Chechen officials told representatives of two Ingush teips that the latter must end any criticism of Grozny, Ramzan Kadyrov and the border accord between the two republics or Chechen forces will intervene in Ingushetia and do it themselves. Given Chechen active measures elsewhere, this is a real threat – and Ingush are outraged.
Chechen parliament speaker Magomed Daudov and Russian State Duma deputy Adam Delimkhanov made those demands during a visit by representatives of two Ingush teips who sought to prevent a blood feud between people in the two republics and to obtain the release of the family members of two Ingush men killed in Grozny after they shot a Chechen policeman.
Ingush were already expressing anger about the visit of the representatives of the two teips to Chechnya because of what many see as their overly deferential attitude to Grozny and because of their failure to obtain the release of the relatives the Chechen authorities have detained as hostages (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/358450/ and kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/358449/).
But now more are upset following Grozny television reports that Daudov and Delimkhanov demanded that the two teips make sure that no one in Ingushetia ever criticizes Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov or the still controversial land deal in which former Ingush head Yunus-Bek Yevkurov gave up 10 percent of Ingushetia to Ramzan Kadyrov.
The Ingush have good reason to take Grozny’s threats seriously. After all, Grozny has been involved in attacks against and murders of Kadyrov’s opponents in Russia, Europe and the Middle East. But three aspects of this latest Grozny threat are especially infuriating to the residents of Ingushetia.
First, in making them, the two Chechen leaders insisted that Grozny had the right to do this because Chechens and Ingush are both Vaynakh peoples (and they were once part of a single bi-national republic in Soviet times) and that Ramzan Kadyrov is the proper head of both, something few if any Ingush accept.
Second, the Ingush teips went to Grozny precisely to prevent a blood feud and to seek the release of the family members of the two Ingush men who attacked the Chechen policeman. Adat requires that anyone engaged in such activities be treated with respect rather than subject to new attacks. Grozny has violated that.
And third, the very idea that Chechnya should be the enforcer for Moscow against new Ingush protests about the border is especially offensive now when the trial of the Ingush Seven is about to resume. Passions in Ingushetia remain high, and the Chechen comments are only making the situation worse.