Staunton, March 14 – Efforts by Russian siloviki to blacken the reputation of the Ingush Seven and other Ingush opposition figures are backfiring, Elberd Sagov says. They aren’t spreading fear among the activists or among the population but instead causing more people in Ingushetia and beyond to support them.
“Civilian activists and ordinary people from all countries of the world,” the Portal Six commentator says, “regularly visit the relatives of those under arrest, provide material support to those under arrest and meet as national heroes those who are freed from prison. No one has fallen into despair” (6portal.ru/posts/пропаганда-силовиков-против-ингушск/).
The recent release to house arrest of Zarifa Sautiyeva is a sign of concern by the siloviki that their efforts aren’t working, Sagov continues. Indeed, she may have been released because of the failure of another propaganda effort the Russian siloviki had made just before that.
One Russian telegram channel sugested Akhmed Pogorov, an opposition leader whom the authorities had been unable to arrest, should turn himself in in exchange for the release of Sautiyeva, the only woman among the Ingush Seven. But that led to something the siloviki didn’t want: the further heroization of Pogorov and more anger about Sautiyeva’s detention.
Now, these Russian telegram channels are suggesting that opposition figures now in forced emigration should return to Ingushetia and that if they do, the authorities will release to house arrest the Ingush Seven including its elderly members. But those proposals have not had the response Moscow wants.
Instead of putting courageous people like Magomed Mutsolgov, Akhmed Buzurtanov and Izabella Yevloyeva on the spot, they have only increased their moral and political standing even as they have shown that what the Russian government has been doing to the Ingush Seven and the Ingush opposition more generally has nothing to do with law.
Clearly, the siloviki and those in Moscow and Magas behind them don’t understand the situation or have a clue what to do other than to continue their repressive actions, something that in and of itself will ensure that support for the existing political order among the Ingush people will only decline still further.