Friday, May 7, 2021

Mekhk-Kkhel Leaders Say They Met with Chechens Not to Redraw Border but to Build Bridges between Vaynakh Peoples

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 5 – Sarazhdin Sultygov and Musa Albogachiyev, two leaders of Ingushetia’s Mekhk-Khel movement, say they met with two senior Chechen parliamentarians on April 25 not to try to find a formula for redrawing the disputed border between the two republics but rather to build bridges between the two Vaynakh peoples.

            They released a complete video of their conversation in Grozny (, but many Ingush felt the two had not done enough to present Ingushetia’s case and had fallen into a Chechen propaganda trap ( and

            As a result, a meeting nominally intended to calm the situation has in fact exacerbated the anger that many Ingush feel about the way they and their republic have been treated by Moscow, Ingush government officials and the Chechens. As a result, no new talks between the two sides are likely anytime soon.

            Indeed, the revival of anger about the 2018 agreement in which former Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov gave away 10 percent of the republic’s territory in a behind-the-scenes deal with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has become so intense that the Ingush Council of Teips has called for calm and restraint during the month of Ramadan (

            And yet another development today has further roiled relations between the Ingush and the Chechens and between the Ingush and the authorities in their republic. After Chechen leaders declared a blood feud against Ingush activist Magomed Khazbiyev for his reporting on violence in Chechnya, Magas siloviki offered him protection (

            Likely because he does not trust the siloviki of his own republic, Khabiyev has turned them down flat and will undoubtedly seek more traditional defense from his extended family (teip), yet another way in which the population of Ingushetia is becoming increasingly disconnected from the Moscow-appointed officials there.

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