Staunton, May 10 – Three new developments suggest that the situation in Ingushetia is heating up to potentially dangerous levels. These include the arrest of three Ingush on charges of illegal possession of guns, efforts to the Council of Teips to block the construction of a Russian military base in the republic, and rumors that the republic head will soon be ousted.
First, over the last four days, siloviki have detained a resident of Magas and two residents of the village of Sredniye Achaluki on charges of illegal arms possession. Ingush protest leaders have always stressed their peaceful intentions. Consequently, this may be a provocation intended to justify a much harsher crackdown (ekhokavkaza.com/a/31244409.html).
Second, the Council of Ingush Teips which has increasingly taken upon itself the role of spokesman for Ingush society called on Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu to cancel plans for the construction of a military facility in the republic, a request that will infuriate many Russians (kavkazr.com/a/31247249.html).
And third, rumors are circulating that Moscow will soon dismiss republic head Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov because of Ingushetia’s economic problems and his complete failure to overcome divisions among the Ingush about his predecessor’s handing over of 10 percent of the republic’s territory to Chechnya (capost.media/news/politika/eksperty-prognoziruyut-otstavku-kalimatova-na-fone-ekonomicheskikh-problem/).
Depending on whom Moscow might select to replace him, the new man might enjoy a honeymoon with people expecting things to get better. That was Kalimatov’s experience, but his failure to reach out to the population ended it quickly. Or alternatively, if the new man is a complete outsider, that alone might spark a new wave of protests.