Staunton, June 23 – Since the time of the March 2019 protests and over the course of the trial of the Ingush Seven, Russian and Ingush siloviki have insisted that they did not use acoustic grenades against the demonstrators. But a video shown in the Essentuki courtroom today shows that they did in fact use such weapons.
That strengthens the case of the defense, lawyers say. Also to the advantage of the seven Ingush protest leaders was testimony from a senior Council of Teips member who said that he saw the seven work tirelessly to try to prevent clashes between the protesters and the siloviki (kavkazr.com/a/31321765.html, kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/365232/ and fortanga.org/2021/06/svidetel-obvineniya-soobshhil-sudu-o-nevinovnosti-liderov-ingushskogo-protesta/).
Meanwhile, there were three other significant developments concerning Ingushetia and its discontents. First, an Essentuki court extended the detention of Akhmed Pogorov, the vice president of the World Congress of the Ingush People for another three months as investigators and prosecutors continue to work on his case (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/365235/ and fortanga.org/2021/06/zashhita-ahmeda-pogorova-obzhaluet-ego-arest/).
Second, a Zhelenovodsk court sentenced Zaurbek Dzaurov to two years in general regime camps for his role in the March 2019 protests but released him on the basis of time already served in pre-trial detention (sobkorr.org/news/60D18A543D8A9.html and fortanga.org/2021/06/zashhita-sochla-nespravedlivym-prigovor-figurantu-mitingovogo-dela/).
Dzaurov admitted that he had struck siloviki at that time when he came upon the demonstration by accident and sought to protect the protesters from the police, but he denied that he had any broader “political” motivation for doing so. Prosecutors disagreed but the court sentenced him to a year less than the state wanted so that he could be released.
And third – and this is likely to be the most important development as far as the future of Ingushetia is concerned – the wife of Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov, the current head of Ingushetia who has always tried to present himself as a squeaky clean bureaucrat, has turned up on a list of governors’ wives with the highest incomes (bakdar.org/zhena-maxmuda-kalimatova-voshla-v-spisok-10-samyx-bogatyx-gubernatorskix-zhen/).
She “earned” 33.7 million rubles (480,000 US dollars) over the last year, an astronomical figure when compared to the average incomes of Ingush residents and one that few of them are going to forget in the future when thinking about their Moscow-installed head and his efforts to suggest he is a new broom rather than part of the same corrupt establishment.
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