Staunton, Nov. 16 – Following the latest round of clashes in the disputed Prigorodny District (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2021/12/ingush-ossetians-clash-in-prigorodny.html), the Ingush parliament has appealed to the Russian interior ministry to set up joint Ingush-Ossetian patrols to ensure that the situation doesn’t deteriorate further.
The region has long been a source of conflict. It was part of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR until those peoples were deported and their republic suppressed. At that time, and despite its Ingush majority, the region was not returned to Ingushetia. That led to a major war in 1992 and continued unrest there since.
The latest Ingush initiative represents Magas’ attempt to calm the situation lest a new round of violence lead to the mass exodus of Ingush from the district, something that would place unwelcome burdens on Ingushetia and likely would ignite demands for some kind of action against North Ossetia as well.
What is striking about this effort is that Ingushetia is appealing to the Russian government to organize things, thus staying well within the existing Russian legal framework, but asking that Ingush officers be included in joint patrols in the neighboring republic (caucasustimes.com/ru/ingushskie-deputaty-iniciirovali-sovmestnoe-patrulirovanie-v-prigorodnom-rajone-posle-draki-osetin-i-ingushej/).
North Ossetia is unlikely to agree to such an arrangement, but by raising this demand, Ingushetia may have put it on the defensive and even force Moscow’s hand lest the absence of such patrols create the conditions for more violence in that already restive region. Indeed, Vladikavkaz is likely to view this idea as an effort to achieve joint administration of the district, something it has rejected (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/11/only-joint-ingush-ossetian.html).
(For background on the dispute, see windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2021/12/moscow-policies-gave-rise-to-great.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/12/north-ossetian-statement-about-defining.html, windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/12/ingush-demand-release-of-seven-protest.html, and windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2020/10/anniversary-of-prigorodny-war-far-more.html.)