Staunton, April 27 – Izabella Yevloyeva, the founding editor of the Ingush publication Fortange who has been in emigration since 2019, now faces a second charge of discrediting the Russian army for her comments about Putin’s war in the Ukraine, charges that could lead to a massive fine and three years in prison.
But the first woman in the North Caucasus to face such a prospect says that she considers the charges baseless: “I have not discredited the Russian army; the Russian Army is discrediting itself” (fortanga.org/2022/04/zhurnalistka-izabella-evloeva-stala-figurantom-vtorogo-ugolovnogo-dela/).
In an interview with Svetlana Anokhina of the Daptar portal, Yevlyoyeva says she feels she has been living in a state of war for the last three years since the protests in Ingushetia began. As a result, she expects such attacks (daptar.ru/2022/04/27/nikogda-ne-mschu-no-eto-ne-znachit-chto-ya-zabyila-intervyu-s-zhurnalistkoy-izabelloy-evloevoy/).
Yevloyeva says she doesn’t fear deportation to Russia as long as she stays in EU countries given the current international system but does believe that attacks on her orchestrated in Mosthecow by the Prigozhin group and in Ingushetia by the republic authorities can be expected to continue. She says she won’t answer anonymous ones but will answer others.
She says she has no time to do otherwise because given the tasks she has set herself she can’t be distracted by “insect bites,” especially at a time when “in Russia it is impossible to speak the truth and not be attacked.” According to Yevloyeva, the current situation reflects less the war in Ukraine than efforts to keep Putin in power for life.
Some Russians say that the elites and the people now back Putin, but that is to misread the situation, the Ingush activist says. Many are reasonably afraid of going to prison if they speak out, and so they are playing for time, outwardly supporting the regime but inwardly awaiting its fall.
Seventy years of Soviet power taught them to do so, Yevloyeva continues. But the history of the USSR taught them something else as well: “all regimes sooner or later fall,” especially empires like the Russian one. “This is only a question of time.”