Sunday, October 8, 2023

Repression of Spontaneous Protests in 2018-2019 Cost Moscow and Magas Trust of the Ingush People, Mutsolgov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Oct. 4 – For almost all residents of the Russian Federation, Oct. 4 this year is the 30th anniversary of Boris Yeltsin’s use of force to suppress the Russian parliament, an action that returned the country to the authoritarian path that has achieved fully flower in the regime of Vladimir Putin.

            But for Ingush, this date is being remembered as the fifth anniversary of spontaneous popular protests against the decision of the Ingush leadership at the time with Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov to give away ten percent of the country’s smallest republic (

            Participants and opposition leaders are recalling three things in particular: First, that the Ingush people despite years of repression went into the streets in the tens of thousands to protest what the Moscow-imposed leaders had done to them and continued to do in the course of the nearly year-long protest movement.

            Second, that the leaders of the opposition were caught off guard by the rise of the protests and many who took part in the demonstrations were upset by the willingness of those opposition leaders not behind bars at the time to negotiate with the powers that be rather than take things to the end.

            And third, that the protests against the border agreement quickly overcame all divisions within society and allowed the previous largely quiescent population to take to the streets and organize itself rather than rely on activists of any kind, a pattern that the Ingush and others hope can be repeated.

The response of the authorities in Moscow and Magas was repression which quieted the streets of Ingushetia but at a terrible price. According to one opposition figure, Magomed Mutsolgov, “as a result, Ingush society finally lost trust in the regional and federal powers.” Five years on, as repression continues, that has not changed.

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