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Window on Eurasia — New Series: Ingush Opponents of Border Accord Now Working Behind the Scenes and in Legal System but Ready to Restart Protests ‘If Necessary’


Paul Goble
            Staunton, November 7 – The presidium of the World Congress of the Ingush People, having become a permanent body, is working behind the scenes to overturn the border accord between Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov but is quite prepared to call for a resumption of mass protests if its efforts in the legal system don’t bear fruit.
            Musa Malsagov, the vice president of the presidium, says that they are using all avenues available in the legal system and appealing to senior officials in Moscow to reject the border accord and are also meeting with republic deputies to try to convince them to reverse themselves on that agreement (kavkazr.com/a/29587796.html).
                “It would be stupid to organize a demonstration just to organize a demonstration,” he continues.  But the Ingush opposition leader says that his group is quite prepared to call for the resumption of mass protests against the border agreement if they are not able to annul it via the legal system. 
            According to Malsagov, “if the need to go into the streets arises, we will not have any problems in the course of a single day to assemble as many people as are needed – even if the action will not be sanctioned by the authorities. But from the very beginning, we decided that will act only within the law.”
            Nonetheless, he made clear that he and the Ingush people have no intention of backing down from their commitment to ensure that the border changes Yevkurov and Kadyrov agreed to are never implemented and that the Ingush people again have the opportunity to elect their own governor rather than having to put up with one appointed by Moscow.
            Two other developments in the Ingush-Chechen border crisis during the last 24 hours include:
·         Mikhail Roshchin, an orientalist at the Russian Academy of Sciences, says that Ramzan Kadyrov now recognizes that the Ingush people will not accept a system he has long had in Chechnya where anyone who disagrees with him has to apologize in public. The Chechen leader knows that any efforts to demand that they do will backfire (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/327600/).
·         The Ingush government has announced that it will come up with a plan over the next month to develop the villages along the republic’s borders, something that could spark problems if the borders used are not the ones most Ingush accept but rather those that Yevkurov and Kadyrov agreed to (interfax-russia.ru/South/news.asp?sec=1671&id=981084).

Window on Eurasia — New Series