Ingushetia Revisited

The new President of Ingushetia, Yunus-bek Yevkurov, is the main topic of every conversation in the republic. At present, hopes prevail, although Yevkurov has already managed seriously to undermine confidence in himself.

Many consider that his statement to the effect that the US is trying to use Ingushetia in order to pull Russia apart was merely a sop to the political status quo, an attempt to blend in with the system of “friend-foe” coordinates established in the Kremlin.

Yevkurov constantly emphasizes that he is a federal official who primarily views Ingushetia’s problems through the prism of Russia’s – and the Kremlin’s – interests. Unlike the Chechens, the Ingush have never even considered a divorce from Russia.

Whatever the truth may be, after nearly four months in office, Yekurov has failed to achieve any visible progress in the fight against the underground. The number of attacks and acts of sabotage has not diminished and sometimes seems even to have increased.

There are vague, not fully conscious sympathies for the mujahedeen guerillas among society at large. It is easy to see where the mujahedeen derive their support, and why Yevkurov is so harsh in his accusations against his fellow countrymen.

Looking in another direction, it can be assumed that Chechnya will sooner or later be outside Russia, and that Ingushetia, no matter how violently it is shaken, will remain a part of the great and muddle-headed country to the last.

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