Protests against border deal with Chechnya continue in Ingushetia

In Magas, capital of Ingushetia, the people protesting against the recent territory exchange with Chechnya are remaining at the town square, demanding the local government’s resignation.

Negotiations between representatives of the protesters and the government revealed that no force will be used, and that the protest will be considered legitimate.

“At the end of the dialog, an agreement was reached that no force would be used against protesters. Furthermore, as of Monday, the protest will be legitimate in nature and will be approved by the government,” said a member of the clergy who took part in the talks.

The negotiations were attended by a member of the Russian Interior Ministry, a prosecutor, the chief federal inspector, social activist Musa Malsagov, and religious figure Mahomed Khashtyrov.

“Despite the fact that it was rather cold, many people spent the night here, bringing warm clothes and food with them. Now people are gradually pulling up to the square. Women are bringing hot food from home, which is being shared not only with protest participants, but also with the law enforcement officers on duty in the area. The public order is not being disturbed, everything is calm, the central square is clean. People are cleaning up their own rubbish. The young are tending to the old,” one of the protesters told a reporter.

Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, head of the Republic of Ingushetia, said that deputies had been pressurized before they voted to establish new borders with Chechnya.

“The pressure was not from external entities, but from the deputies’ close relatives. And thus I understand that several deputies were forced to say that they voted against or did not vote for [the border exchange],” he said.

Yevkurov does not think that this issue falls under a referendum.

“Because there was no border between our subjects. That’s when we established a border, and after this we don’t have the right to change the border without a referendum,” he believes.

  Chechen Republic, Russia, Ingushetia