Sunday, July 5, 2009

Window on Eurasia: Moscow, Not Kadyrov’s Chechens, Should Stabilize Ingushetia, Duma Leader Says

Paul Goble

Vienna, July 5 – Moscow should introduce “direct presidential rule” in order to stabilize the situation in Ingushetia, according to a senior member of the Russian Duma, rather than relying on forces from neighboring Chechnya whose introduction into Ingushetia has already further exacerbated the situation there.
But the Kremlin is likely to be reluctant to do so not only because that would make it rather than regional elites responsible for what happens in Ingushetia and could become an unwelcome precedent but also because Moscow would have to employ massive force or face the likelihood that its campaign would simply swell the ranks of those fighting against it.
After militants killed nine members of a Chechen intervention force in Ingushetia on Saturday, Gennady Gudkov, the deputy chairman of the Duma’s security committee, said that “it is completely obvious that it is going to be extremely complicated to restore order in Ingushetia with forces from neighboring Chechnya” (
Indeed, the Russian parliamentarian, a member of the Just Russia Party, continued, “it is becoming completely obvious that the main role in the stabilization of the situation in Ingushetia ought to be assumed by the federal center and that direct presidential rule ought to be introduced in [that North Caucasus] republic.”
After the assassination attempt against Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov on June 22, many in the region and in Moscow called for an immediate and crushing response. But some of their hasty and perhaps ill-considered proposals, Gudkov said, “only led to the activation of terrorists in this region.”
At that time, notes, former Ingushetia President Ruslan Aushev warned that “a harsh response” would lead more people to join the militants, something he said would also happen if, as occurred two days after the assassination attempt, Moscow directed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov to intervene in Ingushetia.

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