Russia’s Federation Council and Duma have each forwarded to the Prosecutor General’s Office and to the Defense Ministry a request to investigate and explain the October 24 airborne raid on Ingushestia’s Sleptsovskaya airport (see the October 25 Monitor). Addressing the Federation Council, Ingush president Ruslan Aushev showed that the attack had breached federal laws regulating the introduction of troops on constituent republics’ territories. Aushev accused Russia’s intelligence of organizing that and other "provocations" and of misinforming Russia’s leadership, with the help of North Ossetia. He warned the political leadership against "resorting to the methods of the 1930s and 1940s" in North Caucasus. "Do we have a right to be treated like humans ? What kind of country do we live in ?" exclaimed in his turn the Ingush vice president Boris Agapov, describing the violence inflicted on civilians by the Russian unit during the raid. The Federation Council’s judicial and legal affairs committee chairman Isa Kostoyev (a North Ossetian) in his speech linked the airport attack to "plans to unite Ingushetia with Chechnya." (7)
Aushev and Agapov have repeatedly criticized Moscow’s policies in North Caucasus since the beginning of the Chechnya war. Their stand is the more noteworthy in view of their histories as hyperloyal Soviet and Russian generals. Kostoyev’s remarks may reflect rival North Ossetia’s concern that an Ingushetia reunited with Chechnya with Moscow’s permission may be in a stronger position to reclaim its former territory currently held by North Ossetia. The military prosecutor’s office has already begun an investigation into the Sleptsovskaya raid, just as it has launched investigations into numerous other acts of brutality against civilians, most recently the bombing of Roshni-Chu and the suspect traffic accident which injured the OSCE diplomats (see above.) All cases thus far have been successfully covered up.
New Twist to Latvian-Lithuanian Offshore Dispute.