Two ethnic Russians in Ingushetia were killed in the town of Karabulak on October 14. Kavkazky Uzel reported that unidentified gunmen burst into a home and shot four people, killing a man and his pregnant daughter-in-law on the spot and seriously wounding a woman and her son. The independent Ingushetiya.ru website identified the two dead victims as Nikolai Kortikov and Zoya Kortikova (his daughter-in-law) and reported that the two people wounded in the shooting were women – Tatyana Kortikova (the wife of Nikolai Kortikov) and a neighbor, Valentina Nemova – not a woman and her son. In any case, Ingushetiya.ru reported that the gunmen escaped in a silver-grey Zhiguli car. The website also reported that local residents who gathered at the scene of the crime believed the murders of the ethnic Russians, which were carried out during the Muslim holiday of Id al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan, were “provocative” in nature and were outraged by the crime, demanding that police find the perpetrators.
Separately, the empty home of an ethnic Russian family in the village of Trotskaya in Ingushetia’s Sunzha was blown up in the early hours of October 14. Kavkazky Uzel reported on October 15 that the family who was living in the house was temporarily outside of Ingushetia and had planned to return to the house.
The murder of the ethnic Russians in Karabulak was the latest in a series of apparent ethnically motivated killings, among the victims of which have been ethnic Russians, Koreans and Gypsies (see Chechnya Weekly, September 27, 13, 6; July 19). Kavkazky Uzel quoted a resident of the village of Ordzhonikidzevskaya, where the first in the series of killings of ethnic Russians in Ingushetia took place in July, as saying: “Many Russians have begun fearing for their lives, but one does not hear that anyone wants to leave the republic because of this. Anyone who wanted to leave did so already at the beginning of the 1990s. Only either solitary old people, who have nowhere to go, or families who have fully assimilated in the local population, remain. It is unlikely that these people today want to abandon everything and leave here.”
Commenting on the murder of members of the ethnic Russian Kortikov family in Karabulak, Ingushetia’s prosecutor, Yury Turygin, said that militants in the republic have begun operating in a more “subtle” manner. Interfax on October 17 quoted Turygin as saying that they had picked a Muslim holiday on which to carry out the attack, knowing that a large number of people would be out on the streets traveling to bring holiday greetings to their family members and friends. “As a rule, on such days shooting is heard outside, since it is also connected with the holiday,” he said. “Therefore the murderers calculated that no one would pay attention to their shots right away.” Grani.ru on October 17 quoted a source in Ingushetia’s special services as claiming that the recent explosions, ambushes and murders in the republic were being directed by “emissaries of al-Qaeda” who appeared in the republic recently and have been busy putting together new groups of fighters by agitating among local youth. Citing intelligence officials, Newsru.com said that young militants receive $2,000-$5,000 for each attack, indicating that the “Arabs” who allegedly came to Ingushetia arrived with significant amounts of money. “They are preparing for something large-scale,” the source said. “The bandits aren’t even attempting to seize ROVDs [police headquarters] or any police posts. They act with sudden attacks – approach, shoot, get away – even though they have sufficient manpower.”
In yet another incident on October 14, a fight took place between residents of the settlement of Srediniye Achaluki in Ingushetia’s Malgobeksky district and federal Interior Ministry Internal Troops who were manning a post there. According to Ingushetiya.ru, the incident took place when soldiers at the checkpoint attempted to detain the driver and passengers of a car, after which hundreds of cars belonging to residents traveling in connection with the second day of Id al-Fitr began to pile up. According to an eyewitness, several young people who were unhappy about the soldiers’ actions began to argue with them, and the confrontation escalated into a fight, resulting in the post being seized and the soldiers beaten. A crowd surrounded two armored transport vehicles and a military truck and were on the verge of burning them when local police arrived at the scene and convinced the young people to hand back the post along with several soldiers they had seized.