Ingush Opposition Leader: Officials and Businessmen Pay Off Islamic Militants

Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 143

Violence in Ingushetia continues unabated. The wreckage of a blown-up VAZ-2107 automobile with the remains of four unidentified people was discovered ten kilometers outside the city of Karabulak on July 26. A Karabulak police source said the owner of the car was a suspected rebel. A similar incident took place in June in Dagestan’s Karabudakhkentsky district when a burned-out VAZ-2107 car was found with the bodies of two men.
Also on July 26, a home in Karabulak belonging to a local actor, Ruslan Ushtab, was shot up by unidentified gunmen. Neither Ushtab nor members of his family were hurt in the incident. Around the same time, an explosion took place near the home of a police sergeant in the village of Ordzhonikidzevskaya in Ingushetia’s Sunzha district. No one was hurt in that incident, but the home was seriously damaged. In yet another incident on July 26, gunmen fired on the home of a member of the republic’s OMON special purpose police unit in the village of Ekazhevo. No one was injured in the attack, but the home was damaged.
On July 25, unidentified gunmen fired from grenade launchers and automatic weapons at the home of an employee of Ingushetia’s emergency situations ministry. Nobody was hurt in the incident. That same day, two militants were killed in a special operation in Nazran’s Plievo micro-district, and a shootout between a group of militants and a group of interior ministry troops took place near the village of Dattykh in Ingushetia’s Sunzha district. Three servicemen were wounded in the latter incident. Also on July 25, a bomb went off in Ordzhonikidzevskaya at the gate of the base of the republican interior ministry’s operational regiment for protecting the administrative border. Two police and two women who live in the area were injured in the blast.
On July 24, improvised explosive devices were detonated near the homes of two policemen in Ordzhonikidzevskaya. No one was hurt in those incidents. On July 23, two unidentified attackers fired automatic weapons at a kiosk in the village of Troitskaya. Two saleswomen – 52-year-old Zinaida Mazieva and 60-year-old Khalidat Tochieva – were killed in the attack. On July 23, two policemen were wounded when their patrol car came under fire in Ordzhonikidzevskaya.
On July 22, an improvised explosive device went off next to a grocery store that sold, among other things, alcoholic beverages. No one was hurt in the incident, but the store was damaged. As the Kavkazsky Uzel website reported, the head of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of Ingushetia, Isa Khamkhoev, had said earlier that attacks on establishments selling alcohol are connected with the religious feelings of believers, but he called on co-religionists to fight against alcohol consumption by means of sermons, not arms (, July 22-26).
Meanwhile, the leader of Ingushetia’s opposition said that a majority of the republic’s officials and businessmen paid "tribute" to Islamic militants under former President Murat Zyazikov and continue to do so today.
Kavkazsky Uzel quoted Magomed Khazbiev as saying that under Zyazikov, "any little boy" knew who was paying the militants off. "And now practically all of the officials and businessmen, judges and prosecutors, are paying off the militants," he said. "And if they do not pay, then they [the rebels] come to them at night and shoot up their houses."
Khazbiev said the ranks of the rebels in Ingushetia are replenished by the republic’s young people, who include a large number of people displaced from the Prigorodny district of North Ossetia. "These are children who have not seen justice for 17 years," he said, adding: "These resentful and humiliated children, who see no solution to their problems, are the nourishment for the militants."
For her part, the chairperson of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Lyudmila Alekseyeva, put forward a different theory for why young people in Ingushetia are "leaving for the woods" to join the rebels. "After finishing school, young people do not know what to do next," Kavkazsky Uzel quoted her as saying. "Remaining at home, they fear that they will artificially be made into militants … And they get in their hot heads the idea that ‘maybe I should really go into the woods [to join the rebels] before they lump me together with the militants.’ And they go" (, July 24).
Alekseyeva cited the case of Batyr Albakov, a young Ingush recently killed during a security sweep. As Kavkazky Uzel reported earlier, Albakov, a 26-year-old Ordzhonikidzevskaya resident, was, according to relatives, kidnapped by 9-10 armed persons in camouflage on July 10. Albakov’s mother said the kidnappers told her they were from the police department in Ingushetia’s Nazran district, but Albakov’s relatives believe that most of the kidnappers were Chechen policemen. They arrived at his house in two silver VAZ-21110 cars, one of which had official license plates.
The local branch of the Federal Security Service (FSB) reported that Albakov was killed during a joint FSB-interior ministry special operation near the village of Arshty in Sunzha district on July 21 after he was ordered to surrender but fired on security forces. The FSB also claimed that Albakov’s relatives had reported he had been kidnapped as a way to hide the fact that he had gone off to join the rebels.
However, Magomed Mutsolgov, who heads the Ingush human rights group Mashr and is a member of Russian Federation’s advisory board on human rights, said Albakov’s body had signs of torture in the form of multiple hematoma and knife wounds that were not sustained in a shootout with security forces. Ingush opposition leader Magomed Khazbiev said Albakov was killed and declared a militant so that the special services could add to their rebel body count. "They kill for statistics," Khazbiev told Kavkazsky Uzel (, July 12 and 22-23).