President Dmitry Medvedev met with Ingushetia’s President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov in the Kremlin on January 28, a follow-up to the meeting they had in Magas on January 20 during the Russian president’s trip to Ingushetia (North Caucasus Weekly, January 23). Kavkazky Uzel reported that in the Moscow meeting, Medvedev called on Yevkurov to “liquidate social disorderliness in the republic” and raise the authority of the republican government.
Russia’s Channel One state television and Itar-Tass quoted Medvedev as telling Yevkurov: “I visited you not long ago. We discussed the current situation in Ingushetia and, of course, talked about the fight against crime as one of the most urgent tasks for the republic. Including [the fight] against organized crime and crime of a terrorist nature. As a result, we agreed we would meet in Moscow and that you would give me a report on the measures taken.”
Medvedev said that the main reasons for the high crime rate in the republic are, first of all, disorderliness and bad social conditions, including unemployment and, secondly, the low level of authority of the republic’s government. “If the government can prove its effectiveness, its ability to solve tasks for people, this will undoubtedly have an effect on law and order generally and on law-enforcement, and the crime statistics will drop,” the Russian president said.
Yevkurov, for his part, told Medvedev that he and other members of Ingushetia’s government had “held a series of meetings on the socio-economic set of issues, on the issue of fighting crime.” Russian state television quoted Yevkurov as saying that he had come up with a number of high-priority actions, including those connected to the fight against crime, such as strengthening the law-enforcement system and working with the republic’s population—above all, its youth.
Yevkurov cited among the concrete issues that need to be resolved the modernization of the airport in Magas, supplying the entire republic with natural gas, building roads and modernizing the republic’s water supply system. He said that according to the Health Ministry, 40-45 percent of the illnesses in the republic are the result of sub-quality water.
RIA Novosti quoted Medvedev as saying in response: “Prepare the documents. I will giver orders that these issues be examined, including from the standpoint of financial support” (see Mairbek Vatchagaev’s article in this issue).
Meanwhile, Interfax reported on January 27 that the commander of a special battalion of Interior Ministry Internal Troops, Lieutenant Colonel Timur Archakov, died that day while being taken to the hospital after he was shot by unidentified attackers at the covered market in central Nazran. The previous day, January 26, two Nazran residents suspected of being militants, identified as Akhmed and Rustam Uzhakhov, were killed in a shootout with security forces in the city.
On January 23, RIA Novosti quoted Russia’s Interior Ministry as denying media reports that an Internal Troops armored personnel carrier (APC) had driven onto oncoming traffic on a road in Nazran two days earlier, smashing two cars. A person in one of the cars hit by the APC was reportedly severely injured.