Policeman Killed in Ingushetia

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 32

On August 6, a policeman was killed in the Ingush city of Malgobek. According to Gazeta.ru, an unknown assailant shot Alikhan Albakov twice in the head after he parked his car in his garage and was heading toward his apartment. Meanwhile, a resident of the city of Karabulak, Ibragim Gazdiev, was kidnapped on August 8, Kavkazky Uzel reported. According to the website, witnesses said they saw Gazdiev’s car blocked by another car near the city administration building, after which armed persons in camouflage uniforms and mask came out of the second car, forced Gazdiev out of his car and into theirs and drove off in an unknown direction.

Kavkazky Uzel reported that 44 people have been kidnapped in Ingushetia since 2005 and that, according to the Chechen National Salvation Committee, at least 13 kidnappings have taken place in Ingushetia and North Ossetia this year. Local residents believe that law-enforcement officials in North Ossetia are involved in the kidnapping of Ingush, the website reported.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Interfax published on August 3, Ingush President Murat Zyazikov played down the recent upswing in violence in his republic (Chechnya Weekly, July 5, 12, 19, 26; August 2) while blaming it on outside forces. “Talk of a worsening situation in Ingushetia is farfetched,” he told the news agency. “This is simply provocation and slander. The situation is under control and we have everything in order. Law-enforcement officers are investigating crimes. They believe that the attacks were a reaction to the energetic efforts of law-enforcement officers to root out crime. Unfortunately, such crimes occur in other parts of the country, not just in southern Russia. In general, the fight against crime is a hot topic throughout the world. These things should not be exaggerated.”

Zyazikov added: “I believe that these provocative actions constitute an attempt by certain forces in Russia and abroad to turn Ingushetia into a site for reaching some of their narrow objectives. Someone is very unhappy that Ingushetia is on the road to development. However, nobody will force us to abandon it. Ingushetia is on the frontline of the struggle for the [territorial] integrity of the Russian Federation.”

Nezavisimaya gazeta reported on August 2 that Ingushetia is turning into “the main exporter of instability in southern Russia” and that if Zyazikov and his security officials are unable to reverse this, Ingushetia could join the ranks of Russia’s “unviable regions” and reap all the attendant consequences, including “liquidation through incorporation” – meaning absorption into a revived Chechen-Ingush republic. According to the newspaper, Kadyrov is capable – using his inimitable methods – of imposing order on Ingushetia, which would not only earn him the reputation as “the unifying father of the fraternal Vaynakh nation,” but also strengthen his position in the North Caucasus. “Greater Chechnya” would stand a good chance of becoming the dominant region in southern Russia, with Grozny becoming “the real capital of the Southern Federal District,” wrote Nezavisimaya gazeta.

Moskovsky komsomolets wrote this past May that the Chechen authorities, backed by Moscow, are poised to impose a political merger on Ingushetia, with Kadyrov placing allies in key posts inside Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry and the two republics eventually merging into “a single Checheno-Ingush republic under Ramzan Kadyrov’s control.” Both Kadyrov and Zyazikov denied such reports (Chechnya Weekly, May 24 and 31).