Unification Drive Is Blocked

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 5 Issue: 1

Authorities in Ingushetia succeeded on December 21 in thwarting a mass demonstration against the proposed unification of that republic with Chechnya, according to a December 23 report by Timur Aliev for Prague Watchdog. The police blocked access to Soglasiya Square in the Ingush capital of Nazran, where the rally was to have taken place, and even evacuated the city’s central market on the pretext that a bomb had been planted there.

Nevertheless, it seems clear that Ingushetia’s dictatorial president, Murat Zyazikov, a former FSB officer, will continue to resist the push of his equally dictatorial neighbor Akhmad Kadyrov for unification of the two entities. In an interview reported by Radio Liberty on December 30, Zyazikov reaffirmed his previously expressed view that the Chechens and Ingush are “two fraternal peoples, two fraternal republics, but at the same time two self-contained (samostoyatelnye) subjects of the Russian Federation.”

Even clearer is that the final decision will be made not by the citizens of Chechnya and Ingushetia, but by the federal authorities in Moscow.