Thousands Rally In Russia's Ingushetia Against 'Unfair' Border Deal With Chechnya
RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service October 04, 2018
MAGAS, Russia -- Thousands of people have demonstrated in Russia's North Caucasus region of Ingushetia to protest against a controversial deal establishing the administrative boundary with Chechnya.
The demonstrators rallied on October 4 in front of the parliament building in the regional capital, Magas, where lawmakers had gathered to vote on the border delimitation deal reached by the Ingush and Chechen leaders last week.
Ingushetia's leader, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, tried to meet with the protesters, but he had to leave the site after the crowd booed him and threw empty water bottles toward him.
Yevkurov's bodyguards fired shots in the air to secure his safety. Hundreds of police and security forces were present but did not intervene against the demonstrators.
Three lawmakers later came out of the parliament building and said that the border deal had not passed.
However, the crowd refused to evacuate the site and demanded to meet with the members of parliament who backed the agreement.
On September 26, police detained several protesters during a similar rally on the outskirts of Magas against what critics say is the unfair handover of parts of Ingushetia to neighboring Chechnya.
The two regions used to be parts of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. They split in 1992, following the Soviet Union's collapse the previous year.
Chechnya is the site of two devastating post-Soviet separatist wars from 1994 to 2001 and the epicenter of an Islamist insurgency that spread across much of the North Caucasus, igniting violence in Ingushetia and other mostly Muslim republics in the region.
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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