On October 16 a meeting of the National Council of the People of Ingushetia, which calls itself in opposition to the republic’s authorities, was held. In his speech representative of the council Musa Albogachiyev made it clear that Ingushetia in its present form is bankrupt and gave the example of Chechnya as a counterbalance to this, which according to him is flourishing and developing.
Experts interviewed by Fortanga expressed bewilderment and indignation at the rhetoric of Albogachiyev and his supporters. Their criticism of the Ingush authorities, corruption, health care, administration, and education system is natural, but citing the example of the neighboring republic was inappropriate, they said.
Albogachiyev began his 34-minute video, which was posted on the video hosting site YouTube, by criticizing the Ingush Ministry of Health, saying the organization’s spokeswoman, Eset Geliskhanova, was hospitalized in a republican hospital with a coronavirus. Albogachiyev was concerned about her condition and called the Speaker of Chechnya, Magomed Daudov, and asked him to admit her to a hospital in the Chechen Republic. There, he said, the woman got better.
On the whole, the address is devoted to criticism of the regional authorities, but neighbouring Chechnya is cited as an example of prosperity. According to the public figure, Ingushetia is so bankrupt that on several occasions he asked himself on air: «Do we need such a republic at all?
The epilogue to the address was a statement that there was no need for direct elections of the head of the region. Albogachiyev’s theses were also supported by Ulan Yevloyev, former minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the government of Yunus-Bek Yevkurov.
The video message sparked widespread negative public reaction, as evidenced by the numerous comments online. Public figure Ramzan Sultygov, commenting on Albogachiyev’s criticism of the regional authorities, said that there were indeed problems in the region, but if he really wanted to know why the Ingush budget had been stolen all those years, he could do so without leaving the room where he was.
«It’s very simple, those who don’t need the republic — leave, and those who do — stay,» he added.
Blogger and activist Isropil Nalgiev, who spent a year in prison for the «Ingush case,» told Fortanga that he shares the indignation of the region’s residents with regard to the NSNI’s statements; he considers such talk provocative. In his opinion, the question of the necessity of the existence of Ingushetia does not help in any way to combat the problems that are discussed in the video.
Nor is it acceptable to compare Chechnya in such a deliberate manner, says the blogger, as it is well known to all, given the fact that many people are leaving Chechnya for Ingushetia and other regions «not because of the good life.
«I don’t claim that the speaker and his associates are seeking to abolish Ingushetia as a republic, but such talk in public is provocative and unacceptable. All the more in conditions when during and after Yevkurov’s rule compromising actions and encroachments on Ingushetia’s statehood are carried out against the republic, from outside and from within,» Nalgiyev said.
«Our old men used to say: don’t make fun of those who haven’t made fun of you yet. It is this wisdom that comes to my mind when I hear statements by certain «figures» who throw into the public space the thesis that «the republic has become a trough for certain clans, and therefore our people do not need it as such». The chairman of the Constitutional Court of Ingushetiawrote on his Facebook page Ayup Gagiev.
He believes that the statehood of Ingushetia is the most important condition for the Ingush people to maintain their national identity, and that no one has the right to make provocative statements about not needing their own republic.
«Those who oppose Ingushetia’s statehood, however, can exercise their constitutional right to freedom of choice of residence in any other region of Russia,» the constitutional judge concluded.
Member of the Teip Council of Ingushetia Khamzat Buzurtanov also negatively assessed statements by representatives of the People’s Council of Ingushetia and wondered who authorized the organization to make such statements.
«All questions should be asked of this Albogachiev and asked: what has he himself done to make Ingushetia decent and wealthy. And from what people is he even speaking? Who elected him, who delegated him? Imposters, I have no other words», the elder concluded.