According to political scientist Alexei Malashenko and Sergei Goncharov, president of the association of veterans of the Alpha unit, the border exercises will not result in armed clashes, as the exercises are mainly demonstrative in nature.

The Kremlin and the federal authorities will not respond to the conflict, says political scientist Alexei Malashenko, head of research at the Dialogue of Civilizations institute.

«This is some sort of showdown […] But it (Moscow) doesn’t care yet,» he said.

The activity of Chechen law enforcers on the border with Ingushetia will not lead to further operations, says Sergei Goncharov, president of the international association of veterans of the antiterrorist unit Alfa.

«Conflicts about borders […] have been going on for not even tens, but hundreds of years. In this situation Kadyrov wants to show that he is in charge [in the North Caucasus], including [the key figure in] territorial problems. These exercises [are being conducted] in order to show his opponents that an agreement with them (the Chechen authorities) will not work,» he suggested.

Colonel Gennady Gudkov, a retired State Duma deputy and former deputy of the Russian Federal Security Service, believes that Kadyrov has no reason to hold military exercises and secure the border.

«It is unclear how federal structures, structures of federal subordination — the Interior Ministry, Rosgvardia and other structures — are subordinate to the governor,» he said.

«The only practice of law enforcers is to block roads […] Unless we are talking about emergency situations,» Gudkov added.

Recall that on November 11 Chechenavtodor carried out excavation work on the banks of the river Fortanga, which straddles the border with Ingushetia. They diverted river water, which caused indignation in Ingushetia — among local residents and officials alike.

Ramzan Kadyrov said the protest against the work was organized by «a handful of provocateurs who are trying to play the nationalist card» in Ingushetia, and also said he could take back the land in Ingushetia that was given to the republic under Dzhokhar Dudayev. According to him, the agreement to establish the border between Ingushetia and Chechnya in 2018 is a fraternal favour.

On November 23, Kadyrov announced that a large-scale exercise of law enforcers started in Chechnya and it will last for three days. On instructions from the Chechen leadership, the region was cordoned off at the perimeter, with special posts. The aim of the exercise was to test the level of interaction of all departments in the light of the instability on Russia’s southern borders, the head of Chechnya said. The exercise is just a formal occasion, the residents of Ingushetia believe. It’s a kind of demonstration of Chechnya’s armament against the background of the conflict over the disputed territory near the border village of Dattykh, they said.

* The publication was included by the Russian Ministry of Justice in the list of media outlets that are foreign agents.

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