The Chechen authorities have not fulfilled their promise to restore the Fortanga riverbed in Ingushetia’s Sunzhensky district, according to residents of the border village of Dattykh.

The riverbed of the Fortanga on the border with Chechnya has not been restored, activist Magomed Pidiyev told Fortanga. «Prosecutor Vasilchenko of Ingushetia visited the place. After the riverbed was changed, they (the Chechen side) said that bank protection works were underway. However, no work has been or is being carried out in this area,» he said.

Beyal Yevloyev, a member of the Ingush National Assembly, believes that the situation around Fortanga is more likely to distract people’s attention from more global issues. «The main problem for us is what we have since 2018, that people are under arrest for spurious reasons. They have been asked for huge sentences for protesting against a rigged border agreement,» he told Fortanga.

Recall that mass protests have been taking place in Ingushetia since the fall of 2018. The inhabitants of the republic opposed the agreement on the border with Chechnya. In March 2019, the rallies turned into clashes with security forces and detentions of activists. Most of those arrested in the aftermath of those events received real sentences on charges of violence against public officials. Political prisoners Akhmed Barakhoyev, Musa Malsagov, Ismail Nalgiyev, Zarifa Sautiyeva, Malsag Uzhakhov, Bagaudin Khautiyev and Barakh Chemurziyev remain in the dock. There is a separate trial for Akhmed Pogorov. They are accused of organizing the use of violence against security forces at a rally in Magas on March 27, 2019. On November 23, five of them gave their last wordin court.

The Ingush Ministry of Nature Protection did not comment on the situation with the restoration of the riverbed. At first, a Fortanga correspondent who called the ministry was promised to provide information about the work on the river, but later they stopped responding to his calls.

Fortanga had earlier reported that uncoordinated work was being carried out on the outskirts of the Ingush village of Dattykh, on the administrative territory of Ingushetia, using heavy equipment. It turned out that road builders from Chechnya had arbitrarily dug a new channel but quickly evacuated the construction equipment.

According to Ingushetia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Magomed Yevloyev, the actions were carried out with the use of heavy equipment belonging to the Chechenavtodor state authority. Yevloyev said that measures will be taken to return the riverbed to its former borders as soon as possible.

After the inspection, the head of the municipality, Magomed Dzeitov, met with Ismail Israilov, head of the Sernovodsky district of Chechnya, who claimed that the work had been carried out by unknowing employees of Chechenavtodor to pour concrete over the road barriers at the edge of the cliff, for which the riverbed had been changed.

«The head of the Sernovodsky district assured that in the near future the river will be returned to its former course, that no territorial changes were planned, and in the future all work will be carried out only after agreement with the Ingush side,» the press service of the Sunzhensky district administration said.

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