Is the Chechen/Ingush Border Change the Start of Something Bigger?

I plan to write an analysis of this issue, which raises international questions (in the cases of Ossetia and Lezginstan) as well as domestic ones. The speculation of this article from The Caucasus Times–that Moscow plans to consolidate the North Caucasus and thereby eliminate all the autonomous republics as havens for non-Russians to preserve their cultures–is definitely a real possibility, at least on paper.

Most interesting for me is the current effort by the Abazas and Cherkess to create their own “republic” out of part of Karachay-Cherkessia, including both the capital city and areas in which Karachays live. I’ll be examining this issue as well in the coming weeks.

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Is the Caucasus being prepared for consolidation?

PRAGUE, December 7, Caucasus Times. The decision of the Constitutional Court of Russia, which recognized the official agreement on the delimitation of borders between Chechnya and Ingushetia, signed by the heads of the two republics in the autumn of this year, was expected. Few doubted that the Russian Constitutional Court would decide differently. It was for this anticipated decision that the head of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Yevkurov appealed to the Russian Constitutional Court. He made his appeal on November 8, after the a number of deputies of the Ingush parliament planned to recognize the agreement as illegal.

Disputed territory

It is worth recalling that the agreement caused mass protests by residents of Ingushetia, who consider this agreement unfair because, in their opinion, the agreement provides for the transfer of Ingush territories to neighboring Chechnya. The Chechen side does not agree with this statement. On the contrary, in Chechnya they believe that Ingushetia owes Chechnya much more territory, territory that was transferred to Ingushetia during the separation of the two republics, which formerly lived within the same administrative borders – the Chechen-Ingush ASS.

Their own foreign land

Ingush deputies have already announced that they will fight at the doors of the European Court. There is no doubt that they will find support and the Ingush will again surprise everyone with their will and unity. Nothing in the Caucasus unites and divides people like land. The land dispute between the Chechens and the Ingush, on the one hand, divided two fraternal peoples, and on the other, united the Ingush in Ingushetia and the Chechens in Chechnya.

But if Ramzan Kadyrov is now “respected” even by Chechen refugees living in Europe, almost all Ingush taips [clans; W.R.] curse his Ingush colleague.

A sad fate—that of a Judas—had been prepared for Evkurov. Being a hero of Russia is a far cry from being honored at home.

Yevkurov needed to take into account the historical plots that had been squeaked through by the Ingushes before the republic gained independence, including the Ossetian-Ingush conflict. This cannot be said about Ramzan Kadyrov, who, while enthusiastically commenting on the decision of the Russian Constitutional Court, suggested that roadblocks in the North Caucasus be abolished. It is not difficult to guess why he needs this. In this regard, Kadyrov’s visit to Azerbaijan and his talks with his Dagestan counterpart on the same Chechen border, but with Dagestan, where regional elites had been eliminated a bit earlier, also seem to be no coincidence. It is obvious that the Caucasus is being prepared for a large-scale division and the regional elites close to the top know about it. The only question is in the details …

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