By Paul Goble
Ever more commentators are suggesting that the continuing demonstrations in Ingushetia against the border accord Yunus-Bek Yevkurov signed with Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov have become “the Maidan in Magas,” an analogy that gained added power today when Yevkurov “fled” to Moscow (babr24.com/msk/?IDE=181741 and newsland.com/community/4765/content/demarkatsiia-razdora-chto-proiskhodit-v-ingushetii/6503927).
Others have suggested that the demonstrations are likely to be the trigger for a new war in the North Caucasus, with some even suggesting that such a conflict could mark the end of Putin’s presidency just as his earlier attack on Chechnya in 1999 allowed him to rise to power (rusmonitor.com/majjdan-v-ingushetii-predveshhaet-novuyu-vojjnu-na-kavkaze-i-raspad-rf.html and facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=2059915254071443&id=100001589654713).
Meanwhile, below these interpretations, the protests continued for their fourth day into their fourth night. Parliamentary officials from Magas and Grozny met under the auspices of presidential plenipotentiary for the North Caucasus the with the latter assuring the former that Chechnya has no need of a single meter of Ingush land (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/326282/).
In Moscow, Putin’s press spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin was following the situation closely but insisted that any resolution of the conflict must come as a result of an agreement between the leaders of the two republics rather than by fiat from the center, thus effectively disclaiming responsibility for what is going on (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/326389/).
That reaction has prompted some Ingush and others to observe that this suggests that the Kremlin has nothing to say and thus is increasingly irrelevant as far as what will happen next is concerned (rusmonitor.com/socseti-majjdan-v-magase-gde-reakciya-kremlya.html and blog.newsru.com/article/08oct2018/ingushetiya).
The demonstrators said they would not end their protest until their goals of denunciation of the border accord and the removal of Yevkurov are achieved and did not disperse at night as the Ingush government had demanded in agreeing to the continuation of demonstrations for the next week (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/326381/).
They have, however, agreed to move to a new location in Magas because it provides easier communication with the population (meduza.io/news/2018/10/08/uchastniki-mitinga-v-ingushetii-pereshli-na-novoe-mesto-ranee-vlasti-soglasovali-nedelnuyu-aktsiyu-protesta)..
Former republic head Ruslan Aushev’s appearance and his denunciation of the border accord have brought more people into the streets, with their number rising from several hundred to about 2,000 after he spoke, although the authorities have been putting out consistently low-ball figures (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/326359/).