Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Clash Between Chechen and Ingush Inmates in KBR Prison Camp Worries Grozny
Staunton, December 12 – A recent clash between Chechen and Ingush inmates in a Kabardino-Balkaria prison colony has attracted a delegation of senior Chechen officials who said they were checking “rumors” the prisoners’ rights had been violated. Prison officials denied that and that the fighting had anything to do with nationality (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/329018/).
That could be true – Russian penal institutions are frequently the sites of clashes among prisoners – but it is improbable given that fights between prisoners from the two closely related Vaynakh peoples are relatively rare. More likely, the clash reflects tensions between the two over the border issue.
If that is the case, then the visit of the Chechen officials makes sense: Ramzan Kadayrov certainly does not want to see the differences he and Ingushetia’s Yunus-Bek Yevkurov have with those who oppose the border deal spill into violence. Should that occur, it would be very difficult to put the genie back into the bottle.
Meanwhile, in another development even more certainly related to the border controversy, journalists at The Magas Times say that their portal has been inaccessible since December 10, a development that they link to officials because of their critical coverage of the Ingush protests about the border (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/329047/).
The Magas Times is one of the most important primary sources of materials on developments in Ingushetia. It has 135,000 subscribers, and its individual journalists have additional ones. The paper also says that the Instagram accounts of other journalists in the republic have been disrupted as well, suggesting a campaign rather than an accident.