Russia devises bespoke solutions to Caucasus crises

Monday, July 8, 2019

Subject

New leadership in Ingushetia.

Significance

The new interim leader of Ingushetia, Mahmud-Ali Kalimatov, sacked seven of his predecessor's advisers on July 3, in an early move to establish his authority. Yunus-Bek Yevkurov's departure after more than a decade in charge of Ingushetia creates another challenge for the Kremlin in managing the complex and sometimes volatile North Caucasus. Moscow moved deliberately and waited for relative calm in Ingushetia before acting. Inadequate governance is a problem across Russia but can be explosive in the North Caucasian context.

Impacts

  • The appointment of ethnic Russian Mikhail Korobkov as Ingush interior minister is intended to enhance Moscow's control.
  • Ingushetia is likely to see anti-corruption arrests (the Russian narrative) or a witch-hunt of Yevkurov's relatives (the Ingush reading).
  • In another long-standing border dispute, the North Ossetian leadership is refusing to negotiate with Ingushetia.
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