Situation in Ingushetia improves

NAZRAN, August 10 (Itar-Tass) — The situation in Ingushetia has changed for the better, as compared with the past two years, the republic’s Interior Minister Alexander Trofimov ha said.

According to him, “Compared with the previous years, despite the fact that some bandit raids have been made, some stabilisation is observed this year.”

The minister also confirmed that last week, three traffic police officers of the republic were killed by bandits. There was a shootout prior to that. However, in his opinion, “the situation that was three years ago cannot be compared with the current one, as stabilisation is now obvious.” Now the task of the Interior is to preserve and strengthen this stability, Trofimov said.

In his opinion, to improvement of the situation was largely achieved owing to successful operations, including in 2009-2010, aimed at neutralising the active members of the bandit underground and help from the local population.

Trofimov also said that re-examination of the Interior Ministry personnel has been conducted in the republic in a short time period within the framework of the country’s work on the interior bodies reform. It was completed on July 29. A total of 4,154 law enforcement officers of the republic passed the merit rating. Of these 23 officers were not recommended for service at their posts, and 80 officers failed to pass the merit rating.

The Republic of Ingushetia is a federal subject of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region with its capital at Magas. In terms of area, the republic is the smallest of Russia’s federal subjects except for the two federal cities, Moscow and Saint Petersburg. It was established on June 4, 1992 after the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was split in two. Ingushetia is home to the indigenous Ingush, a people of Vainakh ancestry. The name “Ingushetia” is derived from an ancient village of Ongusht (renamed in 1859 to Tarskaya and in 1944 transferred to North Ossetia) and the Georgian ending -eti, all together meaning “(land) where the Ingush live.”

Ingushetia is one of Russia’s poorest and most restive regions. The ongoing military conflict in neighbouring Chechnya has occasionally spilled into Ingushetia, and the republic has been destabilized by corruption, a number of high-profile crimes (including kidnapping and murder of civilians by government security forces), anti-government protests, attacks on soldiers and officers, Russian military excesses and a deteriorating human rights situation.

Ingushetia is located on the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus foothills. Nature in Ingushetia is a striking combination of emerald vegetation, yellow and violet cliffs, and the pearly gleam of far-off snow-covered peaks. Ingushetia is a presidential republic within the Russian Federation. The republic’s present Constitution was adopted in 1994. The highest legislative body is a unicameral parliament, the National Assembly. Prior to this, the People’s Congress of Ingushetia consisting of 140 deputies functioned as the parliament. The Council of Ministers exercises direct leadership of the republic.

In 1994–1996 Ingush volunteers fought alongside Chechens in the Russian-Chechen war. Besides few incidents (including the killings of Ingush civilians by the Russian soldiers), Ingushetia was largely kept out of the war by determined policy of non-violence pursued by President Ruslan Aushev. This changed after the beginning of the Second Chechen War, and especially since the rule of President Murat Zyazikov in 2002. The first major rebel attack of the conflict, in which a military convoy was destroyed occurred in May 2000 and caused the deaths of 19 soldiers. In the June 2004 Nazran raid, Chechen and Ingush guerrillas attacked government targets across Ingushetia, resulting in the deaths of at least 90 people, among them republic’s acting interior minister Abukar Kostoyev, his deputy Zyaudin Kotiyev and several other officials. In response to a sharp escalation in attacks by insurgents since the summer of 2007, Moscow sent in an additional 2,500 interior ministry troops, more than tripling the number of special forces in Ingushetia in July.

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