The Caucasus region has never had peace or stability for more than 200 years. Despite a brutal Russian crackdown on Chechnya, the Muslim republic remains in turmoil, as does neighboring Ingushetia.
Ingushetia’s pro-Russian President, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, was seriously wounded in a suicide bomb attack on June 22. As Crescent International goes to press, he was reported to be in critical condition in a Moscow hospital where he was airlifted with damaged skull and injuries to internal organs.
Whether he survives or dies will not make much difference to the immediate situation in Ingushetia or the Caucasus region as a whole. His death, for instance, would not lead to the removal of Russian presence or influence in Ingushetia but it points to the dangers facing those that align themselves with foreign powers against the interests of their people. Ingushetia is considered relatively peaceful compared to Chechnya but it would be simplistic to assume that people’s aspirations can be crushed by brute force.
The people of the Caucasus have a long history of resistance to foreign occupation. They are a tough mountain people and have written many glorious chapters in blood.
The attack is also a warning to the Kremlin rulers that their occupation of Muslim lands will continue to face resistance of the people. In the immediate aftermath of the attack on Yevkurov, repression is likely to intensify. There will be temptation to blame political opponents to settle scores. This will only make matters worse. Artificial situations cannot be sustained forever, especially in the Caucasus.