Constitutional Court announces decision on Chechnya-Ingushetia border deal: Today, the Russian Constitutional Court announced that the agreement on the administrative border signed between Chechnya and Ingushetia does not violate the Russian Constitution. (Kommersant, RBC; see details to follow in the next issue of Russian headlines)
Russian Constitutional Court upholds Chechnya-Ingushetia border deal: On Thursday, the Russian Constitutional Court ruled that the agreement on the administrative border signed in September by Chechnya and Ingushetia is in compliance with the Russian Constitution. Press recalls that the signing of the agreement sparked protests in Ingushetia. In the view of some commentators, the Russian Constitutional Court's decision is unlikely to lead to an increase in protest activity in Ingushetia. (Izvestia, Kommersant, MT, RBC, RG, Vedomosti; see also editorial lines and blog monitoring)
'How Yunus-Bek Yevkurov won against his own people'
The decision of the Russian Constitutional Court on the border agreement between Chechnya and Ingushetia put an end to a series of peaceful protests that have been going on in Ingushetia over the past months. The protests were not much against the transfer of lands to Chechnya itself, but rather against the fact that the decision was taken without taking into consideration the local Constitutional Court's call for a referendum. Now the Ingush Constitutional Court, some members of the Ingush parliament and a considerable part of the population believe that, by signing the agreement on the Chechen-Ingush border, Ingushetia's head Yevkurov has ignored the will of his people. Yevkurov's victory over the border issue is merely administrative and has been met by Ingush residents with resentment; moreover, his inability to settle the problem internally without addressing to Moscow has weakened him, while Chechen head Ramzan Kadyrov came out as the actual winner of the dispute.
Chechen head Ramzan Kadyrov: "Justice triumphed [...] Provocateurs tried to sow the seed of discord between Chechen and Ingush people. And they didn't get anything out of this! We were and will always be brothers. The agreement is a milestone in history, for it eliminates pretexts that may be misused by enemies of the Ingush and Chechen peoples!" https://echo.msk.ru/blog/rkadyrov_95/2328623-echo/#.XAj2xgiAPnM.twitter
Neil Hauer: "Big news: Russia's Constitutional Court has ruled that the land transfer between Chechnya and Ingushetia was legal. Verdict contravenes the Ingush Constitutional Court ruling from Oct 30. This is a major precedent for land disputes in the North Caucasus". https://twitter.com/NeilPHauer/status/1070632511498321925
"The North Caucasus is awash with land/border disputes that can, and have, turned bloody. The entire region's borders have been changed so many times, in the Soviet period and before, that legalizing one change opens a Pandora's box of other calls. Uncertain times ahead". https://twitter.com/NeilPHauer/status/1070633796284923904
Ivan Preobrazhensky writes: "This is about the degradation of Russian authority, which in the majority of cases is dominated by the same logic of Ramzan Kadyrov's entourage. Any discussion started by the Ingush opposition is perceived as an uprising, and those who are not satisfied with it are simply ignored […]. Eventually, Ingush people did not get enough support from Moscow – not to say from foreign – civil right activists, nor by the liberal press". https://twitter.com/dw_russian/status/1070773851192287234
National Guard officers wounded in Ingushetia attack: Two officers of the Russian National Guard were wounded in a grenade explosion on Wednesday in Nazran (Ingushetia). Reportedly, two attackers have been killed in return fire. (ii) A member of the Basayev gang, who participated in the attack on Pskov paratroopers in Chechnya in 2000, has been detained in the Stavropol territory. (RBC, RG)
FSB: group funding Islamic State exposed: The Federal Security Service said on Thursday that it had exposed a network whose members were involved in raising money for the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist groups [banned in Russia]. The operation was conducted in Moscow, Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan. (Kommersant, RG, TASS)
OSCE report on human rights violations in Chechnya: Kommersant draws attention to a report on human rights violations in Chechnya, released by the OSCE on 20 December. The report highlights, inter alia, violations of the rights of representatives of the LGBT community. Russian permanent representative to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich described the report as "biased." Chechen head Ramzan Kadyrov's spokesman, Alvi Karimov, said that conclusions of the OSCE report were "unfounded." (Kommersant)
Novaya Gazeta reports on human rights abuses in Chechnya: Novaya Gazeta reports on human rights abuses, including torture and alleged extra-judicial killings, in Chechnya.