The Caucasus at a Crossroad: Ingushetia
BY ANDREA BRUCE
The Republic of Ingushetia is a splinter of land west of Chechnya that is caught in Russia’s struggle to hold on to the North Caucasus. Andrea Bruce focuses on the Ingush people and the changes they confront in the wake of violence in Chechnya and Georgia as well as the choices they make while faced with harsh Russian forces and a conflicting wave of Muslim extremism gaining support in the area.
The fighting in Ingushetia has poisoned life in much of the North Caucasus. After a brief calm following two wars, militant attacks have spiked in Chechnya as well as in nearby Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria. But the violence has been worst in Ingushetia, the smallest and most impoverished of Russia’s provinces, where the rebels and security forces compete in brutality, and even human rights activists carry guns.