Yunus-Bek Yevkurov chose to resign

The head of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, announced that he was retiring, explaining her lack of unity in the republic. What is the real reason for the decision of the governor re-elected last year?
Origin source
On Monday, June 24, an appeal from the head of the republic, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, appeared on the website of the administration of Ingushetia, in which he announced his resignation.

Yevkurov thanked the people of Ingushetia for "unity in achieving common goals" and stressed that one of the main conditions for the development of the republic is the unity of the people. “I clearly see that today it is being tested for strength. I am not blind, power has not eclipsed my eyes, ”he said, adding that everything, including the power he represents, as well as public, religious organizations are responsible for the fact that society today is divided:“ As an Ingush, as a patriot, as a military officer who took the oath to defend the Motherland, I decided to appeal to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin with a request for the early resignation of the powers of the head of the republic. ”

Yevkurov is 55 years old, he headed Ingushetia since November 2008. The powers of the re-elected last fall of the head of the republic expired in 2023.

What problems did Evkurov have?

The main problem of Yevkurov was high antirating, political analyst Dmitry Fetisov notes. Despite the reputation of a successful lobbyist and serious progress in the development of the infrastructure of Ingushetia, several years ago he lost the thread of dialogue with the population, and its anti-rating began to grow, the expert explains.

An important role, according to Fetisov, was played by the fact that in the matter of exchanging territories with Chechnya, Yevkurov failed to keep the situation under control, which led to numerous rallies in the republic. “Despite the fact that the Kremlin has been supporting Yevkurov for a very long time, it seems that this time he refused to support, seeing the inability of Yevkurov to control the situation,” continues Fetisov.

Protests in the region

On September 26, 2018, the heads of Ingushetia and Chechnya signed an agreement on securing the administrative border between the republics, after which the document was handed over to the regional parliaments for ratification. The agreement fixed the border between the regions, which was not clearly established after the collapse of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991. By agreement, Ingushetia received part of the Nadterechny region from Chechnya - a mountainous and wooded area. In exchange, Ingushetia transferred to Chechnya a territory on the border with the Malgobek district, a section of the Sunzhensky district.

The signing of the treaty was followed by 13 days of mass protests in Ingushetia. In early October, the republic’s authorities announced that 17 out of 25 deputies who were present at the meeting of the Republic’s People’s Assembly voted to ratify the agreement. However, the parliamentarians who came to the square in Magas announced that out of the 24 members of the meeting who attended the meeting, only five had voted for ratification, another 15 were against and four had spoiled the ballots. A group of deputies of the National Assembly appealed to the Republican Constitutional Court with a request, and he declared the agreement with Chechnya illegal. The activists tried to organize a republican referendum on the border with Chechnya, but received a refusal from the local electoral commission. The Federal Constitutional Court recognized the agreement as conforming to the Constitution.
The opposition of Ingushetia called the resignation of Yevkurov among the key demands. “We understood that the resignation will take place. The situation that developed in the fall could not continue for a long time, ”said Ruslan Mutsolgov, head of the Ingush branch of Yabloko. According to him, about 250 activists were subjected to administrative prosecution, searches, and also dismissals from work as part of pressure from the authorities in the republic during the protests, more than 30 people were prosecuted.

“Instead of resolving the issue with the main organizers, Yevkurov preferred to launch a violent persecution of activists. And it did not break the plans of the opposition, ”states Fetisov, who believes that Yevkurov made a mistake in this case.

It was difficult for Yevkurov to consolidate local clans that could stand behind the protests, said political analyst Rostislav Turovsky. “However, to leave against the background of the protests meant to admit his weakness publicly. Therefore, the decision was announced at a relatively quiet moment, although it looked unexpected from this, ”the expert notes.

Was the decision of Yevkurov independent

The resignation of Yevkurov is the result of a lengthy public confrontation, when a certain group of people managed to oppose the head of the republic to society, said political scientist Iosif Diskin.

Closed polls conducted this March for the Kremlin showed that the largest request for a change of governors was in Sevastopol, the Arkhangelsk region, the Komi and Ingushetia, said RBC sources. Yevkurov led the anti-rating of heads of regions with a low level of trust - the number of those who do not trust the head of the region exceeded the number of those who trust by 57%. At that time, 40% more respondents spoke in favor of changing the head of Ingushetia than those who supported him keeping the post.
RBC's source close to Yevkurov noted that for the entourage of the head of the region, the statement about his resignation was news: "This is his personal decision, we did not know about him." He confirmed that the resignation is connected with the conflict in the Ingush society around the change of borders with Chechnya. “The most important thing, as he said in his address, is his desire to ensure consolidation in society, strengthen the unity of the Ingush nation, and if his figure is a stumbling block, he makes such a decision for the future of the people of Ingushetia,” the source quoted the source. “In the text of the appeal, he urges all religious and social forces to do exactly the same thing - to reduce the degree of conflict.”

In May, sources close to the Kremlin told RBC that the Kremlin does not plan to dismiss Yevkurov because of protests in the republic. Border teips do not show discontent due to the revision of borders with Chechnya, the situation is artificially inflated by opponents of Yevkurov from the capital of the region, stressed one of the interlocutors of RBC.

In private conversations, Yevkurov said that he had served his country for a long time and did not want to leave on the wave of negative, therefore in the end he himself decided to resign, another RBC interviewee close to the head of Ingushetia says.

Who will lead Ingushetia now?

It is not clear who will replace the retired head of the republic. At the time of publication of the text, the president has not yet signed a decree on the resignation of Yevkurov and on the appointment of the acting head of the region.

According to the regional law in Ingushetia there are indirect elections of the head of the region. Candidates for election to the position of head are represented by the parliamentary parties of the republic (no more than three from the party) to the president. The president makes three selected candidates for consideration by the republic’s people's assembly. To elect a candidate must gain a majority of votes of deputies.
According to political analyst Yevgeny Ivanov, it will be extremely difficult to find an equivalent replacement for Yevkurov. Initially, he came to the region as a counterweight to Kadyrov, which he successfully coped with until recently, not only at the interregional level, but also in the international arena, where he took the position of an informal negotiator with Qatar, while Kadyrov worked with the Saudis and the UAE, explains Ivanov. “Perhaps, Yevkurov’s career will develop along this line, or he will return to power structures outside the Caucasus region. And against the background of the purges in Dagestan, the defeat of the Arashukov clan and the departure of Yevkurov, Kadyrov is becoming the dominant figure for the entire North Caucasus Federal District, ”the expert predicts.

Yevkurov can pursue a career in the military line, Chairman of the Republican Parliament Magomed Yandiyev told TASS news agency on Monday. Yevkurov has the rank of Major General, he served in the armed forces since 1982, in 2004 he was appointed deputy chief of staff of the Volga-Urals Military District in Yekaterinburg. In 2000, he became the Hero of Russia for making a march to Pristina in Kosovo. As a result, he and a group of military men managed to occupy the Slatina airport and hold the airport until the arrival of the Russian military contingent.