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Two Young Ingush Fighters Surrender

Two young fighters have responded to the July 20 appeal by Ingushetian President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov to turn themselves in to the authorities. Yevkurov had called specifically on young people who were "blackmailed" into joining the Islamic resistance to lay down their arms. He assured them that they would not be punished if they did so, but warned at the same time that those who did not "come to their senses" would be hunted down and killed.

The two young men surrendered to police on July 31, and they and their parents subsequently met with Ingushetia's interior minister, Colonel Ruslan Meyriyev, and Prosecutor Yury Turygin. Meyriyev invited them both to join the police force; it is not clear whether they accepted that offer.

Ingushetian Prime Minister Rashid Gaysanov, who assumed the presidential duties temporarily in late June after Yevkurov was seriously injured in a car bomb attack, has likewise argued for leniency toward young men who joined the resistance ranks out of what he termed a misplaced desire for "justice."

Up to half of the police force of neighboring Chechnya comprises former resistance fighters who took advantage of successive amnesties proclaimed by the Russian State Duma and laid down their arms. Some of them reportedly continue to abet their former comrades in arms by supplying useful information.

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.