The statement, which was made by the President of the republic of Ingushetia, Ruslan Aushev, at the end of the last year, became a sensation in Russia’s political life. Aushev announced that he was going to resign, saying he was willing to preserve the stability in the republic and pull apart the terms of the presidential and parliamentary elections in the republic, which were supposed to take place in March of the year 2003. The new president of the republic will be elected for the period of four years.
This news is being actively discussed both in the Northern Caucasus and in Russia. Why did a well-known Caucasian politician make such a decision? We asked this and other questions to the chairman of the international public and olitical movement Union of the Caucasian Nations, Magomed Chaguchiyev. Chaguchiyev personally knows the ex-president of Ingushetia, Ruslan Aushev; he is also an expert in the problems of the Caucasian region.
Question: Mr.Chaguchiyev, why do you think the Ingushetian president resigned?
Answer: Ruslan Aushev is one of the brightest representatives of the Caucasian politicians. Being a law-abiding citizen of Russia, he will never dare to violate the Constitution and the laws regarding elections. He is a person of the Russian state policy in the Northern Caucasus, and with his resignation he showed the politicians of the Caucasus how to leave with respect.
Q: When you mentioned the Caucasian leaders, did you mean the chairman of the State Council of the republic of Dagestan, Magomed Ali Magomedov?
A: Yes, him, of course, but only him. As far as Magomedov is concerned, then look: he has held his position since 1983. Taking into consideration the fact that the body that elected him was not legal since it did not represent the interests of the entire population of Dagestan, it seems like there is no law for Magomedov.
Q: As long as we have started talking about Dagestan, let us try to find something in common between Dagestan and Ingushetia, Aushev and Magomedov.
A: They are absolutely different, different in everything. You can take their age: Magomedov is 71, and Aushev is only 47; he is on the peak of his political career. Ruslan Aushev knows what war is; he knows it not by hearsay. During 1980-1982, Aushev was the chief of the headquarters of an infantry battalion, then the commander of the infantry battalion of the Soviet troops in Afghanistan. During 1985-1986, Aushev was the chairman of the headquarters within the structure of the Soviet troops in Afghanistan. He was wounded there, but then returned to Afghanistan after his recovery. He is perfectly aware of the pain that people suffer during war. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that there was not even a bullet shot in the republic during the time when Aushev was its president, although Ingushetia’s neighbor is Chechnya. And look at what is going on in Dagestan: a civil war has been waging there since 1985. The percentage of the Russian population there has been reduced from 26% to 2% as a result of that war. Dagestan is like paradise for the criminals now, for the criminals who live their with the benediction of Magomedov and his milieu. Three hundred assassinations have not yet been solved there. Aushev brought peace and stability to the republic. The economic situation in Ingushetia is not the best, but in Dagestan, it is much worse.
Q: Why do you think Chechen gunmen walk around in Dagestan almost freely?
A: The top administration of the republic is totally corrupt. The civil war that has lasted for many years brought the people of the republic to poverty and despair. Aushev promised to the people of his republic that there would be not one guerrilla in Ingushetia. He kept his promise. And the people of the Caucasus highly appreciate the value of a kept promise.
Q: Will Ruslan Aushev run for the presidency in four years?
A: I think he will not. Aushev comes from the politicians of the regional kind. His place is in the big policy of Russia. If not, then he will not be able to stand for the interests of the whole Northern Caucasus.
Q: Will he appoint a successor? Are there any people in Ingushetia capable of becoming his substitute?
A: He will not appoint a successor. The people will elect another person, and there are a lot of candidates; Ruslan Aushev has prepared good people.
Magomed Chaguchiyev was interviewed by Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
On the photo: Ruslan Aushev
On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign