Leader of Ingushetia resigns following extraordinary popular resistance to Chechen border deal
Ingush government head Yunus-Bek Yevkurov announced his decision to resign before the end of his current term during a state-run regional television broadcast.
“I have made the decision to request that President Vladimir Putin release me in advance from my duties as the head of the republic,” Yevkurov said, adding that he is “not blind” to the current political situaiton in his region. He argued that government, social, and religious organizations are all responsible for a state of division in Ingushetia.
The embattled regional leader faced an unusual wave of opposition that united broad swaths of Ingush society after he struck a land deal with his Chechen counterpart, Ramzan Kadyrov, in October of 2018. The deal resulted in significant territorial losses for Ingushetia. In the spring of 2019, Yevkurov’s government attempted to push through changes to the region’s referendum laws that would have made it possible to approve border shifts without a referendum, triggering another round-the-clock protest on March 26-27. Searches and arrests of the protest movement’s leaders followed the mass demonstration.
Yevkurov had led the Ingush government since 2008.