News / Europe

Police Targeted by Islamists in Ingushetia

Abzulit Shauxalov, 31, a former policeman, was shot in the back while on duty. Islamic militant violence in Ingushetia has killed 400 police officers over the past five years.
Abzulit Shauxalov, 31, a former policeman, was shot in the back while on duty. Islamic militant violence in Ingushetia has killed 400 police officers over the past five years.

Abzulit Shauxalov, 31, sinks into the soft blue cushions of his living room sofa. He breathes deeply to quiet his pounding heart. His body is shaking and covered with sweat. With support from two metal poles, he has just walked six feet across his living room.

“I did better today,” said Shauxalov, a former policeman, whose legs were paralyzed after he was shot while on duty in Russia’s volatile Caucasus republic of Ingushetia.

Shauxalov, now 31, was stationed at a checkpoint near his home in Karabulak, just 20 kilometers from the Ingush capital of Magas, when someone shot him in the back. It was his 28th birthday.

“I fell to the ground, and then noticed my legs couldn't move,” he said.

Shauxalov and his colleagues are victims to Islamic militant violence in Ingushetia, which has killed 400 police officers over the past five years.This revolt flared into world headlines two weeks ago when, police say a young man from the Caucasus detonated a massive bomb in a Moscow airport, killing and wounding a total of 200 people.

“Police are targets,” said Magomed Mutsolgov, head of the Ingush human rights organization, MARSH. “My cousin was killed a few years ago. He was a policeman. When they shot him, he was sitting in his car with his baby.”

“His wife went to the shop to buy medicine. She put her 6 month old baby in the back seat. When she came back, she said: “Let’s go, let’s go.” When she looked over, she noticed blood all over him. The situation here is out of control.”

Slide show reflecting on the culture of Ingushetia Republic

Abzulit Shauxalov’s brother, Ruslan, is also a police officer.

"I tell people not to go out unless they have to,” says Shauxalov, whose younger brother was shot in front of him. “I am scared for my family. I sleep with a gun, in a separate room from my family. If someone shoots at me, they won't kill my family.”

Abzulit who is now wheelchair bound with a spinal injury says he believes in being a police officer.

"It is a dangerous job, but if I don’t do it, who will? I have a responsibility,” he said.
Financial reasons also compel Shauxalov brothers and his colleagues to put their lives on the line. While salaries for officers are low (around $230 a month), Ingushetia suffers a 50-percent unemployment rate and is one of the poorest republics in Russia.  For many, a gun, a badge and uniform are the only options.

Russian security forces respond to attacks on police and officials by carrying out special operations in towns and villages across the North Caucasus.

As rights-activist Mutsolgov explains it, they act on intelligence, seal off streets, and fire on anyone in sight.

Despite the constant violence, Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov believes the situation is improving.

"The situation in the North Caucasus has become much better,” he told reporters recently. “Life gets better and better every year."

In August, a temporary moratorium on killing police officers was announced by the Ingushetian wing of Caucasus emirate, the regional umbrella group for the Islamic Insurgency.

The Caucasus Emirate website said that the moratorium was called, “Not because we do not have the strength to kill them in their homes, but because we hope that they will reconsider and show understanding for our position.”

In 2009, Islamic militants killed 75 police officers in this tiny republic. In 2010 the figure fell to 30.

But behind the figures and positive statements there are ruined lives. For Shauxalov and hundreds of his fellow police officers, it is simply too late.

“War is easier than life in Ingushetia,” said Shauxalov. “There you know who your enemy and friend is. Here any civilian can kill you for any reason. You can't be prepared."

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs