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

Report: $60 Billion Leaves Africa Illegally Each Year

Report by a joint UN and African Union panel says African countries need to take concrete measures to stop billions of dollars from illegally being moved out of continent each year More

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Some analysts say Russian Tu-95 bombers were flying near British airspace to warn Britain about an inquest into a murdered Russian spy More

Mugabe Defends Image Amid Controversy at Close of AU Summit

He rejects concerns about how the West might perceive his leadership, saying he's focused on African development 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.
Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relationsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
January 31, 2015 10:50 PM
Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Neighborhood Divided Over Conflict

People in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk districts find themselves squarely in the path of advancing Russian-backed rebels, who want to take back the territory they held at the beginning of the conflict last year. Many local residents are afraid, but others would welcome the change, even when a rebel shell lands in their neighborhood. From the Luhansk district, 15 kilometers from where the Ukrainian government marks the front line, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid