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

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora