Ingush Liberation Army Releases Video Detailing Struggle Against Russian Federal State

Eoin Kavanagh
Eoin Kavanagh
Eoin specializes in geopolitical analysis, with degrees in Political Science and Counterterrorism, and extensive international experience, including humanitarian work. Well-acquainted with challenging environments like Bosnia, Eoin primarily focuses on Eastern Europe. His strong OSINT and investigative skills are further enhanced by his proficiency in multiple languages, including rare ones, and his experience in data science and machine learning.

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The Ingush Liberation Army recently published a video detailing their ongoing struggle against the Russian federal state, and outlining the future general direction of their campaign.

Ingushetia and the Ingush Liberation Army

Ingushetia, a small republic in the North Caucasus region of Russia, is often overshadowed by its larger neighbor, Chechnya, yet it shares a similarly tumultuous history. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ingushetia has faced poverty, insurgency, religious extremism, and political instability.

The flag of the Republic of Ingushetia.

After the Soviet authority disappeared, the 1992 Ossetian-Ingush dispute over the Prigorodny District escalated. The district had been administratively transferred to North Ossetia during Stalin’s era, leading to conflict, violence, and forced migrations, sometimes qualified as ethnic cleansing.

During the Chechen Wars, Ingushetia’s role was nuanced. As ethnic kin and neighbors to the Chechens, many Ingush sympathized with the Chechen independence movement. However, the official stance of Ingushetia was relatively neutral, with less involvement in active resistance compared to Chechnya. This neutrality was tested when the First Chechen War in 1994 and the Second in 1999 resulted in a large influx of refugees, exacerbating local economic and social strains. The presidency of Murat Zyazikov from 2001 to 2008 saw an escalation in violence and allegations of human rights abuses, which reportedly decreased under the subsequent administration of Yunus-Bek Yevkurov.

The Ingush population has faced political repression and economic neglect, fueling dissatisfaction with federal authorities. In recent years, increased calls for autonomy or independence have emerged. The formation of the Ingush Independence Committee, and its armed wing the Ingush Liberation Army in 2023 underscores the region’s growing unrest and the desire among some of its populace to establish a more independent governance structure, despite a 2017 claim from Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) that all insurgency grouped had been eliminated from North Caucasus.

For a more detailed analysis of Russia’s Governments-in-Exile, see our dedicated article.

Statement from the Ingush Liberation Army

In the recently released video, a member of the Ingush Liberation Army, speaking in Russian, stated that the group had been contacted by Italian journalists seeking answers about the movement.

Five men are present in the video, two of them standing and carrying what appear to be Kalashnikov-type assault rifles – possibly a Bulgarian paratrooper AK-74 on the left and an AK-103 model on the right. A man seated on the right seems to be holding an AKMS, while the man seated on the left appears to be holding a Beretta handgun. The flag of the Ingush Independence Committee – a modified version of the Republic of Ingushetia’s flag, replacing the central solar symbol with the Islamic declaration of faith – can be seen in the background.

The flag of the Ingush Independence Committee and its armed branch, the Ingush Liberation Army.

During the 3-minute long video clip, the masked man in the center reads the questions sent by the journalists and answers them:

  • Why are you fighting against Putin’s regime?

“We want to live freely and with dignity on our lands, as owners of these lands, not as slaves. Under no circumstances and conditions do we accept occupation followed by enslavement.”

  • Russia is powerful. What is your short-term goal in fighting it? And what is your long-term goal?

“The short-term goal is naturally to weaken the regime through sabotage operations, without turning to direct military confrontation, to avoid the suffering and casualties of our people. But at the same time, to pressure this regime with various levers and mechanisms, with the aim of weakening it and ideally destroying it. The long-term goal is naturally military preparation, training in tactics, strategies of warfare, gathering information, reconnaissance, and so on. ”

  • Do you want Ingushetia to secede from the Russian Federation? Overall, do you want to divide the entire Russian Federation?

“Yes, we are fighting for secession from Russia, for weakening followed by the collapse of this regime, so that every people under this regime’s expansion who desires freedom and independence may claim it.”

  • Is Moscow’s control over Ingushetia strengthened, or do you see signs of its weakening?

“As such, we do not observe significant signs of weakening of the regime of usurpers in the region, nor generally in the entire North Caucasus. However, it should be noted that Putin’s regime is suffering significant losses in human and material resources in the war against Ukraine.”

  • Tell us about your most successful operation.

“There are operations that have been quite successful, and also those that are still in development. At this stage, it is not appropriate to discuss the details of the impending operation. ”

  • Is your fight against Putin and the Moscow regime also religious?

“Our struggle is primarily religious, and then it is liberative.”