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NAZRAN, October 12 (Itar-Tass) — The Ingush authorities have shut down 20 non-governmental organizations, which had contacts with foreign secret services and gathered intelligence, director of the regional department of the Federal Security Service Yuri Seryshev told reporters on Friday.
"Foreigners are mostly interpreted in different information about the region - public, political and economic - as well as in the operation of law-enforcement bodies. While proclaiming high goals in their work, they actually engaged in spying in the interests of foreign states," Seryshev stressed.
He said the ideologists who nudge Ingushetia's youths towards illegal actions are abroad.
"There are such "figures" who don't tote arms themselves; they don't stage assassinations or explosions, but they push youths towards illegal actions; they are quite a few.
"They are largely abroad and in safety, they carry out ideological work through the Internet, glorify gunmen, present their activity as having a religious basis, excuse their sanguinary deeds and urge youngsters to participate in criminal actions.
"There are such persons in the republic, too. "They do not risk carrying out such work openly in Ingushetia, so their role is to prepare the ground, to make people feel the hopelessness and injustice of the current situation," he said.
Some 100 militants have turned themselves in to the authorities in the past two years. "As a rule, they are not involved in serious crimes; they are people who realized that they were being used.
"The republic has set up a commission for adaptation of militants to peaceful life. All their actions are assessed from the legal point of view, but as far as I now, no large jail terms have ever been meted out. The courts take into account their surrender, repentance and cooperation with the investigators.
"In most cases, the courts give suspended sentences.
The Ingush authorities provide assistance to the repenting militants in receiving education and finding jobs. "This support is considerable, it's aimed at making sure that a person does not remain branded as terrorist for the rest of his life or feel as an outcast," Seryshev said.
According to Seryshev more than 1,000 gunmen have been destroyed in the republic in the past few years. Law-enforcement bodies have also destroyed 34 well-equipped camps, more than 700 caches, over 6,000 explosive devices and 200,000 ammunition.
At present, the resources of the armed groups hiding in wooded areas in the highlands are depleted to a considerable extent, while their opportunities to recruit new members are limited.
The odious gang leaders have been destroyed, so the surviving gangs' chief objective is staying alive.
Among the destroyed leaders were Shamil Basayev and Said Buryatsky, the FSB official reminded.
"The surviving gangs avoid engagement and leave their bases and scatter upon the appearance of law-enforcement personnel. They understand the futility and meaninglessness of their resistance, but fear punishment for their crimes," Seryshev said.
The public and political and criminal situation in Ingushetia is difficult as in other republics of the region. "The struggle for power and the clash of clan interests have played and are continuing to play the key role in shaping the public and political situation," he said.
In his opinion, many persons aspiring to power are interested in having gunmen around.