The head of Russia's volatile North Caucasus region of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, has announced his resignation after almost 11 years in the position.
Yevkurov's statement on June 24 came amid ongoing tension in the region sparked by a controversial border deal with the neighboring Russian region of Chechnya.
In September 2018, Yevkurov and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov signed a border agreement following secret negotiations, prompting activists in Ingushetia to claim the pact invalid because it represented an illegal transfer of territory to Chechnya.
Yevkurov’s popularity in the region plunged dramatically because of the accord.
Several mass rallies against the deal in Ingushetia were violently dispersed by police and dozens of people were detained and later fined or jailed. Some protesters face criminal charges.
Ingush opponents of the deal contend that Ingush land is being unjustly handed over to Chechnya, whose strongman leader Kadyrov has been accused of interfering in the affairs of neighboring Ingushetia and Daghestan.