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Republic of Ingushetia
Республика Ингушетия (Russian)
Гӏалгӏай Мохк (Ingush)
—  Republic  —


Coat of arms
Anthem: State Anthem of the Republic of Ingushetia[1]
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Political status
Country Russia
Federal district North Caucasian[2]
Economic region North Caucasus[3]
Established June 4, 1992[4][5]
Capital Magas
Government (as of October 2014)
 • Head[7] Yunus-Bek Yevkurov[6]
 • Legislature People's Assembly (Parliament)[7]
Area See text
 • Total 3,000 km2 (1,200 sq mi)
Area rank 81st
Population (2010 Census)[8]
 • Total 412,529
 • Rank 75th
 • Density[9] 137.51/km2 (356.1/sq mi)
 • Urban 38.3%
 • Rural 61.7%
Population (January 2014 est.)
 • Total 453,000[10]
Time zone(s) MSK (UTC+03:00)[11]
ISO 3166-2 RU-IN
License plates 06
Official languages Russian;[12] Ingush[13]
Official website

The Republic of Ingushetia (Russian: Респу́блика Ингуше́тия, tr. Respublika Ingushetiya; IPA: [rʲɪˈspublʲɪkə ɪnɡʊˈʂetʲɪjə]; Ingush: Гӏалгӏай Мохк, Ğalğaj Moxk), also referred to as simply Ingushetia, is a federal subject of Russia (a republic), located in the North Caucasus region.

Its capital is the town of Magas. In terms of area, the republic is the smallest of Russia's federal subjects except for the federal cities. It was established on June 4, 1992 after the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was split in two.[4][5] The republic is home to the indigenous Ingush, a people of Vainakh ancestry. As of the 2010 Census, its population was 412,529.[8]

Ingushetia is one of Russia's poorest and most restive regions. The military conflict in neighboring Chechnya has occasionally spilled into Ingushetia, and the republic has been destabilized by corruption, a number of high-profile crimes (including kidnapping and murder of civilians by government security forces[14]), anti-government protests, attacks on soldiers and officers, Russian military excesses and a deteriorating human rights situation.[15][16]


The name Ingushetia is derived from the ancient village Angusht which was renamed into Tarskoye and transferred to North Ossetia in 1944 after the genocide of 23 February 1944.

The Ingush, a nationality group indigenous to the Caucasus, mostly inhabit Ingushetia. They refer to themselves as Ghalghai (from Ingush: Ghala ("fortress" or "town") and ghai ("inhabitants" or "citizens"). The Ingush speak the Ingush language, which has a very high degree of mutual intelligibility with neighboring Chechen. Ingush were/are traditionally a classless society based on a clan system and unwritten law (approximately 350 clans live in Ingushetia today). Every member within a clan and clans themselves are viewed as equal. Unlike the neighboring nations in the Caucasus (including Chechens), Ingush never had social superiors or inferiors. The Ingush/Ingushetia were also known by the following names: Gelia (American cartographer J. H. Colton[17]), Tschetschna (German geographers Joseph Grassl and Joseph Meyer[18]), Ghalghai/Gelgai (Self), Nakh (self, meaning "people"), Vainakh (self, meaning "our people"), Kist (Georgian), Gergar (Self), Dzurdzuk (Georgian), Ghlighvi (Georgian), Angushtini (Russian), Mack-aloni (Ossetian), Orstkhoi (self), Nart-Orstkhoi (self), Galash (self), Tsori (self), Dzheirakhoi (self), Khamhoi (self), Metshal (self), Fyappi (self), and Nyasareth (self). The self namings represent different Vainakh tribes which make up the Ingush population today.[19] The history of the Ingush is closely related to Chechens. Roman, Georgian, and later Russian missionaries Christianised the Ingush. The remains of several churches, notably the Tkhabya-Yerd and the Albe-Yerd can be found in Ingushetia. Ingush peacefully converted to Islam at the end of the 19th century which is almost three centuries after the beginning of Islamization in Chechnya and Dagestan.

Origin of Ingushetia's population

According to Leonti Mroveli, the 11th-century Georgian chronicler, the word Caucasian is derived from the Vainakh ancestor Kavkas.[20] According to Professor George Anchabadze of Ilia State University "The Vainakhs are the ancient natives of the Caucasus. It is noteworthy, that according to the genealogical table drawn up by Leonti Mroveli, the legendary forefather of the Vainakhs was "Kavkas", hence the name Kavkasians, one of the ethnicons met in the ancient Georgian written sources, signifying the ancestors of the Chechens and Ingush. As appears from the above, the Vainakhs, at least by name, are presented as the most "Caucasian" people of all the Caucasians (Caucasus – Kavkas – Kavkasians) in the Georgian historical tradition."[21][22] The Soviet-Russian anthropologists and scientists N.Ya. Marr, V.V. Bounak, R.M. Munchaev, I.M Dyakonov, E.I. Krupnov and G.A. Melikashvilli wrote: "Among Ingush the Caucasian type is preserved better than among any other North Caucasian nation", Professor of anthropology V.V.Bounak "Groznenski Rabochi" 5, VII, 1935. Professor G.F.Debets recognized that Ingush Caucasian anthropologic type is the most Caucasian among Caucasians.[23] In an article in Science Magazine Bernice Wuethrich states that American linguist Dr. Johanna Nichols "has used language to connect modern people of the Caucasus region to the ancient farmers of the Fertile Crescent" and that her research suggests that "farmers of the region were proto-Nakh-Daghestanians". Nichols is quoted as stating: "The Nakh–Dagestanian languages are the closest thing we have to a direct continuation of the cultural and linguistic community that gave rise to Western civilization". Dr. Henry Harpending, University of Utah supports her claims in the article.[24]

Genetics of Ingushetia's population

The Ingush have 89% of J2 Y-DNA which is the highest known frequency in the world and J2 is closely associated with the Fertile Crescent.[25] The mitochondrial DNA of the Ingush differs from other Caucasian populations and the rest of the world. "The Caucasus populations exhibit, on average, less variability than other [World] populations for the eight Alu insertion poly-morphisms analysed here. The average heterozygosity is less than that for any other region of the world, with the exception of Sahul. Within the Caucasus, Ingushians have much lower levels of variability than any of the other populations. The Ingushians also showed unusual patterns of mtDNA variation when compared with other Caucasus populations (Nasidze and Stoneking, submitted), which indicates that some feature of the Ingushian population history, or of this particular sample of Ingushians, must be responsible for their different patterns of genetic variation at both mtDNA and the Alu insertion loci."[26][27]



1855 Atlas Map of Turkey and the North Caucasus. Map of the American cartographer J.H.Colton. Top right corner, Ingushetia is labeled as Gelia, with Ingush cities: Nasra (Nazran), and Wladikaukas (Vladikavkaz) with Daryal Pass running on the West side of Gelia.
File:Migration on Nakh Peoples.png
Pattern of migration of Nakh peoples (Ingush, Chechens) from the birthplace in the Fertile Crescent to the slopes of the Caucasus (red arrow) 10,000 BC after they overused the land and created deserts. Bernice Wuethrich, Johanna Nichols (19 May 2000). "Peering Into the Past, With Words". Science 288 (5469): 1158
Pottery: an ancient Ingush vessel with three handles. The side handles used to tie the knots, and the vessel itself is well balanced for an operator to pour water down with one hand. Dzheirakhovski district of Ingushetia.
File:Koorkhars traditional Ingush female head cover (600 BC - 1800's AD).jpg
Koorkhars (600 BC – 1800s AD) is a traditional Ingush female head cover (hair is put into the "horns") which comes either single "horn" for usage as cushion with helmet, or double "horns" during peacetime which are covered in jewelry.
Ingush pre-Islamic beliefs. Temple Tkhabya-Yerd (temple of 2000) was initially a cuboid cyclopean masonry structure, which was rebuilt during the spread of Christianity in Ingushetia. The rebuilt wall was done with smaller stones shown at the entrance side.
File:Ingush Male Warrior Helmet.jpg
Ingush male warrior helmet
Typical Ingush medieval castle. Majority of towers and walls were destroyed by Russian army in 19th and 20th centuries
10,000–8000 BC
Migration of Nakh people to the slopes of the Caucasus from the Fertile Crescent. Invention of agriculture, irrigation, and the domestication of animals.[28][29]
6000–4000 BC
Neolithic era. Pottery is known to the region. Old settlements near Ali-Yurt and Magas, discovered in the modern times, revealed tools made out of stone: stone axes, polished stones, stone knives, stones with holes drilled in them, clay dishes etc. Settlements made out of clay bricks discovered in the plains. In the mountains there were discovered settlements made out of stone surrounded by walls some of them dated back 8000 BC.[30]
4000–3000 BC
Invention of the wheel (3000 BC), horseback riding, metal works (copper, gold, silver, iron) dishes, armor, daggers, knives, arrow tips. The artifacts were found near Nasare-Cort, Muzhichi, Ja-E-Bortz (also known as Surkha-khi), Abbey-Gove (also known as Nazran or Nasare)[30]
400 BC – 800 AD
appearance of kingdom of Albania (name known solely from Romans) on the east and center of the North Caucasus.
900 AD – 1200 AD
the kingdom in the center of the Caucasus splits into Alania and Noble Alania (known from Russian as Царственные Аланы). German scientist Peter Simon Pallas believed that Ingush people (Kist) were the direct descendants from Alania.[31]
1239 AD
Destruction of the Alania capital of Maghas (both names known solely from Muslim Arabs) and Alan confederacy of the Northern Caucasian highlanders, nations, and tribes by Batu Khan (a Mongol leader and a grandson of Genghis Khan) "Magas was destroyed in the beginning of 1239 by the hordes of Batu Khan. Historically Magas was located at approximately the same place on which the new capital of Ingushetia is now built" – D.V.Zayats[32]
1300 AD – 1400 AD
War between the Alans, Tamerlan, Tokhtamysh, and the Battle of the Terek River. The Alan tribes build fortresses, castles, and defense walls locking the mountains from the invaders. Part of the lowland tribes occupied by Mongols. The insurgency against Mongols begins. In 1991 the Jordanian historian Abdul-Ghani Khassan presented the photocopy from old Arabic scripts claiming that Alania was in Chechnya and Ingushetia, and the document from Alanian historian Azdin Vazzar (1395–1460) who claimed to be from Nokhcho tribe of Alania.[33][34]
1500 AD
Russian conquest of the Caucasus. 1558 Temryuk of Kabarda sends his emissaries to Moscow requesting help against Ingush tribes from Ivan the Terrible. Ivan the terrible marries Temryuk's daughter Maria Temryukovna the Circassian (Kabardin) tsaritsa. Alliance formed to gain the ground in the central Caucasus for the expanding Tsardom of Russia against stubborn Vainakh defenders.
After several attempts to gain the access of strategic Darial Gorge Russian forces lose the battle near village Angusht. Hence the tribe which lived in the village and the nation as a whole is nicknamed Ingush.

Caucasian wars

Russian historians claim that the Ingush volunteered to become a part of Russia. This conclusion is based mostly on the document signed on 13 June 1810 by General-Major Delpotso and representatives of 2 Ingush clans. Other clans resisted the Russian conquest. On June 29, 1832 Russian barron Rozen reported in letter No.42 to count Chernishev that "on the 23rd of this month I exterminated eight Ghalghai (Ingush) villages. On the 24th I exterminated nine more villages near Targim." By November 12, 1836 (letter no.560, he was claiming that highlanders of Dzheirkah, Kist, and Ghalghai had been temporarily conquered.[35] The Russian conquest was extremely difficult and the Russian forces began to rely on the method of colonization: extermination of local population and populating area with Cossack and Ossetian loyalists. Colonization of Ingush land by Russians and Ossetians started in the middle of the 19th century. Russian General Evdokimov and Ossetian colonel Kundukhov in 'Opis no. 436' "gladly reported" that "the result of colonization of Ingush land was successful":

  • Ingush village Ghazhien-Yurt was renamed to Stanitsa Assinovskaya in 1847
  • Ingush village Ebarg-Yurt was renamed to Stanitsa Troitskaya in 1847
  • Ingush town Dibir-Ghala was renamed to Stanitsa Sleptsovskaya in 1847
  • Ingush village Magomet-Khite was renamed to Stanitsa Voznesenskaya in 1847
  • Ingush village Akhi-Yurt was renamed to Stanitsa Sunzhenskaya in 1859
  • Ingush village Ongusht was renamed to Stanitsa Tarskaya in 1859
  • Ingush town Ildir-Ghala was renamed to Stanitsa Karabulakskaya in 1859
  • Ingush village Alkhaste was renamed to Stanitsa Feldmarshalskaya in 1860
  • Ingush village Tauzen-Yurt was renamed to Stanitsa Vorontsov-Dashkov in 1861
  • Ingush village Sholkhi was renamed to Khutor Tarski in 1867.[36]

After the losses the remaining Ingush clans resorted mostly to underground resistance.[37] The Russians built the fortress Vladikavkaz ("ruler of the Caucasus") on the place of Ingush village of Zaur.[38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46] Russian General Aleksey Petrovich Yermolov wrote in a letter to the Tsar of Russia, "It would be a grave mistake for Russia to alienate such a militaristic nation as the Ingush." He suggested the separation of the Ingush and Chechens in order for Russia to win the war in the Caucasus. In another letter from General Ermolov to Lanski (dated 12 January 1827) on the impossibility of forceful Christianization of the Ingush, Yermolov wrote: "This nation, the most courageous and militaristic among all the highlanders, cannot be allowed to be alienated..." The last organized rebellion (the so-called "Nazran insurrection") in Ingushetia occurred in 1858 when 5,000 Ingush started a fight but lost to superior Russian forces. The rebellion signalled the end of the First Russo-Caucasian War. In the same year, the Russian Tsar offered help in the deportation of Ingush and Chechens to Turkey and the Middle East by claiming that "Muslims need to live under Muslim rulers". It seems that he wanted to liberate the land for Ossetians and Cossaks.[37] Some Ingush willingly went into exile to deserted territory in the Middle East where many of them died. The remainder were assimilated. It was estimated that 80% of the Ingush left Ingushetia for the Middle East in 1865.[47][48]

After the Russian Revolution of 1917 the Soviets promised the Ingush that the villages and towns annexed during the colonization would be returned to the Ingush. Ingushetia becomes a major battleground between the old archenemies: general Denikin and Ingush resistance fighters. In his memoirs general Denikin writes: "Ingush people are the least numerous, most welded, and strongly martial organization. They were, in essence, the supreme arbiter of the North Caucasus. The moral of the appearance was defined long ago in Russian text-books of geography, "the chief occupation – animal husbandry and robbery ..." The last one of the two reached special art in the society. Political aspirations came from the same trend. The Ingush are mercenaries of the Soviet regime, they support it but don’t let the spread of it in their province. At the same time they tried to strike up relations with Turkey and sought the assistance from the Turks from Elisavetpol, and Germany – from Tiflis. In August, when the Cossacks and Ossetians captured Vladikavkaz, the Ingush intervened and saved the Soviet Board of Commissioners of Terek, but cruelly plundered the city and captured the state bank and mint. They robbed all the neighbors: the Cossacks and Ossetians in the name of "correcting historical errors".[49]

Independent state

On December 21, 1917 Ingushetia, Chechnya, and Dagestan declared independence from Russia and formed a single state called the "United Mountain Dwellers of the North Caucasus" (also known as Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus), which was recognized by major world powers. The capital of the new state was moved to Temir-Khan-Shura (Dagestan)[50][51][52] The first prime minister of the state was elected Tapa Chermoyev a Chechen prominent statesman, second prime minister was elected an Ingush statesman Vassan-Girey Dzhabagiev who also was the author of the Constitution of the land in 1917, in 1920 he was reelected for the third term. In 1921 Russians attack and occupy the country and forcefully join in to the Soviet state. Caucasian war for independence continues the government goes into exile.[53]

Soviet period

The Soviets confiscated the remaining Ingush properties by collectivization and dekulakization[54] and unified Chechnya and Ingushetia into Chechen-Ingush ASSR. During World War II Ingush youth were drafted into the Russian army. In August 1942, for thee weeks, Nazi German forces captured half of the North Caucasus and are stopped only at two Ingush towns: Ordzhonikidze (modern day Vladikavkaz) and Malgobek. The battle between Ingush and Germans intensifies at Malgobek and the small town being captured and recaptured 4 times for another month until Germans finally retreat. Stalin's plans were expansion of the USSR on the south through Turkey. Muslim Chechens and Ingush could become a threat for the expansion.[55] In February 1944 near the end of World War II Russian Army and NKVD units flood Chechen-Ingush ASSR, the maneuvers were disguised as military exercises of the southern district.

Genocide of 1944

On 23 February 1944 Ingush and Chechens were falsely accused of collaborating with the Nazis operation code name Lentil starts and the entire Ingush and Chechen populations were deported to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Siberia on the orders of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin while majority of their men were fighting on the front. The initial phase of the deportation was carried out on the USA supplied Studebaker trucks[56] specifically modified with three submachine gun nest compartments above the deported to prevent escapes. The deportees were gathered on the railroad stations and during the second phase transferred to the cattle railroad carts. Up to 30% of the population perished during the journey or in the first year of the exile.[57][58][59] The Prague Watchdog claims that "in the early years of their exile about half of the Chechens and Ingush died from hunger, cold and disease".[60] The deportation was classified by the European Parliament in 2004 as genocide.[61] After the deportation Ingush resistance against Russia rises again. Those who escaped the deportation, shepherds who were high in the mountains during the deportation combine forces and form rebel groups which constantly attack Russian forces in Ingushetia. Major rebel groups were led by Akhmed Khuchbarov, Tsitskiev brothers, and Ingush woman-sniper Laisat Baisarova. Last one of the male Ingush rebels was killed in 1977 by the KGB officers, the female sniper Laisat Baisarova was never captured or killed.[62]

Post-genocide Soviet period

After 13 years of exile Ingush were allowed to return to Checheno-Ingushetia (but not to Ordzhonikidze or the Prigorodny District). Most of Ingushetia's territory had been settled by Ossetians and part of the region had been transferred to North Ossetia. The returning Ingush faced considerable animosity from the Ossetians. The Ingush were forced to buy their homes back from the Ossetians and Russians. These hardships and injustices led to a peaceful Ingush protest in Grozny in 16 January 1973, which was crushed by the Soviet troops[63] In 1989, the Ingush were officially rehabilitated along with other peoples that had been subjected to repressions.[64]

Part of Russian Federation, post-Soviet period

In 1991, when the Chechens declared independence from the Soviet Union to form the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, the Ingush chose to secede from the Chechen-Ingush Republic. Thus, in 1992 the Ingush joined the newly created Russian Federation to try to resolve the conflict with Ossetia peacefully, also in the hope that the Russians would return their land as a token of their loyalty.

Ethnic cleansing of 1992

However, ethnic tensions in North Ossetia which were orchestrated by Ossetian ultra nationalists (per Helsinki human Right watch), led to the outbreak of the Ossetian–Ingush conflict in late October, when another ethnic cleansing of the Ingush population started. Thousands of Ingush civilians were taken hostage by combined Russian and Ossetian forces. Including over 500 Ingush hostages held in Beslan high-school. According to media reports, the Beslan high school gymnasium was one of several buildings in which the Ossetian militants had held hundreds of Ingush hostages, many of them women and children. The hostages were all kept in the same gymnasium, and deprived of food and water; at least one newborn, and several dozen male hostages were executed.[65][66][67][68] Over 60,000 Ingush civilians being forced from their homes in the Prigorodny District of North Ossetia.[37] As a result of the conflict, Ruslan Aushev, the Soviet hero of war in Afghanistan, was appointed by the Russian government as the first president of Ingushetia and partial stability returned under his rule.

First and Second Russo-Chechen Wars

In 1994, when the first Russo-Chechen war started, the number of refugees in Ingushetia from both conflicts doubled. According to the UN, for every citizen of Ingushetia, one refugee arrived from Ossetia or Chechnya. This influx was very problematic for the economy, which collapsed after Aushev's success. The second Russo-Chechen war which started in 1999 brought more refugees (at some point there was one refugee for every Ingush citizen: 240,000 from Chechnya plus 60,000 from North Ossetia at the peak in 2000) and misery to Ingushetia. In 2001, Aushev was forced to leave his presidency and was succeeded by Murat Zyazikov, a former KGB general. The situation worsened under his rule. Many young Ingush men were abducted by Russian and Ossetian death squads.[69][70][71][72] according to Human rights watchdogs Memorial[73] and Mashr[74] The Ingush mountains are closed for Ingush nationals.[75] The number of rebel attacks in Ingushetia rose, especially after the number of Russian security forces were tripled. For example, according to a Russian news agency a murder of an ethnic-Russian school teacher in Ingushetia was committed by two ethnic-Russian and ethnic-Ossetian soldiers; Issa Merzhoev the Ingush Police detective who solved the crime was shot at and killed by "unknown" assailants shortly after he had identified the murderer.[76] At least four people were injured when a vehicle exploded on 24 March 2008. An upsurge in violence in these months targeted local police officers and security forces. In January 2008, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation launched a "counter-terrorism" operation in Ingushetia after receiving information that insurgents had been preparing a series of attacks.[77] In the beginning of August 2008 the war between Georgia and South Ossetia broke out, in which the Russian Federation subsequently became involved.[78] After the outbreak of the war, there were virtually no more attacks or abductions of Ingush civilians by "unknown" forces. Most of the Russian forces were transferred to North and South Ossetias[79] 31 August 2008 Magomed Yevloyev, the head of Ingush opposition and the owner the website, was killed by Russian security forces[80] Shortly before the unrecognised opposition group People's Parliament of Ingushetia Mekhk-Kkhel called for the recognition of the Russian semi-autonomous republic's independence, opposition activist Magomed Khazbiyev proclaimed, "We must ask Europe or America to separate us from Russia."[81][82]

On October 18, 2008, a Russian military convoy came under grenade attack and machine gun fire near Nazran. Official Russian reports of the ambush, which has been blamed on local Muslim separatists, said two soldiers were killed and at least seven injured. Reports from Ingush opposition sources suggested as many as forty to fifty Russian soldiers were killed.[83][84]

On October 30, 2008 Zyazikov was dismissed from his office (he himself claimed he resigned voluntarily). On the next day, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov was nominated by Dmitry Medvedev and approved as President by the People's Assembly of Ingushetia (later the title President was rennamed to Head). This move was endorsed by major Russian political parties and by Ingush opposition.[85][86] Under the current rule of Yevkurov, Ingushetia seems much calmer, showing some semblance of Russian government. Attacks on policemen have fallen by 40% and abductions by 80%.[87]

Military history

According to professor Johanna Nichols, in all the recorded history and reconstructable prehistory the Ingush people have never undertaken battle except in defense.[37] In the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC Pharnavaz, his son Saurmag the Iberian kings, and the relatives of Ingush people per Leonti Mroveli, received military assistance from Ingush people in defence of Iberia against the Kartli occupation.[88]

During World War I, 500 cavalrymen from an Ingush regiment of the Wild Division attacked the German Iron Division. The Russian Emperor Nicholas II, assessing the performance of the Ingush and Chechen regiments during the Brusilov breakthrough on the Russian-German front in 1915 wrote in a telegram to the Governor-General of the Tersky region Fleisher:

The Ingush regiment pounced upon the German "Iron Division" like an avalanche. It was immediately supported by the Chechen regiment. The Russian history, including the history of our Preobrazhensky regiment, does not know a single instance of a horse cavalry attacking an enemy force armed with heavy artillery: 4.5 thousand killed, 3.5 thousand taken prisoner, 2.5 thousand wounded. Less than in an hour and a half the "Iron Division" ceased to exist, the division that had aroused fear in the best armies of our allies. On behalf of me, the royal court and the whole of the Russian army send our best regards to fathers, mothers, sisters, wives and brides of those brave sons of the Caucasus whose heroism paved the way for the destruction of German hordes. Russia bows low to the heroes and will never forget them. I extend my fraternal greetings, Nicholas II, August 25, 1915.[89]

In 1941, when Germans attacked the USSR, the whole Russian front was retreating 40 km a day. Out of 6,500 defenders of Brest Fortress 6,000 Soviet troops capitulated. 500 troops were fresh conscripts of Ingush and Chechen origin. Defenders held the fortress for over a month against the Germans and even managed to stage several attacks from the Fortress. The last defender's name has been unknown for a long time; his documents identified him as a man called Barkhanoyev. Decades later, official records revealed it was Umatgirei Barkhanoyev from the Ingush village of Yandare. Recently, the memoirs of Stankus Antanas, a Lithuanian national and former Waffen SS officer, were published in Ingushetia. He recalls that in July 1941, his regiment was ordered to "finish off" the remaining Soviet soldiers in the fortress. When the Nazis decided that no defenders had been left alive, an SS general lined up his soldiers on the parade ground to award them with decorations for capturing the fortress. Then, a Red Army officer came out from the fortress's underground bunker:

He was blind because of his wounds and walked with his left arm extended forward. His right hand rested on a gun holster. He walked along the parade grounds wearing a ragged uniform, but his head was held high. The entire division was shocked at the sight. Approaching a shell-hole, he turned his face toward the west. The German general suddenly saluted this last defender of the Brest Fortress, and the rest of the officers followed suit. The Red Army officer drew a handgun and shot himself in the head. He fell on the ground facing Germany. A deep-drawn sigh aired over the parade grounds. We all stood 'frozen' in awe of this brave man.[90]

In 1994–96 Ingush volunteers fought alongside Chechens in the First Chechen War. Aside from a few incidents (including the killings of Ingush civilians by Russian soldiers), Ingushetia was largely kept out of the war by a determined policy of non-violence pursued by President Ruslan Aushev.[37]

This changed after the beginning of the Second Chechen War, and especially since Murat Zyazikov became the second Russian appointed president of Ingushetia in 2002. The first major rebel attack of the conflict, in which a military convoy was destroyed occurred in May 2000 and caused the deaths of 19 soldiers. In the June 2004 Nazran raid, Chechen and Ingush rebels attacked government buildings and military bases across Ingushetia, resulting in the deaths of at least 90 Ingush people and unknown number of Russian troops. Among them the Republic's acting interior minister Abukar Kostoyev, his deputy Zyaudin Kotiyev. In response to a sharp escalation in attacks by insurgents since the summer of 2007,[91] Moscow sent in an additional 25,000 MVD and FSB troops, tripling the number of special forces in Ingushetia.

Civil disorder

File:Famous Ingush Rebels.jpg
Famous Ingush rebels. Top left: Ingush female-sniper Laisat Baisarova. Lower left: Sulom-beck Sagopshinski. Right: Akhmed Khuchbarov.
  • 1800s–1860s Insurgency against Russian conquest
  • 1860s–1890s Raids of Ingush abreks on the Georgian Military Highway and Mozdok
  • 1890s–1917 Insurgency of Ingush resistance under Chechen abrek Zelimkhan Gushmazukaev and Ingush abrek Sulom-beck Sagopshinski, execution of Russian viceroy to Ingushetia colonel Mitnik by Ingush resistance fighter Buzurtanov.
  • 1917-1920s Insurgency of Ingush resistance fighters against combined Russian White Guards, Cossacks, Ossetians, and general Denikin forces
  • 1920s–1930s Insurgency of Ingush people against Communists, executions of Communist leader of Ingushetia Chernoglaz by Ingush rebel Uzhakhov. Execution of Communist party leader of Ingushetia Ivanov by Ingush rebels.
  • 1944–1977 Ingush rebels avenging the deportation of the Ingush nation. Scores of Russian army units and NKVD, KGB officers killed
  • 1992 Ossetian-Ingush conflict. In combat operations Ingush rebels capture armor which later transferred to Chechens or given back to Russian army after the conflict ended.
  • 1994 Nazran. Ingush civilians stop Russian army, flip armor, burn military trucks which were on the march to Chechnya in Russian-Chechen war. First Russian casualties reported from hands of Ingush rebels.
  • 1994–1996 Ingush rebels defend Grozny and participate in combat operations on Chechen side
  • 1999–2006 Ingush rebels join Chechen rebels, the independence war turns into Jihad.
  • 13 July 2001 Ingush people protest "defiling and desecration" of historical Christian Ingush church Tkhaba-Yerdy after Russian troops made the church into public toilet. Though Ingush are Muslims they highly respect their Christian past.[92]
  • 15 September 2003, Ingush rebels use bomb truck and attack FSB headquarters in Maghas. Several dozens of Russian FSB officers killed including the senior officer overseeing the FSB in Chechen republic. The several story HQ building is severely damaged.[93]
  • 6 April 2004, Ingush rebels attack Russian appointed president of Ingushetia Murat Zyazikov. He was wounded when a car bomb was rammed into his motorcade.
  • 22 June 2004, Chechen and Ingush rebels raid on Russian troops in Ingushetia. Hundreds of Russian troops killed.
  • 31 August 2008 Execution of Magomed Yevloyev Ingush dissident, journalist, lawyer, businessman, and the owner of the news website, known for being highly critical of Russian regime in Ingushetia. Shot into temple.[94] Awarded posthumously, and his name is engraved in stone on the monuments at the Journalists' Memorials in Bayeux, France and Washington D.C., the USA.[95]
  • 30 September 2008: A suicide bomber attacked the motorcade of Ruslan Meiriyev, Ingushetia's top police official.
  • 10 June 2009: Snipers killed Aza Gazgireyeva, deputy chief justice of the regional Supreme Court, as she dropped her children off at school. Russian news agencies also cited investigators as saying she was likely killed for her role in investigating the 2004 attack on Ingush police forces by Chechen fighters.[96]
  • 13 June 2009: Two gunmen sprayed former deputy prime minister Bashir Aushev with automatic-weapon fire as he got out of his car at the gate outside his home in the region's main city, Nazran.[97]
  • 22 June 2009: Russian appointed president of Ingushetia Yunus-Bek Yevkurov was badly hurt when a suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives as the president's convoy drove past. The attack killed three bodyguards[98]
  • 12 August 2009: Gunmen killed construction minister Ruslan Amerkhanov in his office in the Ingush capital, Magas.[99]
  • 17 August 2009: A suicide bomber killed 21 Ingush police officers and unknown numbers of Russian Internal Ministry troops which were stationed in Nazran, after he drove a truck full of explosives into a MVD police base.
  • 25 October 2009 Execution of Maksharip Aushev, an Ingush businessman, dissident, and a vocal critic of Russian regime policies in Ingushetia. His body had over 60 bullet holes. Awarded posthumously by the U.S. Department of State in 2009[100]
  • 5 April 2010: A suicide bomber injured three police officers in the town of Karabulak. Two officers died at the hospital as a result of their injuries. While investigators arrived on scene, another car bomb was set off by remote. Nobody was hurt in the second blast.[101]
  • 24 January 2011 A suicide bomber, Magomed Yevloyev (same first and last name as the slain Ingush opposition journalist Magomed Yevloyev), killed 37 people at Domodedovo airport, Moscow, Russia.
  • 2012 Ingush rebels participate in war against Assad, Iranian, and Russian advisors in Syria which is largely viewed by the Ingush rebels as war against Russia and the Iranian-speaking Ossetians. The rebel Ingush commanders are a veteran of Ossetian-Ingush conflict, wars in Chechnya, Daud Khalukhayev from Ingush village of Palanazh (Katsa), and a descendant of Ingush deportees of 1860's Syrian-born Ingush Walid Didigov.[102][103]
  • 6 June 2013 Accusation of Ingush rebel leader Ali "Maghas" Taziev in Rostov-On-Don regional Russian court, who was captured after he voluntarily given himself up in on 9 June 2010 to Russian forces in Ingushetia on the agreement that Russians will liberate his relatives held hostage on one of the Russian military bases.
  • 27 August 2013 Execution of the head of security of Ingushetia Akhmet Kotiev and his bodyguard by Ingush rebels. Kotiev was actively involved in the assassination of Magomed Yevloyev.
  • 10 December 2013 Ingush opposition leader Magomed Khazbiev, who was a close friend of assassinated Magomed Yevloyev, attends Euromaidan in Ukraine and participates in anti-Russian campaign there after which his parents were threatened and harassed in Russia. On his website he writes: "the fact that Putin's slaves harass my parents do not make any sense, if you [Russians] want me to stop you have to kill me like Magomed Yevloyev and Makhsharip Aushev".[104]
  • 2 February 2014 Russian FSB officially confirms that in the middle of December 2013 four North Caucasian instructors operate in Ukraine, and prepare Ukrainians for street battles against Russian interests.[105]
  • 20 April 2014 Famous Ingush human rights defender Ibrgim Lyanov stated that Ingushetia wants to separate from Russia and become an independent state using the example of the Crimean separation from Ukraine[106]
  • 24 May 2014 Ingush rebel leader Arthur Getagazhev, 4 rebels, and 2 civilians were killed in action in the village of Sagopshi by Russian forces[107]
  • 2 July 2014 After several months of denial, pro-Russian president of Ingushetia finally recognizes that Ingush rebels are fighting in Ukraine against pro-Russia forces[108]
  • 2 July 2014 Ingush rebels attack Russian armored military convoy killing 1 and wounding 7 soldiers.[109]
  • 6 July 2014 Russian special forces prepared an ambush near the morgue in Nazran hospital where the body of Arthur Getagazhev was located. The intelligence reported that Ingush rebels will try to recover the body of the slain leader. The intelligence was correct. Radio Free Europe (section specializing in the Caucasus), reports that in the middle of the day 2 Ingush rebels attacked the ambush, according to unofficial source two rebels killed 7 and wounded 4 Russian FSB and spetsnaz officers in less than 40 seconds, after which the rebels left the scene unharmed. The source in Ingush police who wanted to stay anonymous said that exact number of killed are known only by the FSB but nobody would dare to declare if officially.[110] According to pro-Kremlin LifeNews released video the attack lasted less than 19 seconds.[111]
  • 9 September 2014 All Russian provinces, towns, and regions vote. Ingushetia is the exception. Russian government denies the voting right for Ingushetia.[112]
  • 17 January 2015 Maghas. Rise of anti-Western sentiments. Over 20,000 Ingush citizens protest against European terrorism toward Muslims[113][114]
  • 28 February 2015 Russian opposition leader Nemtsov's death linked to Ingushetia by Russian police[115][116]

Administrative divisions


The Republic of Ingushetia (in green)

Population: 412,529 (2010 Census);[8] 467,294 (2002 Census).[117]

The Ingush, a nationality group indigenous to the Caucasus, mostly inhabit Ingushetia. They refer to themselves as Ghalghai (from Ingush: Ghala ("fortress" or "town") and ghai ("inhabitants" or "citizens"). The Ingush speak the Ingush language, which has a very high degree of mutual intelligibility with neighboring Chechen.

Vital statistics

Source: Russian Federal State Statistics Service[dead link]
Average population (x 1000) Live births Deaths Natural change Crude birth rate (per 1000) Crude death rate (per 1000) Natural change (per 1000) Total fertility rate
1995 273 6,889 1,867 5,022 25.3 6.8 18.4
1996 287 5,980 1,958 4,022 20.9 6.8 14.0
1997 294 6,055 1,957 4,098 20.6 6.7 14.0
1998 299 5,929 2,064 3,865 19.8 6.9 12.9
1999 321 6,624 1,953 4,671 20.6 6.1 14.6
2000 393 8,463 2,117 6,346 21.5 5.4 16.2
2001 450 8,753 1,875 6,878 19.4 4.2 15.3
2002 461 7,578 1,874 5,704 16.4 4.1 12.4
2003 463 7,059 1,785 5,274 15.3 3.9 11.4
2004 454 6,794 1,751 5,043 15.0 3.9 11.1
2005 446 6,777 1,821 4,956 15.2 4.1 11.1
2006 437 7,391 1,830 5,561 16.9 4.2 12.7
2007 430 8,284 1,625 6,659 19.3 3.8 15.5
2008 423 9,215 1,561 7,654 21.8 3.7 18.1
2009 418 9,572 1,877 7,695 22.9 4.5 18.4 2.51
2010 410 11,178 1,857 9,321 27.1 4.5 22.6 2.99
2011 423 11,408 1,705 9,703 27.0 4.0 23.0 2.94
2012 436 9,350 1,595 7,755 21.4 3.7 17.7 2.27
2013 447 9,498 1,568 7,930 21.2 3.5 17.7 2.23
2014 458 9,454 1,586 7,868 20.7 3.5 17.2 2.18(e)

Note: Total fertility rate 2009, 2010, 2011 source:[118]

Ethnic groups

According to the 2010 Russian Census (2010),[8] ethnic Ingush make up 94.1% of the republic's population. Other groups include Chechens (4.6%), Russians (0.8%), and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the total population.

1926 Census 1939 Census 1959 Census 1970 Census 1979 Census 1989 Census 2002 Census 2010 Census1
Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  % Number  %
Ingushes 47,280 61.6% 79,462 58.0% 44,634 40.6% 99,060 66.0% 113,889 74.2% 138,626 74.5% 361,057 77.3% 385,537 94.1%
Chechens 2,553 3.3% 7,746 5.7% 5,643 5.1% 8,724 5.8% 9,182 6.0% 19,195 10.3% 95,403 20.4% 18,765 4.6%
Russians 24,185 31.5% 43,389 31.7% 51,549 46.9% 37,258 24.8% 26,965 17.6% 24,641 13.2% 5,559 1.2% 3,321 0.8%
Ukrainians 1,501 2.0% 1,921 1.4% 1,763 1.6% 1,068 0.7% 687 0.4% 753 0.4% 189 0.0% 2,009 0.5%
Others 1,215 1.6% 4,549 3.3% 6,438 5.9% 3,978 2.7% 2,852 1.9% 2,781 1.5% 5,086 1.1%
1 2,897people were registered from administrative databases, and could not declare an ethnicity. It is estimated that the proportion of ethnicities in this group is the same as that of the declared group.[119]


The Ingush are predominantly Shafi'i Madhhab of Sunni Islam[120] with some Sufi minority which are often associated with one of two traditional Sufi orders: the Sufi tariqa Naqshbandi, represented in Ingushetia by the brotherhood of Deni Arsanov, and the tariqa Qadiriyyah, associated with Kunta-Haji Kishiev.[121][122]


Topographic map of the Caucasus. Ingushetia is located on the center right of the map

Ingushetia is situated on the northern slopes of the Caucasus. Its area is reported by various sources as either 2,000 square kilometers (770 sq mi)[123] or 3,600 square kilometers (1,400 sq mi);[124] the difference in reporting is mainly due to the inclusion or exclusion of parts of Sunzhensky Districts. The republic borders the Republic of North Ossetia–Alania (SW/W/NW/N), the Chechen Republic (NE/E/SE), and the country of Georgia (southwards). The highest point is the Gora Shan[125] (4451 m).

A 150-kilometer (93 mi) stretch of the Caucasus Mountains runs through the territory of the republic.


Major rivers include:

Natural resources

Ingushetia is rich in marble, timber, dolomite, plaster, limestone, gravel, granite, clay, thermal medical water, rare metals, mineral water, oil (over 60 billion tons), and natural gas reserves.


Ingushetia's climate is mostly continental.

  • Average January temperature: −10 °C (14 °F)
  • Average July temperature: 21 °C (70 °F)
  • Average annual precipitation: 450–650 mm (18–26 in).
  • Average annual temperature: +10 °C (50 °F)


The head of government and the highest executive post in Ingushetia is the Head.

Recent heads:

Recent Chairmen of the Government:

The parliament of the Republic is the People's Assembly comprising 34 deputees elected for a four-year term. The People's Assembly is headed by the Chairman. As of 2006, the Chairman of the People's Assembly is Makhmud Sultanovich Sakalov.

The Constitution of Ingushetia was adopted on February 27, 1994.

Ingushetia is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.

The capital was moved from Nazran to Magas in December 2002.

The most recent election was held in 2013.


There are some natural resources in Ingushetia: mineral water in Achaluki, oil and natural gas in Malgobek, forests in Dzheirakh, metals in Galashki. The local government is considering the development of tourism; however, this is problematic due to the uneasy situation in the republic itself and the proximity of some conflict zones. However, Ingushetia continues to remain as one of Russia's poorest republics, largely due to the ongoing conflict, corruption and civil disorders. Unemployment is estimated to be around 53%, and growing poverty is a major issue.


Ingush State University, the first institute of higher education in the history of Ingushetia, was founded in 1994 in Ordzhonikidzevskaya.[127]

Notable people

See also



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  3. Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 2. Экономические районы», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 2. Economic Regions, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
  4. 4.0 4.1 Law of June 4, 1992
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  11. Правительство Российской Федерации. Федеральный закон №107-ФЗ от 3 июня 2011 г. «Об исчислении времени», в ред. Федерального закона №248-ФЗ от 21 июля 2014 г. «О внесении изменений в Федеральный закон "Об исчислении времени"». Вступил в силу по истечении шестидесяти дней после дня официального опубликования (6 августа 2011 г.). Опубликован: "Российская газета", №120, 6 июня 2011 г. (Government of the Russian Federation. Federal Law #107-FZ of June 31, 2011 On Calculating Time, as amended by the Federal Law #248-FZ of July 21, 2014 On Amending Federal Law "On Calculating Time". Effective as of after sixty days following the day of the official publication.).
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  • Конституционный закон №57-РЗ от 7 декабря 2010 г. «О государственном гимне Республики Ингушетия», в ред. Конституционного закона №2-РЗП от 4 июля 2011 г «О внесении изменений в некоторые законодательные акты Республики Ингушетия в связи с принятием Закона Республики Ингушетия от 11 октября 2010 года №3-РЗП "О поправке к Конституции"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Ингушетия", №211–212, 18 декабря 2010 г. (Constitutional Law #57-RZ of December 7, 2010 On the State Anthem of the Republic of Ingushetia, as amended by the Constitutional Law #2-RZP of July 4, 2011 On Amending Various Legislative Acts of the Republic of Ingushetia Due to the Adoption of the Law of the Republic Ingushetia #3-RZP of October 11, 2010 "On the Amendment to the Constitution". Effective as of the day of the official publication.).
  • 27 февраля 1994 г. «Конституция Республики Ингушетия», в ред. Закона №1-РЗП от 8 мая 2013 г. «О поправке к Конституции Республики Ингушетия». Опубликован: Сборник Конституций субъектов Федерации "Конституции Республик в составе Российской Федерации", выпуск 1, 1995. (February 27, 1994 Constitution of the Republic of Ingushetia, as amended by the Law #1-RZP of May 8, 2013 On the Amendment to the Constitution of the Republic of Ingushetia. ).
  • Верховный Совет РСФСР. Закон от 4 июня 1992 г. «Об образовании Республики Ингушетия в составе РСФСР». (Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. Law of June 4, 1992 On Establishing the Republic of Ingushetia Within the RSFSR. ).

External links