Yunus-bek Yevkurov

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Yunus-bek Bamatgireyevich Yevkurov
Юнус-бек Баматгиреевич Евкуров
Yunus-bek Yevkurov.jpg
Yunus-bek Yevkurov after receiving the Order of Military Merit award in 2009.
3rd Head of Ingushetia
Assumed office
29 October 2008
Preceded by Murat Zyazikov
Succeeded by Rashid Gaysanov
Personal details
Born (1963-07-23) 23 July 1963 (age 58)
Tarskoye village, Prigorodny District, North Ossetian ASSR, Soviet Union
Political party United Russia
Spouse(s) Mareta Yevkurova[1]
Children 1
Profession Soldier
Religion Sunni Islam
Awards Hero of Russia
Order of Military Merit
Order of the Red Star
Medal For Courage (2)
Military service
Allegiance Soviet Union
Service/branch Russian Airborne Troops
Years of service 1982–present
Rank Colonel
Battles/wars First Chechen War
Kosovo War
Second Chechen War

Yunus-bek Bamatgireyevich Yevkurov (Russian: Юну́с-бек Баматгире́евич Евку́ров; born 23 July 1963) is the head of the southern Russian republic of Ingushetia, appointed by President Dmitry Medvedev on 30 October 2008.[2][3] The following day, the People's Assembly of the Republic of Ingushetia, the republic's regional parliament, voted in favor of Yevkurov's appointment, making him the third Head of Ingushetia.[4] He is a career soldier, paratrooper, and Hero of the Russian Federation who was involved in numerous conflicts where Russia played a key role, including Kosovo (1999) and Chechnya.[1] On 22 June 2009, Yevkurov was seriously injured following a car-bomb attack on his motorcade in the city of Nazran. On 23 October 2011, Yevkurov was again a target of an attack whilst on a national holiday.[5]

As head of Ingushetia, he has been able to stabilise the crime situation and bring about positive social changes within the Russian republic.[6]

Early life

Yevkurov, is an ethnic Ingush,[2][7] was born on 23 July 1963 into a peasant family, of 12 children, consisting of five sisters and six brothers. He graduated from the same school that was later the scene of the Beslan massacre.[8]

Personal life

Yevkurov married Mareta on 23 December 2007.[1] The couple have one son, born on 1 November 2008.[1]

Military service

Yevkurov was conscripted by the Soviet Army in 1982, serving in the Naval Infantry of the Pacific Fleet. In 1989, he graduated from the Ryazan School of Airborne Troops. Yevkurov continued his military education, graduating from the Frunze Military Academy in 1997 and from the General Staff Academy in 2004.[7]

In June 1999, Yevkurov was stationed in the Bosnian town of Ugljevik with the Russian peacekeepers under the auspices of SFOR. On 12 June, he led a task force on a swift 500-km-long march, which aimed to secure the Pristina International Airport ahead of the NATO troops, thus ensuring a Russian presence in Kosovo after the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. This led to a standoff with NATO troops.[9]

Yevkurov has had various positions of command within the Russian Airborne Troops and has participated in counterterrorist operations in the North Caucasus. During the course of the Second Chechen War in 2000, he was in command of the 217th Guards Airborne Regiment (98th Guards Airborne Division).[7] While on a reconnaissance mission, Yevkurov's team discovered a house where a group of captured Russian soldiers was held. Having neutralized the guards and infiltrated the building, the team was surrounded by Chechen reinforcements, resulting in armed combat. The Russian troops were able to break through the encirclement while Yevkurov was providing cover for the evacuation of the wounded. He personally carried a soldier to safety despite sustaining an injury himself.[10] Twelve imprisoned soldiers were rescued.[7] On 13 April 2000, Yevkurov, for his courage, was presented with the Hero of Russia award, the country's highest title of honor.[2][7]

In 2004, Yevkurov was appointed to be the Intelligence Division Deputy Commander of the Volga-Urals Military District.[7]

Political career

On 30 October 2008, Yevkurov replaced the highly unpopular Murat Zyazikov as the head of Ingushetia. Zyazikov's dismissal and Yevkurov's appointment were received with much enthusiasm from the Ingush population.[9][10]


On 22 June 2009, Yevkurov was seriously injured following a car-bomb attack on his motorcade in the city of Nazran at roughly 08:20 local time (04:20 GMT). In the incident, a Toyota Camry filled with explosives[11] rammed the Yevkurov's convoy in what is believed to be a suicide bomb attack.[12] One escorting policeman died on the spot; Yevkurov's driver and cousin Ramzan died a few days later in a hospital. Yevkurov's brother Uvais was among the injured.[12] Yevkurov suffered a ruptured liver, a severe concussion, and several cracked ribs, but was expected to survive following surgery.[13] Yevkurov was then airlifted to a hospital in Moscow and was sent to intensive care with damage to his skull and internal organs, according to the New York Times.[citation needed]

Though no group has yet claimed responsibility, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accused Islamist militants of carrying out the attack, condemning the "terrorist attack".[14] Speaking on Russian television, Medvedev claimed that Yevkurov "did a lot to restore order ... and the bandits obviously didn't like that kind of activity".[13] Russian news agency RIAN, quoting an unnamed Kremlin source, reported that executive authority in Ingushetia has been temporarily transferred to the prime minister, Rashid Gaisanov, who became acting Head by Russian presidential decree.[15] The source claimed that "President [Medvedev] authorized Gaysanov to take operative management of the republic, and he has all the required authority for that".[16] Gaisanov remained the acting head of Ingushetia until Yevkurov returned to office.

The attack followed other attacks on republic officials in June 2009. On 10 June, the deputy chief justice of the Ingushetian Supreme Court, Aza Gazgireeva, was gunned down in Nazran shortly after dropping her children off at school,[12] and on 13 June the former deputy prime minister, Bashir Aushev, was shot dead outside his home.[17]

After the attack, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov claimed the Kremlin had ordered him to fight insurgents in Ingushetia, and during his subsequent visit to Ingushetia on 24 June pledged to revenge ruthlessly.[18] On 4 July, a convoy of Chechen troops sent by Kadyrov into Ingushetia in response to the suicide bombing was ambushed by militants. The attack caused nine Chechen deaths, with 10 others severely wounded.[19]

On 9 July, Ingushetia's Interior Ministry announced the arrest of several suspects, including the Chechen rebel commander Rustaman Makhauri, allegedly involved in the attack on Yevkurov.[20]

Yevkurov regained consciousness from a coma two weeks after the attack.[15] Yevkurov was released from the hospital in Moscow on 12 August 2009, more than seven weeks after the attack, but continued to receive rehabilitation.[21] Speaking to reports upon leaving the hospital, Yevkurov warned that "those who refuse to lay down their arms and surrender will be killed."[21]

On 17 August 2009, in a radio interview after the 2009 Nazran bombing Yevkurov accused the United States, Great Britain and Israel of being behind the destabilization of the North Caucasus in order to "prevent Russia from reviving the former Soviet might".[22]

By September, 2009, Yevkurov had returned to his position of head of the republic.[23]


On July 2013, he announced his own resignation following the upcoming Elections to the Ingush Presidency.[24]

Honours and awards


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Russia Backs Soldier To Quell Violent Ingushetia Region". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 3 November 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Soldier to run restive Ingushetia". BBC News. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 3 November 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Ingushetia legislature gives presidential powers to Yevkurov". ITAR TASS. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Герой России Евкуров Юнус-бек Баматгиреевич (in русский). Retrieved 1 November 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Евкуров прибыл в Ингушетию (in русский). 31 October 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Yevkurov Gets Nod in Ingushetia". The Moscow Times. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 Предки нового главы Ингушетии много воевали за Россию (in русский). Komsomolskaya Pravda. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 3 November 2008.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Levy, Clifford J. (22 June 2009). "President of Ingushetia Is Wounded in Suicide Bombing". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "Attack on Russian regional leader". BBC News. 22 June 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Leading Russian survives assassination attempt". CNN. 22 June 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Harding, Luke (22 June 2009). "Ingushetia president survives assassination attempt". The Guardian. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Ingush president regains consciousness after attack". RIA Novosti. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Gaysanov will manage the republic that long, as will be needed" (in Russian).CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Another Killing in Region Bordering Chechnya". New York Times. Associated Press. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Russia's Kadyrov vows revenge for Ingushetia bombing". Reuters. 24 June 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Nine Chechen police killed in Russia's Ingushetia". Reuters. 4 July 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. Suspects Arrested In Attack On Ingushetian President. RFE/RL. 9 July 2009
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Ingushetian Cabinet Member Assassinated". BBC News. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. Ingush leader accuses West of seeking to destabilize Caucasus. RIA Novosti, 17 August 2009.
  23. Mr Yevkurov’s personal courage is also a factor: he miraculously escaped death after being blown up in a huge explosion shortly after his appointment. Two months later he was back in his office, his policies unchanged.
  24. "Ingush Leader Resigns, Signals Reelection Bid". RIA Novosti. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>