Staunton, February 23 – Seventy-three years ago today, Stalin the two Vaynakh nations, the Chechens and the Ingush, thousands of whom lost their lives in the process before being allowed to return to their North Caucasus homeland after the dictator’s death. But this year, the two nations are treating that anniversary and Stalin very differently.
Ingushetia not only marked the anniversary as it has done every year since perestroika times, but its republic parliament unanimously passed on first reading a law banning Stalin monuments of any kind and making it illegal to express support for the Soviet dictator (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=58AD8417CEB46, and themoscowtimes.com/news/russias-ingushetia-republic-moves-to-ban-stalin-57255
In addition to wanting to conform to Putin’s preference, Ramzan Kadyrov and his government have two reasons for not marking the deportation anniversary on its actual date. On the one hand, Kadyrov in 2011 moved that anniversary to May 10, and Grozny has marked that date ever since.
And on the other, Dzhokhar Dudayev, the first president of Chechnya-Ichkeria, established February 23 as the Day of National Rebirth of the Chechen People (golosichkerii.com/index.php/chri/701-23-fevralya-den-natsionalnogo-vozrozhdeniya-chechenskogo-naroda-dzhokhar-dudaev-video
“How were our elderly, our women and our children, who died from hunger, cold and illness guilty” of this crime? One Chechen asked. “How can one say such bestial things?”