Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Ingush Fear Chechnya Will Absorb Not Just Their Territory but Their Nation

Paul Goble

            Staunton, November 13 – Many analysts have explained the passionate opposition of the Ingush nation to the border accord Yunus-Bek Yevkurov reached with Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov as reflecting the sensitivity of all peoples in the North Caucasus to any territorial change given the shortage of land that has arisen because of explosive population growth.

            That is certainly a good part of the explanation, but there is another and deeper one that may matter more – the fact that the Chechens and Ingush are both Vaynakh peoples and share both a common language and a largely common culture. If the Ingush lose their territory, many of them fear that they will lose their nationhood as well, Anton Chablin suggests.

            If Chechnya gains territory, it will also move likely with success to transform the people on it from considering themselves Ingush to viewing themselves as Chechens, he argues in a Kavkaz Post article.  And if that process continues, Yevkurov will not have anything to divide with Kadyrov (

            The Soviet system promoted differences between the Ingush and Chechens just as it did among the people of Central Asia as part of its divide-and-rule policy; but now the post-Soviet Russian government, given Vladimir Putin’s deference to Kadyrov, appears ready to allow Kadyrov’s Chechnya to expand demographically as well as territorially.

            This is likely a one-off approach and won’t be followed by Moscow elsewhere, but the fact that the Russian government appears to be ready to move away from this Soviet policy could generate both fears and expectations among other geographically propinquitous and culturally similar peoples – and that could make the Ingush crisis even more significant.

No comments:

Post a Comment