Saturday, January 19, 2019

Grozny Says 200 Chechen Families Want to Settle in Land Transferred from Ingushetia

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 19 – The Chechen economic development ministry says “about 200” Chechen families have expressed the desire to move to land transferred from Ingushetia to Chechnya by the September 26 accord between Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Ramzan Kadyrov, an action Grozny is presenting as “a return to the lands of their ancestors.”

            A source in the ministry told the Kavkaz-Uzel news agency that these families had all made this declaration in the last week, but the agency’s journalists found widespread skepticism about any move because there are no jobs in the region and little in the way of infrastructure to support those who might go there (

                The source said that Grozny is in the process of developing “’a road map’” for the development of the district, adding that most of those who say they want to move are from rural areas and do not need the same amount of support as do urban residents. The former are more self-reliant and can do most things on their own.

            Kavkaz-Uzel points out that “before the 1944 deportation,” the region in question “was one of the most important municipalities of Chechnya and had more than 150 population points. After the return from deportation, however, Chechens were prohibited from settling on their lands” and forced to live elsewhere.

            The number of Chechens who have expressed a willingness to move is remarkably small. One regional administrator said that out of 22,000 people in his area, only 40 families want to go given that there are no jobs or infrastructure.  As for historical memory, one Chechen said: “every mountaineer knows where his ancestors are buried” but doesn’t have to live next to their graves.

            “Solving the problem with resettlers,” he continued, “will take more than one month or even one year. For this much more time will be required.”

            Meanwhile, more details have come out about the petition 51,000 Ingush signed for presentation to Putin and about efforts on the part of the Ingush authorities to interfere with the collection of signatures on it.

            Magomed Mutsolgov, an opposition leader said that the document, which was handed into the Presidential Administration yesterday, was not just about the return of Ingush lands but also an expression of distrust in Yevkurov and thus a demand for his retirement or ouster (

            And activists who were involved in the collection of signatures said the Yevkurov regime had dispatched young women to interfere with the effort given that young men were thus put in a difficult position of opposing their actions and that the authorities also began circulating other petitions to confuse the situation (

                But one of the leaders of the petition drive, Ismail Nalgiyev of the Ingushetia Choice group, said that the authorities had failed, that Ingush willingly signed and even put down their passport numbers and addresses, although those collecting the signatures did not require them to do so.

            The powers that be “must understand that we aren’t going to be idle and will as before defend our rights with meetings, protests, and collections of signatures. Drops of water will wear always the stone, as the wise proverb puts it. We will act in the same way,” Nalgiyev declared.

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