Staunton, February 23 – Even though ever fewer of the immediate victims remain alive (gazetaingush.ru/obshchestvo/s-kazhdym-godom-ih-ostaetsya-vse-menshe-sredi-nas), thousands of Ingush assembled in the cities of Ingushetia as did, for the first time in eight years, thousands of Chechens in Chechnya to mark the 76th anniversary of the deportation of their peoples.
The events in Ingushetia were marred by the fact that the authorities refused to allow the Council of Teips to participate in the ceremony, leaving their request to do so without an answer (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/346252/kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/346253/ and gazetaingush.ru/obshchestvo/tysyachi-lyudey-prishli-na-miting-v-pamyat-o-zhertvah-deportacii-ingushskogo-naroda-v).
Both Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov and Ramzan Kadyrov addressed the main meeting in their respective capitals. The first stressed the injustice of the act and said it must never be forgotten; the second denounced “the cursed Stalin” and noted that those sent to Central Asia were “guilty” only of being Chechens and Ingush (capost.media/news/politika/kadyrov-i-kalimatov-po-raznomu-vyskazalis-o-23-fevralya/).
Others gave even more damning commentaries (6portal.ru/posts/1944-неизжитое-горе-память-о-котором-не/). Rights activist Magomed Mutsolgov observed that during the deportation, the Ingush people “lost 40 to 50 percent” of their entire population and regretted that the authorities still fail to deal with the consequences, preferring to pass over it in silence.
And Ingush film director Khava Khazbiyev said that people must still focus on the deportation and recognize that “it is the state which should be rehabilitated not its victims” (emphasis added). Stalin’s cult of personality was denounced but never uprooted because many preferred to pass over the fact that there were “millions” of Stalinists who did his dirty work.