Wednesday, April 29, 2020

1991 Law on Rehabilitation of Repressed Peoples Remains Unfulfilled

Paul Goble

            Staunton, April 27 – Twenty-nine years ago this week, the RSFSR Supreme Soviet adopted the Law on the Rehabilitation of Repressed Peoples, a measure many at the time saw as an important step to overcoming the crimes of Stalin and creating the conditions for the just, peaceful and democratic development of the country’s peoples.

            But now, a generation later, many of its most important provisions remain unfulfilled; and that failure continues to echo in the lands from which the punished peoples were exiled and to which they have only in part returned.  Nowhere have those echoes been louder than in Ingushetia.

            Instead of regaining the lands the Ingush lost when they were deported as the 1991 law promised, the Ingush continue to lose territory and are confronted in Moscow with a series of “attempts to justify Stalinism and the deportation of whole peoples in 1943-1944,” Khuseyn Pliyev says (

            Ingushetia’s neighbors, in the first instance North Ossetia and Chechnya, continue to hold land that by rights should be returned to the Ingush, the commentator says, slandering the Ingush people and forgetting that the 1991 law and the Ingush constitution define the return of lands taken from the nation in 1944 is “the most important task of the state.”

            The Ingush people have always sought to follow the law even when they have felt compelled to protest decisions of those put over them. But on this issue and indeed on all others, Pliyev suggests, they have every right to insist that others follow the law as well. No Ingush is prepared to wait another 29 years for justice to be done.

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