Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Anniversary of Prigorodny War Far More Important for Ingush People than for Ingush Government

Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 26 – The enormous losses in Ingush lives and territory that resulted from the 1992 Prigorodny War with North Ossetia remain a deep wound for the Ingush population which is remembering all those events as the October 30th anniversary of those events approaches.

            The Ingush government too is recalling that war but in a way that only underscores its desire to avoid calling too much attention to it. Republic head Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov directed officials to hold a memorial session but told them to ensure that it would not be so large as to threaten people during the pandemic.

            That is entirely reasonable but the fact that he did so on the fly, at a meeting in Magas airport as he prepared to fly off for meetings in Moscow, underscored his obvious desire not to focus too much attention on this painful event lest it trigger new demands by the Ingush  (

            This attitude was highlighted earlier this month by Kalimatov’s decision to shut down the Ingush Committee to Support Searches for Hostages and MIAs from that conflict, a group that had been remarkably successful not only in its stated goal but in mobilizing Ingush to demand an accounting from North Ossetia (

            The republic head doesn’t want that lest it lead to a renewal of popular protests against his government for failing to follow the republic constitution with regard to border changes in the case of the 2018 deal that led to the loss of ten percent of the territory of Ingushetia, already the smallest federal subject (other than Moscow and St. Petersburg.

            The attitudes of the Ingush people about the 1992 war and about remembrances of it are well reflected in a Portal Six commentary by Elza Tomina, who says that what occurred was a case of “mass terror” by North Ossetian officials against Ingush residents of that republic (в-память-жертвам-этнической-чистки-в-с/).

            She points out that the official media in both republics have remained largely silent about these crimes and that “not one organizer of the ethnic cleansing of the Ingush population in the Prigorodny district of North Ossetia or one participant in the immediate bloody actions has been punished even though their names are well and widely known.”

            “On the contrary,” Tomina continues, the North Ossetian government has not only protected them but continued its repressive actions against the remaining Ingush, harassing them or charging them with invented crimes. These criminal actions are remembered by Ingush too because “the past is always part of the present. That is how human beings are made.”

            She argues as well that many ordinary Ossetians don’t accept their republic government’s anti-Ingush propaganda, yet another reason why Ingush media should not be shy in pointing out its falsehoods.  Only if that is done can both peoples have better relations with each other and thus a better life.


No comments:

Post a Comment