Staunton, June 4 – Twenty-nine years ago today, the Republic of Ingushetia was formed after the declaration of independence by Chechnya. That restored the status it had at the dawn of Soviet power and symbolizes for Ingush that however often their nation and its state have been suppressed, they have been able to come back.
Republic officials sought to reduce this event to folkloric events and talk about the progress of the republic exclusively in economic terms (gazetaingush.ru/news/prazdnichnye-koncerty-posvyashchennye-dnyu-ingushetii-proydut-po-vsey-respublike, mtseing.ru/?p=3314 and urichs.ru/index.php/5430-pozdravlenie-isy-tatieva-s-dnem-obrazovaniya-respubliki-ingushetiya).
But Ingush rights activist Magomed Mutsolgov in a commentary raised the larger questions the anniversary inevitably opens. He notes that the events of 1992 were the work of “hundreds of true sones and daughters of the Ingush people” and not some cabal of a few politicians (kavkaz-uzel.eu/blogs/342/posts/49412).
That is how the Ingush nation has always lived, he says, and that is why it is capable of recovery not only from its submersion into a dual-national republic as it was for much of Soviet times and from its deportation to Central Asia but also why it can come back from the current way of repressions, including most prominently the show trial of the Ingush Seven.
On this day, Mutsolgov continues, all Ingush must remember that their nation has “more than once risen practically from the ashes that tyrants had tried to reduce it to.” They are still trying, but the Ingush are quite capable of holding out and coming back however strong those opposed to them appear.
Also on this day, Ilya Buyanovsky, a Moscow blogger, echoes Mutsolgov’s words in an interesting discussion of the Ingush capital of Magas, “the youngest (established in 1994) and smallest (13,600) regional center in Russia in a republic that is significantly smaller in area and population that Moscow (varandej.livejournal.com/1096712.html).
“Ingushetia is not only small but narrow and therefore one can see from almost any point Ossetia, Georgia and Chechnya;” and its capital has the remarkable status of being a satellite of the much larger city of Nazran (125,000) from which it is only seven kilometers away, Buyanovsky says.
Because of their republic’s small size, Ingush value every square meter of its area; and they have shown themselves capable of acting as a nation. Although Ingushetia ranks last in economic development, he points out, its population has the greatest life expectancy level in Russia with the average Ingush living to 82.
But perhaps most important for its political future, the blogger suggests, is that Ingushetia has the very lowest percentage of ethnic Russians in any non-Russian republic. Fewer than one percent of the population there now consists of Russians. That means that policies that reflect only Moscow’s interests are especially offensive.