History 07/02/20 “Vainakh Revolt”: as in Grozny has risen Ingush in 1973

it was Believed that the national question in the Soviet Union was resolved and the ethnic conflicts is the “remnants” of the past that have no place in “progressive” socialist society. In reality national problems have not gone away, indeed they are only made worse by not really fair administrative-territorial division carried out by the Bolsheviks. Many points of tension was created in the Caucasus. One of them – the Chechen-Ingush ASSR – broke out even before the restructuring.

In a difficult situation

the First Autonomous Soviet Republic of the Chechens and Ingush was created in 1936, however, was abolished during the great Patriotic war due to the deviation of the representatives of Chechens from conscription, desertion and “aiding the occupation”. It was restored in 1957. In parallel, there was the return of Chechens and Ingush from Central Asia where they were deported at the end of the war.

Together with the re-establishment of state of the two Nations conducted a new national-territorial division. In the Checheno-Ingushetia was not included Prigorodny district of North Ossetia inherited. The Ingush regarded this land as their territory and demanded its return.

this problem was compounded by the difficult socio-economic situation of the greater part of the Ingush people in comparison with the Ossetians and Chechens. The site of the historic residence of Ingush nationality – Sunzha, Malgobeksky and Nazran districts of the Republic – was a real periphery that the authorities of the Republic paid attention to as a residual.

it is Noteworthy that from 1957 onwards, i.e. since the restoration of Chechen-Ingushetia, in the territory of the three above-mentioned areas were built only two enterprises: knitting factory in Nazran and plant “power.” Therefore, the Ingush had or Batrachit backward agricultural enterprises, or as wage earners to leave the country.

the Growing tension

Some members of the party bodies from among the Ingush, as well as part of the local intelligentsia tried to reach the leadership of the Republic and to demand solutions to the problem, but to no avail. It was then decided to apply directly to Moscow.

in the Spring of 1972, a group of 27 Communists-Ingush wrote a letter to the Central Committee of the Communist party, trying to attract attention to the problems of their people. The Plenum of the Chechen-Ingush regional Committee of the Communist party perceived the letter as “blackening Soviet reality”. The authors were accused of nationalism and the desire to “exaggerate the problem”. Began a crackdown on those who endorsed the letter.

Despite the comprehensive persecution, five representatives of the Ingush intelligentsia – Ahmed Gadzhiev, Sultan Pliev, Idris Bazorkin, Ahmed Kustov and Gabriel Kartoev – send to Moscow the new case. 80-page letter “About the fate of the Ingush people”, they demand the return of the Prigorodny district, as well as measures to improve the socio-economic situation of the Vainakh.

the Lack of a coherent response make the top five personally go to Moscow to Secretary General Leonid Brezhnev. In the capital, the assistant Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist party Yevgeny Razumov. He explicitly States the Ingush that the requirements differ with the party line.

After that campaign of harassment “Ingush nationalists” was developed with new force. As noted by one of the drafters of the letter “About the fate of the Ingush people” Beslan Kostoev, it threatened to be fired from their jobs, expelled from the party and Komsomol, if he do not renounce their beliefs.

In unison

Pressure on the Ingush made them in the early morning of 16 January 1973, to go to the rally in the center of Grozny. The protesters were supported in all parts of Chechnya-Ingushetia, in the city began to arrive, other Ingush. The authorities tried to prevent their movement: blocked roads, forbade the trains stop at railway stations within the Republic. But people are the victimsVova a to get to the meeting.

the Protesters demanded transfer of the Prigorodny district in Checheno-Ingushetia, or the lifting of restrictions on settlement there Ingush. From the podium and then came the speeches. Some of the protesters offered their solutions to the issue: for example, the creation of the Ossetian-Ingush or a separate Ingush ASSR.

Gathered at the rally received the support of the citizens, protesters were fed, gave to drink hot tea. Despite the fact that winter, according to eyewitnesses, was in January 1973, to be extremely severe, to go home, no one was going.

it is Worth noting that the protesters behaved in the most correct way: for all three days, there was not a single case of hooliganism, not to mention more serious illegal acts. All wanted only one thing – restore the violated, in their opinion, of historical justice. In the crowd flashed portraits of Vladimir Lenin and praising the Soviet government slogans.

Stringent measures

Despite the peaceful nature of the protest, Ivan was pulled troops. In the night of January 19, protesters attacked the armed with small arms and batons of the soldiers. In addition, to disperse the Ingush sent firefighters who doused people with cold water. And it’s a frosty January night.

After the rally was broken up, started another wave of persecution of “nationalist elements” and discredit the organizers and participants of the rally. Many have lost their jobs, were expelled from universities.

But the incident scared the authorities were forced to take measures to remedy the situation of Ingush in North Ossetia and most of Chechnya-Ingushetia. However, to radically improve the situation, they could not, in addition, the suburban district party to consider flatly refused.


Attempt the speech of the Ingush have turned against them Ossetians, who considered the Suburban area of its territory. In 1979 in North Ossetia have passed the first antiviruskit pogroms. Only thanks to the timely response of the KGB failed to prevent large pure victims.

two years Later, riots occurred in the city of Ordzhonikidze (now Vladikavkaz). The occasion was the murder of Ingush Ossetian taxi driver and his family. Attended by about five thousand people, the funeral procession turned into antiviruskey rally in the city centre. The participants demanded the expulsion of all Ingush from the Republic, looted shops, burned cars.

Order was restored only arrived in the aid of militia troops. Soldiers and law enforcement officers stopped started indiscriminate beating of the Ingush. All were detained more than 800 Ossetians.

In Moscow, the surge of ethnic hatred between two neighboring Nations explained, “the disadvantages of ideological and political education and international workers.” As usual, the authorities have tried to solve the long-standing issue administrative methods, firing scapegoats and assigning them. But the tension does not fall.

In 1987, during the perestroika, in the party leadership were forced to admit the futility of the measures taken. So, for the 1984-1986 between the Ingush and Ossetians, there were more than a hundred conflicts on a national basis.

if the wound has Healed

In January of this year marked 45 years since the January rally in Grozny and 26 years since the founding of the Republic of Ingushetia. Formed in 1992, it has not received the Prigorodny district, which was left in North Ossetia.

it Seems that the hostility between the two Nations is gone, but insufficient attention from the center situation could be repeated. The main thing – time to react and to nip in the Bud any attempts to fan the flames of ethnic hatred in the region.

Ivan Proshkin

© Russian Seven

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