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Republic of Ingushetia (English)
Республика Ингушетия (Russian)
ГӀалгӀай Мохк (Ingush)
Location of the Republic of Ingushetia in Russia Coat of ArmsFlag
Coat of arms of Ingushetia
Flag of IngushetiaAnthem: National Anthem of the Republic of Ingushetia Capital MagasEstablished June 4, 1992Political status
Federal district
Economic regionRepublic
North CaucasusCode 06 AreaArea
- Rank within Russia4,000 km²
81st Population(as of the 2002 Census) Population
- Rank within Russia
- Density
- Urban
- Rural 467,294 inhabitants
116.8 inhab. / km²
57.5% Official languages Russian, IngushGovernment (as of March 2008) President Murat ZyazikovChairman of the Government Kharum Dzeytov Legislative bodyPeople's Assembly ConstitutionConstitution of the Republic of Ingushetia Official website

The Republic of Ingushetia (Ingush: ГӀалгӀай Мохк; Russian: Респу́блика Ингуше́тия, Respublika Ingushetiya) is a federal subject of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region with its capital at Magas. The smallest of Russia’s federal subjects, Ingushetia is a home to the indigenous Ingush, a people of Vainakh stock.

The name "Ingushetia" is derived from an ancient village of Angusht (renamed in 1859 to Tarskaya and in 1944 transferred to North Ossetia) and the Georgian ending -eti, all together meaning "(land) where the Ingush live".

Ingushetia remains one of Russia's poorest and most restive regions. The ongoing military conflict in a neighboring Chechnya has occasionally spilled into Ingushetia, and the republic has been destabilized by a number of high-profile crimes, anti-government protests, terrorist attacks, military excesses and deteriorating human rights situation.[1]



Ingushetia is situated on the northern slopes of the Caucasus.

Time zone

Ingushetia is located in the Moscow Time Zone (MSK/MSD). UTC offset is +0300 (MSK)/+0400 (MSD).


Major rivers include:


A 150 km stretch of the Caucasus Mountains runs through the territory of the republic.

Natural resources

Ingushetia is rich in marble, timber, dolomite, plaster, limestone, gravel, granite, clay, thermal medical water, rare metals, mineral water, oil (over 60 billion tons), and natural gas reserves.


Climate of Ingushetia is mostly continental.

  • Average January temperature: -3 -10°C.
  • Average July temperature: +21°C
  • Average annual precipitation: 450-650 mm.
  • Average annual temperature: +10°C


(Ghalghai) Total population


Regions with significant populations Russia, Turkey, KazakhstanLanguages Russian, IngushReligions Sunni IslamRelated ethnic groups Chechens, Bats, Kists

The Ingush are an ethnic group of the North Caucasus, mostly inhabiting the Russian republic of Ingushetia. They refer to themselves as Ghalghai (from Ingush: Ghal — fortress, ghai — habitants; another Russian interpretation — citizen). The Ingush are predominantly Sunni Muslim and speak the Ingush language, which has a very high degree of mutual intelligibility with neighboring Chechen.


Main article: Ingush people
  • Population: 467,294 (2002)
    • Urban: 198,496 (42.5%)
    • Rural: 268,798 (57.5%)
    • Male: 218,194 (46.7%)
    • Female: 249,100 (53.3%)
  • Females per 1000 males: 1,142
  • Average age: 22.2 years
    • Urban: 22.4 years
    • Rural: 22.1 years
    • Male: 21.4 years
    • Female: 22.9 years
  • Number of households: 64,887 (with 463,532 people)
    • Urban: 28,751 (with 197,112 people)
    • Rural: 36,136 (with 266,420 people)
  • Vital statistics (2005)
    • Births: 6,777 (birth rate 14.0)
    • Deaths: 1,821 (death rate 3.8)

Birth rate was 15.9 in the first half of 2007.[2]

  • Ethnic groups

According to the 2002 Russian Census (2002), ethnic Ingushes make up 77.3% of the republic's population. Other groups include Chechens (20.4%), Russians (1.2%), and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the total population.

census 1926 census 1939 census 2002 Ingushes69,930 (93.1%) 79,462 (58.0%) 361,057 (77.3%) Chechens2,572 (3.4%) 7,848 (5.7%) 95,403 (20.4%) Russians922 (1.2%) 43,389 (31.7%) 5,559 (1.2%) Others 1,709 (2.3%) 6,368 (4.6%) 5,275 (1.1%)

Administrative divisions

Main article: Administrative divisions of Ingushetia

History of Ingushetia

10,000-8,000 BC
Migration of proto-Ingush people to the slopes of the Caucasus from the Fertile Crescent domestication of animals, and irrigation are used.[2]
6000-4000 BC
Neolithic era. Pottery is known to the region. Old settlements near Ali-Yurt and Magas, discovered in the modern times, revealed tools made out of stone: stone axes, polished stones, stone knives, stones with holes drilled in them, clay dishes etc. Settlements made out of clay bricks discovered in the plains. In the mountains there were discovered settlements made out of stone surrounded by walls some of them dated back 8000 BC.[3]
4000-3000 BC
Rise of the Sino-Caucasian culture. Invention of the wheel (3000 BC), horseback riding, metal works (copper, gold, silver, iron) dishes, armor, daggers, knives, arrow tips. The artifacts were found near Naser-Kort, Muzhichi, Yi-E-Borz (now Surkhakhi), Abi-Goo (now Nazran).[3]

Modern Ingush history

Ingushes are known by the following names: Ghalghai, Gelgai, Kist, Koost, Amazons, Gergar, Narts, Gegar, Dzoordzook, Glivi, Ongusht, Alans, Galash, Tsori, Jairakh, Khamhoi, Metshal, Fyappi, and Nyasareth.[4] The history of the Ingush is closely related to that of the Chechens. From the 9th to the 12th centuries, Georgian missionaries partially Christianized the Ingushes. The remains of several temples, notably the Tkha-bya-Yer-d (the temple of 2000) and the Al-Bee-Yer-d can be found in Ingushetia. Ingushes peacefully converted to Islam in the beginning of the 19th century with the help of a Chechen Islamic scholar Shaikh Kunta-Khadzhi.

Russian historians claim that Ingushes willfully came under Russian rule in 1810 (most of the information sources are based on report of General-Major Delpotso 13 June 1810 No.48). However, Russian Barron Rozen on 29 June 1832 reported in the letter No.42 to Count Chernishevski that "on the 23-d of this month I exterminated eight Ingush villages. On the 24-th near Targim I exterminated nine more villages." In the letter No.560 on 12 November 1836 Barron Rozen claimed that highlanders of Dzheirkah, Kistin, and Ghalghai were "partially subdued". The colonization of Ingush land by Russians and Ossetians started in the middle of the 19th century. Russian General Evdokimov and Ossetian colonel Kundukhov in 'Opis No.436' "gladly reported" that "the result of colonization of Ingush land was successful":

  • Ingush village Ghazhien-Yurt was renamed to Stanitsa Assinovskaya in 1847
  • Ingush village Ebarg-Yurt was renamed to Stanitsa Troitskaya in 1847
  • Ingush town Dibir-Ghala was renamed to Stanitsa Sleptsovskaya in 1847
  • Ingush village Magomet-Khite was renamed to Stanitsa Voznesenskaya in 1847
  • Ingush village Akhi-Yurt was renamed to Stanitsa Sunzhenskaya in 1859
  • Ingush village Ongusht was renamed to Stanitsa Tarskaya in 1859
  • Ingush town Ildir-Ghala was renamed to Stanitsa Karabulakskaya in 1859
  • Ingush village Alkhaste was renamed to Stanitsa Feldmarshalskaya in 1860
  • Ingush village Tauzen-Yurt was renamed to Stanitsa Vorontsov-Dashkov in 1861
  • Ingush village Sholkhi was renamed to Khutor Tarski in 1867.

Unlike Chechens who fought the Caucasian War against Russia, Ingush clans resorted mostly to underground resistance.[5] The Russians built the fortress Vladikavkaz ("ruler of the Caucasus") on the place of Ingush village of Zaur.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14] Russian General Aleksey Petrovich Yermolov in his letter to Tsar of Russia wrote: "It would be a grave mistake for Russia to alienate such a militaristic nation as Ingushes" He suggested the separation of Ingushes and Chechens for Russia to win the war in the Caucasus. In another letter from General Ermolov to Lanski on impossibility of forceful Christianization of Ingushes. (dated 12 January 1827) he wrote: “This nation the most courageous and militaristic among all the highlanders cannot be allowed to be alienated …”. The last organized rebellion (so-called "Nazran insurrection") in Ingushetia occurred in 1865 when 5,000 Ingush started a fight but lost to superior Russian forces. The rebellion signalled the end of the First Russo-Caucasian War. The same year Russian Tsar offered help in deportation of Ingushes and Chechens to Turkey and the Middle East by claiming that "Muslims need to live under Muslim rulers". It seems that he wanted to liberate the land for Ossetians and Cossaks[15]. Some Ingushes willingly went into exile to deserted territory in the Middle East where many of them died and the rest were assimilated. It was estimated that 80% of Ingushes left Ingushetia to the Middle East in 1865[16][17].

After the Russian Revolution of 1917 the Ingushes were promised that their villages and towns will be returned back. The Soviets lied and confiscated the remaining Ingush properties by collectivization and dekulakization[18] and unified Chechnya and Ingushetia into Chechen-Ingush ASSR. In 1944 near the end of World War II Ingushes and Chechens were falsely accused of collaborating with the Nazis and the entire Ingush and Chechen populations were deported to Kazakhstan and Siberia with great loss of life, estimated at up to two thirds. They were rehabilitated in the 1950s, after the death of Stalin, and were allowed to return home in 1957. However, much of Ingushetia's territory had been settled by Ossetians and part of the region had been transferred to North Ossetia. The returning Ingush faced considerable animosity from the Ossetians. The Ingush were forced to buy their houses back from the Ossetians and Russians. It all led to a peaceful Ingush protest in Grozny in 16 January 1973, crushed by the Soviet troops[19]

In 1991 the Chechens declared independence from the Soviet Union as the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. The Ingushes' choice was to secede from the Chechen-Ingush Republic and in 1992 they joined the newly-created Russian Federation to peacefully resolve the conflict with Ossetia; they were also hoping that Russians will return their land back for their loyalty to Russia. However, the ethnic tensions in North Ossetia led to the outbreak of Ossetian-Ingush conflict in late October, when another ethnic cleansing of Ingush population started and over 60,000 Ingush civilians were forced from their homes in the Prigorodny District of North Ossetia.[20] As the result of the conflict Ruslan Aushev was appointed the first president of Ingushetia and partial stability returned under his rule in Ingushetia.

In 1995, when the first Russo-Chechen war started, the number of refugees in Ingushetia from both conflicts doubled. According to the UN per every citizen of Ingushetia there was one refugee from Ossetia and Chechnya. This created a tremendous problem for the economy. It collapsed after Aushev's success. The second Russo-Chechen war which started in 1999 brought more refugees (at some point there was one refugee per every Ingush citizen: 240,000 from Chechnya plus 60,000 from North Ossetia at the peak in 2000) and misery to Ingushetia. In 2001 President Aushev was forced to leave his presidency and was succeeded by Murat Zyazikov, a former KGB general. The situation worsened under his rule and continues to decline. Numerous young Ingush men are abducted by suspected Russian and Ossetian[21] death squads yearly (Human rights watch group Memorial and [Mashr]). The Ingush mountains are closed for Ingush nationals [22]. The number of a mysterious terrorist attacks in Ingushetia on the rise especially after the number of Russian security forces were tripled. For example, according to Russian news agency a murder of a ethnic-Russian school teacher in Ingushetia was done by two ethnic-Russian and an ethnic-Ossetian soldiers; Issa Merzhoev the Ingush Police detective who solved the crime was shot at and killed by unknown assailants right after he solved the murder[23]

At least four people were injured when a vehicle exploded on March 24, 2008. An upsurge in violence in recent months targeted local police officers and security forces. In January 2008, the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation launched a counter-terrorism operation in Ingushetia after receiving information that terrorists had been preparing a series of attacks.[24]

Military history of Ingushetia

According to professor Johanna Nichols in all the recorded history and reconstructable prehistory the Ingush people have never undertaken battle except in defense.[5] However, Ingush were hired in a number of wars. For example, when Persians attacked Georgia, King Alexander and his 100 Roman bodyguards took shelter with his wife's Ingush relatives. Half of the Ingush army was sent and defeated the Persians. II-III BC Georgian kings also received military assistance in their conquest from Ingush people.[25]

During World War I, 500 cavalrymen from an Ingush regiment of the Wild Division boldly attacked German Iron Division. The Russian Emperor Nicholas II, assessing the performance of the Ingush and Chechen regiments during the Brusilov breakthrough on the Russian-German front in 1915 wrote in his telegram to the Governor-General of the Tersky region Fleisher:

The Ingush regiment pounced upon the German "Iron Division" like an avalanche. It was immediately supported by the Chechen regiment. The Russian history, including the history of our Preobrazhensky regiment, does not know a single instance of a horse cavalry attacking an enemy force armed with heavy artillery: 4.5 thousand killed, 3.5 thousand taken prisoner, 2.5 thousand wounded. Less than in an hour and a half the "Iron Division" ceased to exist, the division that had aroused fear in the best armies of our allies. On behalf of me, the royal court and the whole of the Russian army send our best regards to fathers, mothers, sisters, wives and brides of those brave sons of the Caucasus whose heroism paved the way for the destruction of German hordes. Russia bows low to the heroes and will never forget them. I extend my fraternal greetings, Nicholas II, August 25th, 1915.[26]

In 1941, when Germans attacked the USSR, the whole Russian front was retreating 40 km a day. Out of 6,500 defenders of Brest Fortress 6,000 Soviet troops capitulated. 500 troops were fresh conscripts of Ingush and Chechen origin. Defenders held the fortress for over a month against the Germans and even managed to stage several attacks from the Fortress. The last defender's name has been unknown for a long time; his documents identified him as a man called Barkhanoyev. Decades later, official records revealed it was Umatgirei Barkhanoyev from the Ingush village of Yandare. Recently, the memoirs of Stankus Antanas, a Lithuanian national and former Waffen SS officer, were published in Ingushetia. He recalls that in July 1941, his regiment was ordered to "finish off" the remaining Soviet soldiers in the fortress. When the Nazis decided that no defenders had been left alive, a Waffen SS general lined up his soldiers on the parade ground to award them with decorations for capturing the fortress. Then a tall and smart Red Army officer came out from the fortress's underground bunker:

He was blind because of his wounds and walked with his left arm extended forward. His right hand rested on a gun holster. He walked along the parade grounds wearing a ragged uniform, but his head was held high. The entire division was shocked at the sight. Approaching a shell-hole, he turned his face toward the west. The German general suddenly saluted this last defender of the Brest Fortress, and the rest of the officers followed suit. The Red Army officer drew a handgun and shot himself in the head. He fell on the ground facing Germany. A deep-drawn sigh aired over the parade grounds. We all stood 'frozen' in awe of this brave man.[27]

In 1994–1996 Ingush volunteers fought alongside Chechens in the Russian-Chechen war. Besides few incidents (including the killings of Ingush civilians by the Russian soldiers), Ingushetia was largely kept out of the war by determined policy of non-violence pursued by President Ruslan Aushev.[28]

This changed after the beginning of the Second Chechen War, and especially since the rule of President Murat Zyazikov in 2002. In the first major rebel attack in the a military convoy was destroyed in May 2000 and 18 soldiers were killed. In the June 2004 Nazran raid, Chechen and Ingush guerillas attacked government targets across Ingushetia, resulting in the deaths of at least 90 people, among them republic's acting interior minister Abukar Kostoyev, his deputy Zyaudin Kotiyev and several other officials. In response to a sharp escalation in attacks by insurgents since the summer of 2007,[29] Moscow sent in an additional 2,500 interior ministry troops, more than tripling the number of special forces in Ingushetia in July.[30]

Ingushetia in books


The head of government and the highest executive post in Ingushetia is the President.

Recent presidents :

Recent Chairmen of the Government:

The parliament of the Republic is the People's Assembly comprising 34 deputees elected for a four year term. The People's Assembly is headed by the Chairman. As of 2006, the Chairman of the People's Assembly is Makhmud Sultanovich Sakalov.

The Constitution of Ingushetia was adopted on February 27, 1994.

Ingushetia is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation.

The capital was moved from Nazran to Magas in December 2002.


There are some natural resources in Ingushetia: mineral water in Achaluki, oil and natural gas in Malgobek, forests in Dzheirakh, metals in Galashki. The local government is considering the development of tourism however this is problematic due to the uneasy situation in the republic itself and the proximity of some conflict zones.


Ingush State University, the first institute of higher education in the history of Ingushetia was founded in 1994 in Ordzhonikidzevskaya.[3]


Most Ingush people are Sunni Muslims of various Sufi orders.

See also


  1. ^ Urgent Need for Vigorous Monitoring in the North Caucasus. Human Rights Watch/Reuters, April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ Bernice Wuethrich (19 May 2000). "Peering Into the Past, With Words". Science 288 (5469): 1158. 
  3. ^ a b N.D. Kodzoev. History of Ingush nation. 
  4. ^ Khasan Sampiev. The Land of Towers.
  5. ^ a b Johanna Nichols (February 1997). The Ingush (with notes on the Chechen): Background information. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved on 2007-02-10.
  6. ^ P.G.Butkov. Materials of the new history of the Caucasus years 1722-1803 St. Petersburg 1869 (page 165). 
  7. ^ E.Bronevski. New geographical and historical perspectives of the Caucasus. Moscow, 1823 (vol.2 page 159). 
  8. ^ U. Klaprot. Travel in the Caucasus and Georgia 1807-1808. Berlin 1812 (page 651). 
  9. ^ N.Grabovski. Ingush nation (their life and traditions) Tiflis 1876 (page 2). 
  10. ^ K.Raisov. New illustrated guide in the Crimea and the Caucasus. Odessa 1897 (page 295). 
  11. ^ G.G. Moskvitch. Illustrated practical guide in the Caucasus. Odessa 1903 (pages.161-162). 
  12. ^ N.M. Suetin. Geodesy of the Vladikavkaz. Vladikavkaz 1928 (page 12). 
  13. ^ V.P. Khristianovich. Mountainous Ingushetia Rostov-on-Don 1928 (page 65). 
  14. ^ E.I.Krupnov. Middle age Ingushetia Moscow, 1971 (page 166). 
  15. ^ Johanna Nichols (February 1997). The Ingush (with notes on the Chechen): Background information. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved on 2007-02-10.
  16. ^ Caucasus and central Asia newsletter. Issue 4. University of California, Berkeley (2003).
  17. ^ Chechnya: Chaos of Human Geography in the North Caucasus, 484 BC - 1957 AD. (November 2007).
  18. ^ Spetspereselentsi: history of mass repressions and deportations of Ingushes in 20th century. Ingushetiya news agency (March 2005).
  19. ^ news agency (January 2008). 35 years later. Ingush protest of 1973. Retrieved on 2008-01-16.
  20. ^ Johanna Nichols (February 1997). The Ingush (with notes on the Chechen): Background information. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved on 2007-02-10.
  21. ^ N.Evloev (January 2008). A message of Nazir Evloev Press Secretary of Ingushetia MVD (Police). Retrieved on 2008-20-01.
  22. ^ M.Malsagov (September 2007). Annexation of Ingush Mountains. Retrieved on 2007-09-07.
  23. ^ B.Polonkoev (August 2007). The Murderers are not Insergents. Retrieved on 2007-09-29.
  24. ^ CNN (March 2008). The Russian republic rocked by car bomb. Retrieved on 2008-03-24.
  25. ^ Khasan Sampiev. The Land of Towers.
  26. ^ Chechen History.
  27. ^ Russian News and Information Agency RIA Novosti: DEFENSE OF THE MOTHERLAND IS EVERY MUSLIM'S DUTY.
  28. ^ Johanna Nichols (February 1997). The Ingush (with notes on the Chechen): Background information. University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved on 2007-02-10.
  30. ^ Violence escalates in turbulent Russian region Wed Aug 29.

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