[ing-goo-shee-shuh, -tee-uh]
Ingushetia or Ingush Republic, republic, c.1,240 sq mi (3,210 sq km), Russian Federation, in the N Caucasus. The capital (since 2003) is Magas, a new city in the suburbs of Nazran, the former capital. Ingushetia comprises roughly the western fifth of the former Chechen-Ingush Republic (see Chechnya). The republic of Georgia lies to the south, across the Caucasus, and North Ossetia-Alania lies to the north and west. Farming, cattle raising, and horticulture are key occupations. The Ingush are Sunni Muslims and speak a Caucasian language.

The Ingush migrated from the Caucasus Mts. into the plains from the 16th cent. Long grouped with the Chechens, they were granted autonomy as the Ingush Region in 1924 but joined in the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Region in 1934. Many Ingush, along with Chechens, were deported into Central Asia in 1944 after collaborating with invading German forces during World War II; in 1956 the deportees were repatriated.

After Chechnya declared independence (1991), Ingushetia gained de facto separate status as a republic (formalized in 1992). The republic has suffered from political violence arising from an Islamist-tinged insurgency and government repression; in 2009 there was an assassination attempt on the region's president. The fighting in Chechnya occasionally has spilled over into Ingushetia, and there have been tensions with Chechnya. Also in 1992, violence in an Ingush-dominated district of neighboring North Ossetia-Alania (see Ossetia) drove many refugees into Ingushetia; the Ossetian district involved was officially Ingush territory prior to World War II, and remains a source of tension between the two republics.

The Republic of Ingushetia (Ingush: ГӀалгӀай Мохк; 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 ancestry.

The name "Ingushetia" is derived from an ancient village of Ongusht (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.


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

The meaning of the word Ingush

The Ingush is the nation indigenous to the Caucasus. They mostly inhabit the Russian republic of Ingushetia. They refer to themselves as Ghalghai (from Ingush: Ghal — fortress, ghai — habitants; another Russian interpretation — citizen). The Ingush speak the Ingush language, which has a very high degree of mutual intelligibility with neighboring Chechen.


  • 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.

  • Ethnic groups

According to the 2002 Russian Census (2002), ethnic Ingush 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
Ingush 69,930 (93.1%) 79,462 (58.0%) 361,057 (77.3%)
Chechens 2,572 (3.4%) 7,848 (5.7%) 95,403 (20.4%)
Russians 922 (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


10,000-8,000 BC: Migration of the linguistic ancestors of the Ingush people to the slopes of the Caucasus from the Fertile Crescent. Agriculture, irrigation, and the domestication of animals. 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.4000-3000 BC: 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).

Modern Ingush history

Ingush are known by the following names: Ghalghai, Gelgai, Kist, Koost, Amazons, Gergar, Narts, Gegar, Dzoordzook, Glivi, Ongusht, Galash, Tsori, Jairakh, Khamhoi, Metshal, Fyappi, and Nyasareth. The history of the Ingush is closely related to that of the Chechens. From the 9th to the 12th centuries, Georgian missionaries partially Christianised the Ingush. 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. Ingush 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 Ingush willingly came under Russian rule in 1810 (most of the information sources are based on a report of General-Major Delpotso 13 June 1810 No.48). However, Russian Barron Rozen on 29 June 1832 reported in letter No.42 to Count Chernishevski that "on the 23rd of this month I exterminated eight Ingush villages. On the 24th near Targim I exterminated nine more villages." In 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. The Russians built the fortress Vladikavkaz ("ruler of the Caucasus") on the place of Ingush village of Zaur. 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 the Ingush." He suggested the separation of the Ingush and Chechens in order for Russia to win the war in the Caucasus. In another letter from General Ermolov to Lanski on the impossibility of forceful Christianization of the Ingush (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 (the 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 Ingush 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. Some Ingush 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 the Ingush left Ingushetia for the Middle East in 1865.

After the Russian Revolution of 1917 the Ingush were promised that their villages and towns would be returned. The Soviets lied and confiscated the remaining Ingush properties by collectivization and dekulakization and unified Chechnya and Ingushetia into Chechen-Ingush ASSR. In 1944 near the end of World War II Ingush 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 of there populations. 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 homes 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

In 1991 the Chechens declared independence from the Soviet Union as the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. The Ingush's 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 would return their land back for their loyalty to Russia. However, the ethnic tensions in North Ossetia led to the outbreak of the Ossetian-Ingush conflict in late October, when another ethnic cleansing of the Ingush population started and over 60,000 Ingush civilians were forced from their homes in the Prigorodny District of North Ossetia. 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 death squads yearly (Human rights watch group Memorial and [Mashr]). The Ingush mountains are closed for Ingush nationals . 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 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. In the beginning of August 2008 the war between Georgia and South Ossetia broke out, in which the Russian Federation became subsequently involved . Since the beginning of the war the number of attacks and abductions of Ingush civilians by 'unknown' forces is practically nill. Majority of Russian forces were transferred to North and South Ossetias 31 August 2008 Magomed Yevloyev, the head of Ingush opposition and the owner the website, was killed by Russian security forces Shortly before the unrecognised opposition group People's Parliament of Ingushetia Mekhk-Kkhel called for the recognition of the Russian semi-autonomous republic's independence, and opposition activist Magomed Khazbiyev said, "We must ask Europe or America to separate us from Russia."

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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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, Moscow sent in an additional 2,500 interior ministry troops, more than tripling the number of special forces in Ingushetia in July.

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.


Most Ingush people are Muslims of Shafii school.

See also


External links

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