Staunton, October 30 – Two very different meetings took place in Ingushetia today, one about the 1992 Prigorodny conflict between Ingushetia and North Ossetia attended by 1000 people and addressed by officials but not victims and a second about political repressions past and present attended by 70 and featuring the remarks of victims and their descendants.
The events of the fall of 1992 in the Prigorodny district continue to dominate Ingush thinking not only because of the injustice of that region not being returned to Ingushetia after the nation was allowed to return from deportation but also because of the differences in population density between the two republics.
In Russia as a whole, there are approximately 8.5 people per square kilometer but this figure varies widely: In Ingushetia, there are 140 people per square kilometer while in North Ossetia it is half that. Thus, the loss of land, as the conflict with Chechnya shows, and not just lives is deeply felt (azetaingush.ru/obshchestvo/27-letnee-sozrevanie-moralno-psihologicheskogo-klimata-v-prigorodnom-rayone).
The meeting in Nazran devoted to that event was addressed by senior officials of the republic government but significantly not by new republic head Makhmud-Ali Kalimatov (ingushetia.ru/news/v_ingushetii_proshli_traurnye_meropriyatiya_pamyati_zhertv_sobytiy_oseni_1992_goda_i_politicheskikh_/).
Many Ingush expressed anger that officials did not allow any of the victims of that conflict or their families to address the crowd given that they remain the people most directly affected (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/341812/). It may be that the authorities feared their bitter remembrances would spark a new conflict.
The second, much smaller meeting, devoted to the memory of those repressed in Stalin’s time and more recently, including in the last year, did allow such people to speak; and they expressed their anger that repressions are continuing, not only in Ingushetia but throughout the Russian Federation (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/341822/).