Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 180

Ingushetia’s president, Ruslan Aushev, says the federal government’s inconsistent nationalities policy is to blame for delays in repatriating Ingush refugees to North Ossetia. Aushev was addressing 300 delegates to a congress of the Ingush people in the republic capital, Nazran, last week. He charged that Moscow applies double standards toward the peoples of the North Caucasus by separating them into favorites and scapegoats. Congress delegates expressed no confidence in the Russian president’s permanent representative in North Ossetia and Ingushetia, Aleksandr Kovalev, accusing him of dragging his feet over the restoration of the constitutional rights of the Ingush people. (RTR, September 27)

Moscow has not yet worked out a realistic mechanism for the rehabilitation of repressed peoples (that is, the victims of Stalin’s 1944 deportations) or the settlement of the many territorial disputes that arose at that time and have still not been resolved. Meanwhile, Russian legislation contains contradictions that prevent progress on this front. Citing the law on the rehabilitation of repressed peoples, for example, which envisages the "restoration of territorial integrity" in the form existing prior to the deportations, Nazran could call for the transfer of Prigorodny district from North Ossetia to Ingushetia. Vladikavkaz could counter by citing Article 67 of the Russian Constitution, which states that the borders between components of the Russian Federation may be amended only by mutual consent. Other repressed peoples in the Northern Caucasus — Balkars, Karachais, and Chechen-Akkins — have similar territorial claims. In such circumstances, Moscow’s failure to elaborate a realistic strategy for dealing with ethnic and territorial conflicts in the North Caucasus could have catastrophic results.

Udugov Proposes Talks at Presidential Level to Resolve Impasse in Russian-Chechen Treaty.