The Former Checheno-Ingushetia
Interethnic Relations and Ethnic Conflicts
GALINA U. SOLDATOVA
Without a doubt, one of the most dangerously explosive republics in the North Caucasus has to be the former Checheno-Ingushetia, the second-most-populous (1.27 million) republic in the region. It has become a terribly entangled knot of ethnic and political conflicts, one of which, the Ossetian-Ingush issue, evolved into armed conflict in late October 1992. I attempt here to analyze the historical, political, sociodemographic, and sociopsychological aspects of the development of interethnic conflict situations both around the former Checheno-Ingushetia and within it, working from the position of research on interethnic relations.
Many of the interethnic conflicts in the North Caucasus are localized around the former republic of Checheno-Ingushetia. These include the following interrepublican conflicts—the Akkin-Chechen (on that part of the territory of Dagestan that is contiguous to Chechnya), the Chechen-Dagestani-Nogai (at the juncture of Dagestan, Chechnya, and Stavropol Krai), and the most acute conflict, Ossetian‐ Ingush (between Ingushetia and Ossetia). In addition to these, Checheno-Ingushetia is being rocked by internal problems: tensions between the indigenous nationalities, the Chechens and the Ingush; and the severe exacerbation of relations between the Russians residing in the republic and the indigenous population, reflecting the conflict between Chechnya and Russia at the state level.
A high degree of tension between the major ethnic groups residing on the territory of the former Checheno-Ingush Republic has existed there for a long time. I very briefly trace the history of the development of the major internal and external interethnic conflicts that are stirring up not only the population of the former Checheno-Ingushetia but that of neighboring republics as well.
The fates of Chechnya and Ingushetia have historically been closely intertwined. A common ethnic eponym, the Vainakh, has come into existence as the result of