The East Prigorodny Conflict, also referred to as the Ossetian–Ingush Conflict, was an inter-ethnic conflict in the eastern part of the Prigorodny district in the Republic of North Ossetia – Alania, which started in 1989 and developed, in 1992, into a brief ethnic war between local Ingush and Ossetian paramilitary forces.
|East Prigorodny Conflict|
Map of the Prigorodny district inside North Ossetia
North Ossetian militia|
and security forces
North Ossetian Republican Guard
South Ossetian militia
9th Motor Rifle Division
76th Guards Air Assault Division
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
30,000–60,000 Ingush refugees|
9,000 Ossetian refugees
The present conflict emerges from the policies of both Imperial and Soviet governments, which exploited ethnic differences to further their own ends, namely the perpetuation of central rule and authority. Tsarist policy in the North Caucasus generally favored Ossetians, who inhabited an area astride the strategically important Georgian Military Highway, a key link between Russia proper and her Transcaucasian colonies. In addition, the Ossetians were one of the few friendly peoples in a region that for much of the nineteenth century bitterly resisted Russian rule; a majority of Ossetians shared the same Eastern Orthodox Christian faith with Russians (while a minority are Sunni Muslim), while the majority of the other ethnic groups of the North Caucasus were Muslim. Russian authorities also conducted population transfers of native people in the area at will and brought in large numbers of Terek Cossacks. Under the Soviets, local Cossacks (many of the early members of the Terek Cossacks were Ossetians) were punished for their support of anti-Soviet White forces during the Russian Civil War (1918–1921) and banished from the area, including from the Prigorodnyi region which was given to the Ingush, ostensibly for their support of the Red or Bolshevik forces during the conflict. Soviet administrators often arbitrarily created territorial units in the North Caucasus, thereby enhancing differences by splitting apart like peoples or fostering dependence by uniting different groups. In January 1920, the Autonomous Mountain Soviet Socialist Republic, referred to as the "Mountaineers Republic," was formed, with its capital in Vladikavkaz. Initially, the "Mountaineers Republic," included the Kabards, Chechens, Ingush, Ossetians, Karachai, Cherkess,and Balkars, but it quickly began to disintegrate and new territorial units were created. In 1924, the Ingush were given their own territorial unit that included the Prigorodnyi region. In 1934, the Ingush were merged territorially with the Chechens; in 1936 this territory was formed into the Checheno-Ingush ASSR with its capital in Grozny. The Prigorodnyi region still remained within the Chechen–Ingush entity.
In 1944, near the end of World War II, the Ingush and the Chechen peoples were accused of collaborating with the Nazis, and by order of Joseph Stalin, the whole population of Ingush and Chechens were deported to Central Asia and Siberia. Soon after, the depopulated Prigorodny district was transferred to North Ossetia.
In 1957, the repressed Ingush and Chechens were allowed to return to their native land and the Checheno-Ingush Republic was restored, with the Prigorodny district maintained as part of North Ossetia. Soviet authorities attempted to prevent Ingush from returning to their territory in Prigorodny district; however, Ingush families managed to move in, purchase houses back from the Ossetians and resettled the district in greater numbers. This gave rise to the idea of "restoring historical justice" and "returning native lands", among the Ingush population and intelligentsia, which contributed to the already existing tensions between ethnic Ossetians and Ingush. Between 1973 and 1980 the Ingush voiced their demands for the reunification of the Prigorodny district with Ingushetia by staging various protests and meetings in Grozny.
The tensions increased in early 1991, during the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the Ingush openly declared their rights to the Prigorodny district according to the Soviet law adopted by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on April 26, 1991; in particular, the third and the sixth article on "territorial rehabilitation." The law gave the Ingush legal grounds for their demands, which caused serious turbulence in a region in which many people had free access to weapons, resulting in an armed conflict between ethnic Ingush population of the Prigorodny district and Ossetian armed militias from Vladikavkaz.
During the summer and early autumn of 1992, there was a steady increase in the militancy of Ingush nationalists. At the same time, there was a steady increase in incidents of organized harassment, kidnapping and rape against Ingush inhabitants of North Ossetia by their Ossetian neighbours, police, security forces and militia. Ingush fighters marched to take control over Prigorodny District and on the night of October 30, 1992, open warfare broke out, which lasted for a week. The first people killed were respectively Ossetian and Ingush militsiya staff (as they had basic weapons). While Ingush militias were fighting the Ossetians in the district and on the outskirts of the North Ossetian capital Vladikavkaz, Ingush from elsewhere in North Ossetia were forcibly evicted and expelled from their homes. Russian OMON forces actively participated in the fighting and sometimes led Ossetian fighters into battle.
On October 31, 1992, a high-level Russian delegation arrived to stop the violence; however, the first deployment of Russian peacekeepers did not begin until early November. Although Russian troops often intervened to prevent some acts of violence by Ossetian police and republican guards, the stance of the Russian peacekeeping forces was strongly pro-Ossetian, not only objectively as a result of its deployment, but subjectively as well. President Boris Yeltsin issued a decree that the Prigorodny district was to remain part of North Ossetia on November 2.
Total dead as of June 30, 1994: 644.
|North Ossetian Ministry of the Interior||9|
|Russian Ministry of Defense||8|
|Russian Ministry of the Interior, Internal Troops||3|
|Unified Investigative Group, Ministry of the Interior||1|
|North Ossetian Ministry of the Interior||9|
|Ingush Ministry of the Interior||5|
|Russian Ministry of Defense||3|
|Russian Ministry of the Interior, Internal Troops||4|
|Unified Investigative Group, Russian Ministry of the Interior||8|
|Russian Ministry of Defense||1|
|Russian Ministry of the Interior, Internal Troops||2|
|Unified Investigative Group, Russian Ministry of the Interior||4|
Human Rights Watch/Helsinki takes no position on the ultimate status of the Prigorodnyi region. HRW's report says:
"Human Rights Watch/Helsinki thanks both North Ossetian and Ingush authorities as well as officials from the Russian Temporary Administration (now the Temporary State Committee) for their cooperation with the mission participants. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki would like to express our appreciation to all those who read the report and commented on it, including Prof. John Collarusso of McMaster University. We would also like to thank the members of the Russian human rights group Memorial, who provided generous assistance and advice. In 1994 Memorial published an excellent report on the conflict in the Prigorodnyi region, "Two Years after the War: The Problem of the Forcibly Displaced in the Area of the Ossetian–Ingush Conflict." Finally, we would like to thank the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Henry Jackson Fund, the Merck Fund and the Moriah Fund for their support. Human Rights Watch/Helsinki takes no position on the ultimate status of the Prigorodnyi region. Our sole concern is conformance with international humanitarian law."
During the three years preceding the outbreak of conflict in October 1992, both the Ingush and the Ossetians armed at a furious pace. Much of the North Ossetian ASSR's acquisition of weapons was connected with the war in South Ossetia. Weapons flowed into Ingushetiya freely from Chechnya, and until the outbreak of the conflict one could purchase automatic weapons freely at the market in Nazran.
During the first period of the conflict, North Ossetian Interior Ministry troops and paramilitaries, South Ossetian armed groups, and Ingush militants took hostages, committed murder, looted, wantonly destroyed civilian property, and used indiscriminate fire.
During the second period, a majority of Ingush homes in the Prigorodnyi region were looted by North Ossetian paramilitaries and South Ossetian armed groups again with – at the very least – the acquiescence of North Ossetian and Russian security authorities. Most of this destruction occurred in the second two weeks of November 1992 and early December in spite of the fact that a state of emergency had been proclaimed in November 2, 1992, and the Prigorodnyi region was largely under the control of Russian and North Ossetian forces by November 5, 1992, after the Ingush had fled or been expelled. The state of emergency was annulled in February 1995. As a result of the conflict, a total of 2,728 Ingush and 848 Ossetian homes as well as numerous schools, shops, restaurants, and various parts of the infrastructure were destroyed. Half of the destroyed Ossetian homes have been fully repaired.
Parties to the Ingush–Ossetian conflict are bound by international humanitarian law as it applies to the Russian Federation. The Russian Federation and subordinate state authorities are further bound by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Russia is a party. All parties to the conflict have committed abuses that constitute violations of both branches of international law; most such abuses are also punishable as offenses under Russian criminal law as well.
The fighting was the first armed conflict on Russian territory after the collapse of the Soviet Union. When it ended after the deployment of Russian troops, most of the estimated 34,500–64,000 Ingush residing in the Prigorodnyi region and North Ossetia as a whole had been forcibly displaced by Ossetian forces, often supported by Russian troops. There are no authoritative figures for the number of Ingush forcibly evicted from the Prigorodnyi region and other parts of North Ossetia, because there were no accurate figures for the total pre-1992 Ingush population of Prigorodnyi and North Ossetia. Ingush often lived there illegally and thus were not counted by a census. Thus the Russian Federal Migration Service counts 46,000 forcibly displaced from North Ossetia, while the Territorial Migration Service of Ingushetiya puts the number at 64,000. According to the 1989 census 32,783 Ingush lived in the North Ossetian ASSR; three years later the passport service of the republic put the number at 34,500. According to the migration service of North Ossetia, about 9,000 Ossetians were forced to flee thePrigorodnyi region and seek temporary shelter elsewhere; the majority have returned.
The pressure from Moscow and the Russian-mediated Ossetian–Ingush agreement of 1995 induced the North Ossetian authorities to allow Ingush refugees from four settlements in the Prigorodny district to return to their homes. The return of most refugees had been blocked by the local government and only the Ossetians had been able to return since. Meanwhile, the former Ingush homes and settlements in the district have been gradually occupied by the Ossetian refugees from Georgia.
It is estimated that between 1994 and 2008, around 25,000 of the Ingush people returned to Prigorodny District while some 7,500 remained in Ingushetia.
On October 11, 2002, the presidents of Ingushetia and North Ossetia signed an agreement "promoting cooperation and neighborly relations," in which Ingush refugees and human rights advocates invested much hope. However, the Beslan hostage crisis of 2004 hampered the return process and worsened Ossetian–Ingush relations.
The 9th Motor Rifle Division (Russian: 9-я мотострелковая дивизия) was a motorised infantry division of the Soviet Army and briefly of the Russian Ground Forces.
The division traced its lineage back to the formation of the 1st Kursk Infantry Division in 1918 during the Russian Civil War. The division was redesignated as the 9th Rifle Division in October of that year, and fought as part of the Southern Front against the White Armed Forces of South Russia from late 1918 to early 1920. In late 1920 it fought in the Perekop–Chongar Operation, completing the defeat of the remaining White forces in Crimea, after which it participated in the Red Army invasion of Georgia in early 1921. The division was stationed in Georgia after the end of the campaign, guarding a sector of the Soviet border with Turkey. In late 1921 it was broken up into two separate rifle brigades, which were combined into the 1st Caucasian Rifle Division in 1922. The division was converted into a mountain unit in 1931, and was renumbered as the 9th Mountain Rifle Division in 1936.
Following the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II, the division remained in its positions on the Turkish border, although elements of the 9th fought in the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula and the early stages of the Battle of the Caucasus. In late 1942 the entire division was relocated north to the front, fighting in the offensive that forced the withdrawal of German troops from the North Caucasus in early 1943, before spending most of the year fighting to capture the Kuban bridgehead. Reorganized as the 9th Rifle Division in September, the division transferred to Ukraine in early 1944, after which it fought in the Lvov–Sandomierz Offensive, Vistula–Oder Offensive, and Prague Offensive before the end of the war in May 1945.
Postwar, the division was relocated to Krasnodar in the North Caucasus and was reduced to a rifle brigade until 1949, when it became the 9th Mountain Rifle Division again. After moving to Maykop in 1950, the 9th became a regular rifle division again in 1954, and converted into the 80th Motor Rifle Division in 1957. In 1964 its historic World War II designation was restored, and the division spent the rest of the Cold War in Maykop. After the Dissolution of the Soviet Union, the 9th transferred to the Russian Ground Forces and reorganized as the 131st Separate Motor Rifle Brigade in late 1992. The brigade fought in the Battle of Grozny during the First Chechen War, and elements of it served in the Second Chechen War. In 2009, after the Russo-Georgian War, it was relocated to Gudauta in the disputed territory of Abkhazia, and was redesignated the 7th Military Base.AK-74
The AK-74 (Russian: Автомат Калашникова образца 1974 года or "Kalashnikov automatic rifle model 1974") is an assault rifle developed in the early 1970s by Russian designer Mikhail Kalashnikov as the replacement for the earlier AKM (itself a refined version of the AK-47). It uses a smaller 5.45×39mm cartridge, replacing the 7.62×39mm chambering of earlier Kalashnikov-pattern weapons.
The rifle first saw service with Soviet forces engaged in the 1979 Afghanistan conflict. The head of the Afghan bureau of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence claimed that the CIA paid $5,000 for the first AK-74 captured by the Mujahideen during the Soviet–Afghan War.Currently, the rifle continues to be used by the majority of countries of the former Soviet Union. Additionally, licensed copies were produced in Bulgaria (AK-74, AKS-74 and AKS-74U), and the former East Germany (MPi-AK-74N, MPi-AKS-74N, MPi-AKS-74NK).Caucasian War
The Caucasian War (Russian: Кавказская война; Kavkazskaya vojna) of 1817–1864 was an invasion of the Caucasus by the Russian Empire which resulted in Russia's annexation of the areas of the North Caucasus, and the ethnic cleansing of Circassians. It consisted of a series of military actions waged by the Empire against the peoples of the Caucasus including the Adyghe, Abkhaz–Abaza, Ubykhs, Kumyks and Nakh and Dagestanians as Russia sought to expand. In Dagestan, resistance to the Russians was described as jihad.Russian control of the Georgian Military Highway in the center divided the Caucasian War into the Russo-Circassian War in the west and the Murid War in the east. Other territories of the Caucasus (comprising contemporary eastern Georgia, southern Dagestan, Armenia and Azerbaijan) were incorporated into the Russian empire at various times in the 19th century as a result of Russian wars with Persia. The remaining part, western Georgia, was taken by the Russians from the Ottomans during the same period.Caucasus
The Caucasus or Caucasia is an area situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and occupied by Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus mountain range, which has historically been considered a natural barrier between Eastern Europe and Western Asia.Europe's highest mountain, Mount Elbrus, at 5,642 metres (18,510 ft) is located in the west part of the Greater Caucasus mountain range. On the southern side, the Lesser Caucasus includes the Javakheti Plateau and grows into the Armenian highlands, part of which is located in Turkey.The Caucasus region is separated into northern and southern parts – the North Caucasus (Ciscaucasus) and Transcaucasus (South Caucasus), respectively. The Greater Caucasus mountain range in the north is within the Russian Federation, while the Lesser Caucasus mountain range in the south is occupied by several independent states, namely Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the partially recognised Artsakh Republic.
The region is known for its linguistic diversity: aside from Indo-European and Turkic languages, the Kartvelian, Northwest Caucasian, and Northeast Caucasian families are indigenous to the area.Georgian–Ossetian conflict
The Georgian–Ossetian conflict is an ethno-political conflict over Georgia's former autonomous region of South Ossetia, which evolved in 1989 and developed into a 1991–1992 South Ossetia War. Despite a declared ceasefire and numerous peace efforts, the conflict remained unresolved. In August 2008, military tensions and clashes between Georgia and South Ossetian separatists erupted into the Russo-Georgian War.History of Chechnya
The history of Chechnya may refer to the history of the Chechens, of their land Chechnya, or of the land of Ichkeria.
Chechen society has traditionally been organized around many autonomous local clans, called taips. The traditional Chechen saying goes that the members of Chechen society, like its taips, are (ideally) "free and equal like wolves".Jaimoukha notes in his book Chechens that sadly, "Vainakh history is perhaps the most poorly studied of the peoples of the North Caucasus. Much research effort was expended upon the Russo-Circassian war, most falsified at that." There was once a library of Chechen history scripts, written in Chechen (and possibly some in Georgian) using Arabic and Georgian script; however, this was destroyed by Stalin and wiped from record (see - 1944 Deportation; Aardakh).List of conflicts in Europe
This is a list of conflicts in Europe ordered chronologically, including wars between European states, civil wars within European states, wars between a European state and a non-European state that took place within Europe, and global conflicts in which Europe was a theatre of war.
There are various definitions of Europe and in particular there is significant dispute about the eastern and southeastern boundaries, specifically about how to define the countries of the former Soviet Union. This list is based on a wide definition that includes much of the interface between Europe and Western Asia.List of wars by death toll
This list of wars by death toll includes death toll estimates of all deaths that are either directly or indirectly caused by war. These numbers usually include the deaths of military personnel which are the direct results of battle or other military wartime actions, as well as the wartime/war-related deaths of soldiers, which are the results of war-induced epidemics, famines, atrocities, genocide, etc.List of wars involving Russia
The following is an incomplete list of armed conflicts and wars fought by Russia, by Russian people, from antiquity to the present day. It also includes wars fought outside Russia by Russian military.List of wars involving South Ossetia
This is a list of wars involving the Republic of South Ossetia.OMON
OMON (Russian: ОМОН — Отряд Мобильный Особого Назначения, previously Отряд Милиции Особого Назначения, Otryad Mobil'nyy Osobogo Naznacheniya, Special Purpose Mobile Unit, previously Otryad Militsii Osobogo Naznacheniya, Special Purpose Police Unit) is a system of special police units of Federal Police within the National Guard of Russia, and previously Soviet and Russian Ministries of Internal Affairs. It was created as the special forces of the Soviet Militsiya in 1988, and then played major roles in several armed conflicts during and following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
OMON is much larger and better known than SOBR, another special police branch of the National Guard of Russia. In modern context, the OMON are used more like riot police, or as a gendarmerie-like paramilitary force. OMON units also exist in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and other post-Soviet states. However, some post-Soviet units have changed names and acronyms. OMON officers are commonly known as the omonovtsy.
On 5 April 2016, OMON became part of the newly established National Guard of Russia, ending its years as part of the Ministry of the Interior.Pax Europaea
Pax Europaea (English: the European peace – after the historical Pax Romana), is the period of relative peace experienced by Europe in the period following World War II—often associated above all with the creation of the European Union (EU) and its predecessors. After the Cold War this peace was even more evident because of the fall in political tensions, with the major exception of the Yugoslav Wars and various tensions with and within Russia. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.Post-Soviet conflicts
This article lists the Post-Soviet conflicts, the violent political and ethnic conflicts in the countries of the former Soviet Union since shortly before its official breakup in December 1991.
Some of these conflicts such as the 1993 Russian constitutional crisis or the 2013 Euromaidan protests in Ukraine were due to political crises in the successor states. Others involved separatist movements attempting to break away from one of the successor states.
According to Gordon M. Hahn, between 1990 and 2013 the post-Soviet conflicts led to the death of at least 196,000 people, excluding pogroms and interethnic violence.Russian Ground Forces
The Ground Forces of the Russian Federation (Russian: Сухопутные войска Российской Федерации, tr. Sukhoputnye voyska Rossiyskoy Federatsii) are the land forces of the Russian Armed Forces, formed from parts of the collapsing Soviet Army in 1992. The formation of these forces posed economic challenges after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and required reforms to professionalize the Ground Forces during the transition.
Since 1992, the Ground Forces have withdrawn thousands of troops from former Soviet garrisons abroad, while remaining extensively committed to the Chechen Wars, peacekeeping, and other operations in the Soviet successor states (what is known in Russia as the "near abroad").Special Forces of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces
Special Forces of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces (Russian: Части и подразделения специального назначения (спецназ) Главного управления Генерального штаба Вооружённых сил Российской Федерации (СпН ГУ ГШ ВС РФ)), commonly known as the Spetsnaz G.U. or Spetsnaz GRU is the special forces (spetsnaz) of the G.U., the foreign military intelligence agency of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.
The Spetsnaz GRU was formed in 1949, the first spetsnaz force in the Soviet Union, as the military force of the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), the foreign military intelligence agency of the Soviet Armed Forces. The force was designed in the context of the Cold War to carry out reconnaissance and sabotage against enemy targets in the form of special reconnaissance and direct action attacks. The Spetsnaz GRU inspired additional spetsnaz forces attached to other Soviet intelligence agencies, such as the Vympel and Alpha Group of the KGB.
Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Spetsnaz GRU remained intact until 2010, when it was reassigned to the Ground Forces. In 2013, the Special Operations Forces of the General Staff were established.Suicide attacks in the North Caucasus conflict
In June 2000, the North Caucasian Chechen separatist-led Islamic insurgents added suicide bombing to their tactics in their struggle against Russia. Since then, there have been dozens of suicide attacks within and outside the republic of Chechnya, resulting in thousands of casualties among Russian security personnel and civilians. The profiles of the suicide bombers have varied, as have the circumstances surrounding the bombings.
Although the most publicized Chechen suicide attacks have taken place in Moscow, most attacks have occurred in Chechnya, while several additional attacks have taken place in the extended North Caucasus region and particular the neighboring Russian republic of Ingushetia. The majority of suicide bombings, targeting military installations and government compounds in and around Chechnya and also top government officials, have been directed against those whom the separatists consider to be combatants.Vityaz (MVD)
The 1st Special Purpose Unit of the Internal Forces "Vityaz" (Russian: 1-й Oтряд специального назначения Внутренних войск «Витязь»), commonly known as Vityaz (Витязь, lit. Knight), was one of the special forces (spetsnaz) units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation (MVD). Vityaz belonged to the Independent Operative Purpose Division (ODON) rapid deployment division of the Internal Troops of Russia, the gendarmerie force of the MVD, and was assigned specifically to counter-terrorism duties, with additional roles such as countering civil unrest, prison rebellions, and mutinies of regular army units.
On September 1, 2008, Vityaz was deactivated and merged with Rus into the 604th Special Operations Center, a single special forces unit of ODON. On 5 April, 2016, ODON became part of the National Guard of Russia following the dissolution of the Interior Troops and the transfer of command from the MVD. The Vityaz name and logo is now used by a private security firm.War in Ingushetia
The War in Ingushetia (Russian: Война в Ингушетии) began in 2007 as an escalation of an insurgency in Ingushetia connected to the separatist conflict in Chechnya. The conflict has been described as a civil war by local human rights activists and opposition politicians; others have referred to it as an uprising. By mid-2009 Ingushetia had surpassed Chechnya as the most violent of the North Caucasus republics. However, by 2015 the insurgency in the Republic had greatly weakened, and the casualty toll declined substantially in the intervening years.
(after Yugoslav Wars)