Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic


(Chechen-Ingushetia), part of the RSFSR. Established as an autonomous oblast on Jan. 15, 1934; designated an autonomous Soviet socialist republic on Dec. 5,1936. Situated in the eastern part of the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus and the adjoining Chechen Plain and the Terek-Kuma Lowland. Area, 19,300 sq km. Population, 1.159 million (as of Jan. 1, 1977). The republic is divided into 14 raions and has five cities and four urban-type settlements. The capital is the city of Groznyi.

Constitution and government. The Chechen-Ingush ASSR is a socialist workers’ and peasants’ state and an autonomous Soviet socialist republic. Its present constitution was adopted on May 26, 1978, by the Extraordinary Eighth Session of the Supreme Soviet of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR. The highest body of state power is the unicameral Supreme Soviet of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR, composed of 175 deputies elected from precincts of equal population size, and its presidium. The Supreme Soviet of the republic forms the government—the Council of Ministers of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR. The Chechen-Ingush ASSR is represented in the Soviet of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR by 11 deputies. Local bodies of state power—the city, raion, settlement, and village soviets of people’s deputies—are elected by the population for 2½-year terms.

The Supreme Soviet of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR elects the Supreme Court of the republic for a term of five years. The Supreme Court comprises two judicial collegiums—one for criminal cases and one for civil affairs—and the Presidium. The procurator of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR is appointed by the procurator-general of the USSR for a term of five years.

Natural features. Stretching along the southern border of the republic is the Bokovoi Range, with Mount Tebulosmta, which at 4,493 m is the highest peak in the republic, and Mount Diklosm-ta, which rises to 4,285 m. To the north are several parallel cuestas—the Skalistyi and Pastbishchnyi ranges and the Chernye Mountains. Further north lies the Chechen Plain. The northernmost part of the republic is occupied by the Terek-Kuma Lowland, with sandy ridges and hills. Located in the west is the Terek-Sunzha Upland, which consists of the Terek and Sunzha ranges, separated from one another by the Alkhanchurt Valley.

The climate in the north is continental. In the Terek-Kuma Lowland the average temperature is – 3°C in January and 25°C in July, and the annual precipitation is 300–400 mm; the growing period is 190 days. On the Chechen Plain the average temperature is –4°C in January and 22°–24°C in July, and the annual precipitation is 400–600 mm. In the mountains, the average January temperature varies from –5°C at the lower elevations to –12°C and lower at the higher elevations, while the average July temperatures vary from 21°C to 5°C; the annual precipitation here is 600–1,200 mm.

Almost all the rivers belong to the Terek River basin. The largest ones—the Terek, Sunzha, Argun, and Assa—originate from the glaciers in the high mountains. High water occurs in the spring and early summer as a result of the thawing of seasonal snow and glaciers. The rivers that originate in the low mountains are marked by summer flash floods. The rivers are extensively used for irrigation.

The Terek-Kuma Lowland has chestnut and light chestnut soils, and the Terek-Sunzha Upland, carbonate chernozems. The Chechen Plain is dominated by meadow soils, with leached chernozems in the more elevated areas. The river valleys have alluvial and meadow-bog soils, and the mountains have mountain-forest and mountain-meadow soils.

Wormwoods and saltworts are common in the Terek-Kuma Lowland; the wetter sections are occupied by dry steppes of fescue and feather grass, with associations of shrubs, including hawthorn and plants of the genus Elaeagnus, occurring in sandy depressions. The Chechen Plain is covered with steppe and forest-steppe vegetation. The mountains are covered with broad-leaved forests up to elevations of 1,800–2,200 m, above which they give way to subalpine and alpine meadows.

Forests cover 361,000 hectares (ha), or 18.7 percent, of the republic’s territory. The most common trees are beech (48.8 percent of the forest-covered area), birch (10.9 percent), hornbeam (9.9 percent), and oak (9.6 percent).

Rodents and reptiles abound in the steppe and forest steppe, as well as such birds as bustards, wild ducks, and geese; pheasants are found in the river valleys. The mountains are inhabited by the stone and pine marten, brown bear, boar, mountain goat, roe deer, European wildcat, wolf, chamois, and badger. The alpine meadows are the habitat of the Egyptian black vulture (Aegypiusmonachus), snow pheasant, Caucasian blackcock (Lyrurusmlokosiewiczi), and chukar partridge. There are eight game reserves in the republic.


Population. The Chechen-Ingush ASSR is inhabited by Chechen (611,400; figures here and below from the 1979 census), Ingush (134,700), Russians (366,000), and nationalities of Dagestan, including Kumyks, Nogai, Avars, Laks, and Darghins (22,000), as well as by Armenians (14,600), Ukrainians (12,000), Tatars, and other nationalities.

Between 1926 and 1977, the population increased by a factor of 2.2. The average population density is 60 persons per sq km (as of Jan. 1,1977). The foothill plain is the most densely populated region, while the steppe and high mountains are the least populated. Between 1926 and Jan. 1, 1977, the urban population increased from 19 percent to 44 percent. All the cities except Groznyi (population, 387,000; as of Jan. 1, 1977) were founded during the Soviet period, including Gudermes, Malgobek, Nazran’, and Argun.

Historical survey. The area now occupied by Chechen-Ingushetia was settled as early as the Paleolithic period. Most of the remains dating from the Bronze Age (second millennium B.C.) are burials, found in the mountains and on the plain. The economy of the population was based on transhumance and land cultivation; the primitive communal system prevailed. The remains of the late Bronze and early Iron ages (end of the second millennium to the first half of the first millennium B.C.) attest to a high level of social and economic development of the tribes, to advanced metallurgy, first of copper, then of iron, and to contacts with Scythia, Transcaucasia, and Southwest Asia.

In the early Middle Ages most of the plain and certain parts of the foothill region of Chechen-Ingushetia were part of the early feudal state federation of Alania. The mountains were inhabited by the direct ancestors of the Chechen and the Ingush, among whom the primitive communal system was rapidly declining. Chechen-Ingushetia was subjected to devastating Mongol-Tatar raids in the 13th century and was invaded by Tamerlane in the late 14th century. Vestiges of the primitive communal system survived for a long time because of the low level of development of the productive forces. Chechen-Ingushetia was inhabited by individual clans and by groups (mainly in the plain) that united several frequently feuding clans. The blood feud existed until the early 20th century.

Christianity spread to Chechen-Ingushetia from Georgia after the tenth century. Islam penetrated from Dagestan in the late 16th century and by the first half of the 19th century was the dominant religion. Feudal relations arose in Chechen-Ingushetia in the 16th century. In the early 18th century, the Nakhcho tribe came to be known under the ethnic name of Chechen, after the aul (mountain village) of Chechen, and in the second half of the 19th century, the Galgai tribe came to be known as the Ingush, after the aul of Angush, or Ingush.

In 1722, during the Persian Campaign, Peter I spent some time in Chechnia. This period saw the beginning of cultural and economic ties between Russia and the Chechen and the Ingush, especially those living on the plain. However, the colonial policy of tsarism fostered the growth of the national liberation struggle, particularly the popular movement in the northern Caucasus in 1785, under the leadership of the Chechen Ushurma. In 1810, the Ingush voluntarily became Russian subjects, and thus their lands were spared colonization. The tsarist government encouraged the resettlement of the Ingush to the plain, with the result that the majority did not participate in the war against Russia. Military colonization of the Northern Caucasus intensified, in the course of which fortresses were built, the Chechen and other mountain peoples were driven into the mountains, and the fertile lands were settled by the cossacks; all of this provoked a movement of the mountaineers under the leadership of the imams Gazi-Magomed, Gamzat-Bek, and Shamil (seeCAUCASIAN WAR OF 1817–64).

After Shamil’s capitulation in 1859, all of Chechnia was definitively incorporated into Russia. This promoted the economic and cultural development of the Chechen and Ingush peoples and undermined the patriarchal clan system and the natural economy in the mountain villages. A commercial and industrial bourgeoisie, owning the oil fields, industrial plants, and trade enterprises, emerged in the late 19th century. The Vladikavkaz Railroad was built across Chechen-Ingushetia in the early 1890’s. The Groznyi oil industry developed rapidly after the first oil well was drilled in 1893. The growing working class was composed of new arrivals, mostly Russians. By 1905 there were more than 10,000 workers in Groznyi, and by 1917, as many as 20,000. Commercial farming and animal husbandry developed. In 1913 alone, 6.816 million poods (111,646,080 kg) of grain were transported out of Chechen-Ingushetia.

Social Democratic circles arose in Groznyi in the early 1900’s, and a Bolshevik organization was formed in 1903, in whose founding I. T. Fioletov played a leading role. The proletariat of Groznyi participated in the Revolution of 1905–07. The spring and summer of 1905 saw a wave of peasant unrest, primarily in Vedeno District.

After the February Revolution, a civilian committee was organized in Groznyi on Mar. 4 (17), 1917, as a body of the bourgeois Provisional Government. The Groznyi soviet of workers’, soldiers’, and cossacks’ deputies was formed on March 5 (18). The Chechen Congress, held in Groznyi on March 14 (27), elected the bourgeois nationalist Chechen National Soviet, composed of sheikhs, merchants, and officers, as well as the Ingush National Soviet. By the autumn of 1917, the Bolsheviks, headed by N. A. Anisimov, had gained the majority in the Groznyi soviet, and the Groznyi garrison came out in support of the October Revolution. Soviet rule was proclaimed in the city on October 26 (November 8).

The establishment of Soviet power in Chechen-Ingushetia was accompanied by a bitter class struggle. In mid-November, two officers and several horsemen of the Chechen Cavalry Regiment of the Caucasian Native Cavalry Division (known as the Wild Division) were murdered at the Groznyi railroad station. The cossack and mountaineer counterrevolution, headed by the ataman of the Terek Cossack Host, M. A. Karaulov, and by the Chechen oil industrialist A.-M. A. Chermoev, took advantage of the incident to issue an ultimatum on November 23 (December 6) demanding that the Groznyi soviet disarm the workers and revolutionary soldiers. On November 24 (December 7), counterrevolutionary units captured Groznyi, but on Dec. 31, 1917, (Jan. 13, 1918), they were driven out with the help of revolutionary troops that had arrived from Mozdok; power passed to the military revolutionary committee.

The first congress of the peoples of Terek Oblast, at which S. M. Kirov played a leading role, was held in Mozdok on Jan. 25–31 (Feb. 7–13), 1918. The congress formed the Terek People’s Soviet and forestalled a war between the various nationalities of the oblast, which the cossack elite was planning to unleash. On March 17, the second congress of the peoples of Terek Oblast, held in Piatigorsk on Mar. 1–18, 1918, recognized Soviet power and formed the Terek Soviet Republic as part of the RSFSR. After the congress, the working people of Chechnia convened a congress of the Chechen people in the settlement of Goity and elected the Goity People’s Soviet, with T. E. El’darkhanov as chairman. The Ingush National Soviet was reorganized, and G. Akhriev became its chairman. The Goity People’s Soviet and the Ingush National Soviet declared their support of Soviet power.

In the summer of 1918, the cossack counterrevolutionaries of Terek Oblast, under the leadership of G. F. Bicherakhov, organized an anti-Soviet revolt. Bicherakhov’s forces were defeated in battles fought at Groznyi between Aug. 11 and Nov. 12, 1918. The defense of the city was led by N. F. Gikalo, A. Sheripov, and A. Z. D’iakov. G. K. Ordzhonikidze was extraordinary commissar of Southern Russia in the Northern Caucasus.

General A. I. Denikin’s White Guard troops captured Chechen-Ingushetia in February 1919; Soviet troops left Groznyi on the night of February 2. Partisan detachments were formed in the mountains of Chechen-Ingushetia, which continued the struggle against the counterrevolution. On the night of Dec. 22, 1919, an uprising of workers and political prisoners broke out in Groznyi but was crushed by Denikin’s forces.

As the Red Army approached the Northern Caucasus, the Caucasian Krai Committee of the RCP(B) in January 1920 adopted a decision to organize the Terek Oblast Group of Rebel Troops under the command of Gikalo. The 11th Army and the rebel troops launched an offensive on Groznyi in March, and the city was liberated on March 17. By the end of March 1920, Soviet power was established in all of Chechen-Ingushetia.

On Nov. 17,1920, the congress of the peoples of Terek Oblast held in Vladikavkaz (now the city of Ordzhonikidze) proclaimed the formation of the Gortsy ASSR (a decree of Jan. 20,1921, of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee), which included Chechnia and Ingushetia under the names of Chechen and Nazran’ okrugs. On Nov. 30, 1922, Chechen Okrug was separated from the Gortsy ASSR and organized as an autonomous oblast of the RSFSR. A July 7, 1924, decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee abolished the Gortsy ASSR and established the Ingush Autonomous Oblast on part of its territory.

Soviet power freed the working people of Chechen-Ingushetia from national oppression and eliminated national inequality in all spheres of social, political, economic, and cultural life. Between 1921 and 1926 the economy in Chechen-Ingushetia was restored with the help of the Russian people and other fraternal peoples. In 1924 the proletariat of Groznyi was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for the heroic struggle against the counterrevolution and for the restoration of the oil industry.

During the prewar five-year plans, the industry and the oil fields of Groznyi were completely reconstructed, and new huge oil refineries and chemical and machine-building plants were built, as well as canneries and other enterprises of the food-processing industry. Collectivization proceeded successfully. In 1933 collectivized peasant farms accounted for 40.5 percent of all farms in Ingushetia and 32.4 percent in Chechenia. In 1939 there were 472 kolkhozes, which encompassed 73,744 farms, or 96 percent of all farms. The successes in agriculture were achieved amid a struggle with kulaks and mullahs, who made use of vestiges of the clan system and religious prejudice in their struggle against collectivization.

A culture national in form and socialist in content was created in the republic under Soviet power. In 1920 the literacy rate was only 0.8 percent among the Chechen and 3 percent among the Ingush. Chechen and Ingush writing systems were developed in the period 1923–25. In 1940 the literacy rate was 85 percent among the Chechen and 92 percent among the Ingush. A national intelligentsia emerged. Much work was done to eradicate the vestiges of the patriarchal clan system. Steps were undertaken to involve the Chechen and the Ingush in industrial production.

In view of the achievements in economic and cultural development, the Chechen and Ingush autonomous oblasts were merged on Jan. 15, 1934, into the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Oblast, which was transformed on Dec. 5,1936, into the Chechen-Ingush ASSR.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), the working people of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR aided the front. The oil industry worked hard to supply the front with gasoline and lubricants. Agricultural output was maintained at the 1940 level, and food was supplied to the army. Fascist German troops invaded the western part of the republic in the fall of 1942, but they were soon stopped at the distant approaches to Groznyi. The republic was liberated in January 1943. During the war, the Chechen and the Ingush fought on the fronts and participated in the partisan struggle against the fascist invaders. Several thousand people were awarded orders and medals, and the title of Hero of the Soviet Union was conferred on 36 people. The Chechen-Ingush ASSR was abolished in 1944. A Jan. 9,1957, decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR restored the national autonomy of the Chechen and Ingush peoples.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the Chechen-Ingush ASSR attained new successes, with the constant selfless aid of the peoples of the entire Soviet Union. By 1977, there were 32 Heroes of Socialist Labor in the republic, and a total of 13,060 working people had been awarded orders and medals of the USSR. For achievements in the development of the economy, the Chechen-Ingush ASSR was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1965 and the Order of the October Revolution and the Order of Friendship of Peoples in 1972.


Economy. Socialist construction transformed Chechen-Ingushetia into a republic with a highly developed industry and diversified agriculture. The economy is based on oil extraction, oil refining, and petrochemical production, as well as on power production, machine building, and metalworking. The building-materials and food-processing industries are also greatly developed.

INDUSTRY. In the period 1940–76 the industrial output increased by a factor of 9. Table 1 gives the output of the most important types of industrial products.

The republic has four heat and power plants, which are linked up with the power system of the Northern Caucasus. Oil and gas deposits are concentrated around the cities of Groznyi, Malgo-bek, and Gudermes. Almost all the oil and gas extracted in the republic is refined at the oil and gas refineries in Groznyi. The oil-refining and petrochemical industries produce motor fuels, lubricants, petroleum bitumens, paraffin, synthetic ethyl alcohol, phenol, acetone, and polyethylene.

Machine-building and metalworking enterprises produce equipment for the oil industry, sludge pumps, cement-making machines, tractor trailers, electrographic machines, various industrial instruments, bottling assembly-line equipment, and electrical and medical instruments. The largest enterprises are the Krasnyi Molot, Transmash, and Elektropribor plants, a repair and machinery plant, an electromechanical plant, and the experimental plant of the Neftegazpromavtomatika Special Planning and Design Office in Groznyi, the Elektroinstrument Plant in Nazran’, the Medinstrument Plant in Gudermes, and the Pish-chemash Plant in Argun. The building-materials industry is represented by a cement plant in Chiri-Iurt and by plants for the production of bricks, limestone, and reinforced-concrete structural members and by a large-panel housing-construction plant in Argun.

The leading branches of the food-processing industry are meat packing and the production of milk, sugar, wine, beer, flour, bread, confectionery and macaroni products, and canned goods; the bottling of mineral water is also important. There are canneries

Table 1. Output of major types of industrial products
Electricity (million kW-hr) ...............3984581,7363,142
Petroleum equipment (thousand tons) ...............
Pumps (units) ...............531367575747
Tractor trailers (thousand units) ...............1,87513,858
Electrical instruments (thousand units) ...............222
Export of commercial timber (thousand cum) ...............799422959
Precast reinforced-concrete structural members and products (thousand cum) ...............89262
Construction bricks (million units) ...............34.753.9148.3201
Construction limestone (thousand tons) ...............12.99.319.830.2
Knit underwear (thousand Items) ...............421015134,191
Leather footwear (thousand pairs) ...............3642501,084988
Vegetable oil (thousand tons) ...............
Canned goods (million standard cans) ...............20.917.754.5140
Granulated sugar (thousand tons) ...............4.9

in Groznyi, the Assinovskaia Stanitsa, and the village of Sa-mashki and a sugar refinery in Argun.

The lumber and wood-products industry is represented by ten logging enterprises, the Terek furniture production association, and the Ermolov wood-products combine. The largest enterprises of light industry are the Nazran’ Knitwear Factory, the Groznyi Garment Production Association, and the Groznyi Footwear Factory.

AGRICULTURE. In 1976 agricultural lands totaled 1,166,100 ha, of which arable land occupied 426,300 ha (including 98,200 ha under irrigation), perennial plantings 38,100 ha, hayfields 71,600 ha, and pastures 630,100 ha. As of Jan. 1, 1977, the republic had 45 kolkhozes and 100 sovkhozes. In 1976 agriculture accounted for 8,135 tractors (1,519 in 1940), 1,178 grain-harvesting combines (485 in 1940), and 4,707 trucks (2,122 in 1960). Table 2 shows the distribution of sown area.

Agriculture specializes in the production of fruits, grapes, and vegetables. Between 1945 and 1976 the area occupied by orchards, berry plantings, and vineyards increased from 3,900 ha to

Table 2. Sown acres (hectares)
Grain crops ...............262,500292,800239,300
Winter wheat ...............89,00079,300117,600
Winter barley ...............15,70021,70056,000
Corn for grain ...............56,000126,20032,400
Rice ...............1002006,600
Industrial crops ...............7,60038,30026,500
Sunflowers ...............4,40016,50015,300
Sugar beets ...............9,100
Tobacco ...............1,700
Total ...............288,800402,200467,800

44,600 ha, of which 23,500 ha were occupied by vineyards. In 1976 the gross harvest totaled 519,800 tons of grain (190,000 in 1940), 177,000 tons of vegetables (43,900 in 1940), 207,000 tons of sugar beets, 80,100 tons of fruit, and 112,300 tons of grapes.

The raising of fine-wooled sheep, animals for meat and dairy purposes, and poultry is developing. At the beginning of 1977, the republic had 301,500 head of cattle (249,700 in 1941), including 118,100 cows (106,200), as well as 148,300 hogs (45,100) and 744,800 sheep and goats (470,400). Efforts are under way to mechanize animal husbandry. From 1940 to 1976 the meat output increased from 10,200 tons to 30,500 tons (in dressed weight), the milk output from 78,000 tons to 206,900 tons, egg production from 52.9 million eggs to 110 million eggs, and wool production from 451,000 tons to 3.592 million tons.

In 1976 the state purchases were as follows: 174,200 tons of grain (72,500 tons in 1940), 131,000 tons of vegetables (18,300), 192,000 tons of sugar beets, 8,100 tons of sunflower seeds (5,700), 70,400 tons of fruit (1,100), 110,600 tons of grapes (400), 2,700 tons of tobacco, 32,100 tons of livestock and poultry (8,300), 78,700 tons of milk (6,100), 65.7 million eggs (15.2 million), and 4.306 million tons of wool (369,000).

TRANSPORTATION. The operational length of railroads was 362 km in 1976, compared to 150 km in 1913. The republic is traversed by the Rostov-on-Don-Beslan-Baku trunk line and by the Prokhladnaia-Mozdok-Astrakhan’ line. Gudermes is a major railroad junction. In 1976 there were 3,181 km of highways, of which 2,574 km were hard-surfaced. The Moscow-Baku Highway passes through the republic. Groznyi is linked by air with Moscow, Sochi, Rostov-on-Don, and other cities.

The pipeline network is well developed.

The Chechen-Ingush ASSR supplies other parts of the USSR with products of the oil-refining, chemical, and machine-building industries; it receives coal, metals, and some building materials, oil, and gas from other regions.

STANDARD OF LIVING. The standard of living of the republic’s population is steadily rising owing to the successful fulfillment of the programs of economic and cultural development. The state and cooperative retail trade turnover, including the food service industry, increased by a factor of 1.4 in the period 1971–76, reaching 600 million rubles. New housing built in the same period by the state, kolkhozes, and private individuals amounted to 2.005 million sq m.


PUBLIC HEALTH. In 1913 there were ten fee-charging hospitals, with 236 beds, and 21 private physicians in what is now the Chechen-Ingush ASSR; there were no medically trained personnel from among the indigenous population. As of Jan. 1,1977, there were 83 hospitals, with 11,200 beds (9.7 beds per 1,000 population), 556 feldsher and obstetrics centers, gynecological consultation centers, and children’s polyclinics and other dispensaries and polyclinics, and 19 public health epidemiological stations. There were 2,700 physicians (one doctor per 430 population) and 7,800 secondary medical personnel.

Resorts and health facilities include the balneological resort of Sernovodsk, the climatic resort of Armkhi, nine sanatoriums, and one house of rest.

TOURISM. The main tourist itineraries, which include seven all-Union itineraries, lead from the Caucasian Mineral Waters Region to the Caspian Sea and from the city of Groznyi through the Glavnyi Range of the Caucasus to Georgia. There are tourist centers in the city of Groznyi and in the village of Benoi.

Education and culture. In the 1914–15 academic year, there were 153 general-education schools, with 12,800 pupils and students, in what is now the republic; there were no specialized secondary or higher educational institutions. In the 1977–78 academic year, there were 574 general-education schools of all types, with 288,100 pupils and students, 29 vocational-technical schools, with 15,000 students, and 12 specialized secondary schools, with 14,800 students; there were also two higher educational institutions—the Chechen-Ingush University and the Petroleum Institute—both in Groznyi, with 12,000 students. In 1976 the republic numbered 326 preschool institutions, caring for 31,000 children.

As of Jan. 1, 1977, there were three theaters, a philharmonic society, and 475 public libraries in the republic, with more than 6.2 million books and journals. The republic has two museums—the Chechen-Ingush Museum of Local Lore and the Museum of Fine Arts, both in Groznyi—as well as 403 clubs, 358 motion-picture projection units, and 41 extracurricular institutions. (See below: Music and Theater.)

Scientific institutions. All scientific research institutions have been founded during the Soviet period. The oldest research institutes are the Groznyi Scientific Research Institute (GrozNII; founded 1928) and the Institute of History, Sociology, and Philology (1926). The Northern Caucasus Scientific Research and Design Institute of the Petroleum Industry was founded in 1965, the Chechen-Ingush State Agricultural Experimental Station in 1944, and the Scientific Research Station for Vegetable and Fruit Growing in 1973. Scientific work is conducted at the Chechen-Ingush University and the Groznyi Petroleum Institute. In 1976 there were more than 2,000 scholars and scientists in the republic.

Press, radio, and television. In 1979 the republic’s publishing houses released 105 titles of books and pamphlets in a printing of 622,000 copies. Republic newspapers include the Chechen-language Leninannek” (The Leninist Path; since 1923), the Ingush-language Serdalo (The Light; 1923), and the Russian-language Groznenskii rabochii (Groznyi Worker; 1917) and Komsomol’-skoeplemia (The Komsomol Tribe; 1928). Almanacs include the Ingush-language Loaman luire (The Mountain Morning; 1958) and the Chechen-language Orga (Argun; 1958). Radio broadcasts of the First Program of the All-Union Radio, as well as broadcasts of Maiak, are relayed for 32 hours a day; republic programs are broadcast for 11 hours a day. Two television programs are broadcast for 15.9 hours a day, of which 12.9 hours are programs relayed from Central Television and three hours are local broadcasts in Chechen, Ingush, and Russian.

Literature. Both Chechen literature and Ingush literature, close in historical development and written in kindred languages, developed after the October Revolution of 1917 as written Soviet literature based on folklore, on the one hand, and on classical Russian and Soviet literature, on the other.

The founder of Chechen literature is S. Baduev (1904–43), author of the first published Chechen work of fiction, the novella Hunger (1925); of the first Chechen novel, Petimat (1930), which was devoted to the fate of a woman mountaineer; and of the plays The Law of the Fathers (1929) and The Red Fortress (1930). Sh. Aiskhanov (1907–37) wrote plays, including The Struggle (1932), and short stories, and M. Muzaev (born 1913) wrote the play A Seed Sprouts in Our Epoch (1934) and the narrative poem The Forest Clearing (1933). The early 1930’s saw the first poems of M. Mamakaev (1910–73) and the literary sketches and plays of Kh. Oshaev (1898–1977), creator of the first Chechen alphabet, based on the Latin alphabet. The historical novel Two Generations (1930) by S. Arsanov (1889–1968) was devoted to the prere-volutionary period in Chechnia.

Chechen works of the 1940’s include the patriotic plays Anger (1940) and To the Native Aul (1941) by A. Mamakaev (1918–58), Muzaev’s poetry collection In the Flash of Lightning (1940), and the narrative poem The Sun Will Triumph (1944) by M. Sulaev (born 1920). Literature developed rapidly in the 1950’s. Friendship, a collection of works by Chechen writers, was published in Alma-Ata. Arsanov published the historical novel about the revolution When Friendship Becomes Known (in Russian), a landmark work of Chechen prose. Other works of the period include the poetry collections The Valley of the Terek (1958) by A. Mamakaev, The Roads of the Motherland (1960) by M. Mamakaev, A Handful of Earth (1960) by Muzaev, and Difficult Love (1963) by R. Akhmatova (born 1928). Chechen poets of the 1960’s and 1970’s remained true to traditional civic, patriotic, internationalist, and lyrical themes, striving for profound philosophical solutions, epic scale, and perfection of language and artistic form.

Chechen prose of the 1960’s and 1970’s was marked by the development of the literary sketch and novella. Novels on contemporary themes were published with increasing frequency. The theme of the beauty of constructive labor and the theme of the individual versus society are developed in the novels In the Valley of the Argun (1965) and The Power of Imagination (1971) by Muzaev, the novels The Root of Happiness (books 1–2,1964–70) and The Creators (1970) by M. Isaeva (1898–1977), and the novella On the Banks of the Assa (1975) by Z. Abdulaev (born 1296). The problems of moral upbringing and the development of communist morality are the themes of several novels, including Tavsultan Leaves the Mountains (1966) by Sulaev, After the Shot (1969) by M. Musaev (born 1915), and Who Are You? (books 1–2,1969–71) by U. Gaisultanov (born 1920). An artistic reevaluation of the past marks the novels Miurid of the Revolution (1962) and Zelimkhan (1968) by M. Mamakaev, In the Name of Freedom (1968) and Long Nights (1973) by A. Aidamirov (born 1933), and the tetralogy Flaming Years (books 1–4, 1959–64) by Oshuev.

Chechen writers of children’s works include Gaisultanov, author of the collection of novellas and short stories Let the Sun Smile for Everyone (1968), Kh. Edilov (born 1922), author of the fairy-tale narrative poem The Iron Wolf (1966), and Musaev, author of the novella Anzor (1966).

Since the late 1950’s, Chechen dramaturgy has dealt with a wide range of topics. The Civil War of 1918–20 is the topic of Aslanbek Sheripov (1958) by Oshaev and The Girl From the Mountains (1960) by A. Khamidov (1920–69); life in a kolkhoz village is depicted in Muzaev’s The Bright Path (1961) and Musaev’s In One Aul (1962); the Great Patriotic War is the theme of Musaev’s The Waves of the Terek (1961) and Khamidov’s The Immortals (1969); and moral and ethical problems and problems of everyday life are treated in Muzaev’s Trust in Man (1961) and Khamidov’s Sovdat and Daud (1958) and his satirical comedy The Fall of Bozh-Ali (1967).

The first published Ingush literary work was the play Abduction of a Girl (1923) by Z. Mal’sagov (1894–1935). The newspaper Serdalo published Ingush poetry and prose, including excerpts from the novella Early Spring by T. Bekov (1873–1938) and the narrative poem Kalym and Tamara by S. Oziev (born 1904). Among the writers who emerged in the 1930’s were the poets Kh. Mutaliev (1910–64), Dzh. Iandiev (born 1916), and A. Oziev (1902–37), the prose writer A. Goigov (1896–1948), author of literary sketches and novellas about the revolution, and the dramatist and prose writer I. Bazorkin (born 1911). During the Great Patriotic War (1941–45), Iandiev, M. Khashagul’gov (1904–77), and Kh. Osmiev (born 1919) published patriotic and antifascist poems. The war is depicted in Bazorkin’s plays Captain Ibragimov (1941) and The Birth of Hate (1942).

Ingush literature developed rapidly in the 1950’s. Mutaliev, Iandiev, and S. Oziev published poetry collections. Prose writers confidently mastered the genre of the novella, represented by The First Days (1960) by Mutaliev, In the Name of the Republic (1962) and Nine Days in the Life of a Hero (1964) by B. Ziazikov (1908–65), and At the Fork (1965) by A. Vedzizhev (born 1919). The problems of moral upbringing and the development of communist morality in the struggle against the vestiges of the past are treated in the first Ingush novel, The Golden Pillars (1966) by S. Chakhkiev (born 1938). The novel Wolves’ Nights (1970) by Chakhkiev and the novels Beka’s Sons (1967) by A. Bokov (born 1924) and The Difficult Crossing (1974) by M. Pliev (born 1929) are devoted to the revolution. Bazorkin’s historical epic From the Darkness of the Ages (1968) traces more than 100 years of the life of the people.

Ingush writers of children’s works include Vedzizhev (novella Gapur—the Hero’s Namesake, 1968) and Chakhkiev (novella Enver, 1966).

Ingush dramaturgy, which emerged in the 1920’s with the plays of Z. Mal’sagov and Mutaliev, made great strides in the late 1950’s and the subsequent decades. Among the important plays are The Roads of Love (1966) by Bazorkin, When Sons Perish (1968) by Chakhkiev and G. Rusakov, and / Shall Not Be Alone (1973) by Akh. Mal’sagov (born 1922).

LITERARY SCHOLARSHIP AND LITERARY CRITICISM. Chechen and Ingush literary scholarship and literary criticism, which have developed closely with one another, have found expression, in particular, in the publication of the joint Outline of the History of Chechen-Ingush Literature (1963). Abu Mal’sagov (born 1939), a scholar of Ingush literature, and Kh. Turkaev (born 1938), a scholar of Chechen literature, started their careers in the early 1970’s. Chechen-Ingush Soviet Drama From 1920 to 1940 by Iu. Aidaev (born 1938) was published in 1973 and Ingush Literature by I. Dakhkil’gov (born 1936) in 1975. The center of research for literary scholarship and literary criticism is the Chechen-Ingush Institute of History, Sociology, and Philology.

Works of Chechen and Ingush writers have been translated into Russian and the national languages of the USSR. Chechen and Ingush translations of classical Russian and foreign works have been published in the republic, as have translations of the works of many writers of the peoples of the USSR. The creative work of writers is organized by the writers’ organization of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR, based in the city of Groznyi.


Architecture and art. The oldest artistic remains in what is now Chechen-Ingushetia date from the third to first millennia B.C. They include remains of the Kura-Araks Aeneolithic, the Maikop culture, the Northern Caucasus culture, the Kaiakent-Khorochoi culture, and the Koban culture (seeKURA-ARAKS AENEOLITHIC; MAIKOP CULTURE; NORTHERN CAUCASUS CULTURE; KAIAKENT-KHOROCHOI CULTURE; and KOBAN CULTURE).

The Scythian and Sarmatian period (seventh century B.C. to fourth century A.D.) is represented by works in the animal style (seeANIMAL STYLE), the Alani period (eighth to 13th centuries) by catacomb burials (near the villages of Alkun and Duba-Iurt), and the Mongol-Tatar period (13th to early 15th centuries) by the Borga-Kash mausoleum near the village of Plievo (1405).

Christian religious architecture from the 11th to 13th centuries (the Tkhaba-Erdy Church near the village of Khairakh), which combines Georgian and local architectural elements, is characterized by simple geometric forms and austere and elegant decor. In the mountain regions of Chechen-Ingushetia, crudely dressed stones were used in the Middle Ages to build defensive walls (near the village of Verkhnii Alkun), two- or three-tiered residential towers, with flat roofs and arched openings, and four- or five-tiered fortification towers, with embrasures, machicoulis, and pyramidal-stepped roofs, which sometimes formed majestic complexes, as in the villages of Kezenoi, Targim, Khoi, Egikal, and Erzi (all 14th to 18th centuries). Mountain hamlets, forming picturesque terrace-like compositions on the slopes, stood side by side with numerous aboveground, semisubterranean, and underground crypts (rectangular, square, or round, with gabled, pyramidal-stepped, or conical smooth roofs), as well as tomb stelae (for instance, the City of the Dead of Tsoi-Pede, near the village of Malkhista, 11th to 18th centuries). Almost all the villages had sanctuaries identical to the gabled aboveground crypts.

From the 18th to early 20th centuries, the traditional dwellings in Chechen-Ingushetia were, in the mountains, one- or two-story multiroom stone and wood dwellings, with flat roofs and separate exits to an open terrace, and, on the plain, rectangular houses of adobe (later of brick), faced with tiles and surrounded by galleries.

The decorative applied folk art of Chechen-Ingushetia includes stone and wood carving, artistic metalworking (embossing, engraving, and niello), jewelry-making, the production of wood, clay, and copper utensils, felt cloaks, and felt carpets, embroidery with gold and silver thread (astrological, zoomorphic, and floral designs), and leather tanning. P. Z. Zakharov, a Chechen easel painter and portraitist, began painting in the second quarter of the 19th century.

The reconstruction and development of Groznyi were begun after the October Socialist Revolution; it proceeded intensively in the 1950’s under the direction of the architects Z. S. Berkovich, Ia. S. Berkovich, B. N. Fedotov, and L. I. Khait. Large-scale construction of housing and cultural and service facilities is currently under way in the cities of Gudermes and Malgobek. Spacious modern residential and farm buildings are being erected in the villages. The Groznyi section of the Architects’ Union of the USSR was founded in 1939, and the Chechen-Ingush section, in 1967.

During the years of Soviet power, the art of Chechen-Ingushetia has been marked by the development of historical, genre, portrait, and landscape painting, as represented by the works of the painters E. N. Gaidukova, A. G. Grigor’iants, Kh. Iu. Dadaev, D. G. Idrisov, N. G. Latyshev, V. V. Livn, P. V. Mironov, O. M. Mishin, V. K. Mordovin, F. N. Sachko, Sh. A. Shamur-zaev, and G. Iu. Ianakov and the graphic artists Kh. A. Akhmedov, O. R. Chubarov, and L. I. Tsaritsynskii. Sculptors include V. P. Astapov, I. D. Bekichev, V. D. Maliukov, R. I. Mamilov, and A. N. Safronov (the last is also a painter and graphic artist). Book illustration, as represented by E. M. Tokarev and A. A. Tuladze, and stage design have also developed. The Union of Soviet Artists of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR was founded in 1939 and was renamed the Artists’ Union of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR In 1968.

Decorative applied folk art is being enriched with new themes.


Music. Chechen and Ingush folk music have much in common. Both are characterized by the diatonic scale, by a juxtaposition of the harmonies of neighboring steps, by harmonies of fourths and fifths, and by harmonies of seconds and fifths. Many choral and instrumental works are characterized by two- or three-part harmonies. Chromaticism is absent, and there are no augmented seconds in melodies. The rhythm is well-defined, often with frequent changes of measure and alternation of triplets with an even rhythmic division, especially in dance melodies; the lezghinka is the most popular dance.

Folk melodies encompass a variety of genres. They include heroic and epic songs, called illi or Mesh, which are often in the form of a recitative and are performed by men. Male choral singing also includes the nazma, usually for two or three voices. Among lyrical women’s and girls’ songs are the esharsh and khalkharan iish, of which there are many local variants. Instrumental music includes the laduga iish.

The principal musical instruments are the dechk-pondur, a plucked stringed instrument; the atukh-pondur, a bow stringed instrument; various wind instruments, such as the shedag (a pipe), zuma, and maa (made of horn); percussion instruments, such as the vota (a drum with two heads) and zhirgia (a tambourine); and the tsuzam, an instrument made of goose feathers producing a squeaky sound. The oriental accordion has become very popular. In the early 20th century, Abdul Muslim Magometovich Magomaev sought to popularize folk music; he composed several works based on Chechen melodies.

New interest in the notation of folk music was aroused after the October Revolution of 1917. A. Sheripov’s collection Selected Chechen Songs was published in 1918. In the 1920’s the music of the Chechen and the Ingush was studied by A. A. Davidenko and E. A. Kolesnikov. Much work to popularize folk music was done by the composers V. Sh. Dagaev, A. E. Khamkhoev, S. L. Magomedov, and S. Ts. Tsugaev, as well as by A. I. Aleksandrov. Leading folk musicians included the accordion players U. Di-maev and E. Ganukaeva and the ashugs (folk singers and storytellers) B. Suleimanov, I. Bataev, and I. Tsitskiev. The composer and conductor G. Kh. Mepurnov, one of the founders of professional music in the republic, made a great contribution to the collection of Chechen folk music. Mepurnov made use of folk melodies in his Poem About Sheripov and Fantasy on Chechen-Ingush Themes and in music to several productions of the Kh. Nuradilov Chechen-Ingush Dramatic Theater. He also helped found a music school (1936) and an orchestra of reconstructed folk instruments (1935).

U. A. Beksultanov, whose works are quite popular, wrote the symphony For Soviet Rule (1967), the symphonic poems The Tale of the Mountains (1963) and Gomar (1966), a concerto for piano and orchestra (1973), and Vainakh Sketches (1974). Vocal and instrumental chamber music is represented by the works of S. U. Dimaev, and variety music, by the works of A. M. Shakhbulatov. Chechen-Ingush folk music forms the basis of several works by Davidenko, N. S. Rechmenskii, M. V. Koval’, S. N. Riauzov, Iu. S. Biriukov, O. B. Fel’tsman, and L. I. Kuliev.

Performers include Honored Artists of the RSFSR M. A. Ai-damirova, V. Sh. Dagaev, and A. E. Khamkhoev and People’s Artist of the USSR M. E. Esambaev, a performer of folk dances.

Among the musical institutions in the republic are (1977) a philharmonic society (1938) and its symphony orchestra (1939), the Vainakh Dance Ensemble (1939), the House of Folk Art (1938), a music school (1936, Groznyi), the Republic Cultural-Educational School (1961), and 31 children’s music schools.


Theater. The theatrical art of the Chechen and the Ingush is rooted in antiquity, attested to by the songs and legends of wandering musicians and singers glorifying the exploits of national folk heroes and by the ancient customs accompanying various festivities and wedding and funeral rituals. Both amateur theatrical arts and the professional theater developed after the October Revolution of 1917. In the early 1920’s progressive members of the national intelligentsia of the cities of Groznyi and Vladikavkaz (now the city of Ordzhonikidze) formed small amateur groups, which staged plays of the Russian and other fraternal peoples in Russian. The national dramaturgy was created mainly by members of amateur circles. Chechen plays included I. El’darkhanov’s The Young Wife of an Old Man, D. Sharipov’s Ali-Bek-Khadzhi of Zandak, M. Iandarov’s The Makazhoev Imam, and S. Baduev’s Not Every Day Isa Bairam for the Mullah and The Political Department. Ingush plays included Z. Mal’sa-gov’s The Abduction of a Girl and Vengeance, A. Kh. Goigov’s The Funeral Repast, O. Mal’sagov’s Selikhat and Class Struggle in the Aul, and Kh. Mutaliev’s Eye for an Eye, Tooth for a Tooth and The Soldiers of Culture. These successful plays were topical and of great educational value. At the Northern Caucasus Olympiad of the Arts of the Autonomous Oblasts in 1931, the Ingush drama circle won first place, and the Chechen circle, second place.

The origin of the professional theater dates to the founding in 1931 of the Chechen Theatrical Studio in Groznyi, which combined training with actual stage performances in cities and rural areas. In 1933 the theatrical studio was reorganized into the Chechen Dramatic Theater. An Ingush theatrical studio opened the same year in the city of Ordzhonikidze. The following year, the studio joined the troupe of the Chechen Dramatic Theater, which assumed the name Chechen-Ingush Dramatic Theater. The training of professional performers was greatly assisted by the Rustaveli Georgian Theater, the State Institute of Theatrical Arts, and the Leningrad Institute of Theater, Music, and Cinematography, where the Chechen and Ingush studios worked at one time or another.

The core of the Chechen-Ingush Dramatic Theater comprised graduates of the studios and performers associated with the theater from its inception. They included Honored Artist of the RSFSR Ia. M. Zubairaev, People’s Artist of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR and Honored Artist of the RSFSR T. Sh. Alieva, People’s Artists of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR A. M. Isaeva, Kh. S. Khak-isheva, A. Kh. Khamidov, and V. A. Tataev, Honored Artists of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR Kh. Iu. Mustapaeva, A. D. Tashu-khadzhieva, Z. M. Bagalova, I. D. Khadzhieva, Z. Minkailova, M. A. Davletmirzaev, A. A. Deniev, and N. Tsitskiev, Honored Artist of the Severnaia Ossetia ASSR D. Amaev, and the actor M. Dudaev. The first professional stage directors included G. M. Batukaev, M. M. Soltsaev, and R. Sh. Khakishev. In 1942 the theater was named for Kh. Nuradilov (Hero of the Soviet Union).

The most popular national plays are S. Baduev’s The Red Fortress, Petimat, The Law of the Fathers, The Golden Lake, The Shepherd’s Family, and Tsaeba’s Marriage, M. Gadaev and G. Batukaev’s Adi Surkho, I. Bazorkin’s Captain Ibragimov and Tamara, A. Khamidov’s The Fall of Bozh-Ali, Kh. Oshaev’s Aslanbek Sheripov, M. Soltsaev’s Beshto, N. Muzaev’s Aset, B. Saidov’s Zeinap, and S. Chakhkiev and G. Rusakov’s When Sons Perish. In addition to staging national plays, the theater produces classical Russian, Soviet, and foreign plays and plays of dramatists of other republics. The rise and development of the Chechen-Ingush theater owe a great deal to the stage directors A. Tuganov, M. Alili, A. Chkhartashvili, G. Batukaev, V. E. Vainshtein, P. Kharlip, M. Minaev, and L. Gorkaia, the composers G. Kh. Mepurnov and A. Aleksandrov, and the stage designers M. Saginian, I. Gamrekeli, M. Magomaev, and E. Berngard.

The theaters of the republic include (as of 1977) the Kh. Nuradilov Chechen-Ingush Dramatic Theater, the Lermon-tov Russian Dramatic Theater (founded 1938), and the Chechen-Ingush Puppet Theater (1936), which has Russian, Chechen, and Ingush troupes. There are about 30 people’s amateur theaters and about 4,500 smaller amateur groups.



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Abkhazia was annexed by Georgia and the Chechens were joined with the neighboring Ingush in 1934 to form a joint autonomous republic that was named the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.