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Ingushetia asks for recognition of genocide

By Messenger Staff
Friday, February 3
The population of Ingushetia, Russia, is asking the Georgian Parliament to recognize their claim of genocide. In 1944, the Soviet government wrongly accused the Ingush nation of Nazi sympathies, and deported them to Siberia, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan.

A statement sent to the Chair of Parliament, Davit Bakradze, notes that on February 23, 1944 the nations of Ingush and Chechnya were removed from their homelands and forbidden from returning for 13 years. It is estimated that 30% of the deportees perished on the way to the Far East. In 2004, the European Parliament classified the deportation as genocide.

The Georgian and Ingush peoples are ethnically related, and have historically had a "brother nation" relationship. Georgian missionaries partially Christianized the Ingush in the 9-12th centuries.

Last year, the Georgian Parliament recognized the genocide of the Cherkez people, who are also currently members of the Russian Federation. Although there is some evidence to suggest that such a classification is valid, it would be naive to suggest that it was anything other than an attempt to irritate the Russian government.

It seems to have worked; in response to that declaration, some Russian commentators have warned Georgia away from making any more controversial statements, particularly in light of President Saakashvili's support for a united Caucasus, much of which currently belongs to Russia. In recent speeches, both Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin highlighted the importance of the Caucasus to Russian statehood.