Author's note: I have been doing linguistic field work on the Chechen and Ingush languages for many years. Though I am not an ethnographer or historian, I have tried to bring together here some general information about the people and their languages in order to increase public awareness of their situation and to put a human face on two peoples of great dignity, refinement, and courage who have paid heavily for their resistance to conquest and assimilation. This is based on an article on the Chechen circulated in January 1995 when the recent war began.
Copyright (c) Johanna Nichols 1995, 1997
This paper may be copied and circulated, but please do not edit or abridge it.
Introduction. The Ingush and their eastern neighbors the Chechen are distinct ethnic groups with distinct languages, histories, and political identities, but so closely related and so similar that it is convenient to describe them together.
The term "Chechén" is a Russian ethnonym taken from the name of a lowlands Chechen village; "Chechnyá" is derived from that. (Both words are accented on the last syllable in Russian.) The Chechens call themselves Nokhchi (singular Nokhchuo). Similarly, "Ingush" is not the self-designation but a Russian ethnonym based on the name of the village Angusht; the Ingush call themselves Ghalghaaj (historically the name of a clan confederation, see below). "Ingushetia", the term usually used for the predominantly Ingush republic of Russia, is a hybrid term based on the Russian ethnonym for the Ingush and the Georgian suffix -eti used (in Georgian) to derive place names from ethnonyms. The native term for the Chechen and Ingush together is vaj nakh, literally "our people".
The Chechen term for the Chechen Republic, Ichkeria, is historically the name of a region in the eastern foothill and mid-highland part of Chechnya. The Ingush term for Ingushetia is Ghalghaachie, traditionally the name of the mid and upper Assa valley. Both Ichkeria and Ghalghaachie were areas of economic and cultural importance, and both terms seem to have won easy acceptance as terms for the larger national territories.
The traditional Chechen-Ingush system of ethnic identity recognizes three or four groups under the generic rubric of vaj naax `our people' and vaj mott `our language': Ingush (with no internal dialects); Chechen (with several distinct dialects); the Kist of the north Georgian highlands and the upper Alazani, who speak a Georgian-influenced mostly Chechen dialect today but at least some of whom spoke Ingush until the beginning of this century; and the Mielxii (or more generally speakers of the Galanchozh dialect) of far western mountain Chechnya, who were and to some extent still are regarded as transitional between Chechen and Ingush. The ethnonym Noxchii `Chechen' is now regularly applied to the Mielxii, but never to the Kist. These various groups that call themselves vaj naax are united by a common language family and many common customs, but this overarching ethnic identity is not quite the same thing as a national identity; the traditional notions of Ghalghaaj (Ingush) and Noxchuo (Chechen) correspond remarkably closely to the modern notion of national identity.
Demography. 1989 census figures: 237,438 Ingush; 956,879 Chechen. The Chechens are the largest North Caucasian group and the second largest Caucasian group (after the Georgians).
The Terek River descends from the flanks of Mount Kazbek in the central Caucasus, where its canyon forms the chief access to the Darial Pass, and flows well out into the north Caucasian plain before bending to skirt the lowest range of foothills and eventually empty into the Caspian Sea. The land inside the Terek bend, from the mountaintops to the plains, and extending eastward nearly to the Andi Kojsu and Sulak, was inhabited by Chechen and Ingush prior to the Russian conquest of the Caucasus. The lowlands enjoy fertile soil, ample rainfall, a long growing season, and a small oilfield. Neighbors to the east are the various peoples of Daghestan (many of them speaking languages distantly related to Chechen and Ingush); in the plains to the north, the Turkic-speaking Kumyk and (as of the last three centuries) Russians; to the west the Ossetians, who speak a language of the Iranian branch of Indo-European; to the south (across the central Caucasus range) the southern Ossetians and the Georgians. The Ingush have always lived to the west of the Chechen, always forming a frontier population with non-Ingush, non-Chechen people as their own western neighbors.
Present-day Chechnya and Ingushetia correspond roughly to the traditional territory where, until recent decades, almost all Chechen and Ingush have lived; the only traditionally Chechen-Ingush lands outside of it are the Kist land in Georgia, the northeastern Chechen town of Khasav-Yurt in Daghestan, and a sizable portion of the Ingush uplands transferred to North Ossetia in 1944. Prior to 1992, some 60,000 Ingush lived in North Ossetia and several thousand in Grozny (Chechnya). Several thousand Chechen and Ingush live in Kazakhstan (Central Asia), and unknown numbers are scattered over various parts of Russia. During the recent war in Chechnya, tens of thousands of Chechen refugees fled to Ingushetia, Daghestan, and nearby parts of southern Russia. This complex human geography is the consequence of events of recent decades: mass deportation of both groups to Central Asia from 1944 to 1956; ethnic cleansing by Russia and North Ossetia in 1992 which created a large refugee population in Ingushetia; the Russian war against Chechnya, which created hundreds of thousands of refugees; and the virtual destruction of the Ingush and Chechen economies by these events, which has sent Ingush and Chechen economic refugees to all parts of Russia.
After the Russian Revolution the Chechen and Ingush were part of a short-lived Soviet Mountain Republic. By 1924 separate Chechen and Ingush autonomous regions had been set up, and in 1934 they were conflated into a Chechen-Ingush ASSR, which was abolished during the 1944-56 deportation and reinstated afterwards (reduced in size, with a large portion of the Ingush lands placed in North Ossetia). In 1991 Chechnya declared its independence and Ingushetia left Chechnya to become a republic in the Russian Federation.
There are two true cities in Chechen and Ingush territory: Grozny (pop. about 400,000 until 1995), the modern Chechen capital, was founded as a Russian fort during the Russian conquest of the Caucasus; and Vladikavkaz (pop. about 300,000; known as Ordzhonikidze in Soviet times) in the Ingush highlands at the Ingush-Ossetic territorial boundary, also originally a Russian military fort and founded to control the Darial pass. Nazran in the Ingush lowlands was traditionally and is now a large and important market town; it has served as the capital of Ingushetia since 1991, and in this function is about to be replaced by Magas, a new city being built in the central Ingush lowlands (named after the medieval Alanic capital Magas believed to have lain in this area). The cities had substantial Russian and other non-Chechen-Ingush population; Vladikavkaz was mixed Ingush and Ossetic with significant numbers of Russians and Georgians. (Groznyj has now been mostly destroyed by Russian bombing. Vladikavkaz and the adjacent Ingush lands were ethnically cleansed of Ingush in late 1992.) All Russian governments -- czars, Soviets, post-Soviet Russia -- have used various means to remove Chechen and Ingush population from economically important areas and to encourage settlement there by Russians and Russian Cossacks; hence the mixed population of the cities and lowlands.
Language. The Caucasus has been famed since antiquity for the sheer number and diversity of its languages and for the exotic grammatical structures of the language families indigenous there. This diversity testifies to millennia of peaceable relations among autonomous ethnic groups.
Chechen and Ingush, together with Batsbi or Tsova-Tush (a moribund minority language of Georgia), make up the Nakh branch of the Nakh-Daghestanian, or Northeast Caucasian, language family. There are over 30 languages in this family, most of them spoken in Daghestan just to the east of Chechnya. The split of the Nakh branch from the rest of the family took place about 5000-6000 years ago (thus the Nakh-Daghestanian family is comparable in age to Indo-European, the language family ancestral to English, French, Russian, Greek, Hindi, etc.), though the split of Chechen from Ingush probably dates back only to the middle ages. The entire language family is indigenous to the Caucasus mountains and has no demonstrable relations to any language group either in or out of the Caucasus. There is fairly seamless archeological continuity for the last 8000 years or more in central Daghestan, suggesting that the Nakh-Daghestanian language family is long indigenous. The structure of the family tree, with deepest divergence within and between branches lying in their southern reaches, would suggest that Pre-Proto-Nakh-Daghestanian spread into the Caucasus from the southwest, and the evidence of protohistory summarized below indicates that further spread of language from the highlands to the northern lowlands, was ongoing until the appearance of (ethnically Russian) Cossacks in the area in the late sixteenth century. The distribution of loanwords from ancient Mesopotamia into early Nakh-Daghestanian likewise suggests that the family is long indigenous to the Caucasus. (Of the other indigenous Caucasian language families, Northwest Caucasian or Abkhaz-Circassian is probably also long indigenous to the far western part of the Caucasus and the eastern Black Sea coast, and the Kartvelian family, which includes Georgian, is a later but still ancient entrant from the southwest. Ossetic, an evident descendant of Scythian of the Iron Age steppe, would have entered from the north at most 3000 years ago. Karachay-Balkar, a Turkic language of the north central highlands, entered in the middle ages.)
It should be emphasized that language spreads like those just discussed involve spread of a language to a pre-existing population, not population replacement. The clans of the Chechen and the Ingush, the ties of those clans to their own land, and the biological ancestry of those clans on that land, are patterns that almost certainly go back for many millennia and are affected little if at all by shifts of language. To place the question of language spreads and language origins in perspective, all three indigenous language families of the Caucasus have occupied their present territories for millennia longer than any language or language family of Europe, with the possible exception of Basque, has occupied its present territory.
Like most indigenous Caucasian languages Chechen and Ingush have a wealth of consonants, including uvular and pharyngeal sounds like those of Arabic and glottalized or ejective consonants like those of many native American languages; and a large vowel system somewhat resembling that of Swedish or German. They have extensive inflectional morphology including a dozen nominal cases and several gender classes, complex phrase structure, and extensive clause chaining and verb serialization. The case system is ergative, i.e. the subject of a transitive verb appears in an oblique case and the direct object is in the nominative, as is the subject of an intransitive verb (as in Basque); verbs take no person agreement, but some of them agree in gender with the direct object or intransitive subject. The native poetic tradition relies on assonance, kennings, and grammatical parallelism, and includes epic songs, with a fixed line length but no clear metrical structure, and lyric songs, metrically strict and highly structured (and including the ghazal, a classical Persian genre). Traditional songs continue to be composed and performed. Modern poets occasionally use Russian conventions such as rhyme. Traditional prose makes much use of humor (as does conversation in modern everyday life). Modern literature includes the standard European genres and a number of writers, poets, and playwrights of note.
97% or more of the Chechen and Ingush claim these as their first languages, though most also speak Russian, generally quite fluently, and the generation that was of school age during the 1944-56 deportation is often Russian-dominant. Chechen and Ingush are so close to each other that with some practice a speaker of one has fair comprehension of the other, and where the two languages are in contact they are used together: a Chechen addresses an Ingush in Chechen, the Ingush replies in Ingush, and communication proceeds more or less smoothly. Nonetheless, differences of grammar and vocabulary make them distinct languages.
They were not traditionally written languages. Orthographies using the Russian alphabet were created in the 1930's (supplanting Latin ones created in the 1930's) and are used for various kinds of publication, primarily newspapers and literature, although for most people the chief vehicle of literacy is Russian. The orthography distinguishes consonants well and is economical in its use of the Russian letters, but it greatly underdifferentiates the vowels, hampering word recognition and thus hindering the spread of literacy in Chechen and (especially) Ingush. Traditionally, as in most North Caucasian societies, many individuals were bilingual or multilingual, using an important lowlands language (e.g. Kumyk, spoken in market towns and prestigious as its speakers were early converts to Islam) for inter-ethnic communication; any literacy was in Arabic. Russian has now displaced both Kumyk and Arabic in these functions. In Soviet times, some school instruction was in Chechen but none was in Ingush; both languages were taught in schools as subjects, but the medium of instruction was Russian. Roughly this situation still obtains, at least in Ingushetia.
In spoken usage, Chechen or Ingush is employed whenever Chechens and/or Ingush speak to each other. If members of other nationalities are present and participating in the conversation, Russian is used.
Particularly if the Chechen and Ingush economies continue to be destroyed and unemployment and mass homelessness continue to undermine the social structure, there is danger that Chechen and Ingush will be functionally reduced to household languages and will then yield completely to Russian, with concomitant loss of much of the cultural heritage. Ingush in particular, though fluently spoken by a sizable speech community, is endangered by a combination of mass bilingualism in Russian, functional restrictions imposed by Soviet language policy up until 1991, and lack of opportunities for professional employment and higher education in or near Ingushetia. Even the most fluent and most clearly Ingush-dominant speakers lace their Ingush with Russian words and phrases in a kind of code-switching that signals doom for Ingush unless something is done to restore the full functional range, codify usage and grammar, create good dictionaries, create or revitalize native expository traditions, etc. Since the language is an important part of customs and traditions, loss of the language will probably mean loss of most of the cultural heritage (though not loss of ethnic identity, clan identity, and ties to the land).
History. As far as can be reconstructed from contemporary linguistic evidence, oral tradition, and early historical records, in the Middle Ages the Ingush were primarily a people of the high mountains and the Chechen were centered in the mountains but extended to the plains. They were subdivided into a small number of tribes or clan confederations, each comprising a number of clans. Clans were exogamous, territorially compact groups; confederations or tribes were not exogamous, were territorially defined, and spoke distinct dialects. The lowlands and midlands north of the Ingush are said to have been inhabited by Kabardians (eastern Circassians, who speak a language of the Northwest Caucasian family); tradition has it that the vast forested land of the Chechen midlands and lowlands was uninhabited; on the plain to the north were Turkic-speaking peoples and the imperial power of the Golden Horde. The highland peoples must have maintained some regular connection with lowland peoples, gaining winter pastures, access to trade, and probably some land ownership.
The time from the early centuries A.D. to the Middle Ages was a time of global warmth, during which the alpine highlands had an adequate growing season and adequate precipitation while the steppe was fairly dry. Mountain areas prospered in these conditions, and the dialect geography of sound changes in Proto-Chechen-Ingush shows that the center of linguistic innovation (and the presumable center of economic power and cultural prestige) was the Ingush and western Chechen highlands, while the east and the lowlands lay at the periphery. A period of global cooling known as the Little Ice Age began in the late Middle Ages, during which glaciers advanced, growing seasons shortened, and alpine farms were abandoned throughout Europe; and the dialect geography of sound changes in Chechen and Ingush in this later period shows that the centers of innovation (and hence economic power and cultural prestige) were in the lowlands. Some of the highest alpine villages appear to have been abandoned at this time, and some people moved from the highlands to the lowlands, clearing forest and founding villages. Destruction of lowlands economic centers (which were politically Alanic, though we do not know the ethnic identity or language of their inhabitants) by Mongol incursions probably created a power vacuum which, after the dust settled, left the languages of the countryside and uplands -- Ingush and Chechen -- in a stronger sociolinguistic position.
Migration and the cultural importance of the lowlands increased as global cooling became more pronounced in the 17th to 19th centuries. By the time of the first Russian historical records, in the 17th century, the present Ingush lowlands (including the important market town of Nazran) were entirely Ingush-speaking and the highlands were impoverished. This period of economic hardship coincided with the Russian conquest of the Caucasus which lasted from the late 1500's to the mid-1800's. The Russian military depopulated most of the Ingush highlands, deporting the population to the lowlands so as to create a no-man's-land between the Russian fort of Vladikavkaz and the Chechens, who in alliance with Daghestanian mountain peoples were offering organized resistance to conquest. Lowland Chechen were slaughtered, deported, or expelled and replaced with (ethnically Russian) Cossacks.
Today some of the ancient tribe names survive in history and as names of clan groupings. Clans continue to exist and are still strictly exogamous, and they determine one's social relationships and social behavior. Modern surnames sometimes continue clan names, but are often more recent formations based on the name of a recent ancestor or the village from which ancestors emigrated. If the ancient Ingush highland clans were compact and territorially exclusive, the distribution of clans in the lowlands is scattered and intermingled. Families belonging to the same clan often exclusively occupy streets or neighborhoods in lowlands villages, but a clan generally has several such representatives in several villages. Lowland Ingush can generally trace their family or their clan back to a particular highland village and to their own ancestral tower among the massive stone structures of mountain Ingushetia.
In all of recorded history and reconstructable prehistory the Chechen and Ingush (and for that matter most North Caucasians) have never undertaken battle except in defense. The Russian conquest of the Caucasus was difficult and bloody, and the Chechens and Ingush with their extensive lowlands territory and access to the central pass were prime targets and were among the most tenacious defenders. Russia destroyed lowlands villages and deported or slaughtered civilian population, eventually forcing capitulation of the highlands. Numerous refugees emigrated or were deported to various Muslim countries of the middle east, and to this day there are Chechen populations in Jordan and Turkey.
Perhaps because the golden age of Russian literature, which romanticized the Caucasian war, coincided with the conquest of the Chechen, or perhaps because the Chechen were the most numerous lowlands group, or perhaps because of their fierce and prolonged resistance, the Chechen came to epitomize imperial Russian disdain for "Asiatics" and have been vilified and demonized in Russian literature, popular media, and political discourse to the present day. The entire ethnic group and its leadership was referred to as `bandits', `gangsters', etc., during the war, and Caucasians in general but especially Chechens were and are publicly stigmatized as associated with organized crime. (Organized crime spread rapidly over Russia in the economic chaos that followed the Soviet collapse. It can hardly be associated with any particular ethnic group.)
In the mid-19th century the Chechens joined the war of resistance to Russian conquest organized by Imam Shamil of Daghestan, while the western clan confederations did not, pursuing national survival by a combination of non-violence and underground resistance. The western groups came to be called Ingush by the Russians, but their sense of separateness from the Chechen antedated the coining of the Russian term. After the Russian revolution the Chechen and Ingush nationalities (like other minorities of the USSR) were manipulated by the Soviet government for its own purposes: courted during the revolution with promises of autonomy and entitlement to their own land, provided with orthographies, literacy, and education in the 1920's, the local intelligentsia purged and leaders decimated in the 1930's, Chechen and Ingush republics conflated into one in 1934, and Russification imposed from the late 1920's on.
In 1944 the nationalities themselves were abolished and their lands resettled when the Chechen and Ingush, together with the Karachay-Balkar, Crimean Tatars, and other nationalities were deported en masse to Kazakhstan and Siberia, losing at least one-quarter and perhaps half of their population in transit. (The reason, never clarified, seems to have been Stalin's wish to clear all Muslims from the main invasion routes in a contemplated attack on Turkey.) Though "rehabilitated" in 1956 and allowed to return in 1957, they lost land, economic resources, and civil rights. Since then, under both Soviet and post-Soviet governments, they have been the objects of (official and unofficial) discrimination and discriminatory public discourse. The Prigorodnyj district around Vladikavkaz was given to North Ossetia in 1944, and Ingush homes and lands were given to Ossetians. When the Ingush came back their property was not returned; they were forced to buy their houses and land back from the Ossetians, and the North Ossetian authorities prevented registration and employment of Ingush in the district. (There was an Ingush uprising in 1973 over this issue.)
In late 1992 Russian tanks and air force and army divisions, sent to the north Caucasus ostensibly as peacekeepers in an ethnic dispute between Ingush and Ossetians over the Ingush lands in North Ossetia, forcibly removed the Ingush population from North Ossetia and looted destroyed the Ingush villages there; there were many deaths and there are now some 64,000 refugees in Ingushetia (about one-quarter of the total Ingush population), many of them living in train cars and freight containers. In developments reminiscent of the 1994 invasion of Chechnya, in the weeks leading up to the action the Ingush were depicted (falsely) in regional media as heavily armed and poised for a large-scale and organized attack on Ossetians, and the Russian military once deployed appears to have undertaken ethnic cleansing at least partly on its own initiative. Motivations for this operation appear to include population pressure in Ossetia (caused in part by an influx of refugees from South Ossetia in Georgia due to ethnic conflict there) and Cossack designs on the Prigorodnyj district. (The Cossacks are ethnic Slavs, mostly Russian-speaking.)
The Prigorodnyj district and most of Ingushetia remains under a state of emergency, with Interior Ministry troops as border guards harassing Ingush, and army troops stationed in the Prigorodnyj district preventing Ingush resettlement and conducting or overseeing looting of Ingush property. The border guards effectively prevent Ingush from transporting farm products to Russian markets, thus preventing the only economically productive activity now available to Ingush, most of whose employment and urban life was concentrated in the vicinity of Vladikavkaz. (The Chechen border was blockaded during the war. Ingushetia has no border with Russia proper, so any exit to Russia must be through the Chechen border or the mostly blockaded North Ossetian border.) The 64,000 refugees from Ossetia were nearly one-third of Ingushetia's population in 1992, and at least that number have come from Chechnya since 1994. The combination of massive numbers of refugees, widespread unemployment, and wholescale economic destruction threatens to destroy the Ingush culture and hence to destroy the Ingush as a people.
During the Russian conquest of the Caucasus the Ingush pursued national survival by avoiding organized resistance, and this is their strategy today. During the Chechen war in 1994 Moscow (or the Russian military) made numerous attempts to draw the Ingush into the war: Ingush villages close to Chechnya were shelled and roads mined; Ingushetia was accused of harboring Chechen fugitives and otherwise supporting Chechen war efforts, evident pretexts for invasion; Ingushetia was kept in a desperate position, surrounded by Interior Ministry troops and the heavily armed Ossetians to the west; "filtration camps" set up in the Chechen lowlands to detain and torture Chechen young men were most brutal with Ingush residents of Groznyj. Ingushetia kept out of the war by determined non-violence. The motives for drawing Ingushetia into the war were unclear to all commentators.
The recent war in Chechnya originated in a Russian invasion ostensibly designed to prevent secession and probably also to secure the oil pipeline running through the Chechen lowlands, accompanied by much political rhetoric about ending organized crime. The war entailed great human suffering for all residents of Chechnya, many of whom are Russians, but only the Chechens were threatened with ethnic cleansing, wholesale economic ruin, and loss of linguistic and cultural heritage.
Religion. Through the Middle Ages Christian missionaries from Georgia were active in highland Ingushetia and western highland Chechnya, and evidence of their influence includes an occasional stone church building in the highlands, cross-shaped windows on some stone towers, and the Georgian origin of the Ingush and Chechen names for the days of the week. The people were mostly pagan until the Russian conquest began. In the eastern Caucasus Islam was associated with resistance to Russian conquest, and from the 17th to the early 19th centuries the Chechen and then the Ingush converted to Islam. Today they are Sunni Muslims. Islam is moderate but strongly held and a central component of ethnic identity and cultural tradition. Two lay Sufi orders, the Q'ejla tuobagh murdazh (cited here in the Ingush form; generally known as Naqshbandiya) and Husien hazhi murdazh (=Qadiri), are active among the Chechen and Ingush and are credited in western sources with helping keep Islam alive during the Soviet years, though today their activity is mostly limited to religious ceremonies such as funerals and memorial services. They undertake no political or proselytizing functions. In contrast, the clergy now often speak out on political matters such as elections.
Customs, Social Organization. Chechen-Ingush society has always been egalitarian, unstratified, and classless. Traditionally there was no formal political organization and no political or economic ranking. Clans differed in size but not in prestige. Each clan was headed by a respected elder. Clans and villages were autonomous. Only in response to extreme external threats such as (in historical times) the Russian invasion of the Caucasus did any society-wide leadership emerge; it was exclusively military and always temporary.
Clans are important even in modern urban life. Strict clan exogamy is universally observed. An individual bears to all members of a clan the same social relationship that he or she bears to a relative in that clan; for instance, a man shows to all female members of his mother's clan the same deference and formality that he would show to his mother's older sister. Even urban residents generally know and pass on to their children a good deal of information about their clan's and family's provenience, the location of their clan towers, and the highland village to which they trace their origin.
Traditionally, an Ingush or Chechen man is expected to know the names and birthplaces or origins of his paternal ancestors going back seven generations. Some women can also trace their ancestors in this way, and some people can trace their maternal ancestors as well. This tradition, which is not uniquely Chechen-Ingush but generally North Caucasian, means, incidentally, that there can be no genuine large-scale territorial disputes in the North Caucasus, since all parties know whose ancestors lived on what land. What is often depicted as a territorial dispute between the Ingush and the Ossetians is more properly a land grab, and both sides know whose ancestral territory the contested land is.
Ingush and Chechen ethnic identity and social structure rest on principles of respect and deference to one's elders, formal and dignified relations between clans, and courteous and formal public behavior. A man, for instance, shows great respect (marked by formal posture, measured speech, and rising or standing if the other is not seated) in the presence of elders in general and elder kin in particular, including even his older brothers or father. He does not smoke or drink in the presence of elder kin.
Kinship and clan structure are patriarchal, but women have full social and professional equality and prospects for financial independence and educational achievement equivalent to those of men.
Though strongly traditional in behavior and customs, the Chechen and Ingush are sophisticated and well-educated participants in the modern world. Academics, writers, artists, and intellectuals in general are well versed in the cultures of both the European and the Islamic worlds, and the Chechen and Ingush regard both of these heritages as their own, together with indigenous Caucasian artistic and intellectual traditions.
Alieva, Svetlana, and Zarema Trasinova. 1993. Tak èto bylo: Nacional'nye repressii v SSSR 1919-1952 gody. (3 vols.) Moscow: Insan.
Aziev, M. A., D. Ju. Chaxkiev, V. I. Markovin. 1994. Kamennaja letopis' strany vajnaxov: Pamjatniki arxitektury I iskusstva Chechni I Ingushetii. Moscow: Russkaja kniga.
Baddeley, John F. 1908. The Russian Conquest of the Caucasus. London.
Blanch, Lesley. 1960. The Sabres of Paradise. New York: Viking.
Broxup, Marie Bennigsen, ed. 1992. The North Caucasus Barrier: The Russian Advance toward the Muslim World. New York: St. Martin's Press.
Comrie, Bernard. 1981. The Languages of the Soviet Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Conquest, Robert. 1970. The Nation Killers: The Soviet Deportation of Nationalities. London: Macmillan.
Corley, Felix. 1994. The Inguish [sic] - Ossetian conflict. Jane's Intelligence Review 6:9.401-403.
Critchlow, James. 1991. "Punished peoples" of the Soviet Union: The continuing legacy of Stalin's deportations. Helsinki Watch Report. New York-Washington: Human Rights Watch.
Economist 1992. Ethnic cleansing comes to Russia. The Economist, November 28, 1992, p. 60.
Friedrich, Paul, and Norma Diamond, eds. 1994. Encyclopedia of World Cultures, vol. VI: Russia and Eurasia/China. Boston: G. K. Hall & Co.
Gamkrelidze, T. V., and T. E. Gudava. [Various dates.] Caucasian languages. Encyclopedia Britannica (e.g. Macropedia, vol. 3, pp. 1011-15 in 1979 edition)
Goldenberg, Suzanne. 1994. Pride of Small Nations: The Caucasus and Post-Soviet Disorder. London: Zed.
Hill, Fiona. 1995. Russia's Tinderbox: Conflict in the North Caucasus and its Implications for the Future of the Russian Federation. Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Strengthening Democratic Institutions Project report.
Human Rights Watch/Helsinki. 1996. The Ingush-Ossetian Conflict in the Prigorodnyi Region. New York: Human Rights Watch.
Krag, Helen, and Lars Funch. 1994. The North Caucasus: Minorities at a Crossroads. London: Minority Rights Group International.
Nekrich, Aleksandr M. 1978. The Punished Peoples. New York: Norton.
Nichols, Johanna. 1994. Ingush. In Rieks Smeets, ed., The Indigenous Languages of the Caucasus, vol. 4: Northeast Caucasian Languages, pp. 79-145. Delmar, NY: Caravan Books.
----. Chechen. Ibid., pp. 1-77.
----. In press. Chechen phonology. Alan S. Kaye, ed., Phonologies of Asia and Africa, 689-719. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
Wixman, Ronald. 1980. Language Aspects of Ethnic Pattern and Processes in the North Caucasus. (University of Chicago Department of Geography Research Paper no. 191.) Chicago: University of Chicago Press.