Nazran, Russia



Description of Nazran

Nazran (Ingush. Nana-Nasare) is a city in Russia, the administrative center of the Nazran district of the Republic of Ingushetia, which is not included. Forms the municipality of the city of Nazran with the status of the city district. It is the largest city of the Republic of Ingushetia. Closely adjacent to it is the capital of the republic - the city of Magas, specially built for administrative purposes from scratch over the past 20 years. There are few places of interest in this area, they usually visit Nazran and Magas as a transit point between the Central and Eastern Caucasus or for the sake of ethnographic impressions.


History of Nazran

18th–20th centuries
Nazran was founded in the 18th century. After becoming a military fortress in 1817, Nazran saw large numbers of Ingush population moving into it. It was granted town status in 1967.

During the Soviet period, Nazran was the administrative center of Nazranovsky District within the Chechen–Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. After the Republic of Ingushetia and the Chechen Republic were separated in 1991, the town became the republic's capital. This brought about a sharp increase in population: while counting 18,246 inhabitants according to the 1989 Census, during the 2002 Census Nazran had as many as 125,056 inhabitants.

21st century
2004 rebel raid on Nazran
In 2004, a force of Chechen and ethnic Ingush rebels carried out a large-scale raid on Ingushetia, led by Shamil Basayev. The overnight attacks targeted fifteen official buildings in Nazran, and at least three towns and villages located on the Baku-Rostov highway that crosses the republic from east to west.

The raid lasted nearly five hours, and the assailants - said to number 200 to 300 - withdrew almost unscathed; the raiders apparently lost only two men during the attacks. The rebels killed 67 members of security forces, including the republic's Interior Minister Abukar Kostoyev, his deputy Zyaudin Kotiev, top prosecutors, and other officials; they also captured and looted the MVD's armory and police depots. 25 civilians, including a local United Nations worker, were killed in the crossfire.

Federal Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev met with General Vyacheslav Tikhomirov, the commander of Russia's Interior Ministry forces, and blamed them for the high number of deaths. Tikhomirov decided to resign after the meeting.

2008 protests
Widespread protests erupted in January 2008, with a strong government response. The disturbances appear to have been fueled by heavy-handed government and para-military activity, including abductions, arrests and murders. Protesters demanded the resignation of President Zyazikov.

2009 bombing
In August 2009, a suicide bomber drove a truck filled with explosives into the Nazran police headquarters. Russian news agencies reported that 25 were killed in the attack, and roughly 140 were wounded. It is believed that more bodies may still be in the rubble, yet to be found. The police headquarters was completely destroyed in the attack, including up to 30 police vehicles and munition stores.