Sunzha, Russia

Sunzha (until 2016 - Ordzhonikidzevskaya, Ingush. Ordzhonikidzevski) is a city (since 2016) in the Republic of Ingushetia of the Russian Federation. The city is located in the valley of the Sunzha River, 22 km north-east of Nazran and 47 km west of Grozny (distance by road). The historical core is located on the left (northern) bank, but currently residential buildings are spread out on both sides of the river.

To the north is the treeless Sunzhensky ridge. From the west, the village of Troitskaya is directly adjacent, to the east is the village of Sernovodskoye, which is part of the Sunzhensky district of Chechnya. 5 km to the south, in the foothills, is the village of Nesterovskaya.

The Sleptsovskaya railway station of the North Caucasian railway is a dead end on a branch running from the junction station Beslan (North Ossetia). Previously, there was a direct railway line to Grozny, but during the hostilities in Chechnya in the 1990s, the route between Sleptsovskaya and Grozny was destroyed and dismantled.

The federal highway P217 Kavkaz passes to the south. The Magas airport is located on the western outskirts.



In the late 1820s - early 1830s, the Ingush were evicted to the plane through the Assinsky gorge, Ingush villages were founded in the lower reaches of the Assa and along the banks of the Sunzha within the current Sunzhensky region of Ingushetia. On the map of 1834, there is a whole network of Ingush settlements in these places. In the area of ​​the modern city of Sunzha, the village of Korey was located. In the report of the Vladikavkaz commandant Shirokiy dated December 31, 1838, it is designated as Kurei-Yurt. According to this report, there were 105 households in the village and 585 people lived. For that time, it was a fairly large settlement. Also, on the "Map of the Left Flank of the Caucasian Line" of 1840, this village is designated as Korey-Yurt.

The founder of the village of Kuri-Yurt (Ingush. Kӏuri-Yurt) in the area of ​​the modern city of Sunzha is called Kuri, the son of Ali (Ingush. Ialy Kӏuri), from the village of Leymi, from where he moved to Sunzha in the late 20s or early 30s XIX century. The descendants of Kuri Aliyev, according to some sources, now live in the village of Barsuki and bear the surname Kurievs. It is claimed that the village of Kuri-Yurt existed until 1845. Later German and British maps from 1855 clearly show that Korei was located on the right (southern) bank of the Sunzha and therefore was not the direct predecessor of the Cossack village founded later.

The village with the name Sunzhenskaya was founded in October 1845, during the Caucasian War, as part of the Sunzhenskaya cordon line. The villages of the Sunzhenskaya line were inhabited by the Cossacks from the already existing villages of the Caucasian line, as well as by the Don Cossacks. In addition to the Donets and Cossacks from other villages of the line (from the territories that are now part of the Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories), people from Ukraine, from the Voronezh province, who enrolled in the Cossacks, Kazan Tatars and Poles, settled in Sunzhenskaya.

Sunzhenskaya is located on the left (northern) bank of the river. Unlike the neighboring stanitsa Troitskaya, founded in the same 1845, Sunzhenskaya received a regular layout. The village administration, a chapel were built, a paramedic appeared, since 1848 - a two-year school.

On December 29, 1851, by the Imperial Order of Emperor Nicholas I, the village was renamed into Sleptsovskaya in honor of the participant in the Caucasian War, Major General N.P.Sleptsov, who had previously been involved in the construction of the Sunzhenskaya line and, to a certain extent, had the right to be considered the founder of the village of Sunzhenskaya (Sleptsov died in December 1851). By 1858, the village was part of the 1st Sunzhensky regiment of the Caucasian linear Cossack army, which, being one of the three regiments of the Sunzha line, united the Cossack villages in the middle reaches of the Sunzha and Assa, with a branch towards Mozdok (Karabulakskaya, Troitskaya, Sleptsovskaya, Mikhailovskaya , Assinskaya, Magomed-Yurtovskaya, Terskaya). Since 1860, the village was part of the Terek region.

The village was originally built with 250 households. As of 1874, the village had 519 households with 2709 inhabitants, there was an Orthodox church, a post station, a school, 2 tanneries and 1 brick factories, a source of cold mineral water, on September 1 a fair was held in the village. According to some reports, another fair was held on March 17. The Sleptsovskiy mineral springs, located to the east, in the area of ​​the village of Mikhailovskaya (now the village of Sernovodskoye), were also named after the village.

Article from ESBE (1900):
Sleptsovskaya - the village of the Tersk region, Sunzhensky department. Inhabitants 4226. Orthodox and Old Believer churches, 3 schools, loan-saving partnership; 5 mills, 6 forges, different workshops - 22, shops - 19. Production of cloth and canvas.

In August 1917, there were clashes between the Ingush and Cossacks of the villages of Karabulakskaya, Troitskaya and Sleptsovskaya. The conflict was caused, in turn, by the clashes between the Ingush and soldiers returning from the fronts of the First World War in Vladikavkaz on July 6-7. Despite the fact that already on September 15 a "truce" was concluded between the parties, these events actually became a prologue to bloody battles between the Ingush and the inhabitants of Cossack villages during the Civil War in the Caucasus.

Since 1920, the village has been the administrative center of the Sunzhensky Cossack District (first as part of the Mountain ASSR, then as part of the North Caucasian Territory). The district was formed on the basis of the Sunzhensky district, which previously existed in the Tersk region of the Russian Empire, which arose in 1905 (de facto, since 1909 - de jure) after the division of the Cossack-Ingush Sunzhensky department into Nazran (Ingush) and Sunzhensky (Cossack) proper districts. The Soviet Sunzha district, like its predecessor, united the Cossack villages in the middle reaches of the Sunzha and Assa, as well as historically associated settlements on the Tersk ridge and in the Terek valley (the Voznesenskaya and Terskaya villages). The overwhelming majority of the district's population were Russians.


In 1929, the Sunzha Cossack District was abolished, the village of Sleptsovskaya became part of the Chechen Autonomous District (since 1934 - the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous District, since 1936 - the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic). In 1939 Sleptsovskaya was renamed Ordzhonikidze, in honor of the Soviet statesman Sergo Ordzhonikidze, known as the organizer of the "decossackization" and forced eviction of Cossacks from a number of stanitsas of the region (in particular, in 1920, with the active participation of Ordzhonikidze, the Cossacks were evicted from stanitsa in the upper reaches of the Sun and its tributaries - on the territory of modern North Ossetia, as well as from the villages in the lower reaches of the Sunzha - on the territory of modern Chechnya).

After the deportation of the Chechens and Ingush in 1944, the village was part of the Grozny region. After the return of the Ingush from the Central Asian exile and the restoration of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1957, in Ordzhonikidze, as in other Sunzha villages, the share of the titular population of the republic (Chechens and Ingush) begins to grow, the share of Russians is falling.

Ordzhonikidzevskaya was the regional center of the Sunzhensky region of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR. In the village there was an airfield and other facilities of the Stavropol Military Aviation School.

After the division of Chechen-Ingushetia in 1992, the border of Ingushetia with Chechnya lay east of Ordzhonikidze. After the start of the First Chechen War in the village, as in other settlements of Ingushetia, camps for internally displaced persons were organized, in which thousands of refugees from Grozny and other regions of the neighboring republic lived. During the Second Chechen War, a public organization of Chechen refugees called the Chechen Committee for National Salvation (2001) was even created in the camps for migrants in Ordzhonikidzevskaya.

Since the mid-1990s, the republic has repeatedly raised the issue of raising the status of the village and turning it into an urban settlement (which was primarily due to the large population of Ordzhonikidze, which is atypically large for a rural settlement). So, in 1994, a proposal to give the status of cities to the village of Ordzhonikidze and the working village of Karabulak was expressed by ND Kodzoev, head. sector of history of the Ingush Research Institute of Humanities named after Ch. E. Akhrieva. In August 1995, Karabulak was given the status of a city, then the territory of Nazran was expanded to include five nearby villages (Altievo, Barsuki, Gamurzievo, Nasyr-Kort, Plievo), but the issue of Ordzhonikidze was not resolved. In 1995, ND Kodzoev again voiced his proposal regarding Ordzhonikidzevskaya, but this time it had no consequences.

In 2002, through deputy I.U. Abadiev, a proposal to grant the status of the city of Ordzhonikidze was submitted to the People's Assembly of the Republic of Ingushetia. It was proposed to give the new city the name Kuri-Yurt. Parliament discussed this issue, but never resolved it. In October 2004, the head of the Sunzhensky District Administration A. Zh. Nakastoev appealed to the President of Ingushetia MM Zyazikov with a proposal to “unite the villages of Ordzhonikidzevskaya, Troitskaya and Nesterovskaya, and give the formation the status of a city of republican subordination, calling it Ordzhonikidze. It was assumed that if the village of Ordzhonikidzevskaya was given the status of a city and included in its composition the village of Troitskaya as a municipal district, then it would be a large city with a population of about 100 thousand people (population estimates - as of the 2nd half of the 2000s) ... All these initiatives have never been implemented.

In the 2000s and 2010s, the Islamist bandit underground operating in the North Caucasus showed its activity in the village. In particular, some objects in Ordzhonikidzevskaya were attacked during the militants' attack on Ingushetia in June 2004. In the village, there were repeated attacks on law enforcement officers, terrorist acts, and special operations against militants.


In 2006-2008, in a number of settlements of Ingushetia (the city of Karabulak, the villages of Ordzhonikidzevskaya, Troitskaya and Nesterovskaya, the city of Nazran, the village of Yandare), a series of crimes were committed against Russian-speaking citizens (explosive devices, arson, shelling and murders). This series culminated in the events of summer-autumn 2007, when several high-profile murders, terrorist acts and other crimes were committed against Russians, Koreans, Gypsies, and Armenians. In particular, in June 2006, in Ordzhonikidzevskaya, a deputy was shot dead. the head of the administration of the Sunzhensky district, G.S. Gubina, who oversaw the program for the return of the Russian-speaking population to Ingushetia (later one of the streets of the village was named after her). In July 2007, in Ordzhonikidzevskaya, the family of the Russian teacher L.V. Terekhina was killed (3 killed), at whose funeral a terrorist attack was organized (13 wounded). This series of crimes attracted significant public attention and led to a new wave of Russian outflows from the republic.

On May 17, 2015, in Ordzhonikidzevskaya, a referendum was held on changing the status of a municipality from a rural settlement to an urban settlement. The total voter turnout to vote was 65.66%. 67.56% of voters voted for endowing the village of Ordzhonikidzevskaya, the largest settlement in the Sunzhensky region, with the status of an urban settlement. At the same time, a survey was conducted about the name. According to the press service of the Head of Ingushetia, the absolute majority of respondents (63.80%) would prefer the name "Sunzha".

On June 5, 2015, a law was signed to endow the village of Ordzhonikidze with the status of an urban-type settlement. On the same day, a law of the Republic of Ingushetia was signed on the transformation of the rural settlement Ordzhonikidzevskoe into an urban settlement. The election of the head of the new urban settlement took place on a single voting day - September 13, 2015.

On February 3, 2016, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev signed an order to rename the urban-type settlement Ordzhonikidzevskaya into the urban-type settlement Sunzha. In mid-2016, the urban settlement of Ordzhonikidzevskoe was renamed to the urban settlement of Sunzha.

On November 25, 2016, the head of Ingushetia, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, signed the republican laws "On the transformation of the urban settlement of Sunzha into an urban district" and "On the transformation of the urban-type settlement of Sunzha in the Sunzha district of the Republic of Ingushetia." Earlier, in a referendum, 78% of local voters supported the new status. Thus, Sunzha became the fifth city in Ingushetia. On December 12, 2016, the laws came into force, the village of Sunzha received the status of a city, the urban settlement of Sunzha was transformed into an urban district and removed from the Sunzha district.



Temple in honor of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos.
The first Pokrovsky temple, which existed in the village of Sleptsovskaya, was built in 1854 and consecrated on the patronal feast day on October 1 (14). The confessional paintings for the stanitsa Orthodox parish have been compiled since 1846. In 1886, a parish school was opened at the church. At the beginning of the 20th century, the church was closed due to dilapidation; on June 24, 1902, the prayer house was consecrated.

Sources that mention the current Intercession Church usually state that the former temple was destroyed in the 1930s. Since about the 1950s, services have been held in a meetinghouse, which was later rebuilt into a small church. At the same time, on the veneration cross installed in the courtyard of the current church, it is indicated that it was installed on the site of the altar of the Intercession Church, founded in 1912. Perhaps, in this case, we are talking about a meeting house, consecrated in 1902 (with an error in the date), or in 1912 this meeting house was actually converted into a church. Another plausible explanation is that in the 1950s the prayer house was built in the building of a former Old Believer church. After the completion of the construction of the present temple, the former church (prayer house) was dismantled.

The construction of the existing large Intercession Church began, as is usually indicated, in 2004. During construction, it was repeatedly shelled (as it is believed, from the Islamist militants operating in the republic). On June 9, 2012, during the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Ingushetia, the temple was opened. In the presence of Yu.B. Evkurov, A.G. Khloponin, S.V. Stepashin, V.G. Zerenkov, Archbishop of Chelyabinsk and Zlatoust Theophanes, Abbot of the Savior Transfiguration Monastery of Murom Varlaam (former rector of the stanitsa church), Archbishop Zosima of Vladikavkaz and Makhachkala performed the rite of small consecration of the temple. The great consecration took place on the patronal feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos on October 14, 2012. It was chaired by Archbishop Zosima in the presence of the Head of Ingushetia Y.B. Yevkurov.


The parish of the church is part of the Makhachkala and Grozny dioceses, which is headed by the former rector of the Intercession Church, Bishop Varlaam (Ponomarev). For some time, the rector of the stanitsa church was also Archpriest Pyotr Sukhonosov, kidnapped and killed by the militants.

New Sinai Monastery.
On March 19, 2014, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church approved the decision to create a New Sinai Monastery on the basis of the bishop's courtyard of the Church of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos. The ruling bishop of the Makhachkala and Grozny dioceses, Bishop Varlaam, became the abbot of the monastery. The New Sinai monastery is the only male monastery within the diocese.