Urus-Martan, Russia


Urus-Martan (Chech. Martanthe, Khalkha-Marta) is a city in the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation. The administrative center of the Urus-Martan district. The city is located on both banks of the Martan River (Terek basin), 18 km south-west of Grozny (along the road). On the territory of the city, south of its center, the Tangi River flows into the Martan River. The Roshnya River flows along the western outskirts of the city, which flows into the Martan River to the north of the city.



According to various historical sources, Urus-Martan on the Marta River was founded in 1708-1713 by various Chechen teips from Nokhchoi Mokhk, in particular, Gendargena teip.

The author of the work Toponymy of Chechen-Ingushetia, Chechen ethnographer Akhmad Suleimanov, believes that the word “March” is translated as abundant.

In addition, the Chechens have their own masculine name "Martanak", formed by the combination of the words "Mart-na (x) -k (onah)", translated as "generous-people-man" or "a man of generous people." In the colloquial speech of the Chechens, there are also such expressions as "Mangalhoin March" ("Lunch of the mowers"), "Pkhyor-March" ("Dinner", etc.).

According to the historian Y. Elmurzaev, since the end of the 18th century it has become a major political and craft center of Chechnya.

Urus-Martan was created on the basis of three auls: Marta, where the Gendargeneans lived, Roshni, the abode of the Peshkhois, and Dzhargan, where the Benois were concentrated. The most significant role in these places before the creation of Urus-Martan and after was also played by the Gendargene people. According to historical data, representatives of this taip lived not far from Nashkh in the Charmakh tract, in the village of Khilakh. They did not move beyond the Argun River, but occupied the flat lands of the Terechye and beyond the Terek River.

In 1722, under the pressure of the Russians, the Gendargeneans were forced to retreat to Sunzha, where they laid the aul of Chacha. In 1758, it was completely destroyed by troops under the command of Fraundorf. In the same year, the Gendargeneans retreated to their ancestral farms. At this place, along with the farmsteads of Benoitsev and Peshkhoytsev, Urus-Martan was subsequently founded.

On May 3, 1810, 10 kilometers north of the village, on the Sunzha River, at the confluence of the Martan River, the troops of the Russian Empire laid the Ust-Martanovsky redoubt, which existed for several months.

In the first half of the 19th century, the village was destroyed several times by the tsarist troops. So, on February 1-5, 1822, Urus-Martan and the neighboring village of Goity were exterminated by a Russian detachment under the command of Colonel Grekov. Amanats were taken from the auls. In January 1825 Grekov again ravaged the villages of Goity, Urus-Martan, Gekhi. During January-February 1826, during the expedition under the command of General Yermolov, villages along the river were destroyed. Argun, Martan (including Urus-Martan), Gekhi. In August 1832, a 10-thousand-strong Russian detachment under the command of General Baron Rosen destroyed the villages along the banks of the Martan (including Urus-Martan), Goity, Argun, Basse rivers. In January 1837, an expedition under the command of Major General Fezi, with the participation of 8 hundred Ingush and Ossetian militias, passed through the auls of Little Chechnya, destroying Urus-Martan along the way: “During the return journey, more than 1000 sakels were burned along the Martan Gorge and several hundred along the Tenginsky. On the next day, the destruction of the remaining sakel, stocks of bread and fodder ended ... ”. From 7 to 10 July 1840, General Galafeev's detachment ravaged the auls of flat Chechnya in the direction: Starye Atagi - Chakhkeri - Goyty - Urus-Martan - Gekhi. This unit included Lieutenant M.Yu. Lermontov.

Until 1840, Urus-Martan played a less important role in the social and political life of Chechnya than the larger and much earlier founded neighboring villages of Gekhi, Starye Atagi, Aldy, and Chechen-Aul. At the beginning of 1840, the foreman (elective head of the village) of Urus-Martan Issa Gendargenoevsky received Akhverdy Magoma, an associate of Imam of Dagestan Shamil, who, after a heavy defeat in Akhulgo in the summer of 1839, with several close associates and members of his family was hiding in the mountains of Chechnya. On March 7, 1840, a congress of the Chechen people was held in Urus-Martan, at which Shamil was proclaimed the Imam of Chechnya and Dagestan.

On August 3, 1848, Adjutant General Vorontsov laid the foundation for a Russian fortress in the center of Urus-Martan, which existed for several years.

In the 1860s, one of the largest grain markets in Chechnya appeared in Urus-Martan.

In 1881, 12 Chechen flat villages of the Grozny district, grouped around Urus-Martan, came out with a petition to open an agricultural school with teaching in Russian. The representatives of the same Chechen villages left for the second time with a similar petition in 1895. The rural societies that put forward this petition undertook to build on their own a school building designed for 160 students, houses for teachers, workshops, to allocate 400 acres of arable land from the public land fund of Urus-Martan and to build a school farm on it with all the necessary outbuildings, equipment , draft animals, etc. In addition, the societies were obliged to provide the school with all the necessary educational equipment and, through a voluntary additional taxation, to collect 5,600 rubles annually for the maintenance of the school. However, these funds were not enough to support the school, and the application contained a request for an annual subsidy of 3,500 rubles from the treasury. The petition was rejected.

At the beginning of the 20th century, there were 35 trading establishments, 45 water mills, 6 bakeries, 20 brick-tile and 15 sawmills in the village.


During the USSR

On January 15, 1918, a national congress opened in Urus-Martan. The Chechen oil industrialist, officer and public figure Abdul-Mezhid (Tapa) Ortsuevich Chermoev, who pursued a policy of rapprochement with the Cossacks in the summer and autumn of 1917, was booed by the congress participants and pushed into the background by Chechen radicals. A respected lawyer, former lieutenant colonel of the imperial army and social democrat Akhmetkhan Mutushev (1884-1943) was re-approved as the head of the new composition of the Chechen National Council. The influence of the clergy on the Council increased significantly. An influential group of sheikhs (Bilu-Khadzhi Gaitaev and Solsa-Khadzhi Yandarov from Urus-Martan, Sugaip-mulla Gaisumov from Shali, Ali Mitaev from Avturov, Abdul-Vagap-Khadzhi Aksaysky, Yusup-Khadzhi Koshkeldinsky, etc.) demanded the theocratic a form of government in which the supreme power was to belong to the Council of the highest clerics - ulema. They were openly supported by the most conservative part of secular leaders, headed by Ibragim Chulikov. The influence of the clergy was so strong that the new Chechen National Council began to be called in an "Islamic" way - Mejlis.

In 1920, the first Komsomol circle was organized in the village.

On January 15, 1923, a congress of the Chechen people was held in Urus-Martan, at which the creation of the Chechen Autonomous Region was proclaimed. The congress was attended by a delegation from Moscow headed by the Chairman of the Presidium of the USSR Central Executive Committee M. Kalinin.

On August 25, 1925, an operation to “disarm the population and remove the vicious and bandit element” began in Chechnya, which ended on September 12. In total, about seven thousand Red Army soldiers with 240 machine guns and 24 guns were involved in it. In addition, the operation commander had two aviation detachments and an armored train at his disposal. Tactically, the troops, as well as the operational groups of the GPU, were divided into seven groups operating in pre-designated areas. The First Revolutionary Combat Detachment of the Chechen Region under the command of Dzhu Akayev was formed especially to participate in the operation. During the operation, Urus-Martan was subjected to shelling and air strikes for three days. Sheikhs Solsa-hajji Yandarov (the founder of one of the virda of the Naqshbandi Sufi tariqat) and the qadi of Urus-Martan Bilu-Khadzhi Gaitayev surrendered to the authorities. Yandarov was soon released by the authorities, and Gaitayev was shot.

In 1944, after the deportation of the Chechens and Ingush and the liquidation of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, the village of Urus-Martan was renamed into Krasnoarmeiskoe. By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR dated April 10, 1957, the village was returned to its former name.

First Chechen war
In July-August 1994, the group of the former mayor of Grozny, Bislan Gantamirov, who was the commander of the troops of the pro-Russian Provisional Council of the Chechen Republic (Armed Forces of the Chechen Republic), opposed to the president of the unrecognized Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, D.M.Dudaev, established control over the city of Urus-Martan and most of Urus- Martanovsky district, abolishing the prefecture formed by Dudayev (district executive department of the President) of the district. The new administration of the Urus-Martan district was headed by Yu. M. Elmurzaev. In the fall of 1994, the director of the Federal Grid Company of the Russian Federation S. Stepashin spoke at a rally of supporters of the Chechen Armed Forces in Urus-Martan. During the summer and autumn of 1994, Dudayev's armed formations carried out several attacks (one of them with the use of tanks and artillery) on opposition groups located in Urus-Martan and its environs. The Gantamirovites, in turn, seized the Ichkerian checkpoint on the southern outskirts of Grozny and undertook, with the support of Russian tanks and helicopters, two unsuccessful assaults of the Chechen capital (October 15 and November 26, 1994).

With the outbreak of the first Chechen war, Urus-Martan was declared by the federal government to be controlled by Russia and a "zone free from hostilities." Until the end of the first Chechen war, most of the city's inhabitants remained opponents of the Ichkerian militants. The backbone of the pro-Russian administrative and law enforcement bodies, formed in 1995-1996 in the Chechen Republic, were precisely the Urus-Martanites. In Urus-Martan itself, voluntary armed self-defense detachments were created, carrying out night patrols on the streets of the city and assisting the local police department.


On December 15, 1994, Dudayev's militants (who had the goal of preventing the elections of the head of the republic, originally scheduled by the Russian authorities for December 17, but started specifically five days earlier - December 12) seized administrative and public buildings in the city center (military enlistment office, district police station, communications center, boarding school, a new building of the district administration and others), as well as a recently built bridge across the Martan River in the southern part of the city. The militants were driven away from the bridge by local residents on the same day. The next day, a crowd of local residents broke into the military enlistment office and freed it from the militants. After that, the crowd moved to the building of the raypo (the building of the regional consumer cooperation), which was occupied by Ruslan Gelayev's group, but was stopped by shots in the air. At the same time, another part of the city's residents attempted to free the new administration building, but was also stopped by shots into the air, while one of the Urus-Martanites died from a ricocheting bullet. In the following days, local residents blocked all the main streets of the city with barricades, as a result of which the movement of the militants' vehicles became impossible. A week later, the militants were forced to leave the city.

On June 8, 1996, unidentified persons (presumably Ichkerian militants) fired at the car of the head of the Urus-Martan district administration, Yusup Elmurzayev, from automatic weapons when he was driving out of the gate of his house. As a result of the attack, the head and three of his guards were killed. One of the attackers was fatally wounded by the return fire of a local police officer who happened to be a witness of the incident, whose corpse was later found during the combing of the area. The deceased militant turned out to be a native of the village. Alkhan-Yurt, Urus-Martan district.

On January 29, 1996, on the Urus-Martan-Alkhan-Yurt road, Chechen militants captured two Orthodox priests - the rector of the Church of the Archangel Michael in Grozny, Father Anatoly (Chistousov) and an employee of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Father Sergius (Zhigulin). These priests negotiated in Urus-Martan with the field commander Akhmed Zakayev on the release of a Russian prisoner of service. According to Russian media, the priests were abducted by a group of armed men under the direct leadership of the well-known field commander Doku Makhaev, who had previously attended the talks in Urus-Martan.

On October 14, 1996, Urus-Martan was blocked by a detachment of militants led by Ruslan Gelayev. After a night clash of militants with the city militia on October 15, power in Urus-Martan passed into the hands of supporters of the Ichkeria government.

By the middle of 1997, Urus-Martan came under the rule of an armed formation of Islamic radicals, the Urus-Martan Jamaat, which was not controlled by the President of the CRI A. A. Maskhadov, and was led by local natives, the Akhmadov brothers. They removed from office the mayor of Zargan Malsagova, who was elected in the elections at the beginning of the year, as well as the qadi of the district. Militant bases were set up in and around the city. Sharia law was introduced, corporal punishment was used for drinking alcohol (40 blows with sticks), and there were attempts to introduce the wearing of hijabs by women in public places (in particular, bus and taxi drivers were forced to drop off women who did not wear clothing covering the whole body). In the summer of 1999, on the central square of Urus-Martan, the death sentence of a Sharia court was first publicly carried out, which ordered the execution of a resident of the neighboring village of Gekhi, who had killed an elderly woman and her 16-year-old granddaughter for the purpose of robbery. The second public execution took place after the start of the Counter-Terrorism Operation, in November 1999.

Second Chechen war
During September 1999, Russian aviation twice inflicted missile and bomb strikes on the outskirts of Urus-Martan: first, the fields of the Gorets state farm between Urus-Martan and Alkhan-Yurt were fired upon, then a dairy farm between Urus-Martan and the village of Tangi was attacked -Chew. On October 2, 1999, in the afternoon, Russian aircraft launched several missile and bomb strikes (including with the use of cluster munitions stuffed with warheads in the form of needles) on the fields of the Gorets state farm on the northwestern outskirts of Urus-Martan, administrative buildings in the center and residential sector in the southern (Kalanchakskaya street, Kalanchakskiy lane, Svobody street) house: Kerimovs, Tapayevs and Goytavyhs), in the northeastern part of the city (1st Aslambek-Sheripov street, Obyezdnaya) house: Zakrievs, Musaevs, Gebertayevs , Erzhapovs, 7th school and transshipment from / for "Gorets".


On October 4, 1999 in Urus-Martan, a Russian Su-24MR reconnaissance aircraft, which was flying over the terrain at low altitude, was shot down by a Strela-2 portable anti-aircraft missile launched by one of the militants from the roof of the district Palace of Culture. The commander of the crew, Konstantin Stukalo, was killed, navigator Sergei Smyslov managed to eject and a few weeks later was liberated by federal troops with the assistance of loyal people from the local population. According to another version, the navigator was exchanged for the earlier captured brother of the leader of Islamic Jamaats, Arbi Barayev.

In the weeks that followed, federal troops continued to "liberate" the city. The shelling was carried out from artillery pieces, using rockets from the "Tochka-U" surface-to-surface class ships of the Caspian Sea.

When the front line approached, at the end of November - beginning of December 1999, the formations of the "Urus-Martan Jamaat" left the city without a fight, leaving to the south, to the mountains. In early December 1999, Russian troops entered the city. The federal troops that occupied the city included units of the pro-Russian Chechen militia, formed by Bislan Gantamirov. Residents who fled in October-November to Ingushetia and to the neighboring villages of Goity, Goiskoye, Goy-Chu, Martan-Chu began to return to the city. District and city administrative bodies were created from among local residents. The school and the district hospital were opened. However, the real power in the city and in the region belonged to the federal military for a long time. Until 2005, a curfew was in effect, the city was surrounded by checkpoints of federal units (the checkpoint on the road to Martan-Chu is still functioning - February 2011).

On November 29, 2001, on the central square of Urus-Martan, Aiza Gazueva, approached the commandant of the Urus-Martan district, Major General Heydar Hajiyev, who at that time was heading from the building of the district administration to the building of the commandant's office (they were at different ends of the square), called him and she immediately detonated an explosive device attached to her body. As a result of the explosion, Gazueva herself, Gadzhiev and two Russian servicemen guarding him were killed, another was wounded. Her husband fought on the side of the militants in Grozny.