‘It’s a tribute to the relationships between the two republics’: what’s like to live on Shaimiyev Street in Ingushetia

One of the highways in Nazran was named after the first president of Tatarstan as a token of friendship between Tatars and Ingushs five years ago

‘It’s a tribute to the relationships between the two republics’: what’s like to live on Shaimiyev Street in Ingushetia
Photo: yandex.ru

A street named after Mintimer Shaimiyev was opened in Nazran, the biggest city of Ingushetia, which is kindly called by the locals “the heart of the homeland”, five years ago. Nowadays it is the only street in the country named after the first president of Tatarstan. Realnoe Vremya remembered the solemn street opening ceremony together with the city’s residents and found out how the local community considered this event and why the Ingushs loved Shaimiyev.

Symbolism of street

A street named after first President of Tatarstan, Tatarstan State Adviser Mintimer Shaimiyev opened in the Ingush city of Nazran exactly five years ago, on 2 April 2015. It was the idea of City Mayor Alikhan Tumgoyev, and further, the initiative was backed by then-head of the republic Yunus-Bek Yevkurov. The location and meaning of the street are symbolic. It is a vibrant artery of the city along the railway route Nazran-Moscow as well as a highway connecting Ingushetia with North Ossetia. As the local press wrote, all this echoes with Mr Shaimiyev’s principles and real-life benchmarks — “to unite and create”.

The solemn ceremony was held during the Tatarstan Culture Days in Ingushetia and, in fact, became its culmination. Both representatives of the local government (the mayor of Nazran and chairman of Ingushetia’s government) and delegates from Tatarstan the (chairman the State Council’s committee for culture, science, education and national affairs and vice culture minister of Tatarstan) were present at the opening.

After welcome speeches and the opening of the landmark, the guests from Tatarstan were given souvenirs. All this happened in front of a crowd of spectators: a lot of citizens came to the ceremony, moreover, over a hundred representatives of the Tatar diaspora living in Nazran were at the event.

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One religion and exchange of experience

It is no secret that Ingushetia highly appreciates Mintimer Shaimiyev’s merits in strengthening the friendship between the peoples of the two republics and his long-term political and public activity.

“Despite the remoteness, Tatarstan and Ingushetia have always been connected by warm, friendly relationships, both the officials of the republic and the population. Firstly, because we are close to each other by religion that is practised by most residents of both republics,” Editor-in-Chief of Ingushetia online newspaper Shamsudin Bokov told Realnoe Vremya. “By the way, many religious representatives of Ingushetia received religious education in educational establishments of Tatarstan.”

According to him, another reason is the strong political links that have been formed in the last 10 years: there has been quite a close interaction between the regions at the level of local governments.

“As we know, Tatarstan is one of the biggest and self-sufficient regions of our country that has things for others to learn. At the same time, the Republic of Ingushetia is one of the youngest regions in the Russian Federation, and the formation of bodies of executive and legislative power as well as other management systems has taken place in the last decades inside, consequently, our Tatarstan colleague’s experience was learnt,” the editor-in-chief of Ingushetia states.

“To sum up what’s I have said above, I can say that it isn’t accidental that one of Nazran city streets were once named after Mintimer Shaimiyev. It is a tribute to those relationships the two republics have had.”

Vandals or squall?

Unfortunately, there were unpleasant incidents too: almost a few months after the opening of the street, vandals damaged the plaque installed in Nazran in honour of Mintimer Shaimiyev. One of the local newspapers wrote then: “We want to hope that law-enforcement agencies of Ingushetia will find the barbarian riff-raff who did this dirty job”.

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“I can’t say for sure if these people were found or not. This event didn’t make progress. I think it is thoughtless vandalism that has nothing to do with the person whose name was etched on the plaque. It is usual hooliganism,” Shamsudin Bokov comments.

By the way, some users assumed then that a strong wind was the only guilty of that situation. Anyway, the plaque was quickly restored.

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By Lina Sarimova