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    RUSSIA AIDS MIGRANTS IN INGUSHETIA

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    MAGAS (INGUSHETIA), April 9 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian government is to allocate 516 million roubles ($18m) before June 1 for the North Caucasian republic of Ingushetia to accommodate its forced migrants who suffered in the course of the Ossetian-Ingush conflict in the autumn of 1992, Russian Vice-Premier Alexander Zhukov said Friday in the Ingush capital of Magas where he has arrived on a routine visit.

    This additional financial aid to Ingushetia considered yesterday at a federal government session is targeted primarily at building apartments for Ingush refugees who were forced out of their houses in the neighbouring republic of North Ossetia in 1992.

    The Ossetian-Ingush conflict, one of the most ruthless inter-ethnic conflicts that erupted after the collapse of the former Soviet Union, dates back to the epoch of Stalin who pursued quite a controversial nationalities policy. In the early 1930s, the Ingush autonomy's capital of Vladilavkaz was placed under the jurisdiction of North Ossetia while the autonomy itself was united with Chechnya. Many Ingushs were treated as "unreliable" during the war against Hitler's Germany and deported to Central Asia in 1944, with the greater part of Ingushetia, that is the so-called Pogranichny district, transferred under the rule of North Ossetia.

    After the death of Stalin 1953, the Ingushs began to return to their historical homeland but were given the cold shoulder on the part of the local administration. The discontent with the growth of the Ingush population in the disputablee district, which was seething under the Soviet rule, grew into violence and bloodshed after the break-up of the USSR and the weakening of the central power. In the October of 1992, armed extremists unleashed pogroms in the Prigorodny district of North Ossetia, killing more than 400 Ingushes and driving out of the republic almost all the Ingush residents of this district and Vladikavkaz. Of 4,000 Ingush households in the Prigorodny district and Vladikavkaz, 3,200 were destroyed or burnt out as over 50,000 refugees arrived in Infgushetia.

    Many of them are still jobless and hard-up. There is evidence that this desperate state has caused some to join fighters in neighbouring Chechnya. The increased number of acts of terrorism in the republic, with the recent attempt on the life of Ingush President Murat Zyazikov, is considered to be a result of these privations.

    Support for the regions stricken by economic and social woes is one of the targets of the new Russian government, Alexander Zhukov said Friday in the Ingush capital of Magas.

    He made a point of the Russian leadership's resolve to prevent any instability in this republic.

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