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Acting President Vladimir Putin addressed the people of Ingushetia and Chechnya on the occasion of the 56th anniversary of their deportation

February 23, 2000

The message to the people of Ingushetia reads, in particular:

“This date marks a tragic event in the history of the Ingush people. I would like to express my sincere sympathy for all those who have suffered from illegal reprisals, and experienced severe hardships and misfortunes. A whole nation was deprived of its homeland in several days. We have no right to forget this page of our common history.

“The privations did not discourage the Ingush. Together with other nations they continued to fight heroically at the fronts of the Great Patriotic War, selflessly worked at the home front, and made a tangible contribution to the restoration and development of the national economy.

“In today’s complicated situation in the North Caucasus, it is especially important to develop inter-ethnic relations along the lines of friendship and co-operation, and to work for peace and stability in the region.

“I wish all Ingush people civil accord, success, prosperity and peace in every home.”

The message to the Chechen people reads, in particular:

“On the 56th anniversary of the Chechen deportation, I would like to express my sincere sympathy for all those who have suffered from illegal reprisals, and have lived through this tragedy. In a matter of days, people lost their homes and were deported to a wasteland.

“We have always been together, and shared joys and sorrows. Together with their brethren from other parts of Russia, the Chechens fought at the fronts of the Great Patriotic War, worked for the victory at the home front, and restored destroyed cities and villages.

“Having been through so much together, we should all take responsibility for our efforts to achieve stability, and restoration of peace and order in the North Caucasus. History teaches us to cherish the traditions of good neighbours, which have helped us for centuries to live in a multi-ethnic state. We have one country, and this is where we and our children shall live.”

February 23, 2000