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Travel Warning WARNING: There is a strong risk of murder and kidnappings by local gangs or by government forces, high-profile crimes, periodic civil disorders and terrorist activity. Travellers should consult to their embassy and request expert information before travelling to the region. Several Western governments advise against all travel to Ingushetia.
Government travel advisories
(Information last updated Aug 2020)

Ingushetia is a republic in Russia's North Caucasus bordering North Ossetia to the west, Chechnya to the east, and Georgia to the south. The region is the smallest in Russia.


Map of Ingushetia

There are four main towns. Magas, the new and growing capital, will eventually become the fifth:

  • 1 Magas — founded from scratch in 1995 as the administrative capital of Ingushetia, now home to about 3,000
  • 2 Karabulak Karabulak, Republic of Ingushetia on Wikipedia — city in the plains
  • 3 Malgobek Malgobek on Wikipedia — an oilfield town now housing some 20,000 Chechen refugees
  • 4 Nazran Nazran on Wikipedia — largest city, main entry point and former capital, straddles the border with North Ossetia
  • 5 Sunzha — formerly known as stanitsa Orjonikidzevskaya - Largest rural locality in Russia

Other destinations[edit]

Ingushetia and the surrounding regions

To visit anywhere outside the main towns requires a Russian Federal Security Bureau permit, especially for foreigners.

  • 1 Armkhi Armkhi on Wikipedia — a Soviet resort/sanatorium high in the mountains of southwestern Ingushetia
  • 2 Dariali Darial Gorge on Wikipedia — a high aul in Ingushetia's beautiful Dzheyrakh Region
  • Guloykhi — a multi-towered Ingush aul in southern Ingushetia in the Assy Gorge
  • Targim — castle in the mountains
  • Erzi — castle in the mountains
  • Vovnushki — castle in the mountains
  • Historical and Cultural Jeyrakh-Assa Reservation — watch towers and Arm khe resort complex
  • Tkhaba-Yerdy Church — ancient Ingush Christian church
  • 3 Tsori — castle in the mountains
  • Olgeti — mountain village


The Ingush are relatives of the Chechens and have shared their Sunni Islamic beliefs as well as their fate in rebellion and conquest vis-à-vis the Russians. In the beginning of the 19th century, a Chechen scholar peacefully converted most Ingush into Islam. Like the Chechens, the Ingush were accused by Stalin of Nazi collaboration and were deported to Kazakhstan. When Khrushchev allowed them to return home, they found that their Orthodox Christian neighbors, the Ossetes, had settled on formerly Ingush lands, launching a violent ethnic conflict which rages on today.

Around 1929-1991, Ingushetia was merged with Chechnya to form the Chechen-Ingush ASSR, and became separated. By 1991, the first Ingush president, Ruslan Aushev attempted to help the already weak economy, and when the first Chechen war started, this created a tremendous problem for the economy. It collapsed after Aushev's success. However, he was forced to leave office when the second Chechen war started. Aushev also founded the city of Magas.

By 2002, Murat Zyazikov came into office, and since then the political and economic situation has worsened, and Zyazikov received harsh criticism for his disregard for human rights, corruption, and social and political problems. This was because of alleged abductions, illegal beatings, unlawful arrests and killings of suspects by the federal forces and local police and allied paramilitaries. By 2008, a new president, Yunus-bek Yevkurov succeeded the unpopular Zyazikov and began a campaign into improving the situation in the region.

The poor situation in the republic has made it a magnet for terrorism for Chechen and Ingush rebels, and has continued to make it more uneasy for travelers to visit. The region is desperately poor, with only 5 in 10 people employed and a large part of the population living in severe poverty, earning less than US$2 a day. There is little prospect of this changing.

Although the majority of Ingushetia's population lives in the larger northern towns, the Ingush consider their true heritage to be tied to the ancient auls (stone mountaintop villages) in the south of Ingushetia, especially along the Assy Gorge.

Get in[edit]

Citizens of foreign countries must have a special permit for visiting mountainous parts of Ingushetia. These permits are issued by the FSB office in Nazran or can be obtained online. Apply well in advance. Russian citizens do not need a permit anymore, but have to carry a passport.

By plane[edit]

Planes from Moscow (Vnukovo or Sheremetyevo airport) to Ingushetia Magas (airport near Ordzhonekidzovskaya).:

  • Morning flights by Pobeda (at 8:20) and UTair (at 09:40)
  • Afternoon flight by Aeroflot (14:55).

Alternative routes: Beslan airport in North Ossetia and Grozny airport in Chechnya.

By train[edit]

A couple of trains per week connect Moscow's Kazanskiy Station with Nazran (40 hr).

As of August 2018, Train 146Э leaves Moscow Kazanskiy on even days at 23:16, arriving in Nazran at 06:55 (31 hr 39 min). Train 145С departs Nazran on the same day 146Э arrives on at 23:22, arriving in Moscow at 06:07 (30 hr 45 min).

By bus[edit]

A daily bus leaves from Moscow (Paveletski or Kazanski railway station) to Nazran (total trip time over 24 hours). A daily bus leaves from Grozny,Nalchik and Stavropol. Regular buses leaves from Moscow. A small buses leaves from Nalchik and other north Caucasian and south Russian cities (e.g., to Vladikavkaz).

Get around[edit]

Taxi, buses.


Russian is understood by all, as is the official language, Ingush. Ingush is commonly known as ГІалгІай мотт (Ğalğaj mott). Ingush is a language related to Chechen and other regional languages are common. English is spoken by almost nobody, even in the largest city, Nazran.


Euros and US dollars are accepted and can be exchanged for rubles. ATMs are widely available even in Dzheirakh village. Best place to buy: Central Market in Nazran.

Costs are generally higher than in much of Russia and are comparable to those in Moscow.


  • "Assa" — restaurant,located in Nazran
  • "Vstrecha"


Due to rising anti-Russian sentiment, the shops selling alcohol are prime targets for Muslim extremists. It is recommended that tourists stay away from these shops. The attacks are frequent, though usually without harm to the shoppers.


"Assa" Hotel in Nazran


  • Ingush State University


There is at least 50% unemployment in Ingushetia. The oil industry is slowly deteriorating. The best places for a foreigner to work are international human relief organizations and medicine.

Stay safe[edit]

Ingushetia should not be considered a war zone anymore. Unlike during the Soviet times, Ingushetia and Chechnya are not considered foreign visitors' restricted areas anymore.

If you are a foreigner your presence in Ingushetia might be still monitored by the FSB. Though no attacks of Ingush rebels on foreign visitors were ever recorded, people do disappear after the FSB raids. Generally, most staff from hotels will accompany you to avoid any trouble.

A tight security situation is present, and at all checkpoints, they are likely to pull you over if you drive in a vehicle with darkened windows. Security will search your vehicle for suspicious items (large sums of money, large amounts of alcohol, drugs, weapons, explosives, etc.)

Stay healthy[edit]

Do not drink tap water. The Coca-Cola and Pepsi products can be fake, and unhealthy. Use the water from wells such as one of the good ones near the village of Barsuki on the road.


Ingushetia is an Islamic society, and therefore visitors are required to behave properly. Ingushetia is somewhat a traditionally conservative region with Islamic customs. Even though the region is predominantly Islamic, there is no dress code in effect and most of the locals, even the women, are highly liberalized. However, some women prefer to wear a veil, but it doesn't really apply to female visitors.

In general, locals are interested in getting to know about foreigners, and are generally helpful to visitors around this volatile region. Ingush locals treat visitors like guests, so don't throw this opportunity away. Always keep political opinions to yourself to avoid any danger.



In Ingushetia there are three federal GSM operators (MTS, Beeline, Megafon) and they often have offers that give you a SIM card for free or at least very cheap. If you are planning to stay a while and to keep in touch with Ingushetian and other North-Caucasus people, then you should consider buying a local SIM card instead of going on roaming. To buy a SIM card from a shop you'll need your passport for identification. It only takes five minutes to do the paperwork and it will cost less than US$10.

This region travel guide to Ingushetia is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!