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Chechnya to protect architecturally and culturally significant objects

24 January 2017

According to Ramzan Kadyrov’s Instagram page, 560 objects of architectural and cultural significance will be placed under state protection in Chechnya, including towers, tombs, temples, and ancient and current places of worship.

According to Kadyrov, the list of protected objects includes historical complexes in upper Chechnya, Nikaroysky, Khaybakhsky, Tiystiysky, Khiylakhsky, as well as the ‘city of the dead’ Tsoy-Pede, and the ruins of Pakoch, and Tsekaloy.

All of these objects are located in the Argun Historical and Architectural Museum-Reserve — the only such reserve in the republic. Covering an area of approximately 300 hectares, it is located in the highlands. The reserve contains about 700 monuments of historical, cultural, archaeological, architectural, and natural significance, including over 50 monuments of federal significance.

Many of these were damaged during military operations in the Argun reserve. Dozens of ancient towers have been destroyed, as well as ancient tombs and burial grounds. According to a source in Chechnya’s Ministry of Culture, more than 40% of all monuments have suffered from damage during the recent wars there. Multiple cases were reported of Russian military forces destroying towers and using them as latrines. In 2001 the famous rock towers of Ushkaloy, dating to the 11th–12th centuries, were hit by anti-aircraft guns from a passing military convoy. The soldiers responsible were found, but no penalty was incurred.

Several years ago, the command of Russia’s Southern Military District build three military sites in Chechnya. One of them, called Alpiysky, was located on in the Argun reserve. The military conducted multiple exercises with artillery and military aircraft. After a long trial period, the base was moved outside of the reserve, leaving all facilities behind.

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