Under Russian and Soviet rule

In the 1920s, the Chechens were allowed a measure of autonomy under the administration of Chechen communists. Stalin reversed this policy. Forcible collectivization was implemented in 1932-33, and a Chechen uprising against the communists took place1941-44.


Stalin’s distrust of the Chechens was so great that in 1944 he deported the entire nation (together with the Ingush) to Central Asia. Many died during the journey or soon after arrival. Those who were not able to make the journey were killed (Khaibahk massacre). The Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR) was erased from the map, and its territory was divided among the neighboring republics.

Chechens return

In 1957, Khrushchev allowed the Chechens to return to their homeland, and formally restored the Chechen-Ingush ASSR. Chechens and Ingush quickly returned to their homeland in such large numbers that they found themselves without housing, their homes having been occupied by Russians and other ethnic groups. Both Chechen and Ingush were determined to reoccupy the homes they lived in before 1944. Some Russians were forcibly relocated by the Soviet authorities. The repatriation created enormous  tensions between the two ethnic groups and in 1958 three days of violent pogroms in Grozny were instigated by Russians against Vainakh, after an Ingush killed a Russian sailor. Soviet troops eventually subdued the unrest, however the pogromists were never brought to justice. The republic was ultimately ruled as a Russian colony, with Vainakh systematically excluded from positions of responsibility.


Under Russian rule, the city of Grozny grew up around the fort of that name. In the 1880s, oil was discovered in the Grozny area, and an oil industry began to develop. By the second World War most of the Soviet Union's oil came from the Absheron peninsula of Azerbaijan, which accounted for half the world's global production, as well as the Grozny oil fields, which made up almost all of Russian oil. Outside Grozny, the economy remained largely agricultural and underdeveloped.