from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Main settlement area of ​​the Chechens in the Caucasus

The Chechens are a population group in the North Caucasus . They call themselves Noxchi (Sg. Nochtschi ). With their linguistically and culturally closely related neighbors, the Ingush , they are classified in the ethnological group of the Wainaks . Their language, Chechen , belongs together with the Ingush language to the Vainach branch within the Nakh languages ​​of the Northeast Caucasian language family. The vast majority of the Chechens belong to Sunni Islam .

Settlement area

In the early 1990s, 76.7% of Chechens lived in the Soviet Chechen-Ingush Republic , which was divided into Chechnya and Ingushetia in 1991 . This separation was retained when the Soviet Union dissolved . In the 2010 census, the Chechens formed the largest ethnic group in the Russian republic of Chechnya with 95.3% (1,206,551). Across Russia, the 2010 census found 1,431,360 Chechens. There is also a Chechen diaspora community in Turkey with around 70,000 people.

Earlier story

Chechen women around 1900
Chechen men in the late 19th century

The origins of the Chechens and Ingush are largely in the dark. According to theories that cannot be proven archaeologically, both peoples emerged from the Hurrites . According to this, Hurrian tribes would have migrated to the impassable Caucasus after the smashing of the Mittani Empire and mixed there with the members of the so-called Koban culture , from which the Wainache emerged. Statues of gods and kurgan in impassable valleys still bear witness to the early period of the Vainachian culture.

In antiquity and in the early Middle Ages , the Wainachian settlement area became the point of contact between various expanding empires: the Serir kingdom existed in the high areas , while the Alans ruled the northern plain, who temporarily succeeded in subjugating the Wainachen. The Alans settled down for several centuries and adopted elements of the Wainachian culture. In addition, the Romans became active in the region, later Sassanid Persia, the Arab caliphates , the Khazars and various nomadic tribes . Over the centuries, the Wainachian settlement area changed according to the threat situation: In peaceful times, the Wainachians expanded into the plains in the north of the Caucasus, and when there was war, people withdrew to fortified settlements in the mountains. They occupied an important strategic position, as several trade routes led through the Caucasus.

Starting from the 10th century, the Vainakh were from Georgia from Christianized . In addition to churches , numerous residential and defense towers were built during this time . Christianization came to an end in the 13th century. When the Mongol storm reached the Caucasus shortly afterwards , the Wainachians were forced to retreat again into the mountains. After the fall of the Timurid Empire , the Wainache expanded back into the plains. It was around this time that they probably split into Chechens and Ingush. The Chechens developed a tribal society with strong tendencies towards fragmentation. The formation of a common state never succeeded.

In the last third of the 18th century, most Chechens lived a syncretism , with a mixture of pagan and Christian elements. On the border with Georgia there are several places where today there are church ruins that were venerated as sacred pilgrimage sites until the 19th century. But there were already Muslims. Sufism then prevailed as the direction of Islam among the Chechens . With the collapse of the Soviet Union , Islamization began in Chechnya.

Chechens in Germany

Between 2002 and 2017, almost 36,000 Chechens applied for asylum in Germany. In 2013, over 90 percent of the 15,500 asylum applications by Russian citizens in Germany came from Chechens, namely more than 13,600. In 2016, among the 12,200 people from Russia who applied for asylum in Germany, 9850 Chechens were more than 80 percent. In 2016, only 4.3 percent of Chechens in Germany were entitled to asylum or recognized as refugees. Since the Chechens entered via Poland, they should actually be brought back to Poland under the Dublin Agreement. In 2016, for various reasons, only 560 people were returned to Poland and 110 Chechens to Russia between January and October. In initial reception centers , Chechen men are considered to be particularly prone to violence because of their warrior mentality and their code of honor. Since clan structures also exist in Germany, there have been cases in which Chechens came from outside to the asylum shelters to take revenge on those who are alleged to have insulted or attacked their compatriots. There have also been cases of Chechen men beating their wives or children. In organized crime in Germany, Chechens have been involved in racketeering, robbery and the defense of business districts against other criminal gangs for years, sometimes on behalf of other ethnic clans. According to Der Spiegel , a 2019 BKA report also found an “above-average willingness to escalate and use violence” among Chechen criminals.

A mid-double-digit number of Chechens traveled from Germany to the Islamic State in recent years , some of whom returned later. At the beginning of 2018 there were 500 Chechens who, according to the then President of the BfV Hans-Georg Maaßen, represent a “high risk potential”.

Later story

See also

Web links


  • Rudolf A. Mark : The peoples of the former Soviet Union . 2nd, revised and expanded edition. Opladen 1992, ISBN 3-531-12075-1 .
  • Lechi Ilyasov: The Diversity of the Chechen Culture: From Historical Roots to the Present . 1st edition. Moscow 2009, ISBN 978-5-904549-02-2 (English; PDF ).
  • Amjad Jaimoukha: The Chechens. A handbook. London, New York 2005.


  1. ^ Results of the 2010 Russian Census, Excel table 7, line 515.
  2. Excel table 5, line 188.
  3. Islam gained a foothold late: This is why Chechnya is producing so many terror warriors today from November 13, 2015, accessed on January 5, 2019.
  4. Migration as a weapon? FAZ from February 19, 2017, accessed on May 10, 2018
  5. Organized crime: BKA warns of Chechen mafia. In: Spiegel online. May 9, 2019, accessed May 12, 2019 .
  6. Essen, Berlin, Caucasus: The secret network of the Chechen Westfalenpost dated April 14, 2018, accessed on May 10, 2018