Yunus-bek Yevkurov

Yunus-Bek Bamatgireyevich Yevkurov (Russian: Юну́с-Бек Баматгире́евич Евку́ров; Ingush: Е́вкурнаь́къан Ба́матгири Ю́нусбек; born 23 July 1963) is an Ingush politician. He was the head of the southern Russian republic of Ingushetia, appointed by President Dmitry Medvedev, from 31 October 2008 to 24 June 2019.[2][3] The following day, the People's Assembly of the Republic of Ingushetia, the republic's regional parliament, voted in favor of Yevkurov's appointment, making him the third Head of Ingushetia.[4] He is a career soldier, paratrooper, and Hero of the Russian Federation who was involved in numerous conflicts where Russia played a key role, including Kosovo (1999) and Chechnya.[1] On 22 June 2009, Yevkurov was seriously injured following a car-bomb attack on his motorcade in the city of Nazran.

Yunus-Bek Bamatgireyevich Yevkurov
Юнус-Бек Баматгиреевич Евкуров
Official portrait of Yunus-bek Yevkurov (2019).jpg
Deputy Defence Minister of Russia
Assumed office
8 July 2019
PresidentVladimir Putin
3rd Head of Ingushetia
In office
31 October 2008 – 26 June 2019
Prime Minister
  • Makhmud Sakalov
  • Mukharbek Didigov
  • Magomet Tatriyev
  • Mukharbek Dikazhev
  • Zyalimkhan Yevloyev
  • Magomet Yandiyev
Preceded byMurat Zyazikov
Succeeded byMahmud-Ali Kalimatov
Personal details
Born (1963-07-23) 23 July 1963 (age 57)
Tarskoye village, Prigorodny District, North Ossetian ASSR, Soviet Union
Political partyUnited Russia
Spouse(s)Mareta Yevkurova[1]
ProfessionMilitary officer, politician
AwardsHero of Russia
Order of Military Merit
Order of the Red Star
Medal For Courage (2)
Military service
AllegianceSoviet Union Soviet Union
Russia Russia
Branch/serviceRussian Airborne Troops
Years of service1982–present
RankLieutenant General
Battles/warsFirst Chechen War
Kosovo War
Second Chechen War

As head of Ingushetia, Yevkurov claimed he had succeeded in stabilising the crime situation and bringing about positive social changes within the Russian republic.[5] Since September 2018, he faced opposition at home, following the controversial land transfer deal with the neighboring Republic of Chechnya.[6]

He was appointed as a Deputy Defence Minister by President Putin on 8 July 2019.[7]

Early lifeEdit

Yevkurov, an ethnic Ingush,[2][8] was born on 23 July 1963 into a peasant family of 12 children, consisting of five sisters and six brothers. He graduated from the same school that was later the scene of the Beslan massacre.[9]

Military serviceEdit

Yevkurov was conscripted by the Soviet Army in 1982, serving in the Naval Infantry of the Pacific Fleet. In 1989, he graduated from the Ryazan Guards Higher Airborne Command School. Yevkurov continued his military education, graduating from the Frunze Military Academy in 1997 and from the General Staff Academy in 2004.[8]

In June 1999, Yevkurov was stationed in the Bosnian town of Ugljevik with the Russian peacekeepers under the auspices of SFOR. On 12 June, he led a task force on a swift 500-km-long march, which aimed to secure the Pristina International Airport ahead of the NATO troops, thus ensuring a Russian presence in Kosovo after the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia. This led to a standoff with NATO troops.[10]

Yevkurov has had various positions of command within the Russian Airborne Troops and has participated in counterterrorist operations in the North Caucasus. During the course of the Second Chechen War in 2000, he was in command of the 217th Guards Airborne Regiment (98th Guards Airborne Division).[8] While on a reconnaissance mission, Yevkurov's team discovered a house where a group of captured Russian soldiers was held. Having neutralized the guards and infiltrated the building, the team was surrounded by Chechen reinforcements, resulting in armed combat. The Russian troops were able to break through the encirclement while Yevkurov was providing cover for the evacuation of the wounded. He personally carried a soldier to safety despite sustaining an injury himself.[11] Twelve imprisoned soldiers were rescued.[8] On 13 April 2000, Yevkurov, for his courage, was presented with the Hero of Russia award, the country's highest title of honor.[2][8]

In 2004, Yevkurov was appointed to be the Intelligence Division Deputy Commander of the Volga-Urals Military District.[8]

Political careerEdit

On 30 October 2008, Yevkurov replaced the highly unpopular Murat Zyazikov as the head of Ingushetia. Zyazikov's dismissal and Yevkurov's appointment were received with much enthusiasm from the Ingush population.[10][11]

Assassination attemptEdit

On 22 June 2009, Yevkurov was seriously injured following a car-bomb attack on his motorcade in the city of Nazran at roughly 08:20 local time (04:20 GMT). In the incident, a Toyota Camry filled with explosives[12] rammed the Yevkurov's convoy in what is believed to be a suicide bomb attack.[13] One escorting policeman died on the spot; Yevkurov's driver and cousin Ramzan died a few days later in a hospital. Yevkurov's brother Uvais was among the injured.[13] Yevkurov suffered a ruptured liver, a severe concussion, and several cracked ribs, but was expected to survive following surgery.[14] Yevkurov was then airlifted to a hospital in Moscow and was sent to intensive care with damage to his skull and internal organs, according to the New York Times.[citation needed]

Though no group has yet claimed responsibility, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accused Islamist militants of carrying out the attack, condemning the "terrorist attack".[15] Speaking on Russian television, Medvedev claimed that Yevkurov "did a lot to restore order ... and the bandits obviously didn't like that kind of activity".[14] Russian news agency RIAN, quoting an unnamed Kremlin source, reported that executive authority in Ingushetia has been temporarily transferred to the prime minister, Rashid Gaisanov, who became acting Head by Russian presidential decree.[16] The source claimed that "President Medvedev authorized Gaysanov to take operative management of the republic, and he has all the required authority for that".[17] Gaisanov remained the acting head of Ingushetia until Yevkurov returned to office.

The attack followed other attacks on republic officials in June 2009. On 10 June, the deputy chief justice of the Ingushetian Supreme Court, Aza Gazgireyeva, was gunned down in Nazran shortly after dropping her children off at school,[13] and on 13 June the former deputy prime minister, Bashir Aushev, was shot dead outside his home.[18]

After the attack, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov claimed the Kremlin had ordered him to fight insurgents in Ingushetia, and during his subsequent visit to Ingushetia on 24 June pledged to revenge ruthlessly.[19] On 4 July, a convoy of Chechen troops sent by Kadyrov into Ingushetia in response to the suicide bombing was ambushed by militants. The attack caused nine Chechen deaths, with 10 others severely wounded.[20]

On 9 July, Ingushetia's Interior Ministry announced the arrest of several suspects, including the Chechen rebel commander Rustaman Makhauri, allegedly involved in the attack on Yevkurov.[21]

Yevkurov regained consciousness from a coma two weeks after the attack.[16] Yevkurov was released from the hospital in Moscow on 12 August 2009, more than seven weeks after the attack, but continued to receive rehabilitation.[22] Speaking to reports upon leaving the hospital, Yevkurov warned that "those who refuse to lay down their arms and surrender will be killed."[22]

By September, 2009, Yevkurov had returned to his position of head of the republic.[23]

Till resignationEdit

On July 2013, he announced his own resignation following the upcoming elections to the Ingush presidency, though he remained the acting head until the elections.[24]

He was re-elected in the 2013 Ingush Head election.[25] In the 2018 Russian gubernatorial elections, he was re-elected as the Head of the Republic by 26 out of 32 members of the People's Assembly of the Republic of Ingushetia.[26]

Yevkurov stepped down from his position permanently on 24 June 2019 after months of controversy over the land swap agreement with Chechnya signed in September 2018.[27][28]

Defence Ministry roleEdit

Yevkurov was appointed as a Deputy Defence Minister by a decree of President Vladimir Putin. It also promoted Yekurov's military rank to lieutenant general.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Yevkurov married Mareta on 23 December 2007.[1] They are parents of five children.[29] Their first son was born on 1 November 2008.[1]

Honours and awardsEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Евкуров, Юнус-Бек". Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Russia Backs Soldier To Quell Violent Ingushetia Region". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 3 November 2008.
  3. ^ "Soldier to run restive Ingushetia". BBC News. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 3 November 2008.
  4. ^ "Ingushetia legislature gives presidential powers to Yevkurov". ITAR TASS. 31 October 2008. Retrieved 31 October 2008.
  5. ^ "Head of Ingushetia sums up results of three years - Vestnik Kavkaza". Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Turmoil in Ingushetia as protests re-erupt and interior minister 'sacked'". OC Media. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Ingushetia's Former Head Becomes Russian Deputy Defense Minister". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 8 July 2019. Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Герой России Евкуров Юнус-бек Баматгиреевич (in Russian). Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  9. ^ Евкуров прибыл в Ингушетию (in Russian). 31 October 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  10. ^ a b "Yevkurov Gets Nod in Ingushetia". The Moscow Times. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2008.
  11. ^ a b Предки нового главы Ингушетии много воевали за Россию (in Russian). Komsomolskaya Pravda. 1 November 2008. Retrieved 3 November 2008.
  12. ^ Levy, Clifford J. (22 June 2009). "President of Ingushetia Is Wounded in Suicide Bombing". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 July 2009.
  13. ^ a b c "Attack on Russian regional leader". BBC News. 22 June 2009.
  14. ^ a b "Leading Russian survives assassination attempt". CNN. 22 June 2009.
  15. ^ Harding, Luke (22 June 2009). "Ingushetia president survives assassination attempt". The Guardian. London.
  16. ^ a b "Ingush president regains consciousness after attack". RIA Novosti. 3 July 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2009.
  17. ^ "Gaysanov will manage the republic that long, as will be needed". RIA Novosti (in Russian).
  18. ^ "Another Killing in Region Bordering Chechnya". The New York Times. Associated Press. 10 June 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  19. ^ "Russia's Kadyrov vows revenge for Ingushetia bombing". Reuters. 24 June 2009.
  20. ^ "Nine Chechen police killed in Russia's Ingushetia". Reuters. 4 July 2009.
  21. ^ Suspects Arrested In Attack On Ingushetian President. RFE/RL. 9 July 2009
  22. ^ a b "Ingushetian Cabinet Member Assassinated". BBC News. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2009.
  23. ^ "The peaceful exception". The Economist. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  24. ^ "Ingush Leader Resigns, Signals Reelection Bid". RIA Novosti. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  25. ^ "Yevkurov Reelected President of Ingushetia". The Moscow Times. 15 August 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  26. ^ Евкуров переизбран главой Ингушетии на третий срок
  27. ^ "Head of Russia's Ingushetia Resigns Following Months of Border Deal Unrest". The Moscow Times. 15 August 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  28. ^ "Head of Russia's Volatile Ingushetia Region Resigns Amid Border-Deal Tensions With Chechnya". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 15 August 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  29. ^ "Yunus-Bek Evkurov". Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation. Retrieved 20 March 2021.