By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia)

Six years, since I bought apartments in Batumi, I dreamed of getting by land from Georgia to my native Yekaterinburg. But it did not work out for objective reasons: why go on a train for almost three days with a transfer, if you can fly for three hours by plane for the same money. The case presented itself suddenly. I visited the Urals and I had to go on business to Volgograd. Regional flights across Russia are sometimes more expensive than foreign ones and it turned out to be close to the cost of a flight to London from Ekaterinburg to Volgograd. There is a train. Looking at the map, I figured that once I would be half way to Georgia, I would go by train further. After seeing the picturesque mountains of Bashkortostan, the mighty Volga, the floodgates of the Volga-Don Canal, the exotic and hot Astrakhan, the steppes of Kalmykia, the mountains of Dagestan and further Chechnya, Ingushes and the Russian-Georgian border in Upper Lars. Forward?
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

From Yekaterinburg to Georgia with a visit to Volgograd just one way: any train passingbetween Yekaterinburg and the Black Sea coast (most go through Volgograd) and then a single train going from there to the south - to Grozny or Nazran. I told about the Volgograd train earlier in the article "From the Ural Mountains to the Volgogra Steppes"I will tell you about the second part of the journey from Volgograd to the North Caucasus -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Volgograd is a rather interesting city, equally historic and tragic. For most, it is associated exclusively with the Stalingrad battle of 1943, but this is the old Tsaritsyn - there are many architectural monuments from the 18th and 19th centuries. Plus, the city is known for the beginning of the Volga-Don Canal and the world's largest (!) Lenin statue.
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

The famous Volgograd mill, one of the brightest symbols of those terrible events. By the fall of 1943, the front line of defense was just opposite this building and within two months it withstood numerous hits of aerial bombs and shells. These damages are visible even now - literally every square meter of external walls has been cut by shells, bullets and splinters, on the roof reinforced concrete beams have been killed by direct hits of bombs.Hundreds of cubic meters of very high-quality brickwork and reinforced concrete were blown out of the building by explosions. It was the last large building that survived on the Volga embankment and it was necessary to keep it at all costs, because at this point the Germans actually pressed the defenders to the river bank, where the ferry was used for ammunition, food and the wounded were evacuated
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Beautiful was the city -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

And that's what the war did to him -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Today, Volgograd is a city mostly of Stalin’s Empire in the center and gloomy Khrushchovka in residential areas -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

But miraculously preserved by ancient corners, such asGerman area of ​​Sareptain the southern part of the city -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

... or the Volga-Don Canal (about himseparate article), quite functional to this day -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

The very huge Lenin, which is the largest in the world -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Cool Volgograd tram, which goes under the city center in the tunnel -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Two days in the city came to an end and I hurry to the station to take my place on the train "Volgograd - Grozny" -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

To be honest, a little worried. Imagine that even I, having seen fire and water and copper pipes, had stereotypes regarding the North Caucasus.To the standard horror stories from the series “they kidnap, kill, slaughter, all bearded mojaheds, a brick factory for slaves,” added my specific nuances: serving the Israeli army (and there, as it were, brothers to Palestinians in faith), adventures with Azerbaijan and so on. But I am a good psychologist myself. And mentally laid everything on the shelves:
1. The Chechen war is long over and local clan fights are irrelevant to the tourist
2. A beard is a tribute to the tradition and says nothing about the aggressiveness of its carrier,
3. Brickworks - the legends of the nineties, and homeless people worked there for food, and definitely not lazy bloggers,
4. Azerbaijan brothers? But not the brothers Chechens and Dagestanis Azerbaijanis have never been. And religion (some are Sunnis, others are Shiites), territorial claims and, to put it mildly, a negative attitude towards Azerbaijan on the part of the Avars, Lezgins and many Chechens. I will not list those epithets that ordinary people in the North Caucasus awarded to the inhabitants of sunny Azerbaijan, but the epithets were so tough that I even intervened with the words "well, not all the same Azerbaijanis are."
In short, quite a while your humble servant was not at military gatherings and relaxed.There are no threats around, calm down, traveler.
Overnight in a train from Volgograd and I to Astrakhan, where we stand for about an hour. A little walk around the station and the city seemed interesting. Such mixture of west and east. The people mainly consist of Kazakhs, Kalmyks, Dagestanis and Russians, not even in the majority. A colorful Oriental bazaar, chaotic salad of taxi drivers, merchants, women in hijabs and tourists in the neckline. And then there is a gorgeous Kremlin, which is far from the station.
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Also interesting is the national composition of the passengers of my train Volgograd - Grozny. If between Volgograd and Vstrakhania the absolute majority were Russians, in Astrakhan they all came out and their colorful aunts from Makhachkala and Grozny took their places.
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Also, increased religiosity of passengers. Almost all women wear hijabs and traditional dresses, and men wear skullcaps. Wonderfully reminds Uzbekistan!
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

We set off and beyond the windows the sleeping districts of Astrakhan are floating -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Mixing cultures gives a sense of mysticism -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Astrakhan is located in the Volga delta, where the mighty river is divided into dozens of branches. Listen, well, cool city. A kind of Venice on the Volga, it is southern St. Petersburg -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

The Astrakhan Kremlin cannot be seen from the train, but for a general understanding, this is how it looks (photo from Allcastles.ru) -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

The main channel of the Volga and the river port of Astrakhan -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Already outside the city for some time visible ducts and sleeves of the Volga. Delta is huge, one of the largest in the world -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

But just an hour after Astrakhan, the landscape turns into a real desert, or as it is called "steppe". No, guys, this is the most natural desert and differs little from the average Sahara landscapes -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Strange villages on the road with collapsing hovels -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Inteta, of course, no. And communication is zero. But it is also an opportunity to relax.
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Closer to the Artesian station in Kalmykia, the flat desert with prickles gives way to natural sand dunes -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Artesian is a strange place. Reminds Mongolia, remember my travel articleby train from China to Russiathrough the mongolian steppes? Well, it reminds me very much, including good-natured Kalmyk faces with Mongoloid features and exotic food at the stations.
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

And by the way, Kalmyks are not trading, but Dagestanis -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Typical Kalmyk village in the desert -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

And we go further -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Nazran is the largest city of the Republic of Ingushetia, it is the final destination of my trip.Well, not counting Georgia, where I'm going a couple of days later. I must say, at the desert station, the police showed interest in me. They said that the station can not be photographed. I did not argue with them, especially since they behaved quite affably. Could refer to paragraphs of the law and stuff, but why? The frame is shot -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Friends settled me in a hotel opposite the city pond -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

The first impression of Nazran is a beautiful and small city. A bit chaotic, but cozy and clean -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Nazran, frankly, a strange place. The city is relatively new, founded as a fortress in 1781 by the Russian army and was never a major center. Due to frequent wars and conflicts, Nazran has always been a fortification, but not a center of the cultural and business life of the region. Today, no fortress has been preserved, here in general with not very historical monuments, one must go to the mountains for the beauties of architecture and history. Here there is a real old Ingushetia!
As for Nazran, the city was actually recreated after the collapse of the USSR. This is a sad page in the history of not only the North Caucasus, but also Russia as a whole. Iosif Vissarionovich clearly felt a strong dislike for the Ingush and gained real power, soon, in 1936, he united the Chechens and the Ingush into the Chechen-Ingush Republic, which was against the will of both.Moreover, by Stalin’s decree in 1944, it was decided to deport ethnic Ingushs to Kazakhstan and a significant part of their land (Prigorodny District) was given in favor of North Ossetia. I repeat that at first the Ingush were forcibly expelled from their lands, and then the empty houses settled with the Ossetians, thereby laying down the time bomb for the next inter-ethnic conflict. And the conflict broke out on October 31, 1992, when an armed conflict between the Ingush and Ossetians was provoked in the region of North Ossetia mentioned in the Prigorodny district of North Ossetia. On November 1, 1992, Russian President Boris Yeltsin brought troops into the conflict zone, and a temporary administration was created in the warring republics. During the clashes (November 4), more than 600 people were killed on both sides. The Ingush population of the Prigorodny District was forced to leave their homes and flee to neighboring Ingushetia.
Memorial in Nazran in memory of the Ingush deported to Kazakhstan -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

There is also a memorial near the heroes of the Afghan war -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

A strong and impressive memorial complex, reminiscent of how much trouble the world brought these nasty leaders of the peoples.
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Monument to the heroes of the Brest Fortress (my report aboutBrest Fortress), among whom many Ingush fought -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

As already said, Nazran is a small and a bit chaotic city. In fact, the capital of the republic was created from scratch after the collapse of the Union. Much of the Ingush lived outside the country, there was chaos and poverty. Plus, the Chechen war in the neighborhood, an hour from Nazran. There was no clear urban planning plan, but there were tens of thousands of refugees from neighboring North Ossetia who needed to be resettled somewhere. Today, the Khrushchevites mixed with the private sector, someone's gardens adjoin with separate new skyscrapers, the eastern bazaars crash into the station square. But clean and comfortable, it does not take away. And people are amazingly friendly.
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Well, this is what the city center looks like. More precisely, there is no center as such. On good, these buildings should be demolished and new and modern shopping centers, residential areas, government agencies should be erected. And it is not easy. The land has its owners - this is the time, and secondly, it is easier and cheaper to build a new capital than to break and rebuild the old one. I mean the capital of the Republic of Ingushetia, the city of Magas, seeCaucasian Switzerland. It is called a separate city, but visually it is a suburb of Nazran, between two cities less than four kilometers. Today, Nazran is the cultural and business center of the republic, and Magas is the administrative one.
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Central Mosque of Nazran -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Trade rows in the central market of Nazran. Do not be confused by emptiness. The case was right in Kurbain-Bayram, when no one works and everyone celebrates at home with his family -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Bloodletting do not want?
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

The most unusual restaurant Nazran -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Memorial to the victims of the 1992 Ossetian-Ingush conflict. Perhaps one of the most obscure conflicts in modern Russia. These things were hushed up in the most active way, they were not solved at all, and today the question is still open. The Ingush people remember that for some reason their lands were given to their Ossetian neighbors, and the Ingush themselves were evicted from under Stalin. Today, some of the Ingush live in North Ossetia, but most were forced to move to Ingushetia and settle in a new place. The pain and feeling of the deepest injustice and now live in the heart of every Ingush.
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

Do you know what's scary? It was 1992. Not the Great Patriotic War. But hundreds of people died in the conflict and their bodies were not found and are not buried to this day.These are empty graves. Terribly -
By train from the Urals to the North Caucasus (Russia) city, Nazran, Volgograd, Ingush, Nazran, Today, Astrakhan, very, city, Georgia, between, war, Volga, Northern, Ossetia, Russia, train, train, part, conflict

All this is very ambiguous and sad. But I will definitely come to Ingushetia to tell something good about this time. About its history, architecture, fantastic nature.

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