Ingushetia: IT Park “Adam Khamkhoev” between economic development and social promotion

Magas the capital of Ingushetia
Magas, the capital of Ingushetia (Credits: Русский: Адам СаговEnglish: Adam Sagov, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Kavkaz Files ISSN 2975-0474 Volume 13 Issue 2
Author: Giuliano Bifolchi

The establishment of an IT Park in Ingushetia named after Adam Khamkhoev, killed in May 2022 in Ukraine, underlined local and central authorities’ desire to promote economic development and support Kremlin’s narrative related to heroism and national unity.

According to different Russian sources, the head of Ingushetia, Mahmud-Ali Kalimatov, declared that the country intends to create the first IT Park in the North Caucasian republic, whose cost will be about 800 million rubles (around 12,71 million euros). Kalimatov stated that the IT park, named after Hero of Russia Adam Khamkhoev, aims to localise the participants of the region’s IT cluster, particularly the Innovation Development Center residents. The latter are now jointly implementing a project to develop the drone ‘Erzi’ based on an Ingush inventor’s new single-stroke internal combustion engine.

The IT Park will support the Ingush economic development strategy until 2030. In addition, according to Kalimatov’s words,

“The construction of the IT park will give its platform to provide the most favourable conditions for effective IT developments for both start-up projects and large IT companies at all stages: from idea and design to creation and implementation of the final innovative product.”.

The IT Park will have the name of Adam Khamkhoev, the commander of an airborne assault company from the 31st Ulyanovsk brigade, who died on the night of May 20th-21st, 2022, near the city of Severodonetsk in Ukraine.

Geopolitical Scenario

Ingushetia is part of the North Caucasus Federal District (NCFD), a region which plays a significant role in Russian domestic and foreign politics. In 2010, the Kremlin created the NCFD and launched the ‘Strategy for the Socioeconomic Development of the NCFD until 2025’, whose purpose was to support regional economic development, create around 400 thousand new jobs, and attract foreign investors.

According to the Russian central authority’s view, by improving socioeconomic conditions and living standards, local republics could have contrasted militancy and terrorist groups’ recruitment process, which for years had exploited the harsh conditions that especially the new young generations were experiencing.

Since the North Caucasus, and therefore also Ingushetia, might support Moscow’s foreign policy in the South Caucasus, the Caspian Sea region, Central Asia, and the Middle East, the Kremlin has invested copious financial funds to maintain control of the area and stabilise it. Currently, after the beginning of the Ukraine conflict, Moscow has increased its economic and political support in the NCFD by promoting the region as a logistic and tourist hub. The creation of the first IT Park in Ingushetia is another step in Moscow’s regional economic strategy aimed at enhancing the local market, attracting foreign investors, and diversifying the country’s production in this sector.

Establishing the first IT Park in honour of the youngest Hero of Russia, the Ingush captain Adam Erakhovich Khamkhoev (who was also the nephew of the former Ingush head of state and current deputy minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, Yunus Bek-Yevkurov), might strengthen the bond between the central authority and Ingush citizens in a period characterised by the Ukraine conflict and the following Western sanctions against Moscow. Since among the soldiers who are fighting in the Russian armed forces, there are several North Caucasian citizens (hence, also Ingush people), marking the importance of ‘Khamkhoev’s sacrifice’ for his homeland might support the Kremlin’s narrative over the conflict.

Since the beginning of the Ukraine conflict, as SpecialEurasia reported, the Kremlin has paid significant attention to the North Caucasus by highlighting how the region might boost its role in the national agribusiness sector or the transportation system linked with regional and international markets. Apart from starting a pilot project in Islamic banking in Chechnya and Dagestan in 2023, the Kremlin has promoted the NCFD by highlighting its cultural peculiarities, organising conferences and international events attended by political representatives, entrepreneurs and business companies from different parts of the world, and promising higher salaries and benefits for the conscript’s families.

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