Russia Condemns Polygamy

In the small Muslim region of Ingushetia, just south of Russia, President Ruslan Aushev signed legislation that would legalize the Islamic practice of one man marrying up to four wives. Aushev said, “The Ingush population has fallen sharply in recent years an polygamy could be a solution to this problem.”

The President’s press secretary supported his statement by noting that a large portion of Ingush men already had four wives, but since Russian law only decrees with first wife legal, the other wives and their children are not protected and had few legal rights.

According to Aushev, male heirs are essential to the Ingush family, and without one, a man’s life has no purpose. However, Russian Justice Minister Pavel Krasheninnikov said the measure was unconstitutional and that it should be immediately dismissed.

But both men and women in Nazran, the Ingush capital, were in favor of the measure. One woman noted, “If a man can support them, let him marry 10 times.”


BBC News - July 21, 1999

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