Russian Region Tolerates ‘Bride Stealing’ Even After Triple Murder


For centuries, it has been common for men in Russia’s southern regions to kidnap the woman they want to marry, a ritual known as “bride stealing.” And despite amounting to a major felony, the local custom is still widely tolerated. That tension between Russian law and local tradition was on display on Nov. 4, Russia’s National Unity Day, when the Kremlin-appointed leader of the region of Ingushetia called on his tiny, mountainous republic “to preserve its historic traditions and cultural values.” What President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov failed to mention was how much trouble the tradition of bride stealing has caused his region (or at least its women) over the past week and a half.

On Oct. 26, two prominent family clans in Ingushetia staged a shootout in broad daylight over the repeated kidnapping of 21-year-old Khagi Yevloeva. Over the course of this year, Yevloeva had been abducted three times by a…

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