Manifesto of the Socio-Political Movement "Free Ingria"

The level of support from the residents of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region for the idea of self-sufficiency and independence from Moscow was always high. This includes both Soviet and post-Soviet period of the region history. April 25, 1993, along with an all-Russian referendum, population survey was conducted about the promotion of St. Petersburg status to the level of a republic within the Russian Federation. 75% of citizens voted "for". Initially, a full-scale referendum was planned instead of a survey, yet it turned impossible for legal reasons. According to Russian law, issues of such level already at that time were not allowed to be put to a referendum by the decision of local authorities.

The current political processes in St. Petersburg region of the Russian Federation are very reminiscent of similar processes in the Baltic countries - Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, on the eve of the First World War and the collapse of the Russian Empire, where barely noticeable outside people's organizations and movements for three decades were setting the stage for obtaining national independence in the hour H.

The political history of Ingria (or Ingermanland) goes back centuries to the days of the reign in Novgorod of the future of Kiev Prince Yaroslav the Wise. The region received its name in honor of Yaroslav’s wife – the Swedish princess Ingigerd. This period was the time of the first economic prosperity of the region through transit trade between Novgorod and Sweden. In the following centuries, Ingria was part of the Republic of Novgorod, Moscovia, Sweden. As a result of the Northern War, it became part of Russia. At the location of Ingria capital, the city of Nienschanz that was destroyed by war, Tsar Peter the Great founded St. Petersburg, which, before becoming the capital of the Russian Empire, became the center of Ingermanland Province, which was later renamed into St. Petersburg.

During the Civil War, on the territory of modern Leningrad Region, to the north of St. Petersburg, the independent republic North Ingria was formed, which fought against the Bolshevik Russia. A nobleman and a white officer George Elvengren was the head of the republic. He was the commander of the Northern Ingermanland Regiment that fought against the Bolsheviks. In addition to the Northern, South Ingermanland (in other sources West Ingermanland) Regiment also existed, which was striking at Petrograd from Estonia. Carl Gustaf Mannerheim (also an officer of the Russian tsarist army, then - president of the independent Finland) offered white general Yudenich to take the city together, yet the latter said that he supports the "one and indivisible Russia" and does not recognize the independence of Finland and Estonia, not to mention Ingria.

Independent North Ingria existed two years. Its state symbols were the flag of the Ingermanland Regiment and the historical coat of arms of Ingria of Swedish times, which later became the Chevron of the Ingermanlad Infantry Regiment, formed by Peter the Great. According to the Tartu Peace Treaty of 1920, the territory of Ingria became part of the RSFSR. Raising the Ingrian flag over Petersburg was postponed by the History until better times.

Ingria is a region with great tourism, scientific, industrial and transit-logistics potential. Even today, with all kinds of obstacles from the central Moscow authorities in conducting an independent foreign economic activity, the St. Petersburg region is one of the few Russian regions-donors. At the same time, more than 80% of the income forcedly goes to Moscow into the so-called "federal budget of the Russian Federation". Petersburg region is completely self-sufficient from the economical point of view. In case Ingria gains the political and economic independence, it quickly enters the number of economically developed countries of Europe.

Ingria should and will seek to join all international organizations that would promote national independence and the international prestige of Ingria, first of which is the United Nations Organizations. Furthermore, taking into account the historical experience and cultural identity, the accession of Ingria to the European Union and the North Atlantic NATO military bloc is likely to be only a matter of time.

In Ingria, the church will be separated from the government, and all religious denominations and communities will have equal rights under the Constitution. The most widespread religions in the region are traditionally Orthodox and Protestant. After dismantling and lustration of artificial Stalinist structure of ROC, Ingermanland Orthodox Church will depart to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and become one of the local Orthodox Churches. Lutheran is traditionally the largest Protestant community in Ingria. In terms of political and economic freedom, Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Ingria will overcome its excessive reliance on seclusion from Finland and will become one single church for all Ingrian citizens of Lutheran confession, irrespective of their nationality.

Russian is the native language for 90% of the region's population. It is likely to become the official language of the country. Nevertheless, considering the history of the region, based on the principles of linguistic equality and tolerance, a law will be adopted on regional languages, according to which, in places of compact residence of representatives of relevant nationalities, the regional status with all the rights will be given to Finnish, Izhorian, Vodian and Vepsian languages.

The vast majority of Ingrian population is ethnic Russian. The inhabitants of the region also includes people with Ukrainian, Polish, German, Swedish, Finnish, and Jewish roots. The phrase "ethnic ingrian" is the same absurdity as "ethnic Novgorodian" or "ethnic St. Petersburger". The descendants of the Slavs-Novgoroders, as well as the Vikings-Scandinavians, live on the territory of Ingria for more than one thousand years and are the same indigenous people, like the Finns, Vod, Izhora and Veps. Respect for and interest in the historical and cultural heritage of the indigenous peoples of the region will be cultivated in every way. A number of theorists for Ingermanland independence regard Ingria as the so-called "The Big St. Petersburg". St. Petersburg's population is 5 million residents, of Leningrad region - 1.5 million inhabitants, of which 1 million is connected with St. Petersburg one way or another way. Petersburg local identity was established already in the period of the Russian Empire, and has long been a fact. One of the most popular slogans among supporters of Ingrian independence: "Ingria is a country! Petersburger is a nationality!"


Of the Socio-political movement "Free Ingria"

The history of modern regionalism in Ingria originates on the cusp of the 80’s-90’s of the last century, when, thanks to a number of civil and political activists, two ideas appeared and began competing with each other: Ingrermanland (Republic of Ingria within the united boundaries of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region) and St. Petersburg (Republic of St. Petersburg). Today, it is clear that the idea of ​​the unified Ingria is already defeating. However, we honor the heritage of all, without exception, regionalist ideas that aim independence gaining by our region. Therefore, we take the liberty of taking as the basis the PROGRAM OF MAIN MEASURES AND INITIAL ACTIONS of the Socio-political movement "Free Ingria", basic program positions of the party "Free Petersburg", which, due to external circumstances, failed to establish itself on the political horizon of the 90’s.

Europe has entered a new century and a new millennium on the background of the rapid development of two processes closely related to each other: the process of European integration and the process of regional freedom strengthening. The relationship between these two vectors of development is obvious: the united Europe, on the one hand, and some of its regions, on the other, are the two poles that are increasingly putting off the political functions, which until now have traditionally belonged to the great national states.

The era of the great European powers that were created primarily for the purpose of military and political confrontation with each other, are irrevocably going into the past. The Europe of nations should be replaced by the Europe of regions, in which any reasons for the hot and cold wars will disappear, and chronic wounds of national-territorial conflicts will eventually heal.

The ultimate success of pan-European process brigs no doubts, because it is based on deep historical and cultural kinship of all European peoples and commitment to a unified system of civil and political values, which can be broadly defined as based on the recognition of human rights priority.

Government formation, referred to as the "Russian Federation", is a direct political successor of the USSR, the Russian Empire, Moscovia, the Golden Horde. Starting from Ivan III, who held the first "reunion of the Russian world" by the destruction of the free and prosperous "Hanseatic" Novgorod Republic at the end of the XV century, the territorial expansion policy was state-forming rod of the nation for the next five centuries. At the beginning of the 18th century, Tsar Peter the Great conducted the modernization of the country and gave it a European gloss appearance. However, the basic principle still remained "the policy of two Ivans" (Ivan III and his grandson Ivan IV the Terrible), which was the territorial expansion through the absorption of their neighbors and the destruction of any of the principles of local government and local political and cultural identity.

Russian state evolved over the centuries as an empire. That is, as an involuntary political alliance, having its main purpose a military confrontation to the hostile external environment. Russia traditionally didn’t have - and doesn’t have up till now - an effective system of feedbacks that would allow the public to truly influence the policy, dictated from the center.

After the collapse of communism and the breakup of the USSR, the new democratic Russia, just like in 1917, was unable to find the meaning of its existence and its role in the world. In the wake of the enormous crisis of identity, it is again trying to become an empire today. At present, the government formation Russian Federation, in its current state-legal format, is a historical nonsense. It tries to connect the concepts that can not be combined in theory: the declared democracy and human rights with full control over civil institutions, federal state structure with a severe centralized power and the principle of "unity and indivisibility".

The level of support by the residents of St. Petersburg and the region for the idea of ​​self-sufficiency and independence from Moscow was always high. This includes both Soviet and post-Soviet period of the region history. April 25, 1993, along with an all-Russian referendum, population survey was conducted about the promotion of St. Petersburg status to the level of a republic within the Russian Federation. 75% of citizens voted "for". Initially, a full-scale referendum was planned instead of a survey, yet it turned impossible for legal reasons. According to Russian law, issues of such level already at that time were not allowed to be put to a referendum by the decision of local authorities.

The current political processes in St. Petersburg region of the Russian Federation are very reminiscent of similar processes in the Baltic countries - Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, on the eve of the First World War and the collapse of the Russian Empire, where barely noticeable outside people's organizations and movements for three decades were setting the stage for obtaining national independence in the hour H.

Program of the Socio-political movement "Free Ingria" offers a complex of primary measures, the implementation of which will lead to a consistent return of Ingria to a natural and organic European way of development.

Our main objectives are:

  1. Achieving a state-legal (legislative) autonomy of Ingria (city of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region in the existing administrative–territorial coordinates system of the Russian Federation) that suggests entry of changes and additions into the constitution and legislation of the Russian Federations that provide the opportunity of independent development of the socio-political and economic life of Ingria as part of the Russian Federation, at the availability of political guarantees as rights for separation. Such changes shall include:

- a priority of local laws, enacted by the Parliament of Ingria, over the all-Russian laws;

- a special legal status of Ingria as a subject of international relations;

- a differentiated system of customs tariffs;

- changes in the federal tax structure;

- right of the Russian Federation subjects to secede from the Russian Federation and the procedure for exercising this right;

  1. Strengthening friendly relations between Ingria and its natural allies and partners - states of Baltic region and Northern Europe;
  2. Maximum assistance to the political, legislative, economic, social and cultural initiatives, aimed at achieving the standard of living and level of development of social relations that comply with the standards of the European countries.

Policy measures:

  1. The revision in accordance with the Constitution of the state-legal status of Ingria (Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad region) in the subjects of the RF system;
  2. Holding the referendum on the unification of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region, and the provision to the new subject of the Russian Federation with the status of a Republic with all corresponding rights;
  3. The adoption of the Constitution of the new subject of the Russian Federation - Republic of Ingria;
  4. The introduction of institute for citizenship of the Republic of Ingria;
  5. The conclusion in the framework of the Constitution of the Russian Federation of the bilateral agreement with the federal government on the delimitation of competences and powers of public authorities;
  6. The reform of local government system with the transfer to the bodies of local self-government of full economic power in the sites;
  7. Expanding the powers of the Parliament and of the Administration of the Republic of Ingria in matters of foreign policy. Negotiations with the governments of the EU states on visa-free visits by citizens of the Republic of Ingria of these countries and mutual simplifying of the procedure of visiting Ingria by the citizens of the EU member states;
  8. As close as possible cooperation of Ingrian Republic in the matters of politics, economics, culture, etc. with its natural historical allies - Baltic and Scandinavian countries;
  9. Developing a coherent policy with other subjects of the Russian Federation, the establishment of direct horizontal connections with the subjects of the Russian Federation, the development of a joint strategy to achieve maximum independence from the federal government, preparation and coordination of joint legislative initiatives that extend the autonomy of the RF subjects in matters of politics and economics;
  10. Practical implementation and development of regional courts system, provided for by the federal constitutional law "On the Judicial System of the Russian Federation", which will allow creating additional procedural safeguards of the rights of citizens of Ingrian Republic. Ensuring real independence of judges and courts from the legislative and executive branches of both Ingrian Republic and the Russian Federation.

Measures in the field of economics:

  • Provide 100 per cent budgetary independence of the Republic of Ingria;
  • Revision of the proportions of the distribution between the Republic of Ingria and the federal center of the taxes, collected on the territory of Ingrian Republic;
  • Development on the basis of the federal law "On the financial bases of local self-government of the Russian Federation" of the tax collection system, which allows implementing the right of local self-government bodies for the establishment of municipal tax services for the collection of local taxes;
  • Creating the most favorable climate for business and investment, including from abroad. Putting to a local referendum of the matter on granting the Republic of Ingria with the Free Economic Zone status;
  • The maximum use of market mechanisms and institutions for the implementation of the state economic policy;
  • Organization of an effective system of regulation and maximum transparency of activities, the so called "natural monopolies";
  • The development of economic ties with the EU countries. Maximum integration into European economic processes;
  • Approximation of the legal and tax regimes of entrepreneurial and investment activities to the standards of the Baltic region countries;
  • The establishment of direct contacts of Ingrian Republic with international economic and financial institutions;
  • State guarantees and maximum organizational and legal support of joint economic projects and programs with the countries of the Baltic region.

Measures in the social sphere:

  • Implementation of the social policy of Ingria in accordance with the norms and social standards of the Baltic region countries;
  • Establishing a minimum wage and minimum pension at a level not lower than the relevant standards of the Baltic region countries;
  • Targeted social assistance programs for vulnerable citizens in accordance with the standards of the Baltic region countries;
  • Conclusion of the inter-regional agreements for the co-financing of pension payments by the Russian Federation regions for the work of Ingria citizens on their territory;
  • Reforms in the health insurance system based on the leading models of the Baltic region countries;
  • Transfer of educational, health and social institutions into the balance of local government bodies, reformed based on the European model;
  • Creating a mechanism for the implementation of army conscript rights fir alternative service, the inclusion into the bilateral agreement with the federal government of the provision about the serving by the citizens of the Republic of Ingria in active military service exclusively in the territory of the Republic of Ingria;
  • Implementation of the European practice of getting a maximum effect from one working place, improving the employment structure by redistribution of force working into the growing economic sectors, including high-tech and knowledge-based sphere;
  • Development of the Republican Convention on the Rights of Disabled Persons, implementation of a pack of measures for the creation of full, barrier-free environment of life for Ingrian citizens with limited opportunities;
  • Development of the mechanism of financial assistance for the unemployed, based on the experience of Scandinavian countries, implementation in the Republic of Ingria of unemployment insurance system.

Measures in the field of education and culture:

  • The conversion of universities and research institutions, located in the territory of the Republic of Ingria, into the local subordination system;
  • Providing to universities and research institutes, as well as non-profit cultural institutions within the education system of the Republic of Ingria, of tax and other benefits in accordance with the regional and federal legislation;
  • Reforming of the system of higher education by the leading world standards. Promoting student self-organization. Targeted scholarship policy;
  • Eradicating corruption in the system of secondary and higher education;
  • Sequential curriculum and methodological autonomy of secondary schools that allows a wide variation of teaching forms and content;
  • Inclusion into the school curriculum of Ingria of such subjects, as "History and Culture of Ingria" and "History and culture of Ingria’s neighboring countries". Promoting the development of textbooks and reading books on these subjects;
  • Assisting in the development of a new compulsory textbook on the history of Ingria, conceptually based on the idea of ​​special and Ingrian and Petersburger cultural and historical identity;
  • Maximum integration of the education system of Ingria into cultural and educational programs of the EU countries (first of all, of the Baltic countries and the Nordic countries);
  • Development of direct links with the cultural and educational centers of the EU and the Russian Federation. Mediation in contacts  of cultural and educational centers of the EU and the Russian Federation;
  • Adoption of a regional law on granting to all the objects of Ingrian culture the status of "Ingrian National Heritage".

The development of a comprehensive Political Program of SPM "Free Ingria" still continues and involves the most extensive public debates. Any suggestions, objections, additions and comments of members and supporters of the Movement are not only permitted, yet strongly encouraged.

Socio-political movement "Free Ingria"

is an ideological Movement that aims the acquiring by Ingria (currently St. Petersburg region: St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region) of an optimal model of an independent political, economic and cultural development.

The main policy objectives we consider the achievement by Ingria of a true, and not declarative, political, financial and economic freedom, as well as of cultural and historical identity, and by its citizens - of full civil and political rights and freedoms.

Culturally and historically, we understand Ingria as an ethno-cultural and historical area, which in different periods was an important part of the Novgorod Republic, the Kingdom of Sweden, as well as the Ingermanland Province of the Russian (St. Petersburgian) Empire. The constituent parts of Ingria in the historical paradigm, besides the modern St. Petersburg and Leningrad region themselves, are also all the territories, that culturally and historically gravitating to it.

In the context of public-political history, we believe Ingria the heir of Novgorod Parliament Republic of 1136 – 1478 and the Republic of North Ingria of 1918-1920.

Prior to the adoption of the Law "On Citizenship of Ingria", we consider Ingrian citizens to be constant modern residents of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region, regardless of their ethnic and cultural identity.

The best political system for Ingria we consider a European-style Parliamentary Republic with a classical model of the powers separation and a developed system of local self-government.


- Revenue, obtained by Ingrian economy (Including tax) to remain inside the republic;

- Ingrian laws to be made in the interests of its people by the people, responsible to them;

- The responsibility to be provided by the electiveness of local legislative, executive and judicial powers;

- Communication and partnership with other regions and countries to be established by ourselves, with the possibility to choose with whom and what kind of relationship to build;

- The uniqueness and independence of our culture not to be depersonalized by officious standards and limitations of federal (in fact, imperial) authorities of modern Russian Federation;

The Socio-political Movement "Free Ingria" does not consider itself the opinion giver of all Ingria regionalists. Ingria regionalists represent a horizontal social movement without a strict hierarchy, in which there is room for the givers of an absolutely full range of opinions and positions in cultural, historical, political and socio-economic fields. However, Ingermanland Movement, in our opinion, needs to introduce a number of positions and demands in the official domestic and international political arena. We take responsibility for the political positioning of common ideas among Ingria regionalists about the future of our Homeland in the Russian Federation and abroad.

Due to the circumstances of the well-known character, namely persecution in modern Russian Federation of citizens for their political beliefs, we do not disclose the names of the founders of "Free Ingria" SPM and its members, present and future, without their consent.

The Socio-political movement "Free Ingria" holds propaganda work for the dissemination of their ideas among the inhabitants of Ingria, and fights for the widest possible dissemination of the ideas of freedom and independence of Ingria in Russia and in other countries.

We believe there is no alternative to the path we have chosen and will press for freedom and independence of Ingria by all means, provided by the International laws.

Ingria will be free!