LIBERAL REFORM AND POLITICAL LIFE IN THE CHECHEN-INGUSH ASSR, 1989-1990 From the introduction of perestroika until August 1991, the evolution of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR was similar to that of all national autonomies within the Russian Federation.1 In June 1989 the election of Doku Zavgayev as first secretary of the republican party committee (obkom)2 was widely welcomed and celebrated by the population as a victory of the ‘forces of perestroika’ over the ‘retrogrades’. Under Zavgayev (who, in March 1990, also became chairman of the republican Supreme Soviet), a process of liberalization was begun.