Polygamy in Russia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Polygamous marriages are not recognized in the Russian Federation. The Family Code of Russia states that a marriage can only be contracted between a man and a woman, neither of whom is married to someone else.[1] Furthermore, Russia does not recognize polygamous marriages that had been contracted in other countries.[2] Under Russian law, de facto polygamy or multiple cohabitation in and of itself is not a crime.[3]

Due to the imbalance between urban educated women and men in predominantly Mongol-inhabited regions of Russia, men sometimes may have multiple women as wives, one report claims.[4] This sometimes results in households that are openly de facto polygamous.[citation needed]

By subject of Russia[edit]

Republic of Chechnya[edit]

Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Republic of Chechnya, is a polygamist. He has three wives and has spoken out in favor of the practice.[5]

Republic of Ingushetia[edit]

In July 1999, Ruslan Aushev, at the time the president of Ingushetia, signed a decree allowing men in the republic to marry up to four wives, in accordance with the Islamic tradition. Russia's justice minister immediately criticized the regional decree as unconstitutional since it directly contradicted provisions of a federal law (the Family Code).[6][7] Aushev's decree was struck down by the courts a year later, by which time over 15 men in Ingushetia had taken advantage of the right to officially register their marriages to multiple women.[8]


  1. ^ "Family Code of the Russian Federation, Articles 12 & 14" (in Russian). Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  2. ^ "Family Code of the Russian Federation, Article 158" (in Russian). Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  3. ^ Neither bigamy, nor polygamy, nor cohabitation is listed as a crime or offence in the Criminal Code of Russia or the Offences Code of Russia.
  4. ^ Mira Katbamna (26 October 2009). "Half a good man is better than none at all". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Chechen Leader Ramzan Kadyrov Has a Second Wife — And Her Properties Are Worth Millions". Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project. April 7, 2021. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  6. ^ "Russia says no to polygamy". BBC. 21 July 1999. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  7. ^ Многоженство в Ингушетии: президент разрешил, Минюст России против [Polygamy in Ingushetia: permitted by the president, opposed by the Ministry of Justice of Russia] (in Russian). gazeta.ru. 22 July 1999. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  8. ^ В Ингушетии отменили многоженство [Polygamy cancelled in Ingushetia] (in Russian). Lenta.Ru. 14 July 2000. Retrieved 6 August 2012.