Hotspot Micro-Report


Following the breakdown of the former Communist block Chechnya declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. In 1994, Russia intervened to preserve its sovereignty over the region. The fighting resulted in about 100,000 killed, many of whom civilians (HRW). The ongoing conflict resulted in killings, disappearances, torture and detainments of a large portion of the male population. Detainments occurred on a regular basis with some being ransomed and a small percentage disappearing or later being found in mass graves. In 2002 and early this year, Moscow began a process of dismantling the Chechen refugee camps in Ingushetia, forcing the refugees to move or return to Chechnya in harsh winter conditions. Recently, more subtle ways have been employed. Since June, there have been cases of looting, arbitrary detentions and ill-treatment during “sweep” operations conducted by the Russian military in the camps in Ingushetia. Although not as severe as the ones seen before in Chechnya, the procedures pose a threat to the relative security outside the Chechen borders.  On the Chechen side, terrorist attacks and hostage taking by Chechens of Russian civilians has increased in late 2002, early 2003. (RFE/RL, Moscow’s willingness to conduct a referendum and provide greater autonomy has not resulted in peace yet, both sides holding the other responsible. The suicide attacks can invoke massive Russian retaliation. In addition, the upcoming elections for a Chechen President, coupled with increased mobility of the troops due to clement weather, may lead to renewed escalation of fighting.

Evidence of Abuse and Danger
  • Rape (Amnesty International; Human Rights Watch)

  • Mass graves, not reported in the last months (Relief Web; HRW)

  • Disappearances and arbitrary arrests of Chechens, not reported on a massive scale in the last months (Newsweek, Russia Journal)

  • Dismantling of camps, not occurring in 2003 ( Relief Web; The Moscow Times)

  • Suicide attacks and kidnappings of civilians by Chechens (Rossiski Informational Centre, Novinite, MSNBC)

Field Contacts Verification
  1. International media
  2. Embassies
  3. International Human Rights NGOs
  4. International Relief NGOs
  5. National Organizations
  6. Local Organizations

International Contacts:

United Nations Office of the Secretary General
United Nations Security Council
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations High Commission for Human Rights
United Nations High Commission for Refugees
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
European Union

United States Contacts:

Department of State:

  •  Human Rights, Democracy and Labor

  • Emergency Task Force


  • House of Representatives: Committee on International Relations

  • Senate:  Committee on Foreign Relations

  • Congressional Caucus on Human Rights

Foreign Ministries:

Embassy of India                                                         
Embassy of the Netherlands
Embassy of Pakistan                                                    
Embassy of Belgium
Embassy of Sri Lanka                                      
Embassy of Finland
Embassy of the United Kingdom                                  
Embassy of Denmark
Embassy of Norway                                                    
Embassy of Canada
Embassy of Sweden                                                    
Embassy of European Union
Embassy of France                                                      
Embassy of Russia
Included are UN ambassadors from these countries


Non-Governmental Organizations / Other:

International Crisis Group
Human Rights Watch
Amnesty International
International Committee of the Red Cross


The Washington Post
Washington Times
LA Times
Chicago Tribune
New York Times
Associated Press
United Press International


Latest News Links

Chechnya In Depth 

Russian soldiers raid houses for alcohol and abduct people
June 04, 2003

Suicide bomber’ hits Caucasus bus
June 05, 2003

Shamil Basaev begins operation “Boomerang”
May 26, 2003

Chechnya ‘backs new constitution
March 24, 2003

Chechen refugee camps raided in Ingushetia
November 27, 2002


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