chechnya monitor


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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

Embassy of the Netherlands

Embassy of

Embassy of Belgium

Embassy of Sri Lanka

Embassy of Finland

Embassy of the United

Embassy of Denmark

Embassy of

Embassy of Canada

Embassy of Sweden

Embassy of European Union

Embassy of

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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