–MILITARY REINFORCEMENTS REPORTEDLY SENT TO CHECHNYA
Is the number of new Russian reinforcements in Chechnya even greater than acknowledged by the Kremlin? In addition to new Chechen gunmen for the Kadyrov family’s private army, it would seem that substantial new forces of Russian troops are being deployed into Chechnya from neighboring areas. According to a May 26 report from the Russian Council of Nongovernmental Organizations, local residents in the area of Ordzhonikidzevskaya in Ingushetia said that they saw a column of 20 military trucks, “packed with soldiers,” heading toward Chechnya. The eyewitness said that all the military hardware was absolutely new.
–RUSSIANS ARE MORE PESSIMISTIC ABOUT CHECHNYA
According to a recent survey by the “Public Opinion” foundation, reported in Nezavisimaya Gazeta on May 27, pessimism about Chechnya has been growing among Russians. In May some 24 percent of respondents said that they expected the situation in the rebellious republic to get worse; that compares with 13 percent with that expectation in July of 2003.
–CONFLICT EXACERBATES GLANDULAR CONDITION AMONG CHECHENS
Endocrine gland dysfunction, a disease to which Chechens seem especially prone, has reappeared in the republic as the chaos of war has disrupted normal preventive care. Timur Aliyev reported for Prague Watchdog on May 28 that according to health authorities, 90 percent of endocrinal examinations have found enlarged thyroid glands.
Akhmed Sadayev, deputy health minister of the pro-Moscow administration, said: “Iodine deficiency in food leads to an enlargement of the thyroid gland which causes people to develop goiter problems….Because this illness is inherent among the inhabitants of Chechnya, an endocrinology outpatient clinic was founded at the beginning of the 1960s that examined and treated all the villagers. As a result, this national phenomenon was all but eliminated by the mid-1980s.” Now it is back, on a massive scale.