Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 27

Recently the Russian authorities,” a report appearing in the September 18 issue of Novye Izvestia noted, “have been taking unprecedented steps to put pressure on the Chechen refugees living on the territory of Ingushetia…. Up until now, the Chechen refugees have been surviving due to humanitarian aid provided by international organizations, while Russia has de facto, from the first day of the [second] Russo-Chechen war, distanced itself from resolving the problem of forced migrants from the Chechen republic.” Now, the newspaper wrote, the Russian authorities were attempting “to deprive the forced migrants of that meager aid being offered by the international organizations.” On September 15, the report pointed out, 450 tents purchased by the Danish Refugee Council had arrived at one of the tent camps in Ingushetia. Major General Igor Yunash of the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, however, “categorically forbade the unloading of the tents, declaring that the Chechen refugees had to return home before the end of this year and that therefore the tents had to be sent back [to Denmark, presumably]…. Only the active involvement and firm position of representatives of the European Union and Danish Refugee Council kept Yunash from carrying out his plan.”