Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 16

On April 12, Khamzat Idrisov, deputy chairman of the pro-Moscow Chechen government, announced that the republic will be able to take back 1,500 Chechen refugees currently finding shelter in Ingushetia by the end of this month. In Argun, construction and repair work on the buildings of two former kindergartens and a technical school are moving “full speed ahead.” These renovated facilities will be used to house refugees currently living in tent camps or in railroad cars in Ingushetia. On April 13, Idrisov planned to visit Ingushetia to discuss the move to Argun with Chechen forced migrants located there (RIA Novosti, April 13).

The newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported on April 10 that, in June of this year, the Russian government plans to announce its preparedness to receive back entire families as well as individual representatives of the estimated 7,000 Chechen forced migrants currently living in the Pankisi Gorge region of northern Georgia. If the refugees decline to move to Russia, they will be free to continue residing in Georgia “but they will not be able to count on receiving Georgian citizenship.” In addition, the newspaper pointed out, the poor socio-economic situation presently obtaining in Georgia will inevitably impact the lives of the refugees.