Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 29

At a meeting of the Chechen Economic and Public Security Council of the pro-Moscow Kadyrov administration, a warning was issued that the republic “is on the verge of an environmental disaster.” According to official reports “3.75 million tons of oil have burnt in flares over the past year and a half. Up to 8,000 tons have been burning in this way daily. The sanitary service says that more than 40 percent of [Chechnya] is in environmental distress.” It was also reported that “tests have shown that ground water contaminated with pesticides, chlorine, hydrochloric acid, phenol and other substances flows into the Terek, Argun and Sunzha rivers. The contaminant content in river water is between 100 and 1,000 times the normal level…. The local population has to use river water for drinking and cooking.” In addition, “About 20,000 cases of infectious disease have been registered in Chechnya in a year…. Tuberculosis has taken on the scale of an epidemic” (Interfax, July 25).