Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 38

Writing in the October 18 issue of the weekly Argumenty i Fakty, journalist Lyudmila Averina warned that, “On the ecological map of the planet, Chechnya should be indicated with bright red colors warning: ‘Careful! Danger!'” More than 30 percent of the territory of the republic, she noted, represents “a zone of ecological disaster,” while an additional 40 percent is a “zone with a particularly unfavorable ecological situation.” Ground water in the republic is heavily polluted with phenol, ammonia, pesticides and other poisons. “In Grozny and in the villages of Sary-Su and Kargalinskoe, the concentration of pollutants in the water exceeds by tens of times the maximum permitted level.” According to health officials, 80 percent of the populace suffer from tuberculosis, heart and blood diseases, and various cancers. “The percentage of stillborn children is twice the Russian average, while in Grozny it is five times the Russian average.”