Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 29

In an interview with Thomas de Waal of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, the president of Ingushetia, retired FSB General Murat Zyazikov, sought to quash rumors that tens of thousands of Chechen IDPs taking shelter in the republic might be driven back against their will to Chechnya. “The principle of return should be exclusively voluntary,” Zyazikov insisted. Zyazikov, however, contended that “the time has come for Chechnya [rather than Ingushetia] to become the enter for humanitarian relief from foreign donors.” Chechen IDPs at a camp located in Karabulak on the Chechen border emphasized to de Waal that it was security concerns that kept them from returning to their home republic. One IDP, named Muslim, who had gone back to Urus-Martan two years ago, recently came back to Ingushetia with his family. During a recent Russian “mop-up” operation conducted in Chechnya, “masked men burst into his house, laid him on the floor, then set about beating him and his relatives and stole all their valuables. He spent five days in detention before he bought himself out” (, October 4).