Election Approach Intensifies Pressures On Refugees

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 5 Issue: 10

With Russian President Vladimir Putin’s expected reelection triumph just days away–and looking more and more like the October 2003 pseudo-election of Akhmad Kadyrov–the Russian authorities are further intensifying their pressure on Chechen refugees. In a March 6 article for Prague Watchdog, Ruslan Isaev reported that Russian soldiers raided one of the last two remaining refugee camps in Ingushetia, the Satsita camp outside Ordzhonikidzevskaya. Unidentified Chechen gunmen in military uniform also took part in the raid, which resulted in the temporary detainment of five male refugees.

The raid’s Chechen participants clearly must have been part of the Kadyrov administration’s armed forces. Putin and Kadyrov are unmistakably cooperating to make life for the refugees as difficult as possible, hoping to force as many as possible to return to the shattered republic “voluntarily.”