Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 13

The no. 23 (April 19) issue of Dispatches from Chechnya, which is distributed by the human rights organization Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe, described the current situation in the Chechen capital. “According to various data,” the report observed, “there are from 250,000 to 300,000 residents in the city. Almost 80 percent of the able-bodied city residents (up to 90 percent throughout the republic) are unemployed and have no means of subsistence. Various sources report that more or less regular humanitarian help reaches only 30-35 percent of the population of Grozny.” The city itself lies in ruins. “Over the last two years, dozens of homes that were partially destroyed and awaiting renovation have been dismantled and their bricks sold…. There is absolutely no electricity or water. From time to time the gas is turned off…. The position of the Russian government is very strange: On the one hand, its representatives speak of the need to return refugees to Chechnya, but on the other, it has done practically nothing to restore the Chechen living quarters in Grozny…. The city is completely unsanitary…. The situation with medical care for Grozny’s population has not improved. The majority of hospitals and clinics lie in shambles or are undergoing repair…. The ecological situation remains dire.”