Harassment and intimidation of Chechen refugees in Ingushetia continued last week. The Prima human-rights news agency reported on July 28 that 50 “officers of security structures” had raided the Kristall refugee camp in Nazran on the previous day and detained five male refugees. This time the operation ended without tragic consequences: All five were taken to Nazran’s municipal internal-affairs headquarters and released within hours.
According to Prima, the officers who took part in this “zachistka” security sweep wore masks. This, of course, is a tactic that most readers living outside the former Soviet Union have never experienced and never expect to experience. But by now it is one that the Ingush and Chechens have come to take for granted.