Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 24

The president of the autonomous republic of Ingushetia, Ruslan Aushev, has faulted the Russian Ministry for Federation and Nationality Affairs “for the fact that tens of thousands of Chechen refugees on Ingush territory have not received hot food for more than two months.” Aushev noted that the distribution of hot food ceased immediately after the ministry was charged with providing the refugees with food by a March Russian government resolution. According to the Ingush president, there are currently over 148,000 officially registered Chechen refugees residing in Ingushetia, with 30,000 of them living in camps. “These people,” he stressed, “live in intolerable conditions: Twenty to twenty-five people are living in tents designed for five or six people. They survive only thanks to aid from international organizations such as the United Nations, Medecins sans Frontieres and others.” The refugees are not hastening to return to Chechnya, Aushev pointed out, because of legitimate personal safety concerns (Respublika Ingushetia web site, BBC Monitoring, June 15).