Is Russia Acting To Halt Migration From Chechnya?

Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 5 Issue: 12

Is the Russian Federation quietly getting other former Soviet republics to agree not to admit migrants from Chechnya? Anna Politkovskaya described in the March 22 issue of Novaya gazeta the case of a Chechen woman who has lived for some years in Ingushetia. When the woman tried to enter Ukraine by rail from Russia, the Ukrainian border guards refused to let her continue her trip as soon as they saw from her passport that her birthplace was Grozny.

According to Politkovskaya’s sources, this sort of thing has become a regular practice: For the last two and a half months Ukraine has been turning Chechens away for no other reason than that they are Chechens. It would appear, concluded the journalist, that Russia has enlisted the help of Ukraine, a country that aspires to full-fledged membership in the European community, in turning the Chechen republic into a kind of “reservation” from which Chechens are forbidden to leave–and that this practice has western Europe’s tacit consent.