Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 26

On September 12, Reuters reported the fate of one Chechen family that had left a refugee camp in Russia’s south to return to their native republic. “Officials ushering them onto trucks promised them rebuilt homes, food and a peaceful life. Instead, with most of the Chechen capital Grozny in ruins, Asya Zhatakhanova and her children have lived in a cramped room in a half-restored hostel since June, sharing a kitchen with ten other families. Basic aid,” the Reuters report continued, “has failed to materialize, and the families housed in the shabby ten-storey block say they live in constant fear of brutal Russian military operations…. ‘They told us: ‘We’ll give you groceries. Those with destroyed homes will get new ones or compensation,’ Zhatakhanova said. ‘They promised, but when we came, suddenly we were no one’s business. We have no water even to wash in, nothing. What will we do in the winter?'”