Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 34

The renewed heavy fighting in Chechnya has sparked a broad-scale exodus of Chechen refugees–the largest “since February of 2000”–from the Chechen capital and other cities to northern districts of the republic, and to the already filled-to-overflowing refugee camps in neighboring Ingushetia (, September 20). The pro-Moscow mayor of Djohar, Oleg Zhidkov, an ethnic Russian, “denied reports about a mass exodus of inhabitants from the capital of Chechnya” (Ekho Moskvy Radio, September 20). The deputy chief of administration of the town of Nazran in Ingushetia, Boris Ozdoev, however, reported that, “The flow of refugees from Chechnya and, in particular, from Grozny and Gudermes has indeed increased.” The new refugees, he said, “fear the increasing gunfire and mopping-up operations. Persons who have restored their homes are now abandoning them” (Kommersant, September 20).