Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 26

As both Russian and local authorities continue to pressure Chechen refugees to return home from Ingushetia, a new survey by the Caucasus Times has found that the great majority of these refugees would prefer to stay where they are.

According to a statement by Islam Tekushev, editor in chief of the Caucasus Times, some “74 percent of those polled declared their intention to stay in a refugee camp in a coming year, while only 20 percent of refugees said they are going to return to Chechnya.” The survey, conducted in early June in one of the largest refugee camps in Ingushetia, found that most refugees have been there since soon after the beginning of the current war, and that they are mostly pessimistic about the current situation in their homeland and about prospects for improvement in the future.

Some 70 percent of those questioned said that they have been refugees for more than three years. Nearly half–48 percent–thought that the overall situation in Chechnya has deteriorated over the last year, while 24 percent believed that it had remained basically unchanged. More than two-thirds predicted that the situation would either remain the same or deteriorate in the near future.

More information is available from Mr. Tekushev at e-mail