Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 35

According to various human rights NGOs and the Chechen Committee for National Salvation, “a serious situation has developed in Chechen refugee camps [located in Ingushetia], where tens of thousands of refugees will have to spend their third winter in torn, worn-out tents.” The escalation of the fighting in Chechnya and the harsh Russian mopping-up operations make any prospect of the refugees’ return to their home republic impossible. Many of the tents in the camps have no wooden floors and lack beds, heating appliances, warm blankets, bedding and other essentials. At least 2,000 new tents are needed, without which the refugees may face serious epidemics (Glasnost Media, September 26). Interviewed by NTV, the president of Ingushetia, Ruslan Aushev, warned: “Ingushetia is preparing for the worst possible scenario, which is an increase in the number of [Chechen] refugees. The present ones will not return and more groups will join them” (NTV International, September 25).