Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 32

The parents and siblings of a Chechen girl murdered by a Russian tank officer have reluctantly become refugees in Norway. Fearing retaliation from ex-Colonel Yury Budanov’s supporters, the Kungaev family recalled to Lydia Grafova of Novaya gazeta how Budanov said to them after being found guilty (see Chechnya Weekly, July 31): “I will kill you as soon as I get out of prison, even if it’s ten years from now.” The family traveled to Oslo as guests of the Norwegian Helsinki Group.

As the late Elza Kungaeva’s parents, brother and three sisters packed for the airport, Grafova noted that they did not have a single suitcase among them: their largest item of baggage was the collection of letters that they had received from supporters across Russia during their 900-day struggle for justice.