Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 22

On July 12, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees issued a statement in which it questioned the recent closing by Russia of two camps for IDPs located in Znamenskoe in northern Chechnya. “When Severny and Yuzhny… were closed last week,” the UNHCR wrote, “their 2,200 inhabitants were moved to temporary accommodation centers in war-torn Grozny. The displaced people were not informed of an option to remain at the camp sites and did not have full knowledge of where they were being taken…. Chechens displaced in neighboring Ingushetia have told UNHCR that they are afraid to return home because of general insecurity, fighting, and ‘mop-up’ operations by security forces. Security concerns have prevented UNHCR from working in Chechnya and monitoring possible returns.”