WHITHER THE REFUGEES?
Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 35
What will be the fate of IDPs who are successfully induced to return to Chechnya? Writing in the November 16 issue of Novye Izvestia, the well-known journalist Otto Latsis reported that, on the previous day, the pro-Moscow Chechen chief of administration, Akhmad Kadyrov had complained that “at the points of temporary housing [in Chechnya] people are being allotted no more than two square meters per person.” They are also, he said, being forced to sleep on maximally uncomfortable and unsanitary mattresses. In addition, Kadyrov pointed out, there is the continuing danger represented by marauding Russian federal troops: “At night,” Kadyrov noted, “unidentified armed people carry away the inhabitants of [Chechen] population points, and they then disappear without trace. During only the most recent days, according to our information, forty-eight persons have so disappeared.” And Kadyrov went on to add: “No one bears any personal responsibility for the systematic disappearance of people. From my own native village of Tsenteroi they carried off nine persons this week. It is impossible to establish where they are [now].” Commenting on Kadyrov’s words, Latsis observed: “Kadyrov understands that if he ignores in silence the unfolding genocide of the people of Chechnya, then, even under conditions of the most harshly directed ‘democracy’, he will not become [republican] president.”