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Chechnya: Ingushetia displaced estimated at 180,000

Briefing notes

Chechnya: Ingushetia displaced estimated at 180,000

15 February 2000

In a continued exodus from Chechnya, more than 450 people have fled rebel-controlled mountainous areas south of the capital Grozny since last Friday, as Russia's military push has shifted from Grozny to the south. Altogether more than 3,000 people arrived in Ingushetia since Friday but the remaining 2,500 were believed to be people who have come back to Ingushetia after a brief scouting visit to other areas in Chechnya. During the same time, some 1,400 people have crossed from Ingushetia back to Chechnya but it is not clear how many have gone to stay. An estimated 180,000 people displaced from Chechnya remain in Ingushetia. Russia, meanwhile, has declared whatever is left of Grozny closed to potential returnees until the end of February, to allow some time to remove unexploded ordnance and clean up.

On Tuesday the 31st UNHCR convoy arrived in Ingushetia's capital Nazran with 17 trucks of mattresses, winter clothing, shoes and cooking oil.