North Caucasus: politics, society and human rights – Update on 24/02/2024

The files we follow: Russian diplomacy in Africa and Asia; History, culture, society and Russian soft power; North Caucasus: politics, society and human rights.

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On the 23rd of February, rallies were held in Ingushetia and Chechnya in memory of the victims of Stalinist repression. This date, 23 February 1944, remains a deep scar on the history of the North Caucasus. The tragic operation Chevitsa (known as “operation lens”), carried out by the USSR, represented ethnic cleansing of unprecedented violence. In 2004, the European Parliament described this operation as “genocide“. Official archives reveal that 26% of the Chechen and Ingush population was decimated.

Eighty years on, the memory of this period is still subject to debate and rewriting. For the first time in several years, rallies were organised in Nazran (Ingushetia) and Grozny (Chechnya). The conspicuous absence of the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, from this highly symbolic event was particularly striking.

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