The Grozny Airport. Photo: airports-online.ru

14 October 2022, 03:49

Amid mobilization, number of those who leave Chechnya increase significantly

This year, statistics have recorded a sharp increase in the number of those who leave Chechnya, moving both to the CIS countries and abroad. The official figures on the escapees from Chechnya are understated, but amid the military operation in Ukraine, the number of those who have left Chechnya is many times higher, the human rights defenders, Ruslan Kutaev and Svetlana Gannushkina, have suggested. Alexei Raksha, a demographer, agrees that official figures are understated, but the fear of mobilization may not be the only reason for Chechen residents to leave the republic.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that back on May 13, Ramzan Kadyrov called on the country's residents to "self-mobilize" for taking part in the special operation in Ukraine. In June, Imams and local authorities joined in recruiting residents of Chechnya.

According to the data for January-August, a total of 948 people left Chechnya abroad, of the 838 – to the CIS countries, and 110 – to other foreign countries, the website of "Chechenstat" informs. The same period of 2021 showed the figure of 325.

Ruslan Kutaev, the president of the "Assembly of Caucasian Nations", has linked the growing number of natives of Chechnya leaving abroad with their attempts to avoid participation in the military operation. At the same time, in his opinion, the official figures are greatly understated.

Svetlana Gannushkina, the chair of the "Civic Assistance" Committee*, has also linked the increase in the number of people leaving Chechnya with their unwillingness to go to Ukraine. "Residents of the republic don't want to (go to Ukraine) either ... And even in the face of propaganda, people in Chechnya refuse to (participate in the special operation)," she has commented.

It should be noted here that Chechen authorities are regularly reporting about sending volunteers to Ukraine.

However, locals report that mobilization is held under authorities' pressure. On May 13, the "Vayfond" human rights association reported that dozens of Chechen residents had sent messages asking for help in leaving Russia to avoid being sent to Ukraine.

On August 22, Kadyrov called for depriving the families of low-income residents of Chechnya, whose young people refused to enlist in the new Chechen combat units, of their benefits.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 13, 2022 at 11:38 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Roman Kuzhev Source: СK correspondent

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