Save the City of Grozny

 The Russian army continues its willful, barbaric and merciless destruction of the Chechen capital city of Grozny.  Every day Russian soldiers bomb both residential and administrative buildings, sometimes justifying their actions with various excuses, sometimes not offering any explanation whatsoever.  They destroy the city’s best preserved buildings and buildings with great historic and aesthetic value.  Nearly every night, citizens of Grozny are exposed to shelling and artillery fire.  The Russian army has unquestionably taken control of the city; now they are slowly wiping it off the face of the earth.  Under the protection of Russian soldiers, the production and refining of crude oil has greatly increased in the areas around Grozny.  This has inflicted irreparable harm on residents and the environment, both already devastated by the war.  High level Russian military officials, as well as a number of politicians, have publicly stated that the city of Grozny has no right to exist and must be destroyed.

But one must remember that before the start of the second Chechen War, Grozny was home to almost 400,000 people.  Today 300,000 of them are refugees living in dire poverty on unfamiliar land.  If Grozny is gone, they have nowhere to go.

No one other than the Chechen people themselves has the right to determine the fate of the capital of Chechnya.  We demand that the barbaric destruction of Grozny and the violence against its citizens stop immediately!

Grozny will rise from the ruins!  We will rebuild it with our own hands in a peaceful and free Chechen Republic!

LAM Center, Grozny/Nazran
11 January, 2001