Although the origins of the obligatory residence permit or propiska system predate the Russian Revolution, it was officially instituted during the Soviet period in 1932 when internal passports became mandatory for all citizens aged sixteen and older. The internal passport contains, among other data, one's ethnicity. The propiska which appears as a stamp in the internal passport was developed originally to stem the flow of rural dwellers into urban centers and to track the whereabouts of residents, ostensibly for law-enforcement purposes. It restricted every resident to one legal place of residence, and its presentation was required to accept work, enter a school or institute of higher learning, get married, and perform other civic formalities. Difficulties in obtaining this vital document traditionally have made bribery and fake marriages commonplace.
In a landmark decision in 1991, the USSR Constitutional Supervision Committee ruled that the propiska laws violated freedom of movement protections and that the current restrictions would be invalid as of January 1, 1992. Unfortunately, this important advance was never put into effect in major urban centers or in other areas experiencing significant in-migration; almost immediately after the 1991 decision was handed down, regional authorities in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar and Stavropol regions and elsewhere adopted legislation reinstating the regime at the local level, resulting in countless detentions, fines, and even physical expulsions from the region for those who do not have a propiska. Beginning in 1996 the Russian federal and Stavropol governments softened registration rules to allow for greater freedom of movement. These changes were, in part, required by a second landmark Constitutional Court ruling in 1996. With the more thorough February 1998 Constitutional Court ruling, provincial governments will be obligated to liberalize their registration regimes radically.
The propiska system clearly violates a host of domestic and international laws. It contravenes the right to freedom of movement, guaranteed in the Russian constitution, the 1993 Russian Federation Law on the Right of Citizens of the Russian Federation to Freedom of Movement and Choice of Place of Arrival and Residence Within the Boundaries of the Russian Federation,72 and the country's commitments under international law, such as Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.73 Moreover, without a propiska one cannot work legally, thereby severely compromising an individual's right to work, as guaranteed by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Article 6). Similarly, without a valid propiska it is impossible to receive free medical care from a state hospital, or send children to school. Such restrictions clearly violate protections guaranteed to children in the U.N. Convention of the Rights of the Child to access to health care (Article 24) and education (Article 28). The Presidential Committee on Human Rights concluded the following in its review of the protection of the right to freedom of movement in the Russian Federation in 1993: The executive powers entirely ignore both the law and the corresponding article of the Constitution, sometimes citing the lack of corresponding rules for implementation (sublegal acts), and sometime not citing anything.74 On April 4, 1996, the Constitutional Court of Russia ruled as unconstitutional all legal acts that force a citizen to pay a registration fee to live in his apartment, i.e. to be forced to purchase a propiska.75 This ruling affected legislation in four administrative regions of the Russia, including Stavropol and Moscow. A year later, the same court ruled that a fee the Moscow regional government was charging newcomers for the use of city services, about U.S.$7,000, was unconstitutional.76 The city had instituted it to replace the mandatory purchase of a propiska. In a comic twist, Boris Nemtsov, the popular governor of Nizhni Novgorod, claimed that even he could not get a Moscow propiska after he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in 1997.77
Despite these legal arguments, the propiska system continues in practice for a number of reasons. Above all, certain areas want to shield themselves from the wave of refugees and internally displaced persons fleeing the numerous ethnic conflicts on the territory of the former Soviet Union. Even if locally legislated residence requirements are prima facie non discriminatory, they are often invoked in an arbitrary and often discriminatory way to the detriment of undesirable people, such as some racial or ethnic minorities, and in favor of people of political rank or other privilege. Finally, the system serves as a mechanism for eliciting government revenue and bribes forlaw enforcement officers and local officials. Thus, there is not only no incentive to remove the regulations, there is indeed an active incentive to continue to invoke them.78
New rules governing residence registration for permanent residence and temporary visits were meant to replace the propiska system in Russia. Instead, federal and local authorities sought merely to preserve them under another name; in some cases, they further restrict residence. Federal Government Resolution No. 713 of July 17, 1995 put control of movement outside of the place of permanent residence at the discretion of government and imposed particular hardship on asylum seekers. Amendments made to Resolution no. 713, in 1996 and a February 1998 Constitutional Court ruling79 removed those rules that had placed the strongest limitations of freedom of movement. The 1998 ruling, for example, struck down Articles 10, 12 and 21 which, respectively, limited to six months the amount of time one could visit a place that was not one's residence; set out conditions under which local authorities could decline a request for a visitors permit or a permanent residence permit. Previously, the rules had attempted to allow individuals to spend more than six months in a place that was not their place of permanent residence only in cases of serious illness of the temporarily registered citizens or their relatives, or in other circumstances preventing the citizen from leaving the place of his temporary residence. Even vacations and business trips had been subject to government registration. Moreover, the rules had left determination of these other circumstances to local, as well as federal, authorities, making these decisions even more vulnerable to corruption, whim, and discrimination.
The 1998 Constitutional Court ruling is clearly a positive move toward greater freedom of movement in Russia, but two things remain uncertain. The obstacles that asylum seekers face in obtaining visitors permits80 are beyond the jurisdiction of the February 2 decision; rather these obstacles pertain to problems in Russian refugee law. The new Russian law on refugees81 provides for registration of refugees, but in the present as in the past, the terms, procedures and documentation required for registration are not clear. Under the new refugee law, local migration service certification cards are to serve as the basis for registration with...the [local] internal affairs department. (Article 4.7). Four problems continue to plague the registration of asylum seekers. First, it is unclear whether this article applies retroactively to asylum seekers who registered asylum claims with the Federal Migration Service (FMS) prior to the laws adoption. Second, the law is silent on whether such registration with the police would serve as adequate documentation for police in regions other than where the asylum seeker registered. Third, the law does not stipulate that the certification cards are the only document required for registration with the police.82 Finally, certification cards are now valid for the period of status determination, which is supposed to take three months, withone three-month extension. But the law remains silent on the status of certification cards and the registration process should the procedure drag out longer than the prescribed time, leaving their validity uncertain after this period and causing problems for many, as cases are rarely if ever determined within six months.
In addition, whether local authorities will dutifully implement or respect the law remains unclear. One month after the ruling, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, for example, announced on local television that he had instructed Moscows police departments to continue to enforce the old, unconstitutional registration regulations. The Russian government did not respond to this blatant defiance of federal law.83 Moscows rules for residence and visitors permits are the most stringent in Russia, and Moscow police enforce them in a way that is so predatory and discriminatory (targeting people with dark skin) that the rules appear as mere pretexts for abuse, including extortion, beatings, invasion of privacy, and destruction of identity documents.84
In Krasnodar and Stavropol Provinces
The propiska system is also strictly enforced in Krasnodar and Stavropol. As in Moscow, these laws have also resulted in ludicrous and highly punitive administrative demands on newcomers to the region, many of whom are potential asylum seekers. The laws, which use the phrase permission for residence status rather than propiska, prevent anyone but legally registered refugees, internally displaced persons, or Russian citizens from even applying for a residence permit. In practice, even they are prevented from applying. The absence of a propiska makes the person vulnerable to detention and police harassment during identity checks, to the seizure of his or her passport, and to the payment of arbitrarily imposed fines and bribes.
As of this writing the Krasnodar provincial government has adopted no measures to bring local registration legislation into compliance with the February 1998 Constitutional Court ruling; indeed since the Human Rights Watch mission to the region in 1996 local rules have become more stringent. A decree issued by the head of the administration of Krasnodar province in April 1994 (No. 222) allowed individuals who had received IDP or refugee status from the district migration service to receive a propiska. There was one condition, however: to receive such status under Decree No. 222, one had to have a close relative (spouse, parent, child, brother, or sister) who had been registered as living in Krasnodar for at least five years. This requirement was later raised to ten years by a June 1995 law, No. 9-K385 and was confirmed in a June 16, 1997 resolution.86 Also in 1997, the Krasnodar legislature adopted even stricter rules for eight cities in the province, some of which are home to Meskhetian Turks and some of which are resort towns.87 Under these rules, C.I.S. spouses of Russian citizens may obtain permanent residence permits only five years after the marriage has taken place. Spouses from Belarus are exempt from this rule altogether, presumably in accordance with the 1997 Russia-Belarus Union Charter.
Government Resolution No. 1019 of September 8, 1994, On Additional Measures to Regulate Migration to Krasnodar Territory, also flouts fundamental rights to freedom of movement and rights to seek asylum by requiring that foreign citizens and stateless persons who are present illegally in the Krasnodar Territory are to be deported from the Russian Federation. The resolution made no exception for asylum seekers.
Similar restrictions were introduced in Stavropol province through the passage of two laws on October 18, 1994, designed to limit uncontrolled migration in the region.88 Among other things, the laws mandated heavy punishments, particularly fines, for failure to register with authorities. Article 2 of the Law on Administrative Responsibility for Violating Rules on Visiting and Obtaining Permanent Residence in the Stavropol Province, for example, stipulated payment of ten times the average minimum salary, or about U.S.$110, or ten days of imprisonment; such a violation committed by an official is punishable by a fine of about $250 (Article 3), and housing illegal aliens by an official by a fine of about $550 (Article 5).
The Stavropol Province Duma amended the rules in 1996, and annulled them altogether on July 16, 1997. The July 1997 Duma resolution89 apparently made the Russian government Decree 713 the only registration rules valid in Stavropol province. The cancellation of draconian fines for registration violations is a positive move, but fines are still imposed, visitors are still limited to a six-month stay, and obtaining permanent residence continues to be subject to the approval of district propiska commissions. According to one local activist, although [ethnic] tensions have subsided a lot lately, local authorities still refuse peoples registration requests.90
Freedom of Movement
Residence permits first and foremost interfere with freedom of movement. This affects many former Soviet citizens who fled to Krasnodar and Stavropol before the break-up of the Soviet Union and were unable to legalize their residency. Many now find themselves stateless without a permanent residency permit.91 IDPs from the conflict in Chechnya also have problems in obtaining registration required by law or, if local migration services refuse to grant them IDP status, in paying the often high fees that have been demanded for it. The propiska system also hurts those who need to move to the region for business reasons as well as legal residents who want to reunite their families.
While de jure all must obtain a residency permit, or temporary registration, to reside in Krasnodar and Stavropol provinces, ethnic Slavs in general seem to have an easier time in obtaining one. In data available for Krasnodar province, 30.6 percent of those who fled armed conflict zones or inter-ethnic conflict lack a propiska; only 13.1 percent of Russian-speaking refugees and IDPs, however, are without one.92 Fully half of all Armenian refugees and IDPs do not have a residency permit, a figure that jumps to 94.8 percent for refugee and internally displaced Meskhetian Turks.93
Arbitrary application of the law leaves a wide field open for corruption and abuse. Onik Enrikyan, a businessman who serves as deputy chairman of Krasnodars Armenian community, pointed out, The authorities are trying, with the help of the residency permit, to regulate the influx of migrants from the Caucasian republics, although there are migrants from Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova. People get along thanks to contacts, money, one can always find a loop-hole in the law.94 The head of the Stavropol Province State Duma Committee for Legislation and Human Rights defended the need for a residency permit but admitted the possibility of corruption:
The people who were in power, who were processing the refugees, they were capable of anything, in principle. It was necessary for the refugees to flee from wars at any cost, and they realized that they could make some money out of this. And for bribes they were registered, all kinds of rules were broken, when the town is creaking under the weight of new arrivals and nevertheless they are given residency permits and all the rest. 95
J., who was working as a taxi driver, received an education in law at Rostov University. In 1983 he migrated from the Martuni region of Nagorno-Karabakh and obtained a permanent residency permit in Pyatigorsk, a resort town in Stavropol province. Even under existing laws in Stavropol demanding ten years residency before one can bring in an immediate relative, J. qualified. It took him, however, close to six years to obtain a residency permit for his mother. According to J.,
My mother came in 1989. We tried every year [to get a residency permit], went to city court. Went every year, several times a year sometimes. You apply, they dont give you your documents back. In 1995 we finally got a residency permit for her. 96
Another individual, a Muslim Kurd, was forced out of Armenia in 1989 in a wave of anti-Azeri violence and came to Krasnodar.97 Since that time he has been living there without a residency permit. At the time of his expulsion from Armenia, both republics were part of the Soviet Union, and the man was a Soviet citizen. According to him, Armenian refugees forced out of Azerbaijan in anti-Armenian violence kicked him out of his home. He supports his family from a large garden and two cows. He can not register the purchase of this house with the authorities because he has no residency permit. According to J.,
They check our documents by coming to the house. They ask where we come from and tell us to go back there. When we came they checked three or four times a month, but there have been no checks this year. The militia and the Cossacks would each check separately. They would take away our passports and bring them to the passport office, where we were fined. The last time we were fined was last year. It was around 15-20,000 rubles [U.S. $5 at the time].98
In another case, an Armenian cultural society in Krasnodar hired a teacher who lived in nearby Rostov to conduct Armenian language classes. However, he could not get a residency permit for the province and consequently could not take the job.99
J., who is registered to live in Pyatigorsk, told Human Rights Watch that a local court had ordered his wife, who is from Nagorno-Karabakh, to return to that conflict zone to obtain a vypiska official revocation of ones residency permit before they would allow her to register to live legally with her husband in Stavropol. Since it is so unsafe, he planned to go in her stead, and in the meantime, he reported, she does not dare leave the house for fear of being caught in a routine dragnet set to catch violators of the propiska regime.100 Police came to their house on the very day that her temporary permit expired and fined her 600,000 rubles (about U..S.$120 at the time).
A Baku Armenian who fled anti-Armenian violence in 1988 cannot get a permanent residency permit for the city of Stavropol. He told Human Rights Watch:
I came here in 1988. I dont have a permanent residency permit, but a temporary one. I am not a citizen of Russia....When we came here, its true, we got housing and for a time work, and I worked. But now I have temporary work and a temporary residency permit. Tomorrow they cannot [renew] your residency permit, they can kick you out, they can close down the place you work.101
A Chechen, a long-time resident of Volgograd province, told of having to pay high fees to obtain visitors permits for relatives who are Russian citizens displaced by fighting in Chechnya. According to him,
We have four IDPs [staying with us]. They werent given residency permits and they left. They were with me about one and a half months. This was before the New Year, about six months ago...They said that well, you know, it's not allowed, not done....They said that they did not have the right [to register permanently]. They said this in the passport office....When we got temporary residence permits, we had to pay 400,000 (U.S.$69.72) rubles for each person....102
Another long-term Chechen resident of Volgograd also complained of impediments caused by mandatory registration of IDPs for visitor's permits. He told us that, the passport regime really tormented us the year we had refugees living with us. Every forty-five days we have to go with these refugees....Every time we had to pay for registration....If people didnt register in three days they had to pay an initial fine of 200,000 rubles, [and if it happened again] another fine of 500,000 and up to a million. They came around New Year 1995 and left one year later.103
The residency permit system and its enforcement provides a rich opportunity for police corruption and bribery. All citizens of Russia face this problem, but ethnic Caucasians and Central Asians are doubly cursed because they face more frequent identity checks and closer police scrutiny. An ethnic Armenian living in the Stavropol area told us that, There have been cases where the police simply let us go and said, Okay, guys, go and register. Not all the police are out to [extort] you, but there is a certain category [of police] who are inclined if you are the slightest shade dark-skinned to start along that path.104 Where an ethnic Slav may be waved through at a checkpoint after a cursory examination of documents, a non-Slav will be the focus of greater attention. While this does not occur in every case, especially with those who have long-standing residency permits, it does happen quite often to others.
An Armenian musician, a citizen of Armenia with permanent residency in Yerevan, reported problems because of his lack of registration, especially bribe-taking. He told Human Rights Watch that,
Im already here two years and for these two years there have been many incidents with the police specifically because of a lack of registration. On August 5, 1996, I was stopped by the police, along with two of my friends, while standing by the railroad station at two in the afternoon. We were asked for documents, but when we demanded to see identification [of the police] we were taken to the police station.... After about thirty minutes a junior police sergeant came and said while the shift still hadnt changed, why dont we decide things. Of course we didnt want to stay there. They said that the fine was 760,000 rubles (U.S.$143.48), but if each gave 500,000 we could go. I refused and told him that I dont have that kind of money. It turned out that we each gave 200,000, without a receipt, of course, and left.105
In another incident, an ethnic Chechen was stopped at a checkpoint outside of Stavropol and forced to pay a substantial bribe even though his papers were in order:
This incident occurred in September-October 1995. My friend and I were stopped at a checkpoint. They checked our passport, propiska, all worked out. Then the Russian cop shouted at me, Every type comes here, they give money, and they get a residency permit. The cop kept harassing us with questions like, Chechen, what are you doing here? I gave him the money and left. But they dont just [stop] the Chechens at these posts. Some friends told me that they bother everybody, especially if they see money.106
Numerous Chechens driving through Dagestan were repeatedly extorted for bribes Dagestani special riot police, who are fellow ethnic Caucasians, after Chechen fighters under the command of Salman Raduyev seized hostages in the Dagestani border town of Pervomaiskoye in January 1996. During that time, tension escalated between Avars and Chechens living on the Dagestani-Chechen border.107 One man told us:
As soon as I entered the territory of Dagestan until the Chechen border, this is about 200 kilometers, I was stopped twenty to thirty times. [Another time], I can tell you the exact date, February 14-15, 1996, it cost me 500,000 rubles to go from Khasavyurt to the Chechen border, a journey of about fifteen to sixteen kilometers. The Dagestan OMON [Special Task Militia Unit, or riot police] was there and wouldnt let people into Chechnya [who didnt pay]. And each one had his price: thirty, fifty, or eighty thousand rubles....And these are our fellow Caucasians, of the same faith.108
A Chechen woman complained:
On the road we were stopped at every post...on the territory of Dagestan, they extorted money. We had to pay a whole lot of money when we drove from Chechnya back to Volgograd. We would always ask the question, What are we paying for? There was absolutely no explanation, and we were simply told that if we wanted to continue, then we would have to pay, and if not, we would wait.109
Another man complained that Chechens were stopped at checkpoints and usually had to pay bribes, even if their papers were in order. Driving in his KAMAZ truck, he once had to pay a bribe of 500,000 rubles to a Dagestani police sergeant.
With Arbitrary Detention
In many cases non-Slavs, especially Chechens during the conflict, were arbitrarily detained despite the fact that their papers were in order. Often verbal abuse, ethnic slurs, extortion, and violence accompany these detentions. One man told us that,
They checked my documents, demanded my passport, looked at it, saw that I was a Chechen. After that it was hands on the hood of the car, spread your legs, and something not very pleasant, they search you everywhere. And in the end, nevertheless they let me go....Another time, the same. They checked me everything was in order. They saw that I was a Chechen and said, You, to the side. And I looked at the group that was to the side, who was standing there, they werent just putting Chechens there, perhaps some suspicious characters, and there were also Russians there, but not all the Russians who passed through the checkpoint. Its not very nice, its degrading and unpleasant....From these small incidents you get the feeling that you are not at home, youre in the wrong place.110
Another Chechen tells an almost identical story. In mid-summer 1996, he was traveling from Stavropol to Makhachkala on a business trip and was stopped at a checkpoint near Budennovsk. He described what happened to him,
Okay, they stopped me. I showed my documents. My passport. I told them where I was going and why....The officer calls on his radio to headquarters in front of me and says, Ivan Petrovich, I dont know what to do with him. Everything is in order, they live in Stavropol, they are on a business trip, but they are Chechens....I ended up having to go to the headquarters, where they held me for about two hours and then let me go....The simple fact that Im a Chechen is sufficient in order to call meto headquarters to determine who I am. The officers at the post [where I was stopped] said that there was an order to stop all Chechens for security reasons.111
In another incident, police officers argued among themselves whether or not to detain M., a Chechen man who has been living in the Volgograd region since 1986. According to M.:
We were stopped by the militia at the beginning of the war in Volzhskii to deliver meat....There was no great beating, but they insulted us verbally. You, so and so, they are sending us coffins [from Chechnya] and you....At first there were three of them....They found out by our passports [that we were Chechen], they had asked for our documents. At first they could determine that we were blacks from our outside appearance. They called an additional group of five or six police, and they took us away. Among them, however, there were some police who said that, well, you should let these guys go, why are you bothering them, dragging them around. But another one said, Let them sit for a month [in jail], and things will be clear....We were not beaten.112
The men were held for three or four hours and then released.
Violence against Chechens outside of Chechnya
As a Result of the Chechen Conflict
The war in Chechnya between Russian forces and pro-Dudayev Chechens quickly manifested itself in the lives of ordinary people hundreds of miles from the battlefield. There appears to be an overall pattern of escalating tensions between Chechens and ethnic Slavs as a result of the war. Sometimes the instigators of such tension are groups of villagers who gather together, a so-called skhod, demanding action against non-Slavs or refugees. Cossacks often are at the forefront of the skhod.113 A study done for the Krasnodar Department of Internal Affairs concluded that:
Characteristic of southern Russia is conducting a skhod of citizens, which often puts forth the demand to evict refugees, because they, according to many, shirk from getting a job, lead a criminal life, and have conflicts with the local population. In a number of cases, such an attitude was supported by local law enforcement officials and the media. Besides this, the initiator of such a skhod is the Cossacks.114
Such incidents can generate action that range from ethnic slurs to threats and forced evictions. In one village in Stavropol province where a handful of Chechen families lived, the death of a local Russian boy fighting in Chechnya caused a minor fracas. According to a Chechen who witnessed the incident, the uncle of the dead boy shouted, You are killing our guys and we will kill you.115 Luckily, a Russian woman nearby shouted for the manto quiet down and defended the local Chechen residents. After the hostage-taking at Pervomaiskoye, a forty-year-old Chechen women living in Chernolesk, Stavropol province, told Human Rights Watch that a chemistry teacher singled her son out for derision by calling him Dudayev. A second Chechen woman in the same town described tense relations with neighbors she had known since the Soviet era, while another described how her daughter-in-law faced verbal harassment based on her ethnicity during a hospital stay. One Chechen living in Stavropol told us that, According to how the situation changes in Chechnya, the pressure from the authorities automatically [changes] towards ethnic Chechens. They stop you everywhere, they check documents, they violate personal and civil rights, and degrade human dignity.116 Another man complained that, There are constant cursings, insults, youre a fighter, why arent you fighting, go to Chechnya. Even to those who have lived here all their lives they say you should go to Chechnya and live there.117 A Chechen woman in the village of Pallasovka, in Volgograd province, told Human Rights Watch,
[I have lived here] for twenty years. During the course of the war, relations were pretty bad toward the Chechens. When you went out on the street, you heard insults directed at you, people would clearly say that all of us should be deported, that we are all bandits. But there were others who acted normally, humanely....Once I went to the hospital with my child, I heard people talking, that there [in Chechnya] they are killing [our] children, that, well, Chechens are getting rich, that they are killing [our] children for money, that they all should be deported from Volgograd oblast.118
After the Budennovsk Hostage-Taking Incident
In June 1995, a team of Chechen fighters led by Shamil Basayev raided Budennovsk, a district capital in Stavropol province, about 300 kilometers from Stavropol. Basayevs men took 1,200 civilians as hostages and brought them to the city hospital, where they used them as human shields with complete disregard for their life. Russian forces launched two unsuccessful raids to save them. About 130 people, mostly local police, were killed, and 260 were wounded.119
After the Chechen hostage-taking at Budennovsk, tensions escalated into violence. According to Ivan Moskolenko, deputy head of the administration for Budennovsk,
People here are not the same. They are more aggressive and more afraid. They are afraid of non-Russians who came to town. They start to call the police [more frequently].120
In the wake of the raid, many Chechens were arbitrarily detained on the streets in the belief that they were somehow involved in the raid. A survey of 200 residents of Stavropol conducted by the local daily Vechernyi Stavropol (Evening Stavropol) shortly after the incident indicated that 42 percent of residents wanted all Caucasians deported.121 Police and Cossack units conducted passport and residency permit checks after the then-head ofadministration of Stavropol province, E. Kuznetsov, issued a decree that stated all citizens, illegally residing on the territory of the province, leave its territory within three days....122 Reportedly 673 Chechens were detained after the raid on Budennovsk.123
Terskoye, a small farming community near Budennovsk, suffered forced expulsions.124 A group of Chechens, estimated at thirty to forty households, lived there and engaged in herding. After the events at Budennovsk, the local administration and Cossack activists forced them out. A couple of families have since gone back. A local Russian official admits that Chechens left Terskoye, but says it was of their own accord: Terskoye, two, three months later the Chechens left. But we have proof that they left on their own.
But testimonies collected from inhabitants of the village contradict the officials statement. One resident told Human Rights Watch that,
The night [after the hostage-taking] the police and the OMON special riot troops came to us and checked our documents. They were about ten, armed with automatic rifles and under the command of a colonel. They said if Chechen fighters appeared they would shoot the children and burn our homes....After Basayev left [Budennovsk], on the second day, the director of the state farm, the head of the Cossacks, and the chairman of the state farm council gathered us [Chechens] together. At the gathering they said that Basayev had come, had killed people, and told us to leave. They gave us a document of eviction they had prepared themselves....[First] they gave us two days, but then we asked and they gave us [more time]....We gathered some clothes, but we didnt succeed in taking everything, we sold our cattle and poultry at half-price, and they destroyed the homes before our eyes.125
The woman was given a document legalizing the expulsion. It reads as follows:
From the village administration of Terskoye, Budennovsk district of Stavropol province, Russian Federation. A decision of the gathering of the citizens (skhod grazhdan) of Terskoye about the events in the town of Budennovsk of 14 June 1995 and their consequences. The gathering of citizens of Terskoye has decided that in order to ensure the safety of ethnic Chechens from pogroms and other incidents to evict all ethnic Chechens and all those without a proper residency permit [living] on the territory of the Terskoye village administration in the course of twelve days from June 29, 1995 to July 4, 1995. [Signed by] G.A. Petkov, acting for the Terskoye Village Administration, and C.C. Urutdinov, Specialist of the Village Administration. [Stamped by the Village of Terskoye, Budennovsk region].
An elderly woman, who had lived in Terskoye for many years, was forced out along with the other ethnic Chechen inhabitants. She fled to Achkoi-Martan, in Chechnya, a scene of fighting in 1995-96. In August 1996 she fled Chechnya, back to Terskoye. Her internal passport showed a residency permit for the village valid from 1985 onward. She witnessed ethnic Russians especially Cossacks beating local Chechens:
Basayev came into Budennovsk. And then the Cossacks came [to us]. They kicked us out on Thursday....They were beating our guys, who had their hands tied....They were local guys, Cossacks, handing out the beatings....One guy, Ruslan Almurzayev, I saw how they bound him to a post and beat him.... Four guys in all were beaten.126
The woman said she lost most of her belongings in the process of the eviction:
Nothing was left us....Not even a stone remained. They tore down the farms...Russians live there. They need windows, doors, bricks.127
A Chechen man living in Stavropol reports that he was detained shortly after the Budennovsk raid without charges:
I was simply stopped for a document check, on Lenin Street in broad daylight. They asked if Im a Chechen, and I replied, yes, Im a Chechen. This was happening a day or two after Budennovsk. Do you have a residency permit, they asked, and again I replied yes. Then they hit me with a rifle butt from behind and put me down on the ground. I was handcuffed from behind and taken to the Lenin police station and beaten for ten or fifteen minutes, in the head, in the back....They looked at my passport and said, Oh, another fighter. On the second day of my detention, a judge came from the procuracy. I was given ten days administrative detention. There was no testimony or evidence. It was simply written, Ivanov, Petrov, witnesses. They tried to say that I was drunk, but I dont drink.128
Chernoleskoye is a farming community with three state farms of some 50,000 hectares and a population of roughly 7,000, about 80 percent of which is Russian, the rest ethnic Caucasians, mostly Dagestanis. Magomed Turshiyev, an ethnic Chechen, owned a store in the village. On July 6, 1995, a couple of weeks after the Budennovsk raid, the window of the mans store was shattered and a grenade was thrown at his home. According to his account:
It was around 11:30 p.m. The phone rang and somebody said, Your store is being destroyed. There is a huge window there. All of one wall is a window....But the deed was already done [when we got there]. There was nothing we could do. All the windows had been shattered [by a shot].129
He returned to his home to telephone the police, when a man, a displaced Chechen, came to him to report that shots had been fired at them. As they set out by car to investigate this incident, a deep rumble was heard:
We were driving here [to my home]. The gate to the courtyard was open and my son, Rasul, was waving with his arm, Quick, get inside, faster.... Somebody had thrown a hand grenade at our house, which exploded sending shrapnel everywhere. It happened between 11:30 p.m. and midnight. Then the security forces came, and they spent quite some time looking around....But no one was arrested for this and I dont think they will be....Regarding the explosion with the grenade, the investigator from the procuracy told me that the case was not closed, but had been temporarily put on hold.
Mr. Tushiyev believes that the incident is the result of an argument he had with a local Russian man over the fighting in Chechnya. The Russian, according to Tushiyev, shot at him earlier in revenge for the Basayev raid.
In another incident, a Chechen woman who had lived in a village in Stavropol province for sixteen years was fired from her job after the Budennovsk events and was evicted from her home temporarily after the local policeman told her he could not protect her, and the village administration annulled her propiska. Later, the woman and her family were given back their residency permits and passports. When she asked why she had been forced out, a local police official merely answered, They told us that you should leave for good, and we took away the residency permit....and when I asked him who ordered it, he only said that the command came from the provincial headquarters. She reported that,
After Budennovsk they came to us every day: in the morning, in the evening...The police came with our uchastkovyi [local village policeman]. The most important thing is that they know that we dont live there [in Chechnya], why we dont work there. They told us when they came, no foreigners....We were also kicked out of work on a collective farm. The director called us and said, Come on, lets write up your resignation. The director said that if they were kicking us out of here we should resign. And after we were given residency permits again we made a request to get our jobs back. But the director said, there isnt work anymore. The spot is filled.130
Shortly after the collective farm director forced her to resign, the woman reports that she was forced to leave her home:
Almost everyday morning and night, the Ataman-Cossack here, Leshka Frolov, together with the village policeman, came. They scared the children. They said, It is better for you not to be here. They will come and kill you. They took our passports, they took away our residency permits and told us to clear out in three days. The local police official told us, We cant answer for your safety, they will come and kill you.
While Russian officials with whom we spoke admitted that there had been some problems, they argued that they had done their best to prevent an even greater explosion. The head of the Federal Migration Service in Stavropol, told us that,
After Budennovsk, villagers gathered, talked, but nothing happened. Tensions were high, but nothing happened. We realize that 1,000,000 Russians live in the North Caucasus. If we did something against minorities, these people would feel it on their backs.131
Another Russian official in Stavropol, Sergei Ivanovich Popov, head of the Department of Inter-ethnic Relations of Stavropol Province Administration told us that,
Seventeen percent of the population in Stavropol is not Russian. Dagestan, Kalmykia, the [Doku] Zavgayev132 administration in Chechnya and Ingushetiya all have representatives here in Stavropol. We try to work things out with our minorities there and vice-versa. There were four terror [sic] acts in 1994 in Stavropol. Cossacks tried to raise a stink. We worked to quiet them down, the PyatigorskDetachment of the Terek Cossacks and the Stavropol Cossack Force (Pyatigorskii Otdel Terskogo Kazachestva i Stavropolskii Kazachii Voiska).
We still hold the situation, we try to keep the Cossacks in line. After Budennovsk, it could have been like Fergana.133 It is true that the Chechens fled from Terskaya, but they got afraid and we organized 123 people [to leave]. Their departure was peaceful.134
Popov, appeared to enjoy respect and good relations with many of the minority communities in Stavropol, including with the Chechens and Dagestanis in 1996. Another Russian official, Aleksandr Novikov, consultant to the Nationalities Committee of the Provincial Administration of Stavropol, echoed Popovs views:
Events at Budennovsk increased tensions, but there was no major explosion. It was like a grenade without a fuse. People did not take active measures when the Cossacks called for actions against Chechens and Armenians. We took measures to lower the tension, and maybe this had something to do with it. If it had exploded, all the journalists and Western groups would have been there.135
A Russian woman interviewed in Volgograd also echoed these sentiments. She told us that:
Where there were calls to evict the Chechens from the region they were quelled, we worked with the people...In another village, Kaisatskii, there was a fight...there were also calls to evict the Chechens. But it was made clear to the people that laws dont allow deporting entire peoples but only bringing to justice individuals [for criminal offenses]....Such calls were made in December during the elections: The Chechens have arrivedthey are getting special treatment.136
Abuses by Cossacks137
Cossacks, the descendants of border guard detachments that served under the Tsar, have been implicated in a number of violations. From 1994 to early 1997, local government ordinances in Krasnodar and Stavropol allowed Cossacks to conduct patrols jointly with police. On February 13, 1997, a Russian federal government decree established Cossack units in the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD), in the Border Forces, and in the Ministry of Defense. Hence, Cossack units may continue to accompany police on their rounds and bear firearms, but they must remain subordinate to relevant federal forces. In violation of this decree, in March 1997, Krasnodar Governor Kondratenko issued Decree No. 389 establishing a regional Cossack register, which formed the basis of Cossack collaboration with Krasnodar law enforcement.
Some Cossacks openly profess anti-minority ideologies and have on occasion called for non-resident minorities and sometimes all non-Slavs to be forcibly evicted from the region. A local official sympathetic to the Cossacks admitted that relations were bad between Cossacks and ethnic Caucasians: Today you cant say that thereis cataclysm, but relations are tense between the Cossacks and individuals of Caucasian ancestry.138 In June 1995, after the events of Budennovsk, the leader of the Cossacks in Krasnodar asked the government for arms and stated that he could not be responsible for the actions of Cossacks if all non-resident Caucasians were not evicted from the region:
Despite the fact of numerous demands of Cossacks concerning limiting and stopping [the issuance of new] residency permits and the free movement in the region of citizens of Caucasian nationality, the pseudo-democratically inclined representatives of the power structures remain deaf and dumb to the demands of the Cossacks and to other population of our region....139
The authors of the appeal made several bellicose demands. First, they wanted weapons to fight off attacks. Second, they wanted authorities to allow all Individuals of Caucasian Nationality living in Krasnodar illegally to leave voluntarily by July 1, 1995 under the following threat: if that [the departure of ethnic Caucasians] doesnt occur, the Council of Atamans clears itself of any responsibility for the actions of Cossacks and will pass a decree concerning repatriation of Caucasians.140 Third, until the war in Chechnya ended, the Cossack leaders wanted authorities to end all guest and other visas. Finally, the appeal demanded the removal of all ethnic Caucasians from the procuracy and Ministry of Internal Affairs.
A commentator on the Cossacks of Krasnodar province explained the harsh appeal:
After 1917 the Cossack class (sosloviye) suffered fierce repression from the Soviets, and among todays Cossacks there exists the strong idea of restoration and historical revanchism expressed by the word rehabilitation. These intellectual requisites, in combination with strong nationalist inclinations, a cult of power, and social antiquity gives rise to the nihilistic attitude of many leaders and activists of the Cossack movement toward law in general and toward the present jurisprudence in particular.141
Another troubling aspect is the possibility of a conflict of interest as some individuals hold posts in both Cossack organizations and in the local administration. Even members of security forces were allowed to become Cossack members.142 In 1996, Human Rights Watch was told that the head of the provincial administration in Krasnodar, E.M. Khariton, was subordinate in the Cossack organization to the Ataman of the largest Cossack group in Krasnodar, V.P. Gromov, who is currently the vice-governor of Krasnodar province. One commentator noted that:
Cossack leaders receive different types of help from the authorities and enjoy access to the levers of power....It is not always easy to determine where local authorities commit abuses and where informal Cossack organizations do.143
Human Rights Watch and other groups, including the Moscow-based human rights monitoring organization Memorial, have documented a number of abusive incidents in which Cossacks were involved, in some cases on joint patrols with police, in others, apparently operating independently.144 People with whom we spoke in 1996 believed that the situation was at its worst between 1992 and 1995. The head of the Mashtots Armenian cultural society in Krasnodar, Eduard Melkumyants, told of the harassment of the Armenian community in Armavir, a district in eastern Krasnodar province, in 1992:
Take, for example, the events of 1992, in Armavir, in the Cossack station of Uspenskaya. There the populace, headed by the Cossacks, started to persecute the Armenian population with the condition that they leave the area within twenty-four hours. It started...Cossacks came from other areas, and we and the MVD [Ministry of Internal Affairs] had to go. We managed to quiet the situation down...145
An Armenian professor marked 1993 as the highpoint of Cossack aggressiveness: The hottest year was the beginning of 1993, Cossacks went through the dormitories in Krasnodar and harassed Armenians and Chechens. The Adygei also suffered then.146 Local Armenian leaders in a district capital of Krasnodar province complained of Cossack violence at the market:
There were raids by the Cossacks at the markets and in the town. They conducted these themselves, without the police. They conducted identity checks of all the ethnic Caucasians. If you didnt have documents you were taken to the police....On November 7, 1994, the Cossacks really tore up the local market. They took peoples goods, threw them around, took the best for themselves.147
In another case, an Armenian refugee from Baku described being set upon by a group of drunken Cossacks:
Last year in June there were three drunken Cossacks going along the street. I was alone, this was in the village. They saw me and started to shout, Hey, there goes a fucking black ass [Chernozhopyi] a darky. They said things like we were overcrowding the city, that we were bothering them. Then they started to bother me and hit me. I really dont know how it started. The three of them surrounded me and began to hit me. I had a bump on my forehead. I remember that I cried wildly, not like a human being, when they started to hit me on the head. I fell and lay on my back, trying to protect my face with my hands when they started to kick me. I lost consciousness and woke up later that evening.148
In another case, Cossacks manning a checkpoint in Stavropol jointly with police verbally harassed ethnic Chechens. One of the Chechens reports that, It occurred in August or September 1995....We were riding in my car, I was behind the wheel....A Cossack post stopped us (a combined militia and Cossack post). And they started, like, you are a Chechen, we are fighting, and you are riding around freely. The Cossacks were saying things, and the policewerent paying any attention. It wasnt clear who the commander was there. The Cossacks numbered five, one of whom was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle.
In another incident, Cossack involvement in a joint residency permit check with police in a village in Krasnodar turned into an attempt to evict people. According to one resident, an ethnic Kurd who retired to the region after a serving as a career NCO in the Soviet Army,
Cossacks come here in buses. The police come with them. In the fall of 1995, they came and said that all those without residency permits in a few days would have to leave the region. They took passports away from those who did not have residency permits. To get them back you had to pay a fine. They gathered signatures among the population to make the Kurds leave. People were afraid. Some Kurdish leaders came from Krasnodar. They brought the affair to the attention of the administration of the region.149
In 1996, the situation apparently began to quiet down. An Armenian leader in Krasnodar stated that, Things with the Cossacks has settled down recently. When they were forming they were more aggressive. They played the Armenian card. They went about uncovering the residences of those not registered. There were slogans, Kuban for the Cossacks. The Cossacks decide who lives here.150 Other leaders of ethnic groups said that extreme articles appear with less frequency in Cossack publications like, Kazachyi vesti. Some speculate that decrees giving legal status to the Cossacks may have contributed to their more moderate behavior.
However, according to the Memorial Human Rights Center, Cossacks continued to lead raids through the summer of 1997 to conduct passport checks on Meskhetian Turk villages in Krasnodar province. They also conducted raids to evict families of ethnic minorities in the wake of a crime. For example, in July 1997 Cossacks led a skhod of local residents who demanded the eviction of two Muslim families whose eleven and twelve-year-old-sons had been accused of homosexual lechery against other children. Cossacks threatened the families directly, forcing them to leave.151
* * *71 For a more extensive treatment of the human rights implications of the propiska system, see Helsinki Watch, "Russian Residence and Travel Restrictions,"A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 4, issue 14, August 1992; Human Rights Watch Crime or Simply Punishment?: Racist Attacks by Moscow Law Enforcement, A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 7 no. 12 (D), August 1995; and Human Rights Watch, Moscow: Open Season, Closed City, A Human Rights Watch Report, vol. 9, no. 10 (D), September 1997. 72 The law further supported the eradication of the propiska system. It envisaged a civilian registration system that would serve as notification, and not as a licensing system. 73 Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which the Russian Federation is signatory, also stipulates that everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence. Article 12 (3) protects that right from discriminatory application by requiring that an exception may not violate the right to freedom from discrimination, enshrined in Article 2 (1) and Article 26 of the same covenant. 74 Rossiyskaya gazeta, Moscow, August 25, 1994, p. 4. 75 Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, Reviewing the Constitutionality of a Series of Normative Acts in the City of Moscow and Moscow Region, Stavropol Province, Voronezh Province,and the City of Voronezh Regulating Civilian Registration for Citizens Arriving for Permanent Residence, April 4, 1996. No. 9-P. Published in Rossiyskaya gazeta, April 17, 1996. 76 The fee was due upon submission of propiska documents. See Daniel Williams, Court Rejects Moscows Fees for Services, The Washington Post, July 11, 1997, p. A27. 77 RFE/RL Daily Bulletin, June 2, 1997. 78 The government at the federal and local level have found it convenient not to inform law enforcement officials that the system has been abolished or that federal laws override local regulations. Bureaucratic inertia developed over decades of enforcement has also helped to keep the propiska system in force. Some public servants are either unaware that the regulations have been ruled illegal or else willfully ignore the ruling perhaps because it generates revenue, both official and informal, or through corruption. 79 Decision of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, The Review of the Constitutionality of points 10, 12 and 21 On Establishing Rules for Registration and Removal of Citizens of the Russian Federation from the Registration List of Temporary or Permanent Residence within the Russian Federation and the List of Officials Responsible for Registration, February 2, 1998. Published in Rossiyskaya gazeta, February 10, 1998. 80 For a description of these difficulties, see on the Observance of the Rights of Man and the Citizen in the Russian Federation (1994-95), Report of the Presidents Commission on Human Rights, English translation, p. 89. 81 Law on Introducing Amendments and Additions to the Russian Federation Law on Refugees, entered into force July 3, 1997. Despite its title, it replaces the 1993 Law on Refugees. Rossiskaya gazeta, July 3, p. 4. 82 This applies to those asylum seekers who, while they await status determination, choose to live not in refugee camps but in private homes. To its credit, the Russian refugee law (Article 6) affords asylum seekers this choice. 83 The statement was made on March 11, 1998, on TV Tsentr, a Moscow-based television station. 84 For a detailed summary of these rules and documentation of the abuse that attends their enforcement, see Human Rights Watch, Moscow: Open Season, Closed City, A Human Rights Watch Report, vol.9, no.10 (D), September 1997. Also see, Human Rights Watch Crime or Simply Punishment?: Racist Attacks by Moscow Law Enforcement.
85 Ibid., p. 36.
86 Krasnodar Province Resolution on Measures to Strengthen State Control over Migration in Krasnodar Province and Ameliorate the Negative Consequences of Excessive Migration, No. 236,adopted by the Krasnodar province legislature June 16, 1997.
87 The rules are entitled, Resolution No. 682-P Establishing a List of Cities and Districts to Introduce a Special Regime for Registering Temporary Stays and Permanent Residence, adopted by the Krasnodar legislature July 4, 1997. The affected cities are Anapa, Gelenjik, Krymsk, Novorossisk, Sochi, Tuapse, Krymsk district, and Tuapse district.
88 On Visiting and Obtaining Permanent Residence in the Stavropol District, and On Administrative Responsibility for Violating Rules on Visiting and Obtaining Permanent Residence in the Stavropol District, Stavropolskaia Pravda (Stavropol Truth), Stavropol, No. 205, October 21, 1994. Updated as Law No. 41, of the same name, in December 1996.
89 Resolution 651-39, On Recognizing the Expiration of the Stavopol Province Duma Resolution No. 188-8, dated October 6, 1994, On Visiting and Obtaining Permanent Residence in the Stavropol Province. Stavropolskaya Pravda, July 17, 1997.
90 Telephone interview with Kharon Deniyev, chair of the Vainakh Cultural Center, Stavropol, May 27, 1998.
91 Refugees residing in Russia but hailing from other states of the former Soviet Union face great barriers to obtaining not only official refugee status, but also Russian citizenship. Former Soviet citizens, who permanently resided on Russian territory by February 6, 1992 and did not decline Russian citizenship within one year of that date were automatically recognized as Russian citizens in accordance with Art. 13, part 1 of the citizenship law. Although, according to the civil code (Art. 20) permanent residence means actual residence and not propiska, many people without propiskas were and are still not regarded as Russian citizens by the local authorities. We thank Alexander Osipov for this insight.
Under Russia's 1992 law on citizenship, until the year 2000 any person who was a citizen of the Soviet Union may become a citizen of Russia. The law requires people to apply for citizenship at the Russian consulate in their home country, an absurd proposition for those who have been forced to flee. The law does not require those lucky enough to obtain official refugee status to return to their home country. Hence, for example, many ethnic Armenians in Stavropol and Krasnodar provinces are stateless, since they were citizens of the Soviet Union when they fled Azerbaijan; many of those who transited through Armenia did not become citizens.
92 Polozheniya, p. 23.
93 Ibid. In certain cities this is not the case. See the discussion of Sochi above.
94 Interview, Krasnodar, April 13, 1996.
95 Interview with Viktor Khloponya, Stavropol, August 19, 1996.
96 Interview, Pyatigorsk, April 10, 1996. J. requested that his name not be revealed.
97 After anti-Armenian violence in Azerbaijan in 1988-90, Armenians began to pressure the 160,000 ethnic Azeris who lived in Armenia to leave. Most eventually fled. Muslim Kurds were lumped together with Azeris, while Yezidi Kurds were allowed to stay. Some 350,000 ethnic Armenians were forced out of Azerbaijan in similar violence.
98 Interview, village of Pyatigorskaya, Krasnodar province, April 16, 1996.
99 Interview, Krasnodar, April 14, 1996.
100 Interview, Pyatigorsk, April 8, 1996.
101 Interview, Stavropol, April 7, 1996.
102 Interview with Sharani, Pallasovka, Volgograd province, March 5, 1997.
103 Interview, Volgograd oblast, March 4, 1997
104 Interview, Stavropol, August 1996.
105 Interview, Pyatigorsk, August 1996.
106 Interview, Pyatigorsk, April 1996.
107 See Human Rights Watch, Russia: Caught in the Crossfire, A Human Rights Watch Report, March 1996, p. 30.
108 Interview, Volgograd, March 1997.
109 Interview, Nikolayevsk, Volgograd, March 5, 1997.
110 Interview, Stavropol, August 19, 1996. The interviewee was unable to pinpoint the dates of these incidents, attributing this to the frequency of such occurrences.
111 Interview, Chernoleskoye (Stavropol province), August 20, 1996.
112 Interview, Nikolayevsk, Volgograd province, March 6, 1997. The term blacks is used derogatorily to refer to non-Slavs, especially Caucasians and Central Asians.
113 Skhod grazhdan translates literally to a gathering of citizens. Cossacks led at least skhodi in Krasnodar province against Meskhetian Turks, with the blessing and perhaps collusion of the local district government. The local district governments then claim that such skhodi, which demanded the eviction of Meskhetian Turks, represent the peoples spontaneous indignation. See Memorial, Starting Ethnic Cleansing.
114 Melnik, p. 121.
115 Interview, Filimonovskaya stanitsa (a village established by Cossacks in the eighteenth century), Stavropol province, April 7, 1996.
116 Interview, Stavropol, August 19, 1996.
117 Interview, Stavropol, August 19, 1996.
118 Interview, Pallasovka, March 5, 1997.
119 Interview with Ivan Moskalenko, deputy head of the Budennovsk administration, Budennovsk, April 12, 1996. Also see, Carlotta Gall and Tomas de Waal, Chechnya, Calamity in the Caucasus (New York: New York University Press, 1998), p. 258.
120 Interview, Budennovsk, April 12, 1996.
121 Nikolai Gritchin, Izgonyaya Chechentsev iz Stavropolya, vlasti deistvuyut na ruku Dudayeva, Izvestiya, Moscow, June 30, 1995, p. 1.
123 Kharon Deniyev, chairman of Chechen Council of Elders in Stavropol, reported that he received this number from Petr Petrovich Marchenko, who was appointed the governor of Stavropol after the Budennovsk incidents. Interview, Stavropol, April 4, 1996.
124 For a Russian language summary of the events in Terskoye, see the Vainakh Cultural Center of Stavropol, Poselok Terskiy: Dva Goda Posle Budyennovskikh Sobytiy, Prava Cheloveka, No. 1, (Stavropol,) October 1997.
125 Interview at Chernoleskoye, Stavropol province, August 21, 1996.
126 Interview at Terskoye, August 21, 1996.
127 Interview, Terskoye, August 21, 1996.
128 Interview, Stavropol, August 19, 1996.
129 Interview, Chernoleskoye , August 20, 1996.
130 Interview, Filimonovskaya stanitsa, Stavropol province, April 7, 1996.
131 Interview, Stavropol, April 1996.
132 The Moscow-appointed Chechnya leader who wielded virtually no authority in Chechnya.
133 The Farghona valley in Uzbekistan was the site of massive inter-ethnic violence in 1989.
134 Interview, Stavropol, April 5, 1996.
135 Interview, Stavropol, April 5, 1996.
136 Interview, Volgograd, March 5, 1995.
137 See above, The Cossack Movement.
138 Interview with Vladimir Georgiyevich Likhonin, deputy for economic questions for the head of Timashevsk district, Krasnodar province, April 15, 1996.
139 Zayavleniye Soveta Atamanov i Soveta Starikov Yekaterinodarskogo Otdela VKV June 19, 1995.
141 Polozheniye, p. 81.
142 Polozheniye, p. 81.
144 See Memorials excellent work on the Meskhetian Turks, especially the section Role of Cossack Formations, pp. 80-94, in Polozheniye. See also Memorials updates on the situation of Meskhetian Turks: Memorial Human Rights Center, Starting Ethnic Cleansing in Krasnodar Territory: The Case of the Meskhetian Turks, Newsletter, no. 1, September 20, 1997; and Stop Ethnic Cleansing in Krasnodar Territory! December 5, 1997.
145 Interview, Krasnodar, April 15, 1996.
146 Interview, Krasnodar, April 16, 1996.
147 Interview, Krasnodar province, April 1996.
148 Interview with Mirsen Maronyan, Pyatigorsk, Stavropol province, August 21, 1996.
149 Interview with Teimuraz Galacan, village of Pyatigorskaya, Krasnodar province, April 16, 1996.
150 Interview with Onik Enrikyan, businessman and deputy chairman of the Coordinating Council of the Armenian Community, Krasnodar, April 13, 1996.
151 Memorial, Starting Ethnic Cleansing.
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