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War in Grozny, Chechnya

In 2003, United Nations declared Grozny “the most destroyed city on earth”, as the entire city infrastructure was destroyed and no building was left intact (literally).

Mark Irkali on Grozny, 2002 - "Some little girl had a little paper doll, something that someone made for her. He asked what it was and she held it up, but it dropped, and it fell into a hole where the street has been blown clear down to the sewer. He was down on his knees looking for it. Then he's trying to squeeze down to climb into the sewer and get it.

Mark Irkali on Grozny trip with a friend, 2002 – “Some little girl had a little paper doll, something that someone made for her. He asked what it was and she held it up, but it dropped, and it fell into a hole where the street has been blown clear down to the sewer. He was down on his knees looking for it. Then he’s trying to squeeze down to climb into the sewer and get it. I’m trying to stop him, the girl is crying and I’m seeing that people are starting to notice us, looking over and wondering why this girl is crying. He is about half-way down and I’m looking around and shaking his leg, going, “Man, man, come on, we’ll do something for her, don’t do this, people are staring.” He pushes me and I look and he’s got tears in his eyes, he’s saying “that’s the last fucking thing she’s got and she lost it. Fuck you, I’m going to get it.”

Grozny went through two brutal wars. If the first war caused massive damage, the second war destroyed it completely. Despite Putin’s declaration on how only terrorist hideouts being attacked, reality showed that the entire city was razed to the ground.

In December 1994, despite strong opposition to war, Russian president Boris Yeltsin ordered his troops to launch assaults on Grozny.

The Chechen Air Force (as well as the republic’s civilian aircraft fleet) was completely destroyed in the air strikes that occurred on the very first few hours of the war in December 1994.

For pictures before war click here

Article on what Grozny used to be – There were parks in Grozny, before the war

Dispatches from Chechnya – report on the damage done to the infrastructure of Chechen culture and education system based in Grozny. (Chechen State University was one of the leading institutions of higher education in North Caucasus )

Grozny was also one of the most important oil centers of the Soviet Union. The infrastructure was destroyed during the wars. Today, Russian oil giant Rosneft has taken over the business, in Chechnya’s detriment.

Click on link below to see full gallery (210 photos)

Grozny during war

Some of the pictures belong to photographer Stanley Greene. In the interview below, he talks about his experiences in Chechnya.

https://i1.wp.com/www.lemondedelaphoto.com/local/cache-vignettes/L363xH545/Stanley_Greene_2-7f02f.jpg

Footage of Grozny ruins during war (fighting can be heard in background)


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