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).
Grozny went through two wars. If the first war caused massive damage, the second war destroyed it completely. Despite Putin’s declaration on 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. Today, Russian oil giant Rosneft has taken over the business, in Chechnya’s detriment.
Some of the pictures belong to photographer Stanley Greene. In the interview below, he talks about his experiences in Chechnya.
Footage of Grozny ruins during war (fighting can be heard in background)