Relatives of the young men who recently attacked Chechen police officers have been forced to flee the republic

Meduza
19:41, 5 september 2018

Vladimir Putin says he’s no fan of collective punishment, but it’s alive and well in Chechnya, where relatives of the teenagers who recently staged four coordinated attacks on police officers have reportedly been expelled from the republic.

Locals told journalists from Caucasian Knot that a town hall meeting was planned in the Shalinsky District to condemn the families and force them from their homes, but it was later called off, when local officials decided that it would attract too much publicity. Before fleeing Chechnya, the assailants’ relatives worked as teachers, doctors, and civil servants.

What were these attacks?

On August 20, five individuals (including adolescents) attacked police officers in Grozny and the Shalinsky District. All five assailants died, and the terrorist group ISIS later claimed responsibility for the violence.

Is collective punishment common in Chechnya?

Not just in Chechnya, but throughout Russia’s North Caucasus. In October 2017, Meduza published a special report about the questionable practices of local police and the widespread persecution of anyone with ties to armed insurgents. The authorities, it turns out, are often working at cross purposes, trying to return ex-convicts and former suspects to society, while hounding these same people until normal life is impossible.