24.02.04. On the Situation in the Chechen Republic (Fact Sheet)

The adoption of the Constitution of the Chechen Republic, and the election for President of the Chechen Republic on October 5, 2003 provide a solid groundwork for political settlement, and constitute a major step towards a normal life, law and order, and the full-fledged operation of the branches of authority.

Work is now being finished on a draft treaty delimiting the terms of reference and powers between the federal center and Chechnya, and elections to Parliament of the Chechen Republic are to follow next.

Direction of the counterterrorist operation on September 1, 2003, was transferred from the FSB (Federal Security Service) to the MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs). Control of Chechnya's military commandant's offices also will be turned over to MVD.

The 2003 budget of Chechnya was 8 billion 550 million rubles (of which about 17% being its own funds), with a deficit of 150 million rubles. In 2003 a total sum of around 3 billion rubles in taxes was collected and channeled to the federal and republican budgets. Three and a half billion rubles was allocated for implementing the Federal Goal-Oriented Program of Restoring the Economic and Social Sphere in 2003. And another 1 billion rubles was appropriated for reconstructing the city of Grozny.

All in all, 63 billion rubles has since 2000 been invested in reconstructing the social and economic sector of Chechnya from all sources of financing and another 37 billion rubles is planned to be used for these purposes in 2004. Two-thirds of the financial resources in the next two years are expected to go on social-block restoration and development. As to industrial plants, they are to be rebuilt to the extent and in the characteristics that comply with market economy principles. It has been decided, furthermore, that the money will be concentrated on the construction projects just completed, of which Chechnya has 375 (186 will be brought into service in the current year). Profitable production at the plants reconstructed is one of the declared major principles of the process of the reconstruction of Chechnya.

Compensation is being paid to all the families that fully lost their housing during the counterterrorist operation. Payments began in September 2003 and will be effected in 2003-2004. The maximum amount for housing per family will be 300,000 rubles and another 50,000 rubles for property lost. A total of more than 48,000 homes were destroyed in Chechnya, of which 18,200 thousands in full. Before March 1, this year, a full list of recipients of money compensation for destroyed housing and lost property will be drawn up so as to be then sent to the Federal Ministry of Construction for checking, and this May it will be confirmed as final.

At the Chechen branch of Rosselkhozbank (the Russian Agricultural Bank), 1,346 compensation accounts have been opened for the citizens who lost housing and property. They are the accounts of applicants in respect of whom there is a favorable decision of the commission on compensation payments. As of now, 1,285 families have received the money. It is expected that, in the first quarter, 6,000 families will be paid 350,000 rubles each. All in all, compensation will presumably be given to 48,000 families over the next two years. Fourteen billion rubles is allocated from the federal budget for these purposes.

The social sector is being strengthened. Thus, wages are being regularly paid to the public-sector workers (65,000), as are pensions (194,000) and allowances for families with children (390,000). Targeted aid is being provided to Great Patriotic War veterans and the elderly. There live 781 vets in the republic, of whom 376 invalids; 2,000 orphaned children; 22,300 children left without one of the parents; 7,000 disabled children (of whom 800 suffered as a result of combat actions); and 6,127 neglected children. The orphans live in five boarding homes, two orphanages and with relatives. In 2003, 150 million rubles was appropriated for the sanatorium-and-health-resort treatment of children and adolescents.

The number of inhabitants in Chechnya has by now exceeded 1 million; of them 460,000 of working age. One hundred and seventy thousand are out of work. Under the federal goal-oriented program for the development of Chechnya's economy, 20,000 jobs will be created in 2004-2005. The processing sector is expected to be developed for the creation of new jobs. On the initiative of the employment agency, more than 2,000 jobless have taken a course of training in new trades this year - those of a motor vehicle or tractor driver, crane operator, accountant and secretary-typist. In part, the unemployment-related questions are being tackled through public works.

The meeting of the Government of Chechnya held this January in Grozny summed up the preliminary results of the economic development of the republic for 2003. The most important event in the socioeconomic life of Chechnya in 2003 was the restoration of its financial and banking system.

In the industrial sector, plants continued to build up their production capacities such as the electromechanical works, and the factories Transmash, Orgtekhnika and Medinstrument. Industrial plants were being rehabilitated. Among them two brickyards, a shop for the production of linoleum, two wood-working shops, the Transmash plant in Grozny. Cement and silicate plants were brought into operation in Chiri Yurt, along with the Chervlensky Inert Materials Quarry, a brickyard in Gudermes and others. Productive capacities became operative at Reinforced Concrete Structures Plants Nos. 1 and 2, and at individual shops of Plants for Building Products Nos. 1 and 2 (all in Grozny). In 2002, the volume of work amounted to 253.8 million rubles (115%).

One of the signs of the stabilization of the sociopolitical and economic situation in Chechnya is the intensification of entrepreneurial activities of the population. Whereas in 2000 there had been 300 small businesses in the republic, 3,180 such enterprises were registered as of the end of 2003 plus more than 10,000 entrepreneurs without the formation of a juridical person.

Oil is being produced on 14 fields (62 wells). Profit goes for reconstruction and development of the oil and gas sector, as well as for the solution of social tasks. According to Rosneft state concern forecasts, oil production in Chechnya in the current year will make up about 2 million tons. This is 200,000 tons higher than the 2003 indicators and exceeds the 2002 level by almost half a million tons. Plans of Rosneft's subsidiary - the company Grozneftegaz - also include the extraction of 510 million cubic meters of gas. For these projects to be accomplished, 17 new wells are expected to be brought into service, along with the completion of the Goit-Kort service rack and the reconstruction of the oil fields Severnye Braguny and Starogroznenskoye. In three years, according to Rosneft data, Grozneftegaz has reconstructed nearly 260 energy installations. The Grozny Oil Refinery will soon open.

Electric power supply in all of the republic's districts is currently available to users who are ready for its receipt, including life support and community facilities, and administrative structures. Work is being conducted on 30 projects, including 12 high-voltage power transmission lines, eight electric power substations, and 12 production bases. Power transmission lines with an extent of 65 kilometers have been restored, plus distribution networks of length 90 kilometers. At Chechnya's largest heat-and-electric-supply station in Argun, the installation of the first power turbine has been completed. It is scheduled to be put in operation at the beginning of March. The 6-megawatt turbine will become the republic's first own source of electric power. Enough energy will be generated here for half the users in Grozny, and the energy requirements of Argun itself will be exceeded by three times.

Many water supply facilities and treatment plants have been restored. The Starosunzhensky and Goitinsky intakes are back in operation. In 2003, new water and sewage pumping stations and reservoirs were brought into service.

The republic's farming sector is being restored. In 2003 the total crop area, including winter crops, was 226 thousand hectares. Work is being conducted on land reclamation projects and to uproot, reconstruct and establish vineyards. Plant protection, and agrochemical and quarantine service stations are again operating. The restoration of the livestock sector also has begun. It will take ten years to fully restore in Chechnya the 1991-level productive herd (1,130 thousand sheep and 270 thousand cows).

In 2003, 300 million rubles was allocated for the development of the transport sector of Chechnya, plus 870 million rubles under the federal Railways Ministry's program for the industry. All in all, more than 2 billion rubles has been spent in the previous period for these purposes. One hundred and thirty-five kilometers of road were put in operation. Rehabilitation work encompassed all of the republic's districts, including high-mountain areas. The total cost of roadwork in 2003 amounted to 29.7 million rubles. A passenger railway link to Moscow is in place. Traffic has resumed on the entire 400-kilometer section of the local railway. The railway stations are restored in Grozny and Gudermes. In Grozny, a bus station (about 100 routes) has begun to operate. A total of 180 bus routes are now in service in the republic (out of the previous 230). Fourteen bridges have been restored, including large bridges over the rivers Argun (put in operation in March 2003), Sunzha and Terek.

The public health system of Chechnya now runs 68 hospitals, six dispensaries, 34 polyclinics, 46 doctor's outpatient clinics and 187 medical assistant-obstetrician stations. In Grozny there are nine hospitals and sixteen polyclinics. More than 2,000 doctors and 5,000 medical personnel are employed. Local training of middle-grade medical workers has been organized.

There are 459 general education schools operating in Chechnya (of which 356 in rural areas and 28 evening schools), 96 consultation centers and 5 boarding schools, along with three institutions of higher learning and 19 specialized secondary educational establishments, totaling 225,000 pupils and students and 21,500 teachers and instructors. In addition, 60 sport and music schools, children's creative art centers, and young technicians' stations function, involving about 40,000 children. Computer classes are now installed in 106 schools, and all the institutions of higher learning have computing centers. There operate 87 district and rural houses of culture and clubs.

The broadcasting of the federal ORT, RTR, NTV and Culture television channels, of the program for the republic of the GTRK (State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company of the Russian Federation) and of central radio broadcasting programs - the Radio of Russia, Yunost and Free Chechnya (Mayak radio station) - has been organized within the territory of Chechnya. Five central, 21 republican and district newspapers as well as three republican magazines are being published and distributed, in a total number of more than 135,000 copies.

Fifteen basic cellular radio stations have been installed in Chechnya. There operate two radio relay links, and the work of 23 district postal communication centers has been organized. The restoration and construction is being completed of automatic telephone exchanges in the settlements Urus Martan, Achkhoi Martan, Znamenskoye and Shali, the stanitsas Naurskaya and Shyolkovskaya and the cities Argun and Gudermes, with a total capacity of 20,000 numbers.

A web site of the Government of the Chechen Republic has been opened on the Internet.

The return to Chechnya of internally displaced persons (IDP) remains a major task. Work is being conducted on the basis of RF Government Resolution No. 163 of March 3, 2001, the effective period of which, for purposes of stimulation of the return of citizens, was extended for the year 2003 (Government Resolution No. 797 of November 2, 2002). At present, according to migration service of the MVD of Ingushetia data, there are about 50,000 refugees in the republic, of whom 4,500 live in tent camps, 20,000 in places of compact settlement, and the rest in the private sector). On the territory of Chechnya, 28 temporary accommodation stations have been set up (in Grozny, Argun, Gudermes and elsewhere). As a rule, these are five-story dormitories for up to 3,000 people. All the premises have electricity, heating, gas and drinking water. Many of the families, now temporarily in Ingushetia, have their own intact houses and return to their places of permanent residence on their own, without filing official applications. Up to 15,000 people for various reasons do not intend to return to Chechnya.

More than 600,000 inhabitants of Chechnya have received new Russian passports. The process of the issuance of this document goes more actively in the republic than elsewhere in Russia. The necessary amount of new documents has already been brought into the republic. The issuance of foreign travel passports began in Chechnya on January 1, 2004.

The republic's judicial system is being re-established. There operates the Supreme Court of the ChR, along with 14 city and district courts. In 2003, more than 10,000 civil cases were considered. The 2003 law violation statistics for Chechnya show that the operational situation there has improved in comparison with the similar period of last year; 3,500 crimes were recorded, 1.1 percent down on the corresponding period of 2002. The number of grave crimes, moreover, decreased by over 50 percent. At the same time the number of crimes of a terrorist nature went up by 10.5 percent. The period of amnesty for members of illegal armed bands was extended. As of now, a legally formalized decision has been adopted to amnesty 89 persons. Another 111 persons have filed written requests for the application to them of the act of amnesty.

In 2003 twenty-nine foreign delegations visited the North Caucasus, including Chechnya, and sixteen various kinds of events (seminars, round tables, etc.) dedicated to Chechen problems were held.