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Russia: The Chechens

In 1944 Stalin was worried about the Chechens uprising while the German army was invading Russia. On February 23, 1944 the Chechens in Russia were ordered to report to deportation centers in Siberia and Kazakhstan. Anyone who was against it was shot to death. Over the course of the deportation an estimated 78,000 Chechens died on the transport trains. The trains were packed with hundreds of people standing up against each other. There were no stops for food or to bathe, and many died from suffocation. The deportees that made it to the centers struggled to survive in harsh living conditions; many died from starvation and disease.

Jamestown Foundation

Muzhazar Dzhabrailova and Salman Dudayev are survivors from the 1944 Chechen genocide. They remember the tragedy they and their families were faced with. Dzhabrailova had family members that were murdered by soldiers and Dudayev's entire family died from hunger. In 1956 survivors were allowed to return to their homes, but their homes and land were taken. The mosques were shut down and even gravestones were taken were pulled out.


Since the beginning of the year there has been news of the widespread homophobia in Chechnya. The law enforcement and security officials started an anti-gay purge and dozens have been held in unofficial detention centers under the suspicion of being gay, being tortured and starved. Some of the victims have "disappeared" and some have been returned to their families barely making it alive. Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's leader, denies allegations of the purge but condones killing of gay people by their families. While the anti-gay purge doesn't formally constitute as genocide, there needs to be an end to the persecution of the LGBT people.


Two gay men from Chechnya have fled their homes and escaped to Western Europe. They were abducted and tortured because of their sexual orientation and had to hide that information from their families. They paid off the police to keep it from their families and even after fleeing their homeland they are still being threatened. Their families are expected to kill them if not done so by the government.


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