The outside inside: Chechen IDPs, identity documents and the right to free movement in the Russian Federation
The present war in Chechnya, like its predecessor, has become infamous for the human rights violations visited in its name upon civilians in the conflict zone. This paper examines the way in which the scope and reach of these human rights violations has expanded beyond the Northern Caucasus to include those who have fled Chechnya for other parts of Russia, sometimes hundreds of miles away from the fighting that displaced them. It shows that as the language of security becomes the ascendant discourse in Russia’s domestic affairs, authorities at both federal and regional levels have taken the liberty of imposing restrictions on the various identity documents that displaced Chechens would need to resettle outside their home republic. These bureaucratic measures have coalesced to create a de facto suspension of displaced Chechens’ right to free intrastate movement, limiting, if not extinguishing, their chances of finding refuge within Russia.