World Chechnya Day is intended to commemorate the dignity and resiliance of a people who, against all odds, refused to be erased from existence.
On 23 February 1944, Stalin ordered the deportation of the entire Chechen and Ingush population to Central Asia. More than half of the 500,000 people who were to be forcibly transported died in transit or in massacres committed by Soviet troops. Those who survived the journey were left facing starvation and disease in the harsh winters of Siberia and Central Asia.
Within days an entire people had been erased from the land of their ancestors. Overnight Chechnya and Ingushetia were emptied of their native inhabitants, and every reference to Chechnya was removed from official maps, records and encyclopaedias.
In 2004, sixty years after the event, the European Parliament passed a motion that recognised this catastrophe as Genocide.
23rd February is World Chechnya Day. It is a day that few are aware of and yet none should forget.
World Chechnya Day - Overview (Acrobat PDF) - Download