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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

10/07/1999

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In Chechnya, Everyone's a Victim

Lyudmila Fyodorova, a 51-year-old nurse from Grozny, is a war refugee. Her house was bombed by Russian warplanes and she fled to Moscow, where city authorities have denied her registration. Fyodorova was among dozens of displaced persons - most of them from Chechnya - who gathered Wednesday at the downtown office of Civic Assistance, a human rights organization that helps refugees cope with Moscow's Soviet-era registration policies. ""My home was destroyed in the airstrikes and now they won't even accept my documents so I can live in Moscow,"" she said, as others nodded knowingly. ""Are you Chechen?"" one woman asked. ""No, I am Russian,"" Fyodorova said. The Chechens who heard Fyodorova's story shook their heads in dismay - and sympathy. If Russians and Chechens are supposed to be at each other's throats, this comes as news to members of both nationalities who have fled the latest round of fighting in the volatile North Caucasus. In Chechnya, they are all victims of a war they say has nothing to do with them.

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