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Earth : Europe : Russia : Southern Russia : North Caucasus : Chechnya : Grozny
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Travel Warning WARNING: While the security situation is improving, travel to Grozny is still not advised.

Grozny (Russian: Гро́зный GROHZ-nyh) is the capital city of the Russian republic of Chechnya. Grozny has undergone a massive rebuilding and development program since the end of the Second Chechen War in 2002. Many of the shelled and abandoned apartment blocs and houses have been demolished and replaced with newer re-built buildings and suburbs.

Grozny was originally a Russian fortress/garrison town, whose name in English is roughly translated as "formidable".

The city was nearly completely destroyed as a result of the Chechen separatist wars of the 1990s and early 2000s. The United Nations declared Grozny 'the most destroyed city on Earth' in 2002.

After coming under federal control in the early 2000s, Grozny has been completely rebuilt.


Grozny, 1995
Grozny, 2016

Grozny was originally founded in 1818 as a Russian fort. It was a major stronghold for the Russians during the Caucasian Wars of 1818-1864. During the early 20th century, the population boomed as the city's rich oil reserves brought numerous Russian settlers from other parts of the country to work in the city.

During World War II, Josef Stalin accused the Chechens of collaborating with Nazi Germany. Stalin subsequently deported the entire Chechen population in 1944 to northern Kazakhstan, killing nearly a third of the population in the process. The Chechens were allowed to return to Chechnya after Stalin's death in 1953.

Following the liberalizing policies of Mikhail Gorbachev's 'perestroika', dissident separatists within Chechnya began calling for independence. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Chechnya declared independence from the newly formed Russian Federation in November of that year. Led by former Soviet Air Force General Dzhokhar Dudayev, Chechnya acted as a de-facto independent state from 1991-1994.

Moscow attempted to regain federal authority over the republic and remove Dudayev from power with a massive ill-fated assault on Grozny on December 31, 1994.

Heavy fighting over the next two years reduced Grozny to rubble as most of the population were either killed or forced to flee the city.

A ceasefire signed in 1996 effectively ended the fighting and resulted in Moscow withdrawing its forces from the republic.

Chechnya again gained a degree of de-facto independence from 1996-1999. However, the period was marked by rampant crime and kidnappings. Devastated by the war, Grozny became one of the world's most dangerous cities, marked by the number of mass abductions that occurred in the city during the period. This culminated in the kidnapping and beheading of several Western aide workers in 1998.

Chechnya's economy was in ruins and it's government ineffective as rival clans and armed militias frequently battled each other on the streets of Grozny.

Without international recognition and with the loss of its credibility in the West, Islamic extremists from the Arab world began to quickly gain influence with several former rebel commanders, including the noted terrorist Shamil Basayev.

Basayev's invasion of the neighboring republic of Dagestan and a series of bombings in Moscow precipitated the Second Chechen War in September 1999. The ensuing fighting and the recapture of Grozny by federal authorities left the city nearly completely destroyed.

Grozny has slowly been rebuilt under the supervision of Chechnya's Moscow-backed leader, Ramzan Kadyrov. The security situation has stabilized in recent years and the city's redevelopment continues at a rapid pace.

Get in[edit]

Due to the devastation caused by years of war, Grozny's transportation is often tricky. However, since reconstruction projects began, it's possible to take a flight to the city or use a train, bus or the convenient highway system.

By plane[edit]

Rusline is one airline with regular flights between Moscow and Grozny, and Grozny Avia is the second airline with regular flights between Istanbul and Grozny, although it may be difficult if not impossible for non-Russian visitors to gain authorization to travel to Chechnya. The flights to Grozny are extremely guarded since the war and 9/11, so expect delays.

By train[edit]

A night train departs from Moscow every second day, taking two nights. Due to terrorist threats, the train is heavily guarded, expect delays and hassles. Also, there is a night train from Rostov-on-the-Don and a day train from Astrakhan. Local trains connect with Khasavyurt and Gudermes.

By car[edit]

Grozny is connected to the rest of Russia by a large highway system. The P-308, P-307 and M-29 highways connect the city to other cities in Russia. Keep in mind that it's best to take a map with you, or else you can get lost.

By bus[edit]

A bus usually leaves from Nazran to Grozny and other cities in the Caucasus region of Russia, so remember when you are going to stop. Take minibus 111 to Grozny city centre.

Get around[edit]

It's very difficult to get around Grozny since the tram and trolley systems were destroyed during the siege of Grozny . The tram is not expected to re-open, but the trolley re-opened in 2012. The trolley still has not fully developed, so it's advised to use a car to travel in the city. There is a (religious) taxi company operating in the city called Islam, which uses green-painted cars.

See[edit][add listing]

  • The main attraction to Grozny is the Grozny Central Dome Mosque, which was recently completed and is the largest mosque in Russia.
  • Another attraction you may also want to see is the Church of St. Michael the Archangel which has been recently been renovated after being almost destroyed during the war.
  • Another good place to go is to Downtown Grozny which features many lights and newly-opened shops and restaurants that offer good prices. There are also many stands that sell fruit and beer.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • On weekends, you can go and watch some football (soccer) at the Sultan Bilimkhanov Stadium. FC Akhmat Grozny plays there in the Russian Premier League.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Because of the region's war's affect on the economy, many items in Grozny are cheap. However, many items do not have regular set prices. You can find many Western essentials. Many authentic swords and daggers can be bought at low prices. There is a bazaar with many Chechen and Russian merchants. You can find many producs with well known brands.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Café Oasis is a reasonable place to eat in downtown Grozny. It will be difficult to find though. You might want to bring a guide.
  • Zhigzhig & Galnash offers traditional Chechen cuisine at a reasonable price. Ask for English menu.

Drink[edit][add listing]

There aren't many bars in the city, but there are many local vendors which sell beer. Common sense must be used when approaching alcohol, and beer can only be sold legally between 8:00 and 10:00 AM.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • A good and cheap hotel to find in Grozny is the Hotel Arena City, a new hotel built by the government. The hotel is new and modern, and has many essentials you can find in other hotels in the rest of the country. Many other hotels are being built. It's important to note though that rebels keep an eye on the hotels like a hawk, so be careful and try not to look suspicious.
  • Hostel in Grozny, Grozny street M.Visaitova 100, +79993980195, [1]. Grozny- hostel For a good rest, and a warm atmosphere , it makes sense to choose the best hostel in the Chechen Republic . Hostel in Grozny - a new , bright, modern hostel in the center of Grozny , the hostel offers European comfort and present Caucasian hospitality ! 5$.  edit


Grozny and the Chechen Republic have some of the lowest recorded crime rates in Russia, and travel to the region is safe. Avoid making any comments about Ramzan Kadyrov or his father and refrain from bringing alcohol into the republic - while it is tolerated in a select few hotels frequented by foreigners, you endanger locals if you are traveling in their vehicles with alcohol or are under its influence. Just use common sense. People in Chechnya are very modern and friendly. If you get lost or need help you can easily find a police officer outside and he will help you with anything.

Many foreign governments, including the UK, Canadian and US governments, strongly warn their citizens not to travel to Chechnya under any circumstances. They report that there have been many incidents of their citizens visiting there as well as Russian citizens being missing, killed, or kidnapped for ransom.

Travel Warning WARNING: LGBT activities are illegal in Chechnya and it is one of the least homosexual friendly regions of Russia. First offenses attract prison sentences of several months to life, fines with whipping/flogging, chemical castration, forced living in concentration camps, torture, vigilante killings and public execution. A second conviction invariably results in execution. Police will join in on vigilante attacks and may execute you. Businesses will turn you away and physically attack. If you're LGBT, stay out of Chechnya

Get out[edit]

  • Argun — Argun is a city that is just a few miles east of Grozny. Just take the highway if you want to visit Argun.
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