Violence in the North Caucasus has continued since the 1990s. The First Chechen War (1994-96) and the Second Chechen war (1999-2009) witnessed massive loss of life and destruction to property, but in Chechnya and neighboring states, even in the absence of open warfare, long-term insurgencies have resulted in widespread human rights abuses and substantial numbers of missing persons cases since the 1990s. Violence has been located principally in Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia and North Ossetia–Alania.
In October 2012, Swiss Peace invited ICMP to present its work at a roundtable on “Civic Assistance to the Search for Missing Persons in the North Caucasus” held in Pyatigorsk, Russia. The event was organized by the General Lebed Peace Mission NGO, which is supported by Swiss Peace and includes family associations of missing persons, government representatives and scientists from South Ossetia, North Ossetia, Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia.
Peace Mission is based in Pyatigorsk. The organization’s director, Alexander Mukomolov, visited ICMP in 2004. The NGO’s principal objective is to develop a systematic search mechanism for missing persons, regardless of the ethnicity, nationality or origin of the missing.
According to the Peace Mission, there are between 7,400 and 8,500 persons missing in the North Caucasus region, of whom the majority (5,400 to 6,000) went missing in Chechnya and approximately 2,300 went missing in the North Caucasus Region of the Russian Federation. No substantial progress in locating and identifying the missing has been made since 2003, and according to the NGO just a few persons have been accounted for.