Grozny (Russian: Гро́зный GROHZ-nyh) is the capital city of Chechnya. Since the end of the Second Chechen War in 2009, Grozny has undergone a renaissance in development, and many abandoned or low-quality apartments and houses have been demolished and replaced with newer re-built apartment buildings and suburbs. Grozny was built as a Russian fort. Throughout 1994 and the early 2000s, much of the city was razed to the ground as the Russian military battled Chechen separatist rebels.
Grozny was 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, population boomed because of the city's rich oil reserves, which drew many Russians from other parts of the country to work in the city.
During World War II, Josef Stalin accused the Chechen people as a whole of working with the Nazis to overthrow the Soviet government. The Chechens were labeled as a "traitor people". It was decided to deport all Chechens and Ingushis from the then Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Republic into exile in Central Asia. The republic was abolished and re-peopled with settlers from other parts of the Soviet Union: neighbouring North Ossetia, South Ossetia and Dagestan, Central Russia, Georgia and the Ukraine. When many of Stalin's oppressive policies were condemned and rolled back by the new Soviet leadership after 1956, the Chechen-Inglush Autonomous Republic was reinstated and Chechens were allowed to return to their homeland, doubling its population. However, no provisions were made to return the non-Chechen newcomers to their original places of residence or to compensate returning Chechens for the homes and property that they had lost, much of it now in hands of the newcomers. This and the experience of deportation caused bitter resentment between the Chechen and non-Chechen populations of the Republic. Many Chechens with no means to subsist in the countryside anymore settled in Grozny, which had been an industrial city with a predominantly Russian population even before the deportation, having only a handful of Chechen residents up until then.
In the 1990s, rebels began to form groups in an attempt to wrest Russian control of the city and the rest of Chechnya from Russia. The government lost partial control and the city was dangerous. Peace began to return during the late stages of the war in the 2000s, and what was once dubbed the "most destroyed city in the world" has been largely rebuilt, now sporting beautiful tree-lined boulevards and cafes.
Because Grozny was devastated by years of war, transportation is often tricky and hard as much of Grozny's transportation system has been destroyed. However, since reconstruction began, it's possible to take a flight to the city or use a train, bus or the convenient highway system.
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A night train departs from Moscow every second day, taking two nights. Due to terrorist threats, this 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.
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.
It's very difficult to get around Grozny since during the Siege of Grozny the tram and trolley system was almost destroyed. The tram system is not expected to re-open, but trolley buses have re-started. The trolley bus system still has not fully developed, so it's best to use a car in the city. There is a (religious) taxi company operating in the city called Islam, which uses green-painted cars.
- 1 Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque. Completed in 2008 and locally known as the Heart of Chechnya, this is by far the largest mosque in Russia and one of the more lavish in the world.
- Church of St. Michael the Archangel'. Renovated after being almost destroyed during the Siege of Grozny.
- Another good place to go is to Downtown Grozny which features many lights and shops and restaurants that are at good prices. There are also many stands which sell fruit and beer.
- On weekends, you can go and watch some football at the Sultan Bilimkhanov Stadium. FC Terek Grozny plays there in the Russian Premier League.
Because of the regional war's effect on the economy, many items in Grozny are cheap. Don't expect to find many Western essentials you can find in stores of other parts of the country. Many authentic swords and daggers can be bought at low prices. There is a flea market with many Chechen and Russian merchants. Again, don't expect much and expect to find some bootleg copies of well-known products.
- Café Oasis is a reasonable place to eat in central Grozny, although it may be difficult to find so a guide may be needed.
There are no bars in the city as local Sharia law prohibits drinking alcohol in public, but there are many local vendors which sell beer. Beer can only be sold legally between 08:00 and 10:00. The city is also home to many cafes serving Chechen food and non-alcoholic drinks.
- A good and cheap hotel is the Hotel Arena City. 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 is reported that rebels closely monitor hotels, so be careful.
- 1 Hotel Grozny City, pr. Kadyrova 1/16, ☏ , email@example.com.
The political situation has stabilized, and Grozny is no longer a warzone. It is now as safe to visit as any other part of Russia, but be careful of approaching unidentified objects, as they could be unexploded ordnance left behind from the war.
- Argun — a city that is a few miles east of Grozny along the highway.