This section is based on Human Rights Watch's report: "February 5: A Day of Slaughter in Novye Aldi" 

After an armed incursion by Chechen fighters into the neighboring republic of Dagestan in August 1999 and a series of apartment building bombings in September that claimed the lives of almost 300 civilians, Russian federal forces launched a military campaign to regain control over Chechnya. After several weeks of bombing and hard fighting, rebels started leaving Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, in January 2000, and the overwhelming majority had left by February 1. 

Aldi, known formally as Novye [New] Aldi, is a residential suburb of the city of Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, located on the south-west edge of the city. Aldi itself was not a target for Russian bombardment prior to February 3. It alsoappears that the settlement was not used by the fighters in any discernable way during the war; there were no reports of clashes between Russian forces and Chechen fighters in the village.

On February 3, the Russian federal forces bombed Aldi, killing at least five civilians. The next day conscript soldiers from the Russian military arrived in Aldi and warned the residents that they should have their passports ready for the next day.

On February 5, 2000, multiple units consisting predominantly of Russian kontraktniki (contract soldiers) entered the village of Aldi on the outskirts of Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. The soldiers likely numbered in excess of one hundred men and they entered the village ostensibly to check villagers' identity documents, to flush out fighters who might attempt to resist them, and to detain suspected fighters who had been left behind. They were serving either alongside or within units of OMON, the riot police. 

As the soldiers spread through Aldi, they engaged in an orgy of killing, rape and arson that has been well documented by human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and the Human Rights Centre Memorial. These organizations have documented the killing of at least 60 civilians on that day in the suburbs of Grozny. Human Rights Watch has stated that in perpetrating the massacre in Aldi, the Russian forces "unquestionably committed acts that amount to war crimes." 

Several other cases connected to the events of 5 February 2000 have been brought to the European Court of Human Rights by the Human Rights Center Memorial and the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre. The three following cases were joined in one case and have been declared admissible:

Musayev v. Russia (57941/00; 58699/00; 60403/00)

On 5 February 2000, Yusup Musayev, became a witness to nine killings, seven of whom were his relatives.


On 5 February 2000 soldiers came to the house of the Abdulmezhidov family and demanded money and jewellery. Before the soldiers left, they executed Zina Abdulmezhidova and Khuseyn Abdulmezhidov.


On 10 February 2000 neighbours found the remains of Salman and Abdula Magomodaov in the cellar of their house.


The three families’ complaints were joined in the case Musayev v. Russia, which was declared admissible in December 2005.

Summary of the case

Admissibility decision