Grozny (other spellings Grozni, Groznyy) is a city situated in the North Caucasus region of Russia, capital and administrative city of Chechnya Republic. The city is standing on both banks of the Sunzha River, the tributary of the Terek River.
Grozny population is about 293,000 (2012), land area - 305 sq. km.
The phone code is +7 8712, postal codes are 364000-364099.
Grozny was founded in 1818 when the fortress Groznaya was built. It was the Russian Empire army outpost playing an important role during the Caucasian War and was populated by the Terek Cossacks.
After the Caucasus War, in 1869, the settlement received the name Grozny (meaning “fearsome”). The town was growing slowly before the discovery of oil happened in the beginning of the 20th century. Soon Grozny became the center of the Russian oil fields in the Caucasus region.
During the Soviet times, Grozny was several times repopulated by Russians or by Chechens and Ingush. For example, before the World War II, the population of Grozny included a lot of Chechens and Ingush people, but in 1944 almost all of them were deported to Kazakhstan and Siberian regions of the USSR for “collaboration” with Nazi Germany.
Later, after the death of Stalin, Chechens and Ingush people were allowed to return to the city while the Russian population started to leave it. And by the end of 1960, the Russian population was less than Chechens and Ingush. The population of Grozny in 1989 was about 400,000 people.
With the end of the USSR, the city became the center of the Chechen separatist government headed by Dzhokhar Dudaev. After several tries to overthrow Dudayev and return the region under the control of the Russian government, the first Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, ordered to return control over the region by military force.
The first Chechen War began in the winter of 1994. Grozny was captured by the Russian army in February, 1995 after heavy fighting. A lot of buildings and infrastructure objects of the city were damaged or destroyed because of the Russian Air Force and artillery strikes.
But the resistance to Russian troops was not ended, and numerous Chechen guerrilla raids continued to operate in Grozny from the nearby mountains. In August 1996, it was recaptured by Chechen guerrilla in a surprise attack. The battle was ended after a ceasefire (in 1996) and peace treaty (in 1997) was signed between Russia and the Chechen Republic.
Chechens changed the name of the city to Dzhokhar after their first leader. At that time almost all Russians fled the city. Grozny became the center of fighting again during the Second Chechen War. Once again it was heavily damaged. The United Nations called Grozny the most destroyed city on the planet in 2003.
Today, after the war, Grozny is once again the administrative center of the Chechnya Republic of Russia. The reconstruction works are again in process. In 2005, the railway connection with other parts of Russia was restored and the city airport, Severny, began to offer flights to Moscow.
Also, after several years of reconstruction, the beautiful Grozny city mosque (the largest in Europe) was opened in 2008. Grozny is also known as the home city of the Russian Premier League soccer club “FC Terek” playing in Sultan Bilimkhanov stadium.