- In July Natalia Estemirova, from the Memorial Human Rights Centre in Grozny, was abducted outside her home and murdered. Her body was later found with gunshot wounds in neighbouring Ingushetia.
- In August the bodies of human rights activists Zarema Sadulayeva and her husband, Alik (Umar) Dzhabrailov, were found in the boot of a car in Grozny. They had both been shot. Zarema Sadulayeva was the head of the local charity, Let's Save the Generation, which helped children injured during the armed conflict in Chechnya. In October the authorities said that Alik Dzhabrailov was the target of the abduction but that his wife had insisted on going with him.
- In October, aid worker Zarema Gaisanova was taken from her home in Grozny. Prosecutors told her mother that she was alive but that they did not have access to her. Chechen TV reported that Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov had led an operation targeting fighters in a neighbour's home.
The assassination attempt in June of Ingushetian President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, seen as a moderating influence in the most unstable of the Russian Caucasian republics, raised fears about an escalation of violence.
- In May hearings began at Nazran City Court into the August 2008 killing of Magomed Evloev, a prominent opposition figure to the previous government and owner of an independent website in Ingushetia. In December a police officer was convicted of causing his death by negligence and given a two-year prison sentence.
- In October Maksharip Aushev, a friend of Magomed Evloev, who also opposed the previous government, and who had run Magomed Evloev's website after his death, was shot dead while travelling in neighbouring Kabardino-Balkaria. In December his mother- and brother-in-law were killed when a car in which they were travelling, with his widow and other relatives, was blown up.
Journalists who attempted to report allegations of torture and unlawful killings were threatened and had to leave Ingushetia. Armed groups indiscriminately killed civilians, including during suicide attacks. There were reports of traders being shot by members of armed groups for selling alcohol.
Amidst a high level of violence and lawlessness, human rights defenders and journalists were threatened or killed, and disappearances and torture continued to be reported.