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TAPE_NUMBER: EF00/0083 IN_TIME: 16:09:00 // 20:49:39 LENGTH: 02:22 SOURCES: APTN RESTRICTIONS: FEED: VARIOUS (THE ABOVE TIME-CODE IS TIME-OF-DAY) SCRIPT: Russian/Nat Heavy snowfall in Ingushetia is increasing the suffering of tens of thousands of refugees who have fled the Russian military campaign in Chechnya. The wintry conditions caused temperatures in the mountainous republic to drop to subzero levels on Friday - and many are barely getting by with only basic human comforts. The bitter Russian weather has consumed the armies of Napoleon and Hitler before it - and it seems to be winning the war against the refugees of Chechnya. These are conditions Russian soldiers are used to. More troops crossed from Ingushetia into the breakaway republic on Friday, as the battle for Grozny appears to be nearing its climax. This week has seen days of savage street combat in which Russian forces have failed to capture the centre of the Chechen capital. As the fighting intensifies, so too does the number of civilians fleeing missiles and bombs - to renewed hardship in these refugee camps. Until now, an unusually mild winter in the Caucasus has made life a little bit easier for Chechens who began abandoning their homes when the Russian offensive to destroy Islamic rebels escalated last September. Many fled to the neighbouring southern Russian republic of Ingushetia. Approximately 250,000 refugees are estimated to have fled here and it's believed up to 180,000 remain. Recent snowfalls brought a rare chance for children living in the makeshift camps to have some fun, and forget for a moment the difficulties of life in the refugee camps. Living quarters are very basic here. People are forced to huddle together in tents with little heating and no running water. SOUNDBITE: (Russian) "Although I have ten of my children here with me I've only received three mattresses and three blankets for all of them" SUPER CAPTION: Tamara, refugee from Grozny The freezing temperatures are now adding to their worries. The women are concerned about their children becoming sick and whether they have enough to eat. SOUNDBITE:(Russian) " A tent camp is a tent camp, nothing like your home. It is cold and damp over here, lots of problems to cope with" SUPER CAPTION: Magomed, refugee from Grozny SOUNDBITE:(Russian) " We were given this camp stove - but without a chimney. We are 17 people here - seven of us have lost all of their papers when our houses burned down - but one does need the papers to get registered." SUPER CAPTION: Khazumana, refugee from Grozny Despite the hardships, the older children are determined to make the most of the snow while it lasts in this makeshift home. Back in Grozny, it's more than likely their real homes have been reduced to rubble. The Russian onslaught is intended to wipe out Chechnya-based rebels who twice invaded the neighbouring republic of Dagestan last summer. The same rebels are blamed for apartment bombings elsewhere in Russia that killed about 300 people - but a fraction of the number of civilians suffering in freezing temperatures, without a home and uncertain of their future. SHOTLIST: Chechen-Ingush border / Karabulak refugee camp, Chechen-Ingush border - January 21, 2000 Chechen-Ingush border 1. Wide shot Adler -20 check point at Chechen-Ingush border 2. Pan large calibre gun on a truck 3. Cutaway Russian gunner 4. Midshot refugees waiting at a check point 5. Cutaway Russian sniper Karabulak refugee camp, Chechen-Ingush border 6. Pan kids skidding behind a truck 7. SOUNDBITE: (Russian) Tamara, refugee from Grozny 8. Wide shot refugee camp 9. Mid shot women walking with buckets 10. Cutaway water buckets 11. SOUNDBITE: (Russian) Magomed, refugee from Grozny 12. Wide shot refugee camp 13. SOUNDBITE: (Russian) Khazumana, refugee from Grozny 14. Cutaway sick child clutching a pill box 15. Cutaway woman 16. Cutaway stove 17. Wide shot inside tent 18. Cutaway child eating 19. Cutaway child's face 20. Kids skidding on snow XFA?