The Most Destroyed City On Earth

You’ll never guess what country is to blame

Grant Piper
3 min readApr 6, 2022


Grozny, 1995 (Public domain)

If a person was asked to identify the most destroyed city on Earth right now many people would likely point to Ukraine and say “take your pick”. But the title of most destroyed city was actually given out to a city in Russia. No one is vying for the title of the most destroyed city but it is a superlative that was given out by the United Nations. In 2003, the United Nations declared Grozny the most destroyed city on Earth.

It will come as no surprise to many people today to learn that the Russian military was responsible for the destruction of Grozny. The actions of the Russian army, led by Vladimir Putin, ground the city of Grozny to ashes starting in 1999.

The Siege of Grozny

The apocalyptic finale to the battle in Grozny came after years of fighting between Chechnyan rebels in the Caucuses and the weakened Russian Federation following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Chechnyan people were hoping to break away from Russia and form an independent Muslim nation. Success could have galvanized the other peoples in the Caucuses to launch their own rebellions against Russia.

Instead of a victory, the Chechnyans faced the wrath of Russia. The Russians had no intention of letting more of their former empire slip away. In a scene that, again, sounds familiar to today the Russians ran into a lot of heavy resistance in Chechnya that led to far more losses than expected.

Grozny is the capital of Chechnya and is the cultural heart of the region. Instead of fighting a bloody and losing battle in the streets, the Russians decided to make an example out of Grozny.

In 1999, the Russian military captured key heights around the city and proceeded to brutally bombard the city for weeks on end. The battle quickly devolved into a siege that lasted over a month. The Russians surrounded the city and continuously hit it with heavy weaponry day after day, night after night until there was nothing left.

The United Nations claimed that every building in Grozny was damaged or destroyed in the fighting. 100% of the city was scarred by war.



Grant Piper

Professional writer. Amateur historian. Husband, father, Christian.