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Northern Caucasus - Chechnya: an ominous turn for the worse

13-12-1995 News Release 50

In the absence of any real solution to the conflict in Chechnya, and as legislative and presidential elections approach, the situation there is taking an ominous turn for the worse, with sporadic clashes and attacks making the atmosphere extremely tense. In view of these events, the ICRC has temporarily reduced its staff in Grozny, but it is nevertheless pursuing humanitarian activities essential to the population, such as providing drinking water to districts where the supply has still not been restored. There are also other needs to be met since many of the displaced persons who returned to the capital are now living in partially destroyed buildings with no heating or electricity, and winter has already set in. 

In southern Chechnya, fighting and the presence of mines have held up the harvesting, and food supplies are virtually exhausted. In response to this situation, the ICRC has set up a winter relief programme for the most vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, orphans, large families, and the disabled, and is distributing food parcels and blankets to some 100,000 people. Reinforced plastic sheeting, winter clothing, blankets and candles are also being handed out, wherever security conditions permit, to nearly 100,000 individuals whose homes have been severely damaged by the fighting.