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Northern Caucasus / Chechnya: ICRC deeply concerned about inhabitants of Gudermes

19-12-1995 News Release 95/57

Geneva (ICRC) - Several thousand people have fled Gudermes, Chechnya's second largest city situated south-east of Grozny, in the wake of violent clashes which broke out on 14 December. According to some accounts, a number of inhabitants are still stranded inside the heavily damaged city.

On 16 and 17 December, an ICRC team took about 100 people by bus to the neighbouring Republic of Daghestan, where they received blankets and food parcels. Similar assistance was provided in Chechen villages near the Daghestan border, where some of the displaced took temporary refuge in the hope that the situation would calm down enough to enable them to return home before long.

ICRC delegates have also distributed emergency medical supplies (antibiotics, analgesics and dressings) to hospitals in Grozny, Urus Martan and several villages near Gudermes, where some 60 wounded have been registered in the past few days.

Although it has temporarily had to reduce its staff in the area, the ICRC has continued its assistance activities for people in Grozny, in particular providing them with drinking water, throughout the legislative and presidential elections. It currently has 48 expatriates and about 200 local employees in the northern Caucasus.