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Russian Federation/Chechnya: fighting has died down, but the needs remain acute

28-08-1996 News Release 96/34

On Tuesday, 27 August, the ICRC obtained permission from both warring parties to set up its field hospital in Novy Atagy. Assembly began the following day.

Peace and quiet have gradually been returning to Grozny in recent days but few displaced residents have ventured to return to the city, deserted by much of its population in reaction to the chaos of last week. ICRC delegates have resumed their activities, in particular the distribution of food and water. Since 14 August, 20,000 people have received such assistance in Grozny itself, and on 27 August a sixth convoy brought relief for 8,000 more. In all, some 60,000 people in Chechnya have recently benefited from ICRC assistance.

With the prospect of larger numbers of Grozny's population returning to their homes, the ICRC is assessing the state of the city's medical and water-supply facilities. The first step will be to determine what is needed to bring hospitals No. 9 and No. 4 back into working order. ICRC sanitary engineers are developing a network to distribute water by tanker truck pending the repair of pumping stations destroyed during the fighting and restoration of the electricity supply.

Over the past few days, delegates have collected some 2,000 Red Cross Messages, more than half of which have already been forwarded to the addressees.