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Russian Federation / Chechnya: Landmine Café opens in Grozny

17-02-2004 News Release 04/18

The fear of no longer being able to provide for their families haunts the many people who have been injured by mines or unexploded ordnance in Chechnya.

With the support of the ICRC and MINGA, a local non-governmental organization, nine mine victims have tackled this problem by setting up a café in Grozny, which opens officially on 17 February.

In addition to serving tea and coffee, the Landmine Café will distribute mine-awareness material and hold regular events such as exhibitions and round tables. The first event will bring journalists to the café so that survivors can tell their stories and warn others of the dangers of mines. One afternoon a month, the café will be closed to the public so that mine victims can meet in private and give each other psychological support.

The Landmine Café is among the achievements of the ICRC's mine-awareness programme in the northern Caucasus. No one is better equipped to talk about mines than the victims themselves, and the message put across by those working at the café is clear: do not touch mines or unexploded ordnance in any circumstances.

 For additional information, please contact:  

 Anastasia Isyuk, ICRC Moscow, tel. ++7 095 926 54 26  

 Flore Blancpain, ICRC Nalchik, tel. ++7 8662 95 45 74