The ICRC regional delegation in Moscow
The ICRC's Moscow delegation covers the Russian Federation, Belarus and Moldova. It maintains a dialogue with Russia on humanitarian and IHL issues, mitigates the consequences of past conflicts in the northern Caucasus and supports the National Societies of the Russian Federation, Belarus and Moldova.
Engaging with Russia on humanitarian and legal issues
Russia has a fundamental role to play in humanitarian affairs and in the implementation and development of IHL, both in the region and internationally. The ICRC engages with the Russian authorities, including the ministries responsible for foreign affairs, justice and emergencies, and with regional organizations, such as the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, the Secretariat of the Council of Defence Ministers of the CIS and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. The ICRC increasingly involves the Russian academic community in discussion of IHL-related topics and the promotion of this body of international law.
Relieving suffering in the northern Caucasus
The ICRC began working in Russia in 1992, following the start of the conflict in Prigorodny District in the northern Caucasus. Since then it has provided assistance and protection to hundreds of thousands of people affected by armed violence in the region. While adapting to the changing situation, we shall continue to provide effective support and assistance to those in need. Currently, the ICRC is scaling back its operation in the northern Caucasus, although some programmes will remain.
The ICRC continues to raise awareness of the suffering of families of missing persons (of whom 2,400 are currently registered with the ICRC). These families still do not know what has happened to their relatives, and we remind the federal and local authorities of their obligation to provide answers. We are also providing psychosocial support to the families. At the same time, we are helping vulnerable families in the northern Caucasus stay in touch with relatives detained in various parts of Russia in connection with violence and former conflicts, and our support includes covering the costs of visits to places of detention. Until the end of 2014, the ICRC will continue upgrading water supply systems and supporting collective agricultural projects in remote villages of Chechnya affected by past conflicts.
Supporting Red Cross Societies
The delegation supports Red Cross Societies in the region, helping them expand their ability to respond to emergencies, promote humanitarian values and IHL, restore family links and help vulnerable people. We are currently helping the Russian Red Cross to draft a law on the red cross emblem and on the Red Cross Society itself. The ICRC works in close cooperation with the Russian Red Cross in the northern Caucasus, one example being the collection of data on the needs of mine victims in Chechnya.
The delegation's regional functions include supporting national IHL commissions in Belarus and Moldova. In addition, Moscow-based ICRC experts provide support to other ICRC delegations in the former Soviet Union.