Introduction

This report documents the systematic bombing and killing of civilians by the Russian military in Chechnya, which has increased in recent weeks. Despite President Yeltsin’s peace initiative and despite the presence of observers of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the field teams of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Chechnya, Ossetia, Daghestan and Ingushetia report that civilians continue to be targeted and villages flattened. International humanitarian law is being blatantly and systematically flouted.

MSF is making an urgent call for:

- an end to the systematic attacks against civilians.

- an end to the pillaging and destruction of civilian installations.

- increased access for humanitarian agencies and guaranteed security for their teams

- the strengthening of the observation and operational capabilities of the OSCE, with effective political support.

- the respect by the Russian military for the proportionality of the attacks.

 


CIVILIANS TARGETED:

HUMANITARIAN LAW FLOUTED IN CHECHNYA

The only remaining non-governmental organization on the ground in Chechnya, MSF has witnessed a consistent pattern of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law:

 

1. Civilians and villages are systematically targeted

As the Russian offensive pushes south-west and south-east, village after village is encircled by the troops. Interviews with refugees from different villages all report the same sequence of incidents:

- A peace ultimatum is issued by the troops to the villagers to "give up the fighters and weapons".

- Even if the villagers sign a local peace agreement, it is rarely respected. That night or the following morning, the villages are bombed and villagers are indiscriminately shot at.

- The population has to pay the military for a so-called "humanitarian corridor". Prices vary between 50 and 60 million rubles for two or three hours passage.

- The corridor is often not respected and villagers leaving with their few belongings are shot at.

- Men and women are separated. Many of the males aged 12 years and older are arrested and no one knows what happens to them or where they are taken to.

- Villagers are not allowed to take the dead with them.

- Tanks and armored vehicles enter the villages. MSF has gathered reliable reports of men, women and children put on the tanks as human shields. Women and children are pushed in front of soldiers as they enter the houses to loot, shoot and pillage. Cattle are also shot or taken away.

- Military trucks take away the looted goods.

- When the pillaging and burning of houses is over, villagers can go back to collect what is left. Many arbitrary arrests have occurred at this stage.

 

The MSF team at one Sernovosk roadblock witnessed the following incidents:

- Hysterical and shocked women were shot at while leaving the village through the "humanitarian corridor". MSF teams transported the wounded to hospital.

- Soldiers checked men and boys aged 12 and older for "weapons" calluses on their hands and shoulders. Arrests followed.

- On 4th March, soldiers were seen forcing a woman to leave her dead baby on the roadside before she was allowed to leave the area.

- On 9th March, three ten-ton military trucks left the area with mattresses, refrigerators and other civilian possessions. In Ossetia, MSF teams have witnessed military trucks off-load and sell goods to market sellers.

 

Other incidents were witnessed in the Shamaski area:

- On 15th March, two trucks left Shamaski village with around 100 men. The trucks were turned back by the Russian troops. There have been no reports of the men’s whereabouts since then.

- On 17th March, soldiers arrested one young man trying to return to Samashki village. He was thrown in a military truck. When his sister and mother tried to intervene the soldiers aimed weapons at the women and fired above their heads.

 

2. No access for humanitarian organizations

During the systematic attacks on villages and civilians, aid agency vehicles, supplies and teams are blocked by the military at the roadblocks. All our teams can do is watch, collect and cross-reference repeated accounts of the above violations and pick up the wounded who manage to get out.

- During the siege of Sernovosk, aid was only allowed through 25 days after the bombing ended. To date, our teams have not been officially allowed to go through the military roadblocks.

- Aid workers are only allowed in to contested territory when the emergency phase is over and an area has been thoroughly "pacified".

- Aid agencies working in Chechnya and with Chechen refugees outside the territory have great difficulties clearing customs. For example, the administrative procedures for clearing anesthetic drugs, essential for surgery, are lengthier than for any other drug. Our staff are forced to separate these drugs from our ready-made emergency kits, which slows down emergency operations.

 

3. Offensive continues despite peace initiative

 

- Fighting has intensified since late March. In April alone, 25,000 new Chechen refugees arrived in Ingushetia and 20,000 in Daghestan. There are now around 110,000 Chechen refugees. There are no reliable estimates of the numnber of people who have been internally displaced.

- MSF teams have continued to witness or receive reliable reports of bombings in:

South-East Chechnya in April:

Stareatigi, March 28th to early April;

Sajassin and Betsel-Yrsu villages, April 1st;

Nozajurt, April 3rd;

Chelishotar, April 4th;

Basken Irsai, April 5th;

Meskety, April 6th;

Sergenyurt, Zandak and Ischi Yurt, early April.

 

South-West Chechnya in March (intensification of bombing campaign in villages/towns which had signed local peace agreements with military):

Sernovosk, from March 3rd;

Atchoi Martan area, March 21st;

Rus Martan area, March 24th;

Bamut, March 28th.

 


APPENDIX 1

 

Attacks against MSF relief vehicles and staff

 

1. MSF lorry driver killed on 29th January 1996

The lorry driver, Ashot Akopovich Shakhnazarian, employed by MSF to transport medicines and logistical equipment from Pyatigorsk to Grozny, was killed on the return journey to Pyatigorsk on 29 January 1996.

On the evening of 30 January we were informed by some villagers that our driver had been wounded or killed on the Meken-Jurt road, about twenty kilometres from Grozny. Near the village of Ken-Jurt, the lorry came under fire from a helicopter of the Federal Army which fired several rockets. Afterwards the helicopter drew near and began to machine gun the driver who tried to take cover under the lorry. Severely wounded, the driver was taken to the Nadteretchnoë hospital. He died on the way to hospital.

 

2. Theft by Russian soldiers of a lorry and all its MSF identification on 12th March 1996

On 12 March 1996 at 14.00 hrs, an MSF vehicle bearing the license number C445 AK 20 RUS, belonging to Said Mogamed Khadichev, was confiscated at the Zavadskoë region check-point (south of the town of Grozny). The lorry was brought to a halt by shots fired into the air. This vehicle was identified by "MSF" stickers (on the bonnet and the doors) and a flag. The driver himself was wearing the organization's jacket and his identification badge. The soldiers appeared to be Cossacks. They searched the vehicle and its driver, who was ordered to leave and return at 17.00 hours to look for his lorry with the head of his organization. When the driver asked the Major for permission to retrieve his MSF jacket, the latter started to shoot under the driver’s feet. At 15.00 hrs, in the headquarters of the northern airport, we were informed that these soldiers had no connection with them and that they were under no orders from this headquarters. It was then suggested that we speak to General Tikhomirov to resolve the question. At 16.30 hrs the head of the MSF mission and the driver returned to the location of the incident but there was no longer any vehicle or check-point.

 

3. Logistics assistant injured by bullets fired from a Federal Army armored vehicle on 21st March, 1996.

On 21 March 1996 at 13.30 hrs a taxi hired by MSF carrying the driver and a logistics assistant became the target of a Russian armored vehicle. The taxi was making its way along the main road between the MSF office and No 9 Hospital when an armored vehicle appeared from behind and opened continuous fire, aiming at the petrol tank in an attempt to blow up the vehicle. At that moment the driver pulled up at the side of the road as the logistics assistant was already wounded from a bullet in the leg. The armored vehicle slowed down and the soldiers continued to fire at the logistics assistant despite the fact that he was wearing an MSF jacket. Two bullets entered his hip and one in his leg. The driver was not hurt.

 

 


APPENDIX 2

 

Grozny situation report

 

Every day people are shot and wounded on the streets of Grozny. Going out in search of water or food has become an enormous risk. The MSF teams file daily reports of sporadic fighting in different areas of the town. The "checkpoints" open and close at the whim of the soldiers stationed there. Arbitrary arrests and the theft of vehicles are commonplace.

The situation in Grozny has worsened considerably since the shelling of Sernovosk began in early March. More civilians than usual were killed by Russian snipers. Our teams reported that the armored vehicles of the Federal Army started shooting indiscriminately at civilian vehicles. This renewed military activity seems to be aimed at creating a climate of terror among civilians.

Wounded civilians cannot reach medical assistance safely. The Russian military show no respect for the medical vehicles or buildings. Civilians are targeted by snipers even inside the confines of Hospital No 9 in Grozny, where MSF teams are working.

 

Raid on the central market in Grozny, 3rd April, 1996:

On 3 April 1996 at 10.00 hrs the federal troops surrounded the market with armored vehicles, taking men and boys over 16 prisoner. An eye witness reported having seen at least 8 men led away by the soldiers. At the end of the operation at 16.00 hrs, the armored vehicles left the market. The same type of action occurred on 12 April 1996.

 

Admissions to Hospitals No. 3, 4 and 9 in Grozny: MSF figures, March 1996

The majority of the victims listed here were injured by the Federal Army in March 1996. This list does not include the many dead and injured civilians who were unable to reach medical assistance. For obvious security reasons, people’s names are not mentioned.

 

Hospital No. 9

17th March

- 17-year-old male, resident of Grozny. He was out for a walk in the Minutka district in early evening. Other people were also outdoors. Suddenly a shell burst from nearby buildings and injured him in the spinal column. He is handicapped for life.

 

15th March

- 30-year-old female, resident of Grozny. Just before 19.00 hrs, she was driving towards the town centre by car with two other people. The car was fired upon without warning by a roadside military post. She was seriously wounded in the arm and the other woman in the car was also wounded. She arrived at the hospital the following day.

- 55-year-old female, resident of Grozny. At 18.00 hrs, she was in a car driving towards the town center from Katayama. The car was fired upon from a military base and the driver and both passengers were wounded. She was wounded in the hip.

 

14th March

- 55-year-old male, resident of Grozny. At 21.00 hrs in the Microrayon district, wounded by a grenade explosion. The soldiers at the nearby check-point began firing, preventing him from being evacuated. Admitted to hospital No.9 the following day.

 

13th March

- 5-year-old male, resident of Grozny. At 16.30 hrs, the child was playing outdoors when a grenade exploded, wounding him seriously in the foot and face.

 

12th March

- 35-year-old female, resident of Grozny. At 10.00 hrs near Minutka, she was in a car with 4 other people. The car stopped because two corpses were lying on the road in front of them. The people got out of the car and were fired on by a sniper She was hit in both arms and a leg; the other passengers were also injured.

 

11th March

- 40-year-old male, resident of Grozny. At 7.30 hrs, while going to work, he shot by sniper. Soldiers at the nearby check-point would not let him through to get to the hospital, until someone gave them a drink (alcohol). Wounded in the hip, he was handicapped for life.

- 12-year-old male, resident of Grozny. At 11.30 hrs, he went out to buy some bread, he saw some soldiers in the building opposite shooting in the air. He turned around and was hit by three bullets in the left shoulder. The soldiers then entered his house and accused him of being a combatant. After three operations, a bullet is still lodged in his body.

 

10th March 1996

- 59-year-old male, resident of Grozny. While trying to leave the district known as "Tchernoretche", he addressed some Russian soldiers who let him pass and then fired on him, wounding him in the shoulder.

 

9th March 1996

- 46-year-old female, resident of Grozny. At 18.00 hrs, following a power cut, she left her house and was hit in the lung and abdomen by a bullet fired from a nearby military base.

 

8th March 1996

- 60-year-old male, resident of Grozny. At 11.00 hrs, he saw from the cellar where he was hiding that his apartment was on fire. He left to try to extinguish it and was hit by two bullets, one in the arm and the other in the shoulder. He arrived at the hospital on 15 March. His wife had been killed on 13 March.

- 47 year old male, resident of Grozny. At 8.00 hrs in the environs of the OSCE office in the town centre, he was wounded in the head by a sniper. A local militia car contacted the Russian soldiers by radio to get them to stop firing while they evacuated the wounded.

- 60 year old male, resident of Grozny; At 11.00 hrs in the Oktoberski district, the republican hospital was occupied by Russian soldiers. After having tried to negotiate with them, he requested them to leave the hospital. Instead, the soldiers ordered him to leave and then fire a shot at him. He was wounded on the right side and the bullet is still lodged in his body. He was admitted to hospital No 9 on 11 March.

 

7 March 1996

- 15 year old female, resident of Grozny. At 11.30 hrs she heard shots in the street and tried to hide in the back rooms. As she did so, a grenade thrown from the street exploded, causing severe injuries. She was admitted on 8 March.

- 61 year old male, resident of Grozny. At 8.00 hrs, a grenade thrown from a Russian armored car exploded in the courtyard of his house. His right leg was amputated at the knee.

- 19 year old female, resident of Grozny. At 10.00 hrs, he and eight others from his building were wounded by grenade explosions. He suffered wounds in the head and left arm.

- 12 year old male, resident of Gudermes. At 10.30 hrs in the Nyftyanka district, he and 15 others were caught in the crossfire between separatists and Russian soldiers. He was wounded in the stomach and the spinal column and is handicapped for life.

- 38 year old female, resident of Grozny. At 10.00 hrs, she was going home through the town center when firing commenced from a nearby military base. She was wounded in the left hip and the right leg and admitted to hospital two days later.

 

6 March 1996

- 6 year old male, resident of Grozny. At 9.00 hrs , his family decided to take refuge in the building’s cellar after hearing soldiers in the street. While crossing the courtyard, the child was wounded in the face by a bullet. Other people were also hurt.

 

Admissions to Hospital No 9 during the period 6 to 21 March 1996:

Admissions Outpatients Dead
105 103 12

 

Admissions to Hospital No 3 during the period 6 to 21 March 1996:


Admissions Outpatients Dead
35 1 5

 

Surgical admissions to hospital No 4 during the period 6 to 14 March 1996:

 

Women:

-24 years old, bullet in right leg

-48 years old, explosion over the small of the back

-24 years old, bullet in right leg

-54 years old, explosion affecting the right kidney

-40 years old, bullet in right leg

-74 years old, explosion hitting the right side of the face

-59 years old, explosion affecting the right kidney

Children:

-13 years old, bullet in abdominal cavity

-15 years old, shrapnel in the left thigh

-6 years old, head wound

-12 years old, shrapnel in the thigh

-9 years old, bullet passing right through the lung (died 7/3/96)

-14 years old, shrapnel in the left thigh and right hand

Men:

-48 years old, wounded by shrapnel and bullet through left side of face

-22 years old, wounded by bullet in left shoulder

-42 years old, wounded by shrapnel in the thigh and the right knee

-41 years old, shrapnel in the forearm

-33 years old, bullet passing through forearm and lung

-42 years old, bullet passing through right thigh

-78 years old, bullet passing through right hand

-38 years old, shrapnel in the buttocks

-44 years old, bullet passing through right thigh

-23 years old, bullet passing through the elbow

-29 years old, wounded in the right hand

-42 years old, shrapnel in the left shoulder

-82 years old, bullet hitting left elbow

-70 years old, bullet passing through left shoulder

-28 years old, explosive bullet in the abdominal cavity

-41 years old, shrapnel in the left shoulder

-59 years old, shrapnel in the left thigh

-41 years old, bullet passed right through the left forearm

-29 years old, bullet passed right through the right leg

APPENDIX 3

 


Situation in the countryside

Vedeno

Our team located at Vedeno has regularly reported shelling from federal aircraft and artillery fire on civilian targets (schools, hospitals and markets). Eyewitness accounts taken in the Argun hospitals, the area to which part of the population of Vedeno has fled, are damning: snipers firing on women and children leaving the zone, helicopters firing on vehicles transporting women and children, and houses looted and burnt down. The conditions facing the civilians as they try to evacuate the region lead us to conclude that the federal army is conducting a "scorched earth" policy. It is evident that this policy of terror specifically targets the civilian population.

The eastern part of the Republic is frequently shelled, especially the Nozajurt region. Refugees from this region who have been able to cross the border with Dagestan tell of the same types of atrocities committed elsewhere: civilian convoys being fired upon and looting and destruction even after villages have been taken by the federal army.

To the west the towns of Sernovosk and Samashki have been subjected to aerial and artillery bombardment. In Samashki, an evacuation corridor was offered to women and children, with men and boys aged more than 12 having to remain in the town. When the soldiers entered the town, which had been destroyed, they put women and children on their armored vehicles as human shields.

 

Report of the medical coordinator's visit to Samashki on 1st April 1996.

On 1st April 1996 two members of our team from Grozny went to Samashki, about 30 km west of Grozny. The village had been shelled for one week by federal troops.

Samashki previously had 12,000 inhabitants and about 3,000 houses. Today, only 300 people remain, although some were able to visit for the day on buses provided by IOM. The local authorities escorted our team because the village was still heavily mined. The forces of the Russian Minister of the Interior were also in the village.

The village has been subjected to very heavy aerial and artillery bombardment (8 ton bombs). Nothing had been spared, not even the hospital or the schools. Animal corpses were everywhere (IOM had begun burning them). Many houses had been burnt down, and some armored vehicles were burnt out.

The water system had been destroyed. People were walking four kilometres along the river to collect water. The 50-bed hospital had been destroyed and the four doctors had left for the clinics in Nova-Charor and Davidienko. Many seriously wounded had been transported to Achor-Martan and Urus-Martan. There were reports of 200 dead but news of new victims arrived every day.

We were told how the attack had developed/ After commencing "peace negotiations" and having given arms and money to the Russian soldiers, the village was then surrounded by the federal troops surrounded the village and artillery. A humanitarian corridor was "offered" to the villagers and they were given two hours to leave the village. Men and boys older than 12 years were not able to leave the village. About 200 were taken prisoner and driven to the "filtration camps". However, the women did not want to leave without husbands and sons. The bombardment began while the population was still inside the village. As the federal troops entered the village they piled women and children on their armored vehicles as a human shield. They looted and burned the houses. 4,321 people from Samashki are now at Nova-Charor and another 2,066 people from Samashki are at Davidienko. They have a great need for food, hygiene products, blankets, mattresses and other basic material.

 

Report of the team visit to Argun on 12 April 1996:

A team visited Argun, to the east of the capital, to bring urgent medical help. They met people who had been forced out of the Vedeno region, and collected the following eyewitness accounts:

K.S. a 36 year old woman from Tsa-Vedeno: left on foot on 5/4/96 with two children and her husband. She was among a group of 30 fired at by snipers. Two girls were shot, and as their brother turned back to recover them he was also shot.

A. and Z.S., two women from Tsa-Vedeno mentioned the presence of snipers shooting at them. It was impossible to gather up the wounded and dead. At Ekhiekhatoj, Z. saw a car attacked in front of her. Six children were injured and a 19 year old girl lost a leg and was hospitalized in Shali.

A.O., left Vedeno on 4/4/96, and saw his family pushed up against a wall while the soldiers looted and then burned his house. He arrived at Argun in a convoy of villagers which had been targeted by helicopters: two children had been wounded.

S.V. left Vedeno on 1/4/96 on foot. On the road he saw a vehicle fired on by a helicopter: Four people, including two children, were killed.

K.K from Dargo saw his house looted and burned.

S.I. from Dargo reported that on 1/4/96 at 15.00 hrs the Russians started their bombardment. The villagers thought there was to be a retreat ,as promised by President Yeltsin. She left in the direction of Markhetis and saw two lorry loads of civilians targeted by helicopters (7 children wounded and treated in Shali hospital).

C.N. left Vedeno on 1/4/96. At Agichtoj she saw a tank open fire on a civilian vehicle and a 15 year old boy lost a leg. She had taken refuge in Argun where she is one of 30 people sharing two rooms.

Z.M. from Ersinoj. By the time she left her village on 10/4/96 the federal army had already destroyed half of it.

 

 

Eye-witness accounts of human rights violations gathered by MSF international staff from refugees from Shamaski and Sernovosk.

Louisa

Louisa, from Samashki, has been a refugee in Sliptokaia since March 21st. She reported that the Russian troops launched their assault on the town without warning on March 14th. An earlier attack had taken place on April 7th and 8th last year.

A humanitarian corridor was opened on 14th. The Russian military separated the people - the women on one side and the men and young boys on the other - and took away about 140 men, including all young boys aged 13 to 15.

Most of the population stayed in the town throughout the bombing until March 19th, when the exodus started. Louisa described how helicopter gunships fired into columns of fleeing refugees, killing three women in front of her.

On the same day, she saw a group of Russian soldiers line up a family against the wall to shoot them. Their commander arrived and ordered them to stop, and the people went back in to the cellar. Moments later, the soldiers threw two grenades into the cellar, killing three women.

 

Vahka Baissev

Vakha Baissaev, a 55-year-old director of a Shamaski factory, which is now completely destroyed. He described himself as a communist.

Mr Baissaev described the events of 18th March in Shamaski, when the Russian military destroyed all economic infrastructure in the town, including the water supply system, bridges, roads and the main factory. He described how, in the early hours of 19th March, a group of "cossaks", new recruits in the Chechnyan war, searched the house where Mr Baissaev and 32 other people were taking shelter. Everyone was gathered in the courtyard. In order to save the rest of the civilians, Mr Baissaev and another younger man gave themselves up, saying they were the only likely combatants in the house. The soldiers promised they would not harm anyone, but threw grenades into the group, killing seven people (six women and one old man) and injuring 29 people, including Mr Baissaev. The people lay on the ground for several hours, while troops looted the house and burnt out the first floor with a flame-thrower. The dead were not buried for several days.

On the fifth day of the offensive, the population of Shamaski were gathered at the factory complex, about 14,000 of them, spending nights in the open with no assistance. Mr Baissaev reported that helicopter gunships shot eight people dead in one single incident. He also described scenes of general chaos among the Russian forces, with helicopter gunships destroying two of their own armored vehicles whilst firing at the refugees. As the Russian military offered a safe passage out of the town only to women and very young children, many men fled to join the rebels.

 

In separate interviews, MSF has spoken to the relatives of an estimated 120 people (young men and women) from Shamaski who fled the besieged town on 15th March and have not been heard of since being arrested by Russian troops during passport checks. Relatives who enquired about their fate with the Russian authorities in Grozny were told that they would be released soon but no information was given as to where they might be held.

 

 

Three women

 

Three women described to MSF representatives how the Russian forces looted their homes, killed their cattle and set their homes on fire.

 

They reported that the Russian forces encircled Shamaski on 14th March. Soldiers entered their homes looking for their husbands. They were then told not to move out of their houses and hid in the cellar. The women reported that the subsequent shelling struck every street indiscriminately, leaving about 20 houses standing.

 

For fear of the Russian soldiers throwing grenades into the cellars, one woman came out of the cellar to confront a group of about 15 soldiers in a armored vehicle. She said that they insulted her and asked her for watches and other valuables. She said that they claimed that they had looted everything of any value in Sernovodsk.

 

According to one woman, the soldiers claimed that they had been ordered by "Koulikov, Grachev and Zorgaev", not to let anyone leave the town, which was described as a hiding place for rebel fighters.

 

 

 

Said Doundaev

 

Said Doundaev, a 46-year-old professor of Russian literature from Sernovodsk, reported that despite the earlier announcement of peace talks, the attack on Sernovodsk began in the morning of March 3th. About 200 civilians gathered in the center of the village and hid in a cellar until midday. Mr Doundaev then went back to his home despite the fighting to find his passport and save whatever he could. He described how his house was entirely destroyed and his four cows killed. His brother’s house was not burnt down, but was entirely destroyed, with not a single room left intact.

 

Later that afternoon, about 1,000 civilians had gathered in the cellar in the center of the village. Doctors set up a makeshift hospital to treat a growing number of wounded. Mr Doundaev described the general chaos. There was no gas left to heat water for the wounded so fires had to be lit at street level in spite of the shelling. MSF also interviewed Asseieva Ekaterina Illinitchna, a 72-year-old woman who was treated in the same cellar after being shot in the arm by Russian soldiers and who described the same conditions.

 

 

Leila

 

Leila, a 27-year-old mother from Sernovosk, was interviewed at Nazran Hospital. She bore visible signs of severe burns on the face and hands.

 

Three weeks after the "pacification" of Sernovodsk, she was at her home with her mother-in-law, her daughter and an elderly woman whose house had been burnt down. She described how Russian soldiers stormed the house, visibly drunk, threw flammable liquid into the room and set it on fire. There was a kind of explosion and everything was on fire. Leila described how she threw her burning clothes off and tried to help her 10-year-old daughter, whose clothes were burning too. Both of them were in a state of shock and intense pain. Leila sought help with the federal forces and was given first aid by an army medical doctor before being evacuated to Sliptsovskaia in a Russian armored vehicle.

 

 


APPENDIX 4

MSF's Humanitarian Activities

 

MSF has been present in the region (Ingushetia, Ossetia, Dagestan and Chechnya) since 1993 and has implemented medical, sanitary and feeding programmes. As eyewitnesses to the daily events in Chechnya we are forced to make the following statement: the civilian population today is not receiving any protection and is suffering greatly. This suffering has not decreased since Boris Yeltsin's declaration of 31 March 1996.

 

Since beginning our operations in the Chechnya we have been continually confronted by administrative restrictions and delays: customs problems, problems obtaining permits for going out and about in Grozny, and refusals at check points. Our humanitarian teams have come under fire, been threatened, and endured armed robbery on several occasions. International organizations face extremely dangerous safety conditions and significant political and administrative hindrance.

 

For two months the border with Dagestan has been closed to our teams in charge of the Eastern part of Chechnya. Two hundred tons of food for the civilian population are still being held up. Our attempts to reach the villages of Sernovosk and Samashki while they were under shelling were completely rejected. We were only allowed access 25 days later.

 

We have five field stations in the regions:

 

 

Grozny

The team is composed of eight expatriates: two doctors, two nurses, two logistics personnel, an administrator, a coordinator and 40 national staff (drivers, translators, logistics staff, medical staff).

 

a. Medical programmes

- Managing over No 9 Hospital, including technical assistance, supplying medicines and urgent surgical equipment, sanitation and general rehabilitation.

- Managing medical care and rehabilitation at the private general hospitals in Grozny

- Managing medical care and rehabilitation of the hospital in Vedeno.

b. Sanitation programme

- Supplying water in different areas of the town and rehabilitating the water transportation system

 

c. Food programme

- Distributing hot meals for 1500 people in Grozny

- Distributing dry food for the social institutions in Grozny and for the population of the south of the country (900 tons in all).

 

Vedeno (south of Chechnya)

The teams is composed of three expatriate staff (one doctor, one nurse-anesthetist and a logistics person and ten national staff

a. Medical programme

- Managing the hospital at Vedeno and providing mobile consultations

b. Food programme

- Distributing dry food

 

 

 

Khassaviurt (Dagestan)

The teams is composed of three expatriate staff (one doctor and two logistics personnel).

a. Medical programme

- Providing medical care in centres for Chechen refugees and creating mobile medical teams

- Running medical centers in Nozajurt to the east of Chechen (but no access at the moment from Dagestan)

b. Food programme

- Distributing dry food to the population of the region of Nozajurt (no access for the time being)

c. Sanitation programme:

- Rehabilitation of the sanitary system of collective refugee centres.

 

Piatigrosk (Russia)

The regional coordination team is located here and is made up of a general coordinator, an administrator, a logistics coordinator and a financial controller. They have responsibility for general administration, supply, customs clearance, and financial control.

 

 

Ossetia.

The team is composed of one expatriate doctor

a. Medical programme

- medical assistance for refugees coming from the region of Prigorodny.

Related News & Publications