Navigation

Swiss delegation returns from Chechen "Hell"

The head of the Swiss Disaster Relief Corps, Charles Raedersdorf, has just returned from a visit to Russia's breakaway republic of Chechnya. He said the capital, Grozny, was "like Hell" (picture shows Russian soldier patrolling city).

This content was published on March 4, 2000 - 08:06

The head of the Swiss Disaster Relief Corps, Charles Raedersdorf, has just returned from a visit to Russia's breakaway republic of Chechnya. He said the capital, Grozny, was "like Hell" (picture shows Russian soldier patrolling city).

Raedersdorf told reporters that the situation in Grozny defied imagination. He is the first representative of a foreign government to enter the city since the beginning of the conflict between Russia and Islamic rebels.

Raedersdorf said that the work of international relief agencies was made impossible by the high risk of attacks, kidnapping and landmine explosions. He called on Russia to resolve the security problems to ensure vital humanitarian aid.

He says there is an urgent lack of medicines, particularly insulin and drugs to prevent infections. He says that nearly 200,000 refugees live in precarious conditions in the neighbouring republic of Ingushetia.

Raedersdorf flew to Chechnya last Monday as part of a three-man fact-finding mission from the Swiss Disaster Relief Corps. Its chief objective was to assess the needs of the region's civilian population.

Switzerland has so far sent aid worth SFr3.5 million to the region.

From staff and wire reports

This article was automatically imported from our old content management system. If you see any display errors, please let us know: community-feedback@swissinfo.ch

Comments under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at english@swissinfo.ch.

Share this story

Join the conversation!

With a SWI account, you have the opportunity to contribute on our website.

You can Login or register here.