Russia

Salvation Army in Russia responds to needs of Chechen refugees

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News and Press Release
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A team of Salvation Army members and volunteers in Russia have travelled from the southern city of Rostov-on-Don to the Ingushetia Republic to provide humanitarian aid to refugees fleeing the conflict in neighbouring Chechnya.
As Russian military foces continue to bombard Grozny, capital of the breakaway republic of Cechnya, thousands of Chechens are fleeing into neighbouring Ingushetia. Over 300,000 Chechens, mostly women and children, have fled into this small northern Caucus republic. Here they are free from the bombing and shelling, but find that there is little food or protection from the harsh winter weather.

As a result of the history of violence against foreigners in these war-affected regions, international aid groups have been slow to respond to the needs of these suffering people. Feeling compelled to do something to help, a group of Salvationists travelled from Rostov-on-Don to Ingushetia's administrative centre of Nazran to distribute food and clothing. Led by Captain Geoff Ryan, the Salvation Army's Regional Officer for Southern Russia, the group has purchased some limited supplies with private donations from supporters in North America and the United Kingdom.

In recognition of the growing number of refugees and the life-threatening conditions they face, Colonel Kenneth Baillie, Officer Commanding, Russia/CIS, has requested assistance from The Salvation Army's International Headquarters in London. In response to this request, the International Emergency Services office has dispatched Operations Officer Janetta Korotkova Nuttall to conduct a formal needs assessment survey, in cooperation with the Regional Officer.

The assessment survey will highlight the most pressing needs and recommend a response plan by The Salvation Army. Owing to the significant financial constraints in the Russia/CIS Command, any response will be dependent upon public
generosity.

AUTHOR: N/A
ORIGINAL PUBLICATION: INR 99/48

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