North Caucasus: registered IDPs top quarter million
The 15th UNHCR convoy of relief items, comprising 19 trucks with 285 MT of food, arrived this morning (8.30 a.m. local time) in Ingushetia from Stavropol.One truck with 1,600 pairs of winter shoes provided by the Danish Refugee Council was sent with this convoy.
With today's convoy, UNHCR has sent a total of 2,128 tons of food and more than 1,000 tons of non-food items (excluding tents) for the IDPs in Ingushetia, since the beginning of October. The total value of these relief items is US $1,237,215.The total number of IDPs registered by the Ingush Migration Service is 246,219 persons. Since 1 November, a total of 82,683 IDPs have moved from Chechnya to Ingushetia, and 35,730 from Ingushetia to Chechnya through the Kavkaz checkpoint, according to officials. Yesterday (13 December), 1,408 people went to Ingushetia and 915 to Chechnya.
A second safe passage was opened on Saturday, following the route of the highway from Grozny to Rostov on Don. The first safe passage leads to the northern part of Chechnya. So far, however, only a few hundred IDPs have managed to use these corridors to escape. According to various sources of information 15,000-40,000 civilians remain in Grozny.
According to Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu, some 67,000 IDPs have already returned to Chechnya, the vast majority to their places of origin. An official of the Federal Migration Service (Mr. V. Kalamanov), placed the returnee figure at between 30,000 and 40,000 people.
Prime Minister V. Putin, in one of his latest interviews, mentioned that the current and previous conflict in Chechnya had driven 220,000 ethnic Russians and 550,000 Chechens out of the republic. According the census in 1989 the population of Chechnya was 1,080,000.