News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


UNHCR concern for civilians trapped in Chechnya


7 December -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Sadako Ogata, has reiterated her concern about the fate of Chechnya's civilian population trapped in the besieged capital, Grozny.

In a telephone conversation yesterday with Russia's top emergency official just hours after Russian media reported that the Russian military had delivered an ultimatum to Grozny's non-combatants to leave the city or be destroyed, Mrs. Ogata said the fate of Chechnya's civilians was at the moment the UN refugee agency's top concern.

Russian Federal Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu had telephoned the High Commissioner to tell her that Russia had taken steps to improve the security of aid workers in the northern Caucasus and would present a written plan shortly. Russia also said it would open airports in North Ossetia and Dagestan to international aid flights.

In the meantime, a UNHCR emergency team today went to North Ossetia's capital, Vladikavkaz, to be on standby for deployment in Ingushetia as soon as security improves. About 230,000 Chechens have fled to the neighbouring republic since fighting erupted in September. The agency has also boosted its staff in Stavropol, the logistical base for relief operations in the northern Caucasus.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


2021: NZ To Host Women’s Rugby World Cup

New Zealand’s successful bid to host the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup will raise the profile of the game locally and provide a valuable economic boost for the game, Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson says. More>>


Max Rashbrooke Review: Mahler 7 - NZSO

Gustav Mahler’s Seventh Symphony may be one of the least well-known of its ilk, but Edo de Waart and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra made a compelling case for a reassessment. They showed us a work of immense variety, surprising contrast and delicate shades of light and dark. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Strange Overtones - David Byrne's American Utopia Tour

Scotch-born singer-songwriter David Byrne starts each show on his latest world tour stroking a pink brain as he sits alone at a table in a gray three-button Kenzo suit singing a song called Here from his latest album American Utopia. More>>

Governor-General's Speech: Armistice Day 100 Years On

The response was more muted amongst our soldiers at the Front. Many received the news quietly... There was no cheering. The chaps didn’t get excited. It was just a matter of relief. We didn’t celebrate at all. More>>


Auckland Fringe Programme: A Celebration Of The Bizarre And Beautiful

Building on a huge 2018 programme that saw 492 creatives take 81 events for ventures around the city for a total of 347 performances, Auckland Fringe returns this summer, running February 19 – March 3, 2019. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland