Protest against Russian actions in the Northern Caucasus




THIS IS AN ALERT LETTER TO EVERYONE CONCERNED ABOUT THE SITUATION OF DISPLACED PERSONS IN THE RUSSIAN NORTHERN CAUCASUS


WE DECLARE THE FIRST PUBLIC INITIATIVE FOR DIRECT HUMANITARIAN AID
Russian troops continue military actions in Chechnya. In the meantime people are fleeing this territory for their lives and, when permitted to cross the border with Ingushetia, are put into refugee camps there. More than 215,000 of displaced persons are put in camps, and only those who have relatives in other regions of Russia are granted permission to leave Ingushe- tia. Russian public seems to support harsh military measures while the suffering of those deprived of their belongings and human dignity goes unnoticed. Current humanitarian aid is not sufficient and frequently does not reach refugees at all. Until lately there was no public initiative in Russia for organizing direct aid. Antifascist Youth Action together with a Youth Cultural Association started the first program of a direct humanitarian mission to Ingushetia to help refugees.

HELP THOSE IN NEED!


DIRECTLY. INDEPENDENTLY. NEUTRALLY. PRECISELY
Russian and international observers agree that the present situation in the Northern Caucasus is a humanitarian catastrophe. Behind this definition are personal tragedies of tens of thousands of Russian citizens who are fleeing Chechnya for their lives. The Republic of Ingushetia, which borders Chechnya, alone houses approximately 215,000 refugees. People in refugee camps suffer from shortage of food, warm clothing, essential medicines, and baby food. The situation is deteriorating with every day. Several deaths have been reported, including new-born babies. The continuing military campaign and approaching winter are sure to make life of the displaced persons even harder.
The initiative of a direct help to the refugees belongs to the Cultural Association. Currently this civil initiative is being realized together with the Antifascist Youth Movement. The main goal of this action is to help the refugees disregarding the whole array of opinions on how the Chechen crisis should be tackled. Public voluntary support and aid will be signs of a free will and reconciliation, and will signify that those who are deprived of their belongings due to military action are not neglected by the society. Today the fastest and safest way to help is to deliver and distribute articles directly. We appeal to everyone who is concerned about civilians suffering without shelter and means of existence: HELP THOSE IN NEED! DIRECTLY. INDEPENDENTLY. NEUTRALLY. PRECISELY.

We have already begun collecting warm clothing. The first shipment was sent to the "Northern Point" camp (Ingushetia), which houses 6,000 people. This action was organized in cooperation with the Center for Peace and Social Development. In the nearest future we plan to organize a humanitarian convoy to another refugee camp, supposedly one near Ingush town of Karabulak, where 7, 000 to 10,000 people are placed. We have an experience of organizing a humanitarian convoy with a direct distribution of articles in cooperation with "Hilfe fuer die Vergessenen" (Austria - Bosnia).
We need funds for leasing trucks and covering transportation expenses, as well as for purchasing medicines and baby food. Besides, we might need legal assistance. We will appreciate support in any form.
LET'S HELP THE FORGOTTEN TOGETHER!
For further information please contact:
Antifascist Youth Action (AMD)
phone/fax: (7 095) 191 60 86
e-mail:liberty@aha.ru