Moscow/Vienna, 11 November 1999 (RFE/RL) - A European envoy today
called on Russia and the world to improve the "alarming" plight of Chechen civilians fleeing fighting in the breakaway republic. Norwegian diplomat Kim Traavik said in Moscow that a major effort is
needed to avoid a worsening of the situation. Traavik yesterday led a
delegation of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to Ingushetia to survey conditions at refugee camps. OSCE spokesman Man Nyberg was quoted in Vienna as saying the delegation was refused permission to enter Russian-controlled northern Chechnya.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov is quoted today as saying
Moscow is seeking a quick end to the fighting. His comments followed a
statement earlier by the defense minister that the military campaign could be over by the end of the year.
Moscow has come under increasing criticism from the West over the
campaign, which governments say is killing civilians indiscriminately.
Russian forces today continued their air and artillery attacks on
the republic, focusing on Grozny, the eastern town of Guderemes, and western village of Bamut.