Russian foreign ministry officials announced yesterday that the OSCE mission chief in Chechnya, Sandor Meszaros, has been hospitalized in his country, Hungary, for treatment of injuries sustained in a traffic accident in Grozny earlier this month, and would probably not return. Meszaros’s departure from Grozny October 24 would appear to reduce the mission’s current political staff to a single (French) person.
Most of the OSCE mission’s small staff has left in recent weeks for various reasons (intimidation and hardship were not acknowledged to be among them). The mission’s Swedish member was evacuated home earlier this month with grave injuries sustained in the same, suspect road accident which also injured Meszaros. The mission building and staff were repeatedly subject to acts or threats of violence in recent weeks. Deploring the mission’s shrinkage, Dudayev’s chief negotiator Khodzhakhmed Yarikhanov said that its mandate had been too restrictive to allow it to function properly, and that its members needed protection themselves. (5)
Soviet-Era Body Resurrected in Chechnya.