Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 3

On January 15, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Ruud Lubbers, a former prime minister of the Netherlands, commenced a three-day visit to Moscow and to the refugee camps in Ingushetia. A spokesman for the commissioner stated that the main reason for Lubber’s trip was “to refocus world attention on Chechnya” (Voice of America, January 15). In Moscow, Lubbers was slated to meet with a number of high-ranking Russian officials, including Prime Minister Kas’yanov, Foreign Minister Ivanov, and MVD Minister Gryzlov (Kommersant, January 16). On January 16, the Nobel-prize-winning organization, Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders), issued a public appeal urging Lubbers to use his influence to improve conditions for the refugees living in the camps in Ingushetia whose conditions were deemed unacceptable (Medecins sans Frontieres Press Release, January 16).