Russian commanders continued to press into the mountains over the weekend although their progress was slowed by bad weather and fierce resistance. The Chechen resistance is now concentrated in four southern villages, the most important of which is Shatoi, and Russian commanders say that the war will be over soon. General Anatoly Kulikov told Moscow’s NTV June 11 that his forces would finish the job in two weeks or less. Moscow officials said that most of the remaining 4,000 Chechen “rebels” were mercenaries, that the Chechen fighters were running out of ammunition and that the Chechen chain of command was disintegrating. This last point raises the possibility that President Dzhokhar Dudayev might be overthrown, or himself launch a terrorist campaign throughout Russia as his aides have called for. Perhaps fearing that possibility, the Duma on June 9 called on Yeltsin to end the fighting. Meanwhile, the war came to the neighboring republics of Daghestan, Ingushetiya, and Kabardino-Balkariya. In Daghestan, the government sought to block the influx of Chechen fighters; in Ingushetiya, Russian forces killed two men on a tractor; and in Kabardino-Balkariya, local police assisted by Moscow forces arrested Chechens trying to purchase arms, Moscow agencies reported over the weekend. Various Chechen officials–including members of the Chechen parliament that Dudayev disbanded in 1992–tried to position themselves as mediators. Over the weekend, there was again no news about the fate of Fred Cuny, the American aid worker who has been missing in the region since April 9.
A New Deal on the Black Sea Fleet.