Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 94

Russian defense minister Pavel Grachev said yesterday that the 201st Motorized Division, the backbone of Russian "peacekeeping" forces in Tajikistan, will not intervene in the fighting inside Tajikistan, but will guard and defend key government installations and may assist Russia’s border troops in fighting Tajik opposition detachments which seek to cross into Tajikistan from Afghanistan. Grachev specified that the 201st Division may use its artillery, tanks, and aircraft to support the Russian border troops if the opposition seriously penetrates the border and if President Boris Yeltsin authorizes the division’s involvement in his capacity as commander in chief. (Itar-Tass, Interfax, Western agencies, May 14)

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