Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 13

On March 22, General Aleksandr Zdanovich, chief spokesman of the FSB for issues relating to the war in Chechnya, said that, in the period since the FSB had received the responsibility to head up the counterterrorist operation in Chechnya, there had been a change in the tactics of the struggle. The FSB, he noted, is no longer relying–as the military had done–on heavy armor, aviation and artillery. And the tactics of “cleansing” an entire village, of blocking all traffic and of taking into custody “a significant number of people” are also no longer being utilized. Zdanovich underlined that, beginning with the last days of January 2001, “all measures against the bandits have been aimed at a ‘specific target’ and have been carried out only after ‘careful preparation'” (Russian agencies, March 22).