Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 6

Clashes between Russian and Chechen forces continued over the weekend in both Grozny and in the eastern regions of the republic, Moscow media reported. A Russian jet was shot down May 5, and the clashes claimed additional victims on each side. Defense Minister Pavel Grachev told Interfax that more than 1375 Russian soldiers have now died in the fighting. Fewer battles were reported May 8. The Chechens have said that they do not plan any special operations for May 9-10 out of respect for V-E Day celebrations, but the Russian command earlier said it was planning “many surprises” for the Chechens on those dates, Interfax reported May 5. Russian officials tried to put a good face on things: Deputy Premier Anatoly Chubais claimed that “on the whole” the situation in Chechnya was improving, Vechernaya Moskva reported May 4. Meanwhile, the Chechens took a different view. A former Grozny city official appealed to Yeltsin to end the war and denounced Russian interior ministry troops for “looting, plunder, marauding and murder,” Segodnya said May 5. Perhaps in response to these charges, the same day the paper reported that the Russian military prosecutor had opened cases against 172 Russian servicemen for violating military laws. In 15 cases, conviction would bring death. But Chechen leader Dzhokhar Dudayev told Welt am Sonntag May 7 that the war would continue until Moscow was willing to engage in talks leading to a political settlement. He said that 9,000 Chechen fighters now hold out against 60,000 Russian troops. Again, there were no reports on the whereabouts of Fred Cuny, a prominent American aid worker in Chechnya who has not been heard from since April 9.

Yeltsin Launches V-E Day Commemorations.