Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 4

Fighting in Grozny continued overnight making a mockery of both the Russian cease-fire and the Russian-imposed curfew there, Itar-Tass said May 4. Tass said that the latest attacks bring the number of ceasefire violations since April 28 to 92, and Interfax reported that at least nine Russian soldiers had died in the fighting. One of the reasons the Chechens may have enjoyed initial success in the latest outburst of this conflict is that Russian commanders had ordered their troops not to maneuver after April 28 lest they tempt the Chechens to attack, Segodnya said April 29. But their very lack of mobility may have given the Chechen forces easier targets. The paper also acknowledged how little progress the Russian military has made to date: after five months of fighting, Moscow controls only 2/3 of the republic’s territory, and Chechen leader Dudayev retains many of the armored vehicles, bases, and arms that he had at the beginning. And it said that the fighting would certainly last until winter, with mounting Russian losses as the combatants move into the mountainous south and east of Chechnya. Meanwhile, the human costs of the conflict continue to mount. The Federal Migration Service said April 29 that the number of refugees had now passed 450,000, or one-third of the Chechen republic’s pre-war population. While Moscow has established five camps for these people near Grozny, living conditions there and elsewhere are poor and there is the threat of new outbreaks of disease. And yet another day has passed without any word on the whereabouts of American relief specialist Fred Cuny, who was last heard from on April 9.

Foreign Ministry: Moscow Will Sell Nuclear Equipment to Iran.