Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 15

On May 19 Russian president Boris Yeltsinvetoed his prime minister’s May 18 offer to conduct discussions with theChechens on a roundtable basis with OSCE representation. Russian defenseminister Pavel Grachev had said in Beijing even before the veto wasannounced, that he would meet with Chechen commanders only if ordered to doso and only after their “full disarmament and surrender.”

Heavy fighting continued in Chechnya after a lull during whichRussian forces prepared for an assault on the Chechen-held mountains,Itar-Tass reported May 18. Russian agencies reported that once again thearmy, and not the interior troops, are bearing the brunt of combatoperations. Also, the military is seeking more tanks and ammunition, anindication of just how difficult the Russian assault on the mountains willbe.

Again on May 18 there was no additional word on the fate of FredCuny, an American aid specialist who has been missing in Chechnya since April9.

Russian Secret Police Given New Powers, More Funds.