Publication: Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 195

The guerrilla war in Chechnya shows no signs of letting up. The Russian military command reported yesterday that one serviceman had been killed and another wounded as a result of an attack by Chechen rebels on a column of automobiles traveling in Chechnya’s southern mountains. The cars were ferrying servicemen to the Khankala airport in the suburbs of the Chechen capital when rocket-propelled grenades hit them. On October 17, two policemen were killed and eight wounded in the town of Vedeno, the hometown of rebel field commander Shamil Basaev, when a bomb went off 500 meters from a local police station. On the same day, a Russian armored personnel carrier in the Chechen capital was hit by a radio-controlled bomb, after which rebels shot at its crew. Several Russian soldiers were wounded in that attack. All of this comes against the backdrop of the October 12 terrorist bombing of a police headquarters in Djohar [Grozny], which killed fifteen people. In general the situation in Chechnya is such that even Russian military officials are not only refraining from optimistic statements, but are openly expressing concern that the rebels may attempt to seize the Chechen capital in the near future (Russian agencies, October 17, 19).

Meanwhile the, the website of the “Kavkaz-Tsentr” agency set up by former Chechen Foreign Minister Movladi Udugov, reported that Shamil Basaev plans to give US$1,000 to each Palestinian family who had a member killed in confrontations with Israeli troops. Basaev said earlier that he planned to send hundreds of fighters to the Middle East (, October 17). In connection with this, the “Chechen-press” agency, which expresses the view of Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov, carried a statement from the Chechen Foreign Ministry calling the “Kavkaz-Tsentr” report a “baseless law” and saying that the “Kavkaz-Tsentr” has nothing to due with the Chechen people or their independence struggle (Nezavisimaya gazeta, October 18). It should be noted that Kavkaz-Tsentr represents the views of the radical wing of the Chechen resistance movement, which includes influential field commanders like Basaev and Khattab.