The Chechen State Defense Committee, policy-making body of the resistance, conferred and announced yesterday a plan of measures in a delayed response to the resumption since July 8 of Russian military operations. The plan envisages "refraining from large-scale military reactions" and limiting the response to "selective small-scale defensive measures" when necessitated by Russian attacks on Chechen villages. The plan also envisages efforts to pressure the Russian side into observing the Moscow and Nazran armistice agreements. The Committee announced a three-day national mourning for the more than 400 Chechen civilians killed since July 8. In an accompanying political statement, the Committee called for observance of the armistice agreements, resumption of negotiations, and upgrading the role of the OSCE’s Chechnya mission from intermediary in the talks to guarantor of an eventual political settlement. On the same day the Russian-installed "Chechnya Head" called anew for the expulsion of OSCE mission chief Tim Guldimann from Chechnya.
Russian forces yesterday conducted what the command termed "cleansing operations with use of artillery and aviation" in Itum-Kale, Nozhai-Yurt, and Shatoi districts. Asked for a reaction to criticism of such operations, Maj. General Vladimir Shamanov, the commander of the Defense Ministry’s troops in Chechnya, said in the Defense Ministry’s newspaper that he "spits on" the criticism.
A man claiming to be field commander Salman Raduev told foreign correspondents near Gudermes yesterday that he had returned from medical treatment abroad, eager to resume the fight; that he had his orders from Djohar Dudaev, allegedly alive but ailing from injuries; and that he would also fight against the resistance leadership under Yandarbiev as "traitors" for having signed the armistice. Raduev had been deemed killed in a Russian attack in March. The reports of his alleged reemergence circulated worldwide, but the identification appeared dubious. (Russian and Western agencies, NTV, July 18; Krasnaya zvezda, July 17)
New Impetus for Russian Privatization.