Despite theapparent collapse of the first round of talks between Moscow and theChechens, Russia’s governor in the region said he expected them to resume in two or three days, Moscow television reported May 25. Nikolai Semenov, who led the Russian delegation, said that the most important fact about the talks was that they had begun. Moscow television also reported that there had been some contacts between the Russian military and Chechen commanders, but the Russian military plan is unlikely to appeal to the Chechens, the station suggested. Russian commanders have said they will stop their attacks if the Chechens send their young men into the Russian army. The commanders also reportedly said they would absorb pro-Moscow Chechen units directly into the Russian military. Meanwhile, the Russian army continued its attacks outside of Grozny. Interfax reported that Russian armor was pressing the southern village of Duba-Yurt May 25, and quoted Russian commander in chief Lt. Gen. Mikhail Yegorov as saying that military operations were proceeding normally.
On May 25, there was some additional information on the fate ofFred Cuny, the American aid worker who has been missing in Chechnya sinceApril 9. New York’s Village Voice newspaper reported that Cuny had beendetained by a Chechen unit shortly after he entered Chechnya but that he had then been released. The paper did not have additional information on what had happened to him since that time.
CIS Summit Begins In Minsk.