Russian forces continued their attacks on Shatoi and Nozhay-Yurt June 12 as the two sides entered their seventh month of fighting, Itar-Tass reported June 12. Russian commanders said that they were having to fight for every inch of ground and that both sides were suffering heavy casualties. Russian radio reported June 12 that a helicopter had attacked an airport in the neighboring republic of Ingushetiya, but the Russian military denied that the copter was a Russian one. In a survey of the first six months of fighting, Yuliya Kalinina wrote in the June 10 Moskovsky komsomolets that “we have become accustomed to the smell of blood.” She noted that the Russian defense ministry acknowledged 1375 dead, 3.872 wounded, and 245 missing, while the Chechens have lost 5400 killed and have more than 3,000 missing. Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed, and 387,369 have been forced to become refugees. And “for the sake of what?” asked Kalinina. Even if the current offensive succeeds–and that is an open question–the Chechens will retain control of Bamut and have almost 8,000 men still under arms, Kalinina argued. Moreover, the Chechens have established underground resistance committees throughout the country, even setting up a special training school for those who will nominally surrender, but who will actually continue to resist the Russian forces. And as a result, Russia will have to retake yet again all these areas just as the Chechens launch a guerrilla war, one that could last far longer than the fighting has to date. Kalinina too could provide no information on the fate of Fred Cuny, the American aid specialist who has been missing in Chechnya since April 9.
Lobov Meets with Lebed on 14th Army.