Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 21

Russian forces continued theirslow advance into the foothills of southern Chechnya over the weekend,Interfax reported. Reports that Chechens would execute Russian POWswere quickly denied by Chechen leaders, Moscow radio reported May 27.Russian media increasingly have focused on body counts, with largenumbers of Chechens reported dead, and claiming a smaller but growingnumber of Russian casualties. Chechen fighters said the war had spreadinto Daghestan, but Russian commanders denied this, Segodnya reportedMay 24. The OSCE, the Russians and the Chechens said they hoped thepeace talks would resume later this week, although the pro-MoscowChechens said they did not think the talks would lead to peace,Moskovsky komsomolets reported May 26. And some Russian officials beganto complain that these talks were “internationalizing” the conflict, amove that undercut Moscow’s interests, Itar-Tass reported May 27.Meanwhile, Russian military commanders complained that the costs of thewar were cutting military readiness everywhere except in the StrategicRocket Forces, Krasnaya zvezda said May 23.

And again, there was no new word on the fate of Fred Cuny, theAmerican aid worker who has been missing in Chechnya since April 9.

CIS Summit Ends With Few Agreements.