Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 49

For the second consecutive day yesterday, Chechen fighters held most of Grozny under their control, successfully battling far stronger Russian forces and infiltrating snipers near the government buildings in the city center. The real extent of the Russian forces’ humiliation could not be immediately be gauged because the press and television were banned from the scene. The Russian command in Grozny reported that the pro-Dudaev fighters were preparing attacks on the television tower and on the Russian military compound at the airport (the most heavily fortified place in Chechnya). The same command estimated the number of Chechen fighters in the city at 1,000 to 1,500; but higher authority at the North Caucasus military district scoffed that the Grozny command "saw that many [fighters] out of fear;" and the Commander in Chief Boris Yeltsin announced in Moscow by midday to general astonishment that the operation was over and Grozny had been successfully "cleansed" of insurgents. Russian military sources in Grozny admitted to losing at least 70 killed and 130 wounded yesterday. It now transpired that hundreds of Chechen fighters had managed the preceding day to break into Grozny by commandeering a train and riding it straight into the city.

The fighting in Grozny eclipsed the continuing Russian bombardment of Sernovodsk, where 3,000 to 4,000 civilians were trapped, according to Red Cross and Ingush officials. The Russian military blocked relief convoys headed for the town. (1)

Yeltsin Fails to Unveil Peace Plan.