On March 2, the deputy commander of federal forces in Chechnya said the military phase of the operation had come to end. Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo said his forces would now assume responsibility for security in Chechnya. The following day at least twelve Interior Ministry troops were killed and more than thirty wounded in an ambush a few miles from Grozny. The capacity of the Chechens to conduct a long and grinding guerrilla war should not be underestimated.